Today a British-flagged cruise ship, the Grand Plaza, is due to arrive in Puntarenas marking the beginning of the 2011-2012 cruise ship season.
The Instituto Costarricense de Turismo said that last year 264 cruise ships docked in Costa Rica and 385,363 passengers had the chance to visit Costa Rican soil. That number is 5.4 percent greater than the previous year, tourism officials said.
There will be a small ceremony in Puntarenas today marking the beginning of the season.
The 77,000-ton Grand Plaza carries 1,950 passengers.
Cruise ship tourism is a big money maker for Costa Ricans on both coasts. Usually the passengers have the opportunity to take small trips inland or to participate in adventure tourism or simply buy souvenirs and eat local foods. The visits usually are of a short duration.