First cruise ship visits Puerto Rico since start of pandemic

First cruise ship visits Puerto Rico since start of pandemic
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A cruise ship visited Puerto Rico on Tuesday, for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Carnival Mardi Gras docked in Old San Juan with hopes of restarting the cruise line tourism that will bring money to the island, The Associated Press reported.

The ship has 4,300 passengers on board and is expected to provide $360,000 to the area in the nine hours the ship is docked.

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“This is incredibly important for us,” Carlos Mercado, executive director of Puerto Rico’s Tourism Company, told the AP.

Mercado said 95 percent of the passengers are fully vaccinated, with only fully vaccinated individuals allowed off the ship.

Puerto Rico was the ship’s first stop after leaving Florida, as the cruise industry is starting to travel again after a devastating year in 2020.

Most cruise lines have put strict rules on unvaccinated passengers in order to set sail again.

Breakthrough COVID-19 cases have emerged on cruise lines, including on a Royal Caribbean cruise that had six passengers test positive for the coronavirus with four of those passengers fully vaccinated. 

Puerto Rico is having passengers come back to the island even as the island is facing a rise in cases from the delta variant.