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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Tourists face long lines and cramped ferries in Mayan Riviera

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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.
Cozumel is Mexico’s busiest cruising port and has bounced back in a big way during the past several months. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Travelers in Cozumel and Playa del Carmen are dealing with long lines and wait times as the number of cruise ships continues to increase.

Congestion along the popular route was particularly severe Monday as six different cruise ships docked in Cozumel.

Ferry companies have increased their departure frequency to keep up with demand, but the excess volume has proven difficult to manage, resulting in completely packed vessels.

The scene stands in stark contrast to the cutting back of ferry departures this time last year that came as a result of the virtual freezing of the cruise industry due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Cruise passengers arriving at Cozumel often choose to cross over to Playa del Carmen and then take day trips to Tulum and Chichén Itzá and nearby cenotes

Grupo Xcaret, best known for its theme parks, recently announced that it would begin competing with well-established ferry companies for passengers traveling between Playa del Carmen, Cancún, Cozumel, and Isla Mujeres.

Earlier: Progreso schedules over 100 cruises for 2022

The new competitor actually began operations yesterday with a single ship but has announced plans to expand its fleet to twenty.

Xcaret’s ferry division known as Xcaret Xailing has established its first major port in Cancún, where it currently offers crossings to Isla Mujeres. 

The cost of ferries in Quintana Roo has always been a touchy subject for locals, who despite being eligible for discounts find the service to be overpriced.

The cost of the roundtrip between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel currently stands at 500 pesos (or approximately 25 USD.) The average hourly wage for a worker in Quintana Roo currently stands at 49 pesos per hour. 

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