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5 Important Things Cruise Passengers Need To Know About The Dominican Republic For 2023

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The cruise industry suffered a major setback in the Dominican Republic after the COVID-19 pandemic, with travelers shying away from the once-popular pastime. Although cruise ship passenger numbers have skyrocketed this year, they are expected to climb further next year as travelers once again warm up to these floating hotels. In this article, we’ve gathered five of the most important things cruise ship passengers need to know about the Dominican Republic for 2023.

Pedernales cruise

Expect New And Improved Cruise Ship Terminals

With the cruise ship industry growing steadily in the Dominican Republic, officials have accounted for a flurry of investments in existing ports, as well as new ones. La Romana Port, one of the biggest in the country, received a $15 million upgrade in its port facilities this November ahead of the busy 2023 season. Travelers can expect new amenities, including a pool, shopping and dining, and more floor space. Meanwhile, other ports in the country, including Puerto Plata, are in the final stages of preparing for massive investment plans to improve existing facilities.

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Cruise ship docked with palm trees

You Can Sail To The Sun-Soaked Island On Some Of The World’s Biggest Vessels 

Earlier this year, the Allure of the Seas, one of the world’s largest vessels, docked on Taíno Bay in Puerto Plata, allowing some 6,300 passengers to discover the popular seaside city. In 2023, as cruising continues its rapid expansion, expect to see more and bigger cruise ships making stops in the Dominican Republic’s main ports.

Puerto Plata cruise ship port with massive cruise liner

Some noteworthy cruise ships that will include Dominican Republic ports on their itinerary next year include Celebrity Beyond as well as Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas. The Dominican Republic will easily be able to handle up to 10,000 passengers per day in some of its larger ports, including Puerto Plata and La Romana. 

View of a large cruise ship with balconies and sea views

Discover New Exotic Destinations

Officials are currently busy overseeing the construction of Port Cabo Rojo – the country’s newest flagship port. With completion set for December 2023, the massive $100 million port would be one of the country’s largest, capable of handling thousands of travelers per day and some of the world’s largest vessels. 

The port will be situated in Pedernales, southwestern Dominican Republic, in an area officials are calling the new top ecotourism destination in the country. Offering a vast new region for travelers to explore, Pedernales is attracting investments of all kinds, from new hotels to massive new entertainment complexes. Port Cabo Rojo will be a versatile space, offering not only classic cruise ship facilities but also a massive shopping center and water park.

A white-sand beach in Pedernales

The Dominican Republic Aims To Become A Cruise Ship Hub

The Dominican Republic has big plans in store for cruise ship passengers. The tropical island is strategically located close to a number of popular Caribbean destinations, and officials want to turn the country into a hub of sorts for cruise lines. Earlier this year, Luis Abinader, the country’s president, declared his goal of making the Dominican Republic a cruising hub. Expect Dominican ports to feature heavily on Caribbean cruise itineraries more frequently next year, with more and larger vessels docking in the popular country.

A smaller cruise ship arriving in the Dominican Republic

Cruising To Make A Definitive Return

Travelers can expect cruising to likely reach pre-pandemic popularity in 2023, with travelers once again hopping on board these massive floating hotels. Although air travel has already far exceeded 2019 passenger numbers, cruise ship popularity took a hit after the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2023, travelers can look forward to more international cruise liner routes opening up, many of which will include Dominican Republic ports. Companies such as Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises are among the most popular choices for travelers that want to explore the Caribbean island. 

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