Attacks in Mexico Cause Cruise Lines to Drop Port

Posted Jan 26th 2011 12:43 PMUpdated Jan 27th 2011 07:24 AM

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Attacks on passengers and crew in Mazatlan, Mexico have caused Disney Cruise Line, Princess and Holland America to drop the city as a port of call on Mexican Rivera cruises.

There have been three reported robberies involving passengers or crew in Mazatlan in recent weeks.

A Canadian tourist, not from a ship, was also shot in the leg last week when he was caught in gang crossfire in the city.

Disney, which was to call at Mazatlan with the Disney Wonder for the first time this week, says as a result of safety concerns it has canceled all visits to the city "until further notice."

The Wonder will replace Mazatlan on its itineraries from Los Angeles with additional time in Cabo San Lucas, Disney says.

Princess Cruises says it has dropped a call to Mazatlan this week by the Sapphire Princess, the ship instead spending a full day in Cabo and Ensenada, Mexico.

"We are aware of the recent incidents of violence near Mazatlan and our security department continues to closely monitor the situation," says spokeswoman Karen Candy. "Based on the information available, Princess Cruises, along with a few other cruise lines made the decision to cancel our call to Mazatlan this week."

Holland America is also skipping this week's call by the Oosterdam, replacing Mazatlan with Mazanillo, the line says in a statement.

"The revision to the itinerary was made in response to recent incidents of violence in Mazatlan. Discussions will be occurring with local authorities to determine what steps are being taken to address this issue. Decisions regarding future Mexican Rivera cruises will be made on the basis of those discussions and on developments in Mazatlan," Holland America says.

Among the incidents, Azamara Club Cruises confirms two of its guests were robbed on Jan. 11.

"No one was injured in the robbery, and the guests returned to the ship unharmed," the line says in a statement. Azamara is scheduled to visit Mazatlan again on Feb. 2.

Mazatlan Port General Director Alfonso Gil Diaz tells Seatrade Insider that port officials will meet next week with the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association to discuss security.

"Mazatlan is very, very safe. We haven't had any problems before and the cruise lines know that," he tells the industry newsletter.

"Mazatlan is widely regarded as one of the safest destinations in Mexico, legendary for its history, culture and the warm hospitality of its people," says the city's official tourism agency, the Mazaltan Tourism Trust, in a statement. "Reports of visitors being accosted or injured in the destination are extremely rare."



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