After a year and a half of inactivity, Puerto Vallarta is expected to receive its first cruise ship in August, according to sources in the resort.
The Carnival line cruise ship “Panorama” will be the first vessel to dock in the port, local officials say. According to the Carnival website, the “Panorama,” which has a maximum capacity of 5,146 passengers, is scheduled to set sail from California on August 21, with stops in Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta.
As of press time, it has not been defined what kind of safety requirements local authorities will impose on disembarking passengers to reduce the risks of Covid-19 contagion.
Mexico’s cruise ship sector gave a collective sigh of relief when a Royal Caribbean ship arrived in Cozumel on June 16 after setting sail from the Bahamas four days earlier. The “Adventures of the Seas” carrying 1,068 passengers docked at the island, where it was met by mariachi bands and Quintana Roo Governor Carlos Joaquín. All but 150 of the passengers had been vaccinated and were not required to have a Covid-19 antigen test. The unvaccinated mostly comprised children under 12 and adults with health conditions.
The economic benefits to Mexican resorts of arriving cruise ships cannot be understated. According to Puerto Vallarta’s Integral Port Administration (API), 137 cruise ships carrying 360,812 passengers arrived in Puerto Vallarta in 2018, dumping an estimated 651 million pesos into the resort. Those figures increased to 181 cruise ships and 870 million pesos in 2019.
Only 73 cruise ships arrived in Vallarta last year before the pandemic hit.