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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Progreso has welcomed its first cruise in over 16 months

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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. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
The Carnival Breeze departed from Galveston last Sunday on a five-day voyage through the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Photo: Courtesy

Progreso received its first cruise ship since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Carnival Breeze arrived in Progreso at 7 a.m. Monday and remained in the port city until 4 p.m.

During that time, cruisegoers could be seen enjoying the beach, eating at restaurants, and purchasing souvenirs from local shops. 

Although only approximately 300 passengers disembarked from the ship, local and state authorities hailed the arrival of the Breeze as a victory and sign that Yucatán’s cruising industry is finally beginning to recover. 

“We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The arrival of this ship will be a trial run of sorts to help us prepare to reactivate this important industry,” said Yucatán Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal.

Earlier this month, Carnival Cruises announced that it’s expecting to visit Progreso another 27 times before the year’s end. 

Over the past five years, Carnival has brought approximately 2 million guests to Yucatán’s shores.

The Carnival Breeze was welcomed to Progreso by government officials, including Yucatán Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal. Photo: Courtesy

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

Previous reports had claimed that the Breeze would only be transporting 500 passengers, but several outlets are now reporting that its actual total was 2,825, which is 1,575 short of its maximum capacity of 4,400.

Following CDC guidelines, all of the ship passengers and crew had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before departing from their homeport in Galveston, Texas. 

A sanitary brigade made up of government officials and volunteers called “Amigos de la Salud,” (friends of health) supervised passenger disembarkment and offered free facemasks and antibacterial gel. Members of the media were there to document the event. 

“This is the first time we have put together a brigade like this to welcome cruise-ship passengers. It shows how seriously we are taking the safety of our visitors and the local population,” said SEFOTUR director, Michelle Fridman Hirsch.

The reactivation of the cruise ship sector in Yucatán was celebrated by local shopkeepers, restaurant owners, and street vendors.

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