Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca, marked a significant milestone on Wednesday, November 22, as it welcomed its inaugural cruise ship, the MS Hamburg. The vessel, proudly flying the German flag, brought with it four hundred European tourists eager to explore the cultural, gastronomic, and natural wonders of the special district on the Colombian Pacific coast, according to sources.
The morning’s festivities were accompanied by the rhythmic beats of the chonta marimba and the rich flavors of traditional viche, setting the stage for a memorable entry into the port. A group of platoneras, esteemed Afro-Colombian women known for their traditional offerings of local and ancestral products, warmly greeted the disembarking German tourists at the Buenaventura Port Society around 7:30 a.m.
Captain José Alejandro Nova Mariño, Acting Port Captain of Buenaventura, expressed the city’s readiness to embrace such vessels, stating, “We celebrate the arrival of the cruise ship MS Hamburg, the first of its kind to dock at the Port of Buenaventura. This signals our preparedness to continue receiving similar vessels.”
Once docked, the tourists had the opportunity to explore the enchanting offerings of Buenaventura, including a visit to the San Cipriano Natural Reserve, renowned for its tropical rainforest, waterfalls, and trails. Additionally, they indulged in local cuisine and the traditional ‘viche.’
The MS Hamburg, operated by the German shipping company Plantours Cruises, boasts impressive dimensions with a length of 144.13 meters and a width of 21.5 meters. The vessel arrived in Colombian waters from the port of Colón in Panama.
Minister of Commerce Germán Umaña emphasized the substantial investment of over $442 million in the promotional project for MS Hamburg. He noted that the arrival of the ship opens up opportunities for foreigners to enjoy the diverse offerings in nature and adventure tourism, gastronomy, culture, and history, particularly in Buenaventura, the primary port on the Pacific.
Carmen Caballero, President of Procolombia, hailed the event as a milestone in Colombia’s cruise industry, showcasing the success of their strategy to promote tourism in unconventional destinations. She expressed excitement about how MS Hamburg’s arrival captured the essence of Colombia, the country of beauty.
The docking of the German ship at the Port of Buenaventura was made possible with the support of the wholesale tourism agency Colombia 57. The General Maritime Directorate monitored the vessel’s journey from entry into jurisdictional waters to its docking at the Regional Port Society of Buenaventura.
Officials from the Port Captaincy of the jurisdiction, the District Mayor’s Office, the Ministry of Commerce, Fontur, Procolombia, and the Maritime Agency Transmares extended a warm welcome to MS Hamburg upon its arrival in the Special, Industrial, Port, Biodiverse, and Ecotouristic District of Buenaventura.
Mayor Víctor Hugo Vidal Piedrahíta highlighted the significance of MS Hamburg’s arrival, citing its potential to boost confidence among foreigners considering Buenaventura as a travel destination. He emphasized the democratic economic benefits of tourism for all Bonaventurians and envisioned the cruise ship as a catalyst for positioning Buenaventura on the international stage.
“The arrival of this cruise ship becomes the spearhead to position Buenaventura internationally and include it in the agenda of cruises heading south of the continent,” concluded Mayor Vidal Piedrahíta, expressing hope for the district’s increased participation in the cruise tourism agenda.
Source: SPB, Presidencia de la República, ElTiempo, Infobae.