The worst-case scenario has become reality for the port of Mazatlan with the departure of both Holland America Lines and Princess Cruises for the remainder of the winter/early spring cruise travel season. After the departure of Disney Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Lines and Carnival Cruises after cruise passengers were mugged and robbed near the pier in the Pacific Coast resort city, Mazatlan officials were hopeful that their commitment to improved security would keep at least some of the cruise lines in town for the season. But recent murders including that of two men in a popular hotel parking lot in broad daylight sealed the fate of the cruise ship arrivals for the remainder of this season.
For more than two decades Mazatlan has been one of the most popular Mexican vacation destinations for Minnesotans. Less expensive than other resort areas like Puerto Vallarta and Cancun, Mazatlan is also more laid-back while offering the same beautiful daily sunsets over the Pacific Ocean. While it doesn’t necessarily attract the high-end all-inclusive vacationer, it is visited annually by thousands of Minnesotans and other Upper Midwest travelers. Both Sun Country Airlines and Delta Air Lines offer seasonal non-stops from the Twin Cities to Mazatlan with several flights weekly from each carrier.
The financial impact of losing the cruise ship visits is huge for Mazatlan. Shops and restaurants close to the pier and in the main tourist zone rely heavily on the visits by several thousand weekly travelers. Not only that, but the companies that operate a wide array of excursions for cruise passengers will undoubtedly be hit very hard.