Mexico’s western cruise destinations have been abandoned in recents months, as more cruise lines began dropping them. Although in several cases an official reason was never given, the underlying reason given was usually drug violence in the ports.
Holland-America was the first to take this stance with Mazatlan, then Princess announced in August it would no longer visit either Mazatlan or Puerto Vallarta. Both lines have now announced they’ll be returning to these ports.
Princess, owned by Carnival Corporation, has already added stops in Cabo San Lucas to its itinerary, and announced both of the other dropped destinations will be added to the schedule by next year.
Julie Benson, a Princess spokeswoman said, “We are planning for a long way out. We look forward to returning to these ports and putting them back on the schedule.”
Mexican officials have said for months that popuar tourist destinations remain safe, despite drug violence which has risen throughout the country. Holland-America reportedly dropped Mazatlan from their routes after a robbery involving multiple armed gunment and shots fired took place in one of the tourist shopping areas. No one was injured.
The Mazatlan area is known for its fishing and has more than 20 miles of beaches for visitors to explore, while Puerto Vallarta is known for being one of the friendliest destinations in the world for visitors and offers easy access from the United States.
“We’ve been working closely and having lots of discussions with Mexican tourism officials,” shared Benson. “We were always hopeful we could go back.”
Princess will sail the Sapphire Princess to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta a total of six times between November of 2012 and April of 2013, marking a strong return to the region, which has historically been an excellent performer for the corporation. In addition, the Star Princess and Grand Princess will visit Mazatlan twice between September of 2012 and March of 2013 as part of a trip that will depart from San Francisco.
Holland America and Disney cruises will also be returning to Mazatlan in January of 2012. Disney is planning weekly stops, while Holland America will incorporate regular twice-monthly stops into its schedule.
Disney recently cancelled multiple cruises to Mexico in December of 2012, but this is thought to have nothing to do with violence concerns, but was reportedly based on soft sales and the desire to move one of their ships to a different market eariler.
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