By Bob Schulman
Tourism officials at western Mexico's resort at Mazatlan recently enjoyed a sight they haven't seen in two years: passengers pouring off the gangplank of a big cruise ship to spend the day there. The first of three major cruise lines to restore Mazatlan to their itineraries was Holland America, which docked at Mazatlan on Nov. 12 during a seven-day cruise off the golden shores of the Mexican Riviera.
Sinaloa Governor Mario Lopez Valdez and the state's Secretary of Tourism Frank Cordova were among dignitaries on hand to greet the passengers and to celebrate the concurrent opening of the city's new cruise dock facilities.
Also returning to Mazatlan this winter will be ships operated by Norwegian Cruise Line and Azamara Club Cruises. All told, the three lines will offer day-visits to Mazatlan to some 18,000 passengers during the 2013/2014 winter season.
Ashore, visitors from the ships will be able to stroll through the cobbled lanes of a new $3 million “Tourism Corridor” between the new dock facilities and the city's “Old Mazatlan” section some seven blocks away. Other highlights of the shore visits include shows at a restored 19th century opera house and activities in the city's remodeled Plaza Machado, both in Old Mazatlan.
Said Secretary Cordova: “...we are thrilled to share our beaches, arts, history and food with this season's cruise visitors and with thousands of visitors in years to come.”
Mazatlan was dropped from the itineraries of the cruise lines in 2011 reportedly due to security concerns, which have since been resolved. “We didn't just sit around hoping they would return,” Cordova said. “We made a lot of changes to upgrade security and to improve the visitor experience.”
More info: Visit the Mazatlan Hotel Association at www.gomazatlan.com.
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