Three cruise ships arrived in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Wednesday with more than 15,000 people on board, helping to recover the city’s tourism industry over the Easter break.
Almost eight months since cruise tourism was reactivated in Mexico, the largest of the arrivals is at close to 100% capacity.
The Carnival Panorama arrived from Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, at 9 a.m. carrying 4,616 of the possible 4,716 passengers and 1,304 of a maximum 1,450 crew. The ship will head to Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, at 6 p.m.
The near-full ship is a positive sign for the industry: when cruise tourism returned in August, the Carnival Panorama was only operating at around 60% capacity.
Another ship, Discovery Princess, arrived in Mazatlán at around 7:30 a.m. from Cabo San Lucas carrying 3,264 passengers and 1,334 crew. It will continue its journey towards Puerto Vallarta at 6 p.m.
Norwegian Bliss is sailing the reserve route with 3,195 passengers and 1,588 crew. It arrived from Puerto Vallarta in the morning and will set sail for Cabo San Lucas at 6 p.m.
The general director of port administration, Mariel Aquileo Ancona Infazón, said that the number of cruise tourists had doubled since August. “It started with 1,500 [passengers] and now the majority have more than 3,000. It’s been remarkable,” he said.
Aquileo added that almost triple the number of cruise ships are likely to arrive to Mazatlán in 2022 compared to last year. He expects the first four months of the year to bring 65 ships, a rate which is likely to dip slightly to finish the year with 145 arrivals. In 2021, 52 cruise ships visited Mazatlán.
In May arrivals are likely to decrease until October when the high season begins.
The arrivals will provide a welcome bump in commercial activity in the city known as the Pearl of the Pacific, after its normally thriving tourist industry was heavily affected by travel restrictions introduced in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.