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Luxury Cruises into CartagenaPort of Cartagena, Attracting Luxury Boats

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Puerto de Cartagena, en la ruta de barcos de lujo | Corporación de Turismo de Cartagena | El Universal – Cartagena.

The Paul Gauguin cruise line included Cartagena in the route of the luxury ship Tere Moana, confirming the importance the walled city is gaining as an international tourist destination.

On Sunday, a total of five vessels from distinguished companies visited the city; the foray into the cruise market has become one of the main achievements of the Port of Cartagena, which seeks to capture the attention of renowned international lines .

The city government interprets this move as very important, entrenching Cartagena as major tourist destination in the Caribbean will boost the national tourism sector, with the corresponding benefits to the transportation, trade and gastronomy sectors.


The Tere Moana, left the island of St. Martin in the Caribbean, then from Cartagena will cross the Panama Canal and sail to the island of Coiba, Panama, and then to Marenco, in Costa Rica, and Puerto Caldera in Costa Rica.

Paul Gauguin Cruises is a specialized line of cruises to exotic destinations with warm weather and delivers services to customers that even the larger ships can not offer.  In fact, the maximum capacity of the Tere Moana, which was recently renovated, is only 90 people.

The other four boats that arrived over the weekend to Cartagena were: Seven Seas Mariner, a ship with 700 people with luxury features and marble European style tubs, gyms and jogging track, Coral Princess, Island Princess and The World, known for feeling like home with gyms and personal trainers, tennis courts, golf courses and luxury jewelers who travel the world, as they own several passenger cabins.

The Port of Cartagena expects 192 cruises in the 2013 season, not counting the first landfalls of the following ships: Wind Star, Disney Wonder, MS Columbus 2, Artania and Tere Moana.

New Megaport in Cartagena will be a Duty Free ZonePort of Cartagena Sets Records & Gets $45,000,000 Investment

From Colombian news sources (see references below)

Record Year for Container Movement

Containers in Cartagena

The Port of Cartagena reached a record of 2,018,389 containers moved at the end of 2012, positioning the port as the first in the country to achieve such progress.

The forecast for 2012 predicted  two million containers compared to 1,672,041 recorded at the end of 2011. This figure places Cartagena in the select group of the most important ports in the world and shows, once again, the country’s dedication to  international trade.

The expansion of the Panama Canal, expected to be ready in the first half of 2015, will allow 8.4 million containers to pass through each year, compared to 6.5 million presently.  The Port of Cartagena is one of the beneficiaries, and will be useful in  consolidating its position as the primary global hub for the Caribbean.

$45M investment

Area being prepared for new logistics center

The Chilean firm “Compas” announced a $45 million (USD) investment into the port of Cartagena for a new Logistics Center.

The partners in this project purchased a lot of 41 acres, on the new road that goes towards Barú, which will be used to develop a comprehensive logistics center.  Among other services, it will feature warehouses and a distribution depot,  areas for consolidating and deconsolidation; a yard for full and empty containers, storage area for wheeled vehicles and general cargo as well as extensive areas for installation of new industries related to foreign trade.

Capabilities of the Port of Cartagena and the 70 miles of Canal

one of the cargo cranes in Cartagena

The Port of Cartagena currently has the infrastructure and efficiency to meet up to 5,500 TEUs.  The port is a true logistics center linking the Caribbean to the world, through connections with more than 432 ports in 114 countries.

The 115 kilometers of the navigable Canal Dique, offers enormous potential to mobilize goods in cargo ships.  Furthermore, the possibility of higher amounts freight discount means that logistics costs are between 30% and 38% lower than terrestrial transport.

Those that use this waterway now have satellite navigation assistance, ensuring mobility 24 hours a day.  Therefore, cargo transport through the Canal is feasible, safe and profitable, with positive economic, social and environmental effects.

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ProExport Colombia Visits Mar Y Sol at Twin Vee Factory

Colombia represents an enormous opportunity for investors.

With the signing of the Free Trade Agreement, the country has opened its doors to the United States to expand its market in many sectors.  Mar Y Sol recognizes this opportunity and actively working to partner with Colombian and U.S. businesses and organizations.  We invited ProExport Colombia to visit Twin Vee Catamaran factory and meet Roger Dunshee, the founder, owner and CEO of Twin Vee !

Twin Vee Catamarans of Fort Pierce, Florida has prided itself on producing a safe,

Roger Dunshee

reliable quality boat at an affordable price.  Customers trust the name and the performance. As founder, Roger Dunshee states, Twin Vee Catamarans are “the best riding boats on the water.”  Over time, these well crafted boats will still hold their value!

Recently, Sergio Rodríguez, Foreign Investment Representative of ProExport Colombia visited the Twin Vee factory in Fort Pierce, Florida.  ProExport promotes “nontraditional exports, international  tourism and foreign investment” in Colombia.  They assist to identify market opportunities, assist to design strategies for the market segment, promote foreign direct investment in Colombia and much more.

Sergio Rodríguez

One of the market sectors that has been on the upswing is tourism.  Along the Colombian Caribbean coast line are cities poised for expansion in this sector.  Cartagena, is an urban center with almost 1 million residents and home to one the most important international ports.  Recreational tourism, beaches and development of the marine market is underway.  Rosario Islands, Barú and Santa Marta are known for the recreational tourism all surrounded by the beautiful Caribbean waters.

Mr. Rodríquez explained that ProExport’s tourism office is located in Cartagena and offers services for the cruise ships and hotels. Domingo Bernardo, CEO and president of Mar y Sol explained the business plan and development for Colombia. The company will offer boating services and products to hotels, cruise ships, marinas and recreational boaters.  It was agreed by all, that Mar y Sol Twin Hull Boats and Twin Vee Catamarans can in fact fill that niche and importantly, ProExport Colombia has offered assistance to Mar y Sol.

At a round table discussion,  Roger Dunshee  explained the benefits of  power catamarans and why the Twin Vee brand is so unique. Mr. Rodríguez had a tour of Twin Vee factory and able to see the quality of the construction which has made these boats famous.  Mr. Rodríquez was introduced to the latest technology in boating: the Twin Vee  Hydrofoil Supported Ocean Cat.   This advancement in boating creates a lift, runs on top of the waves, less resistance, lower horsepower and less fuel!

Twin Vee Hydrofoil Supported Ocean Cat


Mar y Sol Twin Hull Boats is proud to represent Twin Vee Catamarans and to introduce these legendary boats to the Colombian market! With the enormous growth of the marine and recreational tourism, Mar y Sol along with Twin Vee  will fill a niche in the nautical market.

Thank you to Mr. Sergio Rodríguez for your visit and Mr. Roger Dunshee of Twin Vee for the factory tour!




Orlando Mayor Attends Colombia Business Seminar Along with Mar Y Sol

Mar Y Sol was recently invited by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Metro Orlando’s (HCCMO) seminar, “Doing Business with Colombia. The event was held at the National Entrepreneur Center in Orlando with many Florida businesses in attendance.

The seminar highlighted the advantages of the Trade Promotion Agreement with Colombia.  Guest speaker was Orlando Mayor Teresa Jacobs who accompanied the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando on the Bogotá trade mission in August.

Orlando Mayor Teresa Jacobs addresses Florida businesses at the National Entrepreneur Center

Presenters at the seminar included representatives from Canaveral Port Authority, Orlando International Airport and others.  Representatives from Jet Blue, Avianca and Copa Airlines announced they are increasing their flights to accommodate the rise of travel to Colombia.

Phil Brown, Executive Director of  Orlando International Airport told the audience that the Latin American market is one the fastest growing markets.  According to the Orlando Sentinel, “Thanks to a near-tripling of people flying between Central Florida and Latin America, Orlando was one of the three fastest-growing major markets for international air travelers during the past eight years…” ( )

Juliaña Pena of Enterprise Florida presented an overview of the Free Trade Agreement and its benefits for American businesses. Enterprise Florida believes Florida will have the most economic benefit.  That is certainly great news for companies like Mar Y Sol!


Ramón Ojeda, President of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Metro Orlando


Shannon Feeley, Senior Manager & Business Development from Canaveral Port Authority says the port is working on various partnerships.  Ramón Ojeda, President of the HCCMO says tourism will be an important industry and a delegation will be visiting Cartagena in 2013.

Florida businesses of all sectors attended the presentation.  Despite the troubled economy here in the United States, clearly Colombia is a solid country to develop business.

Mar Y Sol Twin Hull Boats wishes to extend a warm thank you to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Metro Orlando for the invitation to this informative event, especially Diana Bolivar!












Cartagena Chamber of Commerce with Local Businesses in Orlando

from facebook: Mar Y Sol Twin Hull Boats, Inc.

Theresa Biemer, COO and Domingo Bernardo, President and CEO (center left) of Mar y Sol at round table discussion about Colombia.


From the Board Room at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Metro Orlando where a group of Florida businesses learned from V Adm José Alfonso Diaz, president of Cartagena Chamber of Commerce the development, growth and interest in Colombia business.


Domingo Bernardo, president and CEO (far right) of Mar y Sol at chamber meeting in Orlando

Domingo Bernardo, President and CEO of Mar y Sol listens to V Adm José Alfonso Diaz of Cartagena Chamber of Commerce at a recent meeting. The meeting was hosted by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Metro Orlando. They have been actively working to promote trade with Colombia and invited local businesses to this meeting.




Cartagena Chamber of Commerce Comes to Orlando

from facebook: Mar Y Sol Twin Hull Boats, Inc.

Theresa Biemer, COO and Domingo Bernardo President and CEO of Mar y Sol Twin Hull Boats at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Metro Orlando offices


At a recent meeting on October 19 the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Metro Orlando hosted a round table meeting with  the president of the Cartagena Chamber of Commerce, José Alfonso Diaz. Mar y Sol, along with other local businesses met V Adm. Diaz to discuss  the work his chamber is doing in Colombia to promote business.  It is an exciting time since Colombia is now the 3rd largest Latin American economy and 2nd largest South American economy. Mar y Sol is proud to a part of this growing Colombian economy!

The meeting was hosted by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Metro Orlando. They have been actively working to promote trade with Colombia and invited local businesses to this meeting. 

Thank you to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Metro Orlando for hosting this informative meeting!

Colombia invested over $55M in tourism in the last 2 years

From: Colombia invested over $55M in tourism: Santos – Colombia news | Colombia Reports.


Colombia news - Tourism


President Juan Manuel Santos announced Wednesday that Colombia has invested more than $55 million in promoting tourism for the country over the last two years.

During a speech in the coastal Cartagena city, President Juan Manual Santos revealed that investments in tourism promotion have increased during 2010 to 2012 by 20% in comparison to the period of 2008 to 2010.

“In these first two years the government has invested over $36 million in international promotion [of Colombia] as part of the the National Tourism Fund and Proexport,” said Santos. He added that they have also invested over $23 million in the promotion of national tourism.

Through Proexport, an entity that promotes tourism, foreign investment and exportations in Colombia, wholesalers from around the world have had the opportunity to know and invest in Colombia.

“In the last year, through Proexport, 115 wholesalers were invited from 29 countries for ‘trips of familiarization,’ to see the country and multiply sales through their favorable impression,” explained the president.

Santos emphasized the coverage that Colombian tourism has received in international mediums, and said that the investments in tourism will continue to grow over the next two years.

“Proexport has gotten Colombia to appear in 16 guides of different countries and two guides of global reach, including none other than Lonely Planet and Michelin,” said the president.

In conclusion, Santos announced that September 7 will be the launch of the new image of the “Country Brand,” and that when they celebrate the World Day of Tourism on September 27, they are going to launch the Colombian guide of National Geographic for the first time.

Be sure you visit about and on our website!  Mar y Sol loves Colombia!




Travel News: Interview with Colombia Tourism Chief, Maria Claudia Lacouture – YouTube

Categories: Caribbean, Colombia, Tourism
Comments: No Comments
Published on: 2012/09/09

Travel News: Interview with Colombia Tourism Chief, Maria Claudia Lacouture – YouTube.

In this Exclusive video, Proexport CEO Maria Claudia Lacouture, who heads up Colombia’s tourism promotion efforts, talks with about important trends, including open skies, the free trade agreement, and increasing tourism arrivals in cities like Bogota and Cartagena.




Be sure you visit about and on our website!  Mar y Sol loves Colombia!

Reasons to Invest in Tourism Infrastructure and Colombia Hotels

Categories: Caribbean, Colombia
Comments: No Comments
Published on: 2012/08/01

Reasons to Invest in Tourism Infrastructure in Colombia

via Hotel Infrastructure and Tourism – Proexport Colombia’s Official Investment Portal.

Between 2004 and 2010 there has been an increase of 25% of the number of hotel rooms (11.600 new ones and 11.700 remodelled ones).

Out of all hotel rooms in Colombia only 32% are qualified as four and five stars. This recent investment has been focused on this segment.

Despite this increase, hotel occupation in the principal destinations remains high, in particular in the segments of high income and in hotels directed at business travelers, all-inclusive resorts and ecotourism where the offer still does not meet the demand.

The arrival of international travelers to Colombia increased from 600 thousand in 2000 to almost 1,5 million in 2010, with an average annual growth of 10,6%, almost four times greater than the world average and one of the highest in the region.

Colombia has become established as an important destination for cruise ships in the Caribbean with the three principal ports of Cartagena, Santa Marta and San Andrés. In 2010 cruise ship numbers increased 30,9%, representing the arrival of 401 thousand passengers to Colombia.

Transportes Acuáticos en Cartagena

Categories: Caribbean, Colombia
Comments: No Comments
Published on: 2012/07/29

Cartagena is the hot spot for luxury tourism!

From: Cartagena the newest hotspot for luxury tourism – Colombia news | Colombia Reports.


Cartagena a new high-end tourism hotspot

This year Cartagena was a big hit at the International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM), held every year in Cannes, France. Carmen Otero de Millan, the representative for Cartagena’s Santa Clara hotel and Coltelco claimed that Colombia‘s stand at the luxury fair received over 500 proposals from various travel counselors, whom he defined as “people hired exclusively by millionaires from different countries that are very interested in the history, culture, and nature of countries that sell tourism.”


High-end tourists are interested in spas, culinary experiences, new cultures, sustainable tourism, and tourism philanthropy — all of which can be found in Cartagena. According to Otero de Millan, if the government can implement strategies to boost tourism, Cartagena’s rich history and its proximity to the tropical Rosario Islands will do the rest.


Navigation maps to boost tourism in Colombia

Categories: Caribbean, Tourism
Comments: No Comments
Published on: 2012/07/18

From: Navigation maps to boost tourism in Colombia.

CARTAGENA, Colombia – Cartagena is the country’s first city to offer tourists a map with navigation routes of its coasts.

The map is part of a project created by the National Nautical Guide, in which the country’s authorities have invested more than US$1.7 million in providing visitors with a “user friendly” sea entrance guide for about 30 coastal municipalities.

<br />				Cartagena is Colombia’s first city to offer tourists a map with navigation routes of its coasts. (Rodrigo Arangua/AFP/Getty Images)<br />

[The map] will contain all the data about potential tourist sites and ports,” Uribe said. “It will highlight aerial photos, nautical charts to safely navigate shallow waters, access channels, authorized anchor locations, marine locations, historical, cultural and tourist information, in addition to documents and other arrival requirements.”

Cartagena Colombia ~ tourism increases to historic city!

Categories: Caribbean, Tourism
Comments: No Comments
Published on: 2012/07/18

From:  Colombia\’s boom town – News – Cartagena de Indias Convention Bureau – Colombia.

Four giant cruise ships recently docked within hours of one another in this Spanish colonial port city and disgorged 6,000 foreign passengers. Most headed to Old Cartagena for a day of sightseeing and shopping, jamming the narrow streets of what many believe is the best preserved colonial city on the continent.

The presence of so many foreigners was unthinkable just five years ago, when tourists were put off by the image of a country beset by violence sown by leftist rebels and drug traffickers. But the nation’s improved security, booming economy and rapidly expanding tourism industry have put it on many travelers’ itineraries.

 Colombia’s international visitors increased 17 percent last year, to 1.7 million.

Santa Marta, another colonial port town about 110 air miles or four highway hours to the northeast, is trying to become an eco-tourism center.

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