|MS Oosterdam in Mexican Riviera|
Earlier this year we brought you articles about the violence in Mazatlan which prompted several cruise line changes in the Mexican Riviera region.
Holland America Line has just confirmed that the MS Oosterdam, which sails 7-day sailings to the Mexican Riviera from San Diego, will now feature two consecutive days in Puerto Vallarta instead of a visit to Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan.
Several cruise lines, including Holland America, made modifications to schedules earlier in the year following a wave of violence, which included a shooting of a passenger in the leg and another widely publicized shooting in a hotel parking lot. The changes were made in the abundance of caution despite Mexican authority promises of increased security. See our related blog posts: Carnival and NCL Skip Mazatlan Calls and Cruise Lines Pull Out of Mazatlan for more background.
Calls for all lines in Mazatlan have fallen from 200 in 2010 to 30 this year, with only about a third of 2011 calls in 2012. Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Star will return to the region in 2013 with, as of this writing, calls to the traditional ports of Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta during the seven-day voyages from Los Angeles.
|Cliff Divers in Acapulco|
If you were planning on seeing the popular cliff divers in Acapulco on one of Holland America's Statendam's 14-night Panama Canal Explorer cruises sailing from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego or Rotterdam's 30-night Inca Empire South America voyage departing February 3, you will be disappointed. Both ships will spend additional time in Santa Cruz Huatulco instead of a call in Acapulco.
A crime wave began in August, with a reported 148 deaths, prompting the government to reinforce the local police force of 1500 with an additional 3000 troops from Army, Navy, and Federal Police. The death toll has fallen since that action, but HAL and luxury line Seabourn have still cut calls in Acapulco. Oceania, Regent Seven Seas and Silversea have left their handful of 2012 calls on the schedule at this time, but all lines will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments in the interest of safety if warranted. For the lines that have pulled out, they will work with local authorities to determine when and if it is safe to resume calling in the port.