Two Cruise Ships Cancel Calls to Puerto Vallarta
PHOTO: Normally peaceful Puerto Vallarta experienced some criminal violence earlier this month. (Courtesy of Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board)
Celebrity Cruises’ Infinity canceled a May 10 call at Puerto Vallarta and Royal Caribbean International’s Jewel of the Seas will do the same on May 12 after reports of violence between drug gangs and local authorities.
Their parent company, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., said the calls were canceled “due to the recently experienced episodes of violent civil unrest, stemming from criminal gangs that have engaged in armed conflict with local authorities.”
The ships decided to spend the day at sea instead.
Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Miracle is still scheduled to call at Puerto Vallarta on May 12, although the line canceled some tours that travel outside the main city “in an abundance of caution.”
The normally peaceful resort area in the state of Jalisco is under a watchful eye now following reports of shootings, vehicles set on fire, and other disturbances. The U.S. government urged its diplomatic workers to exercise caution in Jalisco, particularly in rural areas.
The Canadian government issued a similar warning on May 6, saying that some municipalities popular with Canadian tourists, including Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara, and Chapala in Jalisco, are experiencing an increase in drug-related violence.
“As Mexican security forces battle against organized criminal groups, criminals have engaged in retaliatory actions such as arson attacks against businesses, gas stations and banks, shootouts, and blockades using burning cars,” the Canadian warning says. “Remain vigilant throughout the state and exercise extreme caution. Stay in tourist areas and follow local media closely. If you do venture outside urban areas, exercise extreme caution, including on major highways. Avoid travelling at night.”
The Los Angeles Times reported that a drug cartel in Jalisco shot down a military helicopter with rocket-propelled grenades on May 2, killing at least six soldiers. It was part of a wide outbreak of violence in Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara that is occurring as the nation prepares for mid-tern elections on June 7.
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