Meagan Drillinger
Meagan Drillinger

Acapulco received a much-needed dose of good news at the recent Seatrade Cruise Global convention in Fort Lauderdale when Holland America Line confirmed that it would be returning to the port in 2017. The decision to have two ships visit the beleaguered city promises to bring 5,000 new cruisers to the destination. The first call will be Oct. 2, 2017.

Acapulco’s reputation has been hit hard since 2011, due to widely reported incidents of drug-trafficking violence. But the destination assures travelers that it is and will remain safe for tourists, especially in the highly trafficked tourist zones. More than $300 million in government investments have been poured into the city’s infrastructure to benefit cruise visitors.

“Our promotional strategy, which consisted of participation in numerous cruise-industry conferences, improvements on Acapulco’s infrastructure and negotiations with major cruise lines led to the success that we are experiencing,” said Pedro Haces Sordo, president of the Acapulco Destination Marketing Office.

Acapulco’s cruise industry began to revive in 2014, and the destination reports that no security incidents involving tourists have been reported. Cruise lines that continue to call in Acapulco include Norwegian Cruise Line, Silversea Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd, Regent Seven Seas, OCI, All Leisure and Japan-based NYK Line.

“In the past, Acapulco received Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises, and Holland America,” said Alex Casarrubias, port director of Acapulco. “Now, little by little, [lines] are coming back. Holland America is the first one on the list [of those that pulled out] to confirm its services to the destination. It is important to [note] that Norwegian Cruises has always kept the destination in its itineraries with its 10- and 11-day calls to Acapulco from California.”

Among the others who left Acapulco after violence escalated, Royal Caribbean does not have any scheduled itineraries that include in a stop Acapulco. Similarly, Carnival Cruise Lines said that it does not have plans to visit Acapulco for departures through spring 2018. Celebrity Cruises reports no current plans to return but with the note that it is certainly not off the table in the future. 

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