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Yucatán prepares to welcome its first cruise ship in over a year

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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 cruise ship industry is key to Progreso’s economy, which has seen the closure of several businesses since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Courtesy

Yucatán will welcome cruise passengers for the first time in 16 months. 

The Carnival cruise ship arrives in Progreso from Galveston, Texas on July 26 with nearly 500 passengers aboard. 

“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.

Progreso welcomed 146 cruises in 2019. The port city had come to depend on a steady stream of cruise-goers, to sustain jobs and businesses including restaurants, excursion operators, bars, retail shops, and beach clubs. 

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

To be allowed boarding, all crew members and passengers must provide negative COVID-19 test results taken no more than 72 hours before departure. 

Passengers who disembark from the ship will be guided by Carnival staff to ensure that social distancing guidelines are followed. 

Restaurant operators and vendors along Progreso’s boardwalk are hoping that at least some of these guided groups will find their way to their businesses. 

Other important ports on the Peninsula including Mahaual and Cozumel are also expecting to see the return of cruise ship activity next month with the arrival of Royal Caribbean vessels. 

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