Disney cruise ship on its way, but not with tourists

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of cruise ships arriving in Progreso had steadily increased for over a decade. Photo: Courtesy
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of cruise ships arriving in Progreso had steadily increased for over a decade. Photo: Courtesy

Yucatán announces the arrival of its first cruise ship in over a year.

But don’t get too excited. The ship, Disney Wonder, will be docking in Progreso on Monday only for maintenance and will not be carrying any passengers.

Under normal circumstances, the Disney Wonder has a capacity for up to 2,500 passengers and a crew of 950.

It has been over a year since the cruise ship “Marella Explorer 2″ arrived in Progreso and allowed COVID-19 infected passengers to disembark for humanitarian reasons, as the cruise had been denied docking rights at several other ports. 

The decision to allow COVID-19 infected passengers to disembark was taken directly by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador as a show of support for the hapless passengers. 

Port authorities say that although the Disney Wonder will not be carrying any passengers, the arrival of the ship is still a step in the right direction.

Earlier: Hundreds lose jobs at Carnival, Progreso’s main source of cruise-ship dollars

According to tourism secretary, Michelle Fridman Hirsch, Yucatán can expect to see the return of cruise ships with passengers as early as May or June.

Virtually all cruise companies around the world have suspended their operations, and most say that they do not expect to set sail anytime before May.

Most of the cruise ships that arrive in Progreso do so on Caribbean routes which depart from the United States.

The Center for Disease Control in the United States has issued a travel notice recommending that all people avoid travel on cruise ships.

Industry analysts have been skeptical regarding whether or not the cruise industry will be capable of surviving. But industry giants such as Carnival Cruises and Royal Caribbean have announced record-breaking amounts of reservations for upcoming cruises through 2023.

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.