Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cruise Lines cutting back on West Coast

It sounds like two ships and two cruise lines will be leaving the west coast and the Mexican Riviera next year.

Royal Caribbean to pull Mariner of the Seas from Mexican Riviera

Royal Caribbean today announced plans to redeploy the Mariner of the Seas from the Mexican Riviera to Europe, effective in early 2011.

The line says the 3,114-passenger ship, which has been sailing to the Mexican Riviera year-round out of Los Angeles since early 2009, will set sail for a new home at the port of Rome (Civitavecchia) in January.

Mariner is the largest ship ever to regularly sail out of a West Coast port, and it's arrival in Los Angeles last year was heralded as a major development for the city. It's removal is just the latest sign that the market is not living up to expectations. Another line sailing in the region, Carnival, is pulling a ship out of nearby San Diego later this month, and Norwegian Cruise Line recently announced it would end seasonal cruising out of Los Angeles in 2011.

With Mariner's withdrawal, Royal Caribbean no longer will have a presence in Southern California or the West Coast of Mexico -- destinations it has served for many years.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Manzanillo and Colima Tourist developement

Colima's state governor and the head of FONATUR (the national tourist development fund) just signed papers to start development of a Mega complex in the Isla de Navidad area. To avoid the border conflict with Jalisco they conclude - "We can make a real Cancun in Manzanillo and not go through Jalisco" - which I assume means build a new highway from the airport up the beach all on the Colima side.

This plan is not only for the northern end of Colima near Playa de Cocos and Isla Navidad - but also for Playa de Oro, Santiago Bay and the southern coast of Colima. Colima currently has around 5000 tourist units and they want to compete with Cancun by building 30-40 thousand units

Map of Development Plans

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