Cozumel’s cruise industry bounces back in a big way

Quintana Roo has come to depend on a steady stream of cruise-goers, to maintain jobs at businesses including restaurants, excursion operators, retail shops, bars, and beach clubs. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Quintana Roo’s cruise industry recovery plan is going all steam ahead, reports the state’s tourism council.

All cruising companies operating in the state before the COVID-19 pandemic have resumed operations, according to a recent report,

These include Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, MSC, and Disney Cruise Line —all of which are now again active in Cozumel. 

“Though we are not where we used to be, the cruise industry is showing extremely positive signs of recovery. We are expecting to close the year with at least 400 cruises in Cozumel alone,” said Andrés Aguilar Becerril, of Q. Roo’s tourism council. 

In July, Progreso, the main port in the state of Yucatán welcomed its first cruise in over 16 months. The cruise ship in question was the Carnival Breeze which departed from Galveston Texas. 

Earlier: Cruise travel expert Chillie Falls on the industry’s comeback and what it means for Yucatán

Yucatán state authorities are projecting that the state could welcome as many 98,000 cruise line passengers before the end of the year.

Cruise ship arrivals in the port of Progreso are welcomed by a sanitary brigade made up of government officials and volunteers called “Amigos de la Salud,” (friends of health). This group supervises passenger disembarkation and offers free facemasks and antibacterial gel.

Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the cruise industry in the Yucatán peninsula had been experiencing continuous growth for well over a decade.

In 2019, ports welcomed nearly 2,000 cruise ships, making it the region’s best season to date. The busiest of these ports by far had been Cozumel with 1,366 docked cruise ships, followed by Mahaual’s 481 and Progreso’s 146.

Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy, and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway.
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