Miami Beach, FL, March 16TH, 2008 – Starting today, the Mexico Tourism Board is participating in the 25th annual Cruise Shipping Miami Convention. The event is taking place at the Miami Beach Convention Center until March 19th. Mexico’s pavilion will feature the most important Mexican Ports.
Members of the cruise industry will have the opportunity to learn about the variety and unique ports that Mexico has to offer, among them: Ensenada, Guaymas, Loreto / Santa Rosalía, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Chiapas, Huatulco, Tampico, Progreso, Mazatlán, Acapulco, Cozumel, Veracruz, Campeche, Tabasco and Costa Maya. Representatives from the respective ports will be on hand to discuss the latest news and improvements. A variety of dignitaries and secretaries of tourism from Mexico’s seaports will be present including: Javier Villarreal Teran, from Tamaulipas, Ivan Hillman from Veracruz, Paloma Rives from Tabasco, Juan Jose Martin from Yucatan, Juan Carlos Cal from Chiapas, Alberto Trevino from Baja California Sur, Sergio Marcelino Bravo from Colima, Aurelio Lopez Rocha from Jalisco and Hector Perez from Guerrero.
Promising and Exciting Panorama in the Mexican Cruise Industry
A very optimistic future is on its way for the Mexican Cruise industry with a grand infrastructure plan that includes building 13 new cruise installations in both established and newcomer destinations: Puerto Cortes, Cabo San Lucas, Loreto, Guaymas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen and Punta Brava. Two of the installations, one in Puerto Vallarta, were inaugurated last year. Cruise ships started arriving at Guaymas’ new pier and terminal in October of 2008. Another development in Mazatlan is under construction, as well as in Manzanillo, which is in the bidding stages and a new terminal for Acapulco is also scheduled for 2009.
During 2008 Mexican ports received around 3 thousand cruises and welcomed an estimated of 6 million passengers. Mexico has an incredible potential for exponential growth; the richness and diversity of the country plays a key role in the uniqueness of each destination.
The Ministry of Tourism, the port authorities in conjunction with the destinations are uniting strategies to maximize the potential of the Mexican ports. Their main goal is to highlight the unique features of each destination including their music, history, culture, gastronomy and the variety of activities found in each port. Another important step is the collaboration and communication initiatives established among the Ministry of Tourism and local and state authorities in an effort to maintain every port informed of innovations, strategies and new developments.
A Sea of Cortes Route on its Way
The Sea of Cortes’ undeveloped coastlines offer an array of possibilities for a unique and exhilarating Cruise Route. Most of the 13 ports are expected to be located in: Puerto Cortes on the Pacific of Baja California, Cabo San Lucas, Loreto in the Sea of Cortes and Guaymas on the other side of the body of water. This year, the port of Topolobampo, on its 3rd cruise season south of Guaymas, is planning on receiving 12 visits from the Holland Americas Ryndam and 4 from the NCL’s Norwegian Sun.
Port of Cabo San Lucas
The Port of Cabo San Lucas has recently invested more than $204,582,439 dollars and has concluded an important remodeling of Tender Docks 1 and 2 for the reception of cruise passengers as well as a renovation of the wharf Pier. Thanks to the enlargement of Tender Dock 5, they are now in position to receive the M.S. Mariner of the Seas.
Cruises Discover the Gulf of Mexico
Veracruz, Dos Bocas and Progreso, are new ports of call on the Gulf of Mexico for Holland America itineraries. On the 21st of April the major biodiversity region of Mexico will be open to the cruise passengers of the Zuiderdam. Among some of the main attractions visitors will encounter are Mayan and Olmec archeological sites and visits to the cocoa plantations.
Port of Progreso
Progreso is one of the fastest growing cruise ports of Mexico and in 2008 became the 6th largest cruise port in Mexico receiving 343,899 passengers in 2008, a shocking 43.5% more than the previous year. The unparalleled wonders that the state of Yucatan has to offer their guests include Mérida, an amazing colonial city; the archaeological sites of Dzibichaltun, Uxmal and Chichen Itza, the mystical capital of the Mayan civilization; incredible food and the warm hospitality of its citizens are attracting the interest of cruise travelers. The port is located on the northern shore of the Yucatan Peninsula in the heart of the Gulf of Mexico.
Mexican Caribbean Ports Working at Full Capacity
Once again the Mexican Caribbean cruise terminals and ports are operating at their full capacity. Last October, the ports of Puerta Maya in Cozumel and Costa Maya in mainland Quintana Roo, began operations, offering two distinctive options to the cruise industry in the Caribbean. Puerto Maya emerged as the first terminal in Mexico for the new generations of cruise ships.
Costa Maya, one of Mexico’s largest cruise ports and an emerging destination, recently announced that Norwegian Cruise Line’s new ship, Epic, will make a maiden call to its shores beginning in the summer of 2010. After recovering from Hurricane Dean the Port reopened with several improvements to its infrastructure, and the neighboring fishing village of Mahahual. Costa Maya’s new berthing station makes it one of only 4 ports worldwide with the capability to accommodate the next generation of cruise ships such as F3 and Genesis class types.
With acres of unspoiled coastal land and strong historic and cultural influences, Costa Maya offers visitors a true insight into the essence of Mayan culture and the colonial heritage of the Mexican Caribbean with all of today’s conveniences. Set against the deep turquoise sea, Costa Maya is comprised of three grand pavilions, artisan and luxury shopping areas, a beach club, saltwater pools, fine restaurants and bars, and all the resources necessary to explore the area’s surrounding jungle and coral reefs. Costa Maya introduces new and exciting tours from snorkeling at different levels, zip-lining, to jeep adventures, bike tours, to the more cultural activities that include visits to the ruins of Kohunlich & Dzibanche and tropical parks like Uchben Kah where history and nature meet.
The Mexican Riviera and the South Pacific welcome more cruises and passengers
The “Pacific Dream” of Pullmantur will depart on May 17th from Acapulco, visiting the exciting ports of Cabo San Lucas, Manzanillo, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo and Puerto Vallarta. Attractive 7-day packages will be available for passengers to experience the spectacular coastline and unique attractions that each destination has to offer on the Pacific Coast.
Port of Chiapas Adventure, Ecotourism and Culture
Puerto Chiapas, on the border line with Guatemala, has become a very appealing cruise destination and expects its arrivals to increase in 2009 with 22 cruises. The port is developing interesting routes to explore the coffee plantations and haciendas, the exotic flowers, the mangrove jungle, the ecological reserve of Izapa as well as the amber. With attractions that range from culture, to adventure and ecotourism, Chiapas is positioning itself as one of a kind.
About the Mexico Tourism Board
The Mexico Tourism Board (MTB) brings together the resources of federal and state governments, municipalities and private companies to promote Mexico’s tourism attractions and destinations internationally. Created in 1999, the MTB is Mexico’s tourism promotion agency, and its participants include members of both the private and public sectors. The MTB has offices throughout North America, Europe, Japan and Latin America. For more information on destinations and online trip bookings please go to www.visitmexico.com .