Cruise ship arrivals in Mexico have been canceled for up to five weeks in response to the coronavirus pandemic that is spreading across the globe.
West coast coordinator of the Mexican Cruise Association, José Arturo Musi Ganem, said that the virus is having an unprecedented impact on the cruise industry. He said ships currently at sea will return to their ports of origin and not leave again until the crisis has passed.
He expects them all to be back at the ports of Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta within two weeks.
Musi said that cruise operators Disney, Princess, Norwegian, Holland America, Regent Seven Seas, Carnival, Celebrity, Amadeo and others have all cancelled upcoming arrivals in the country.
“It’s an unprecedented situation that we’ve never seen before, so the whole industry is worried about this,” he said.
He said that in addition to nautical tourism, the coronavirus affects other industries that also depend on the arrival of cruise ship passengers, such as tour operators, restaurants, bars and transportation.
“We don’t know how long this will go on. The cruise ship companies said a month, however they could be out of service as long as two months, depending on how things go, as there is news every day,” he said.
The service suspensions likewise affect cruise ship ports on the Yucatán peninsula. The director general of the Integral Port Administration of Quintana Roo (Apiqroo), Alicia Ricalde Magaña, announced the cancellation of arrivals to Cozumel, Puerta Maya and Punta Langosta for the next 30 days.
The 31 arrivals that were canceled to these destinations during the week of March 16-22 amount to a loss of 181,000 passengers disembarking and spending money in the port cities. Cozumel alone had 120 arrivals scheduled for the next month, with a total of 720,000 passengers.
The first cancellations came from Princess Cruises, which announced that it canceled five arrivals on Friday.
Ricalde said that Apiqroo is in close communication with cruise ship companies, attentive to the day they resume operations once the situation is under control.