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Yucatán’s Cruise Ship Arrivals to Increase 20 Percent in 2020



The close of October 2019 saw a gathering of key public figures and cruise-industry officials at the Port of Progreso, located on the north coast of Yucatán, Mexico.

In the company of Yucatán State Governor, Mauricio Vila Dosal; Michelle Fridman, State Secretary of Tourism Development; and Julián Zacarías, mayor of Puerto Progreso; Richard Sasso, president of Swiss-based MSC Cruises of America, made the official announcement on October 31, 2019, that MSC Cruises would be bringing its business to Yucatecan Puerto Progreso beginning in November 2020.

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With a capacity of 2,340 passengers, 721 crew members and a planned total of 41 arrivals for the 2020-2021 season, the MSC Armonia vessel will deliver an additional 95,000 visitors to Yucatán by sea in 2021, representing an increase of 20 percent over the port’s current cruise ship arrival numbers.

According to Pasillo Turistico, the Puerto Progreso’s estimated close-of-2019 figures are 142 total cruise ship arrivals with 465,000 passengers—an increase of five percent over 2018.

The Herald of Mexico reported that Sasso cited the region’s safety, cleanliness, the warmth and fortitude of the Yucatecan people and the commitment of the State Government as prime considerations when committing to MSC Cruise’s inclusion of Yucatán in one of its itineraries.

Governor Vila Dosal pointed out that such developments are the direct result of promotional work on the part of the State, including its presentation at Annual Conference of Cruises and Trade Fair of the FCCA in Puerto Rico last year, where the alliance between Yucatán and MSC Cruises first began to form.

“We have a great opportunity to show the improvements in the port of Progreso and if all together we do the job well, this cruise theme can only grow, and that means more jobs in Yucatán and more economic spill that permeates the entire state: in Mérida, in the archeological zones, in all the tourist centers, ” said Vila Dosal.

Other international cruise lines that are soon to call at Puerto Progreso include the following:

— Viking Cruise Line’s Viking Sky will make its first Yucatecan appearance since 2017 with an onboard complement of 930 passengers and 465 crew

— Italian Costa Cruise Lines’ Costa Luminosa will present with 2,712 passengers and 1,050 crew

— In February 2020, British-American luxury cruise line Silversea’s Silver Shadow is expected to carry 466 visitors and 295 crew members to the destination

— February 2020 will also see P&O Cruise’s Aurora vessel arrive with 2,258 passengers and 850 crew members

— In January 2021, a pilot Disney Cruise Line arrival has been confirmed, sailing aboard the Disney Wonder, with 2,456 passengers and a crew of 947, with a view towards maintaining future operations

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European Waterways Barge Cruises Are Ideal for Family Vacations



European Waterways offers the perfect solution to socially distant family travel in Europe.

As the coronavirus pandemic begins to wane and countries begin to reopen their borders to international travelers, families are expected to look to travel to reconnect with one another, and European Waterways is ready for the surge, offering the ideal opportunity for families to explore on private, chartered river barges.

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Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways, says that he is already observing increasing interest.

This isn’t surprising seeing as how these vessels offer ideal accommodations for families, with room for anywhere between six and 20 passengers. Guests can cruise Europe’s canals and smaller waterways as well as the less-populated countryside.

“Cruising with European Waterways has always been about taking ‘the path less traveled,’ so much of our outdoor activities already take our guests away from crowded tourist attractions to the more exclusive, less populated settings,” said Banks. “Until travel returns to normal, we are further committed to providing a safe and healthy onboard environment for our guests, with pre-cruise checks for all on-board and the implementation of more stringent cleaning procedures, among other policies.”

Social distancing will likely be the norm for a while in Europe and around the world, and these barges offer the chance to enjoy scenery while still remaining safe.

For the most part, meals are served on board by the master chef and cruises feature exclusive private tours of castles, aristocratic estates and vineyards, plus other excursions, tailored to avoid the crowds.

L’Art de Vivre is the ideal barge for a family vacation. The eight-passenger vessel once carried supplies during World War One. Now, the boat has been completely modernized and cruises the Canal du Nivernais in Burgundy, France.

Family-friendly excursions include a visit to the Caves of Arcy-sur-Cure, which features some of the oldest cave paintings in the world, a medieval castle under construction using traditional methods at the Chateau Guedelon; the age of the dinosaurs in Cardo Land; and the fun and wildly eclectic artwork on display at the Fabuloserie Art and Sculpture Museum.

Family charters can also incorporate activities such as tennis, ice-skating and mini-golf as well as kayaking, quad biking and horseback riding.

European Waterways’ Family Charters are available throughout France, the U.K., Ireland, Scotland and Italy.

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