The Monarch, the largest in the Pullmantur fleet, has a capacity of 2,752 passengers. From Progreso, its itinerary comprises Cozumel, Quintana Roo; Roatan, Honduras and Georgetown, Grand Cayman. It will depart Progreso June 11, 16, 21 and 28; July 5, 12, 19 and 26; and Aug. 2 and 9.
Built in 1991 in Saint-Nazaire, France, the Monarch was one of the largest cruise ships in the world at the time of completion. Monarch was refurbished in 2003 to add a rock climbing wall, a Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream outlet and an Asian-fusion restaurant and conference center. It has been sailing around the southern Caribbean for Pullmantur since 2013.
In a speech announcing the agreement between the state of Yucatán and Luis Vizcay Vilella, Pullmantur director general for Latin America, thanked the government for allowing the ship to come here.
Pullmantur is based in Madrid, Spain, and is owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. It markets its trips mainly to Spanish-speaking tourists.
Cruises are bringing an increasing number of tourists to the peninsula. The Carnival line’s Triumph and Elation, and Princess Cruise’s Emerald and Caribbean Princess also bring tourists to Progreso’s dock, where they are offered sight-seeing tours of Maya ruins, pink-famingo habitats, historical Mérida, or the option of enjoying the beach and the bars along the malecón within view of the ship.
It’s not just a boost to the tourist economy. Ships also receive supplies of food and beverage from local purveyors.
From January to September 2014, more than 216,000 visitors arrived on 80 ports of call, which represents an increase of 30 percent over the same period in 2013.
Sources: Yucatan.gob.mx and Wikipedia