Princess Cruises to return to Mexican ports
No other cruise line has yet to follow Princess' lead.
Princess, owned by Carnival Corp., announced in August that it would no longer drop anchor in Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta because of growing concern about drug violence in the country.
In place of stops to Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta, Princess added cruises from Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas and Hawaii.
Other cruise lines that operate out of Los Angeles, including Carnival Cruise Lines and Disney Cruise Line, have also pulled out of Mazatlan over the last few months because of fears of crime-related violence.
But Princess this week announced a tentative plan to return to Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta when it released its itinerary for 2012 and 2013.
The cruise company said it will monitor the violence in Mexico to determine if it would continue to serve the two ports.
"We are planning for a long way out," said cruise line spokeswoman Julie Benson. "We look forward to returning to these ports and putting them back on the schedule."
Mexico has been in the grips of violence in recent years as powerful drug cartels battle for shares of the drug trade. Tourism officials have been quick to say that popular spots such as Mazatlan are safe for tourists.
But that changed after a Feb. 22 shooting that left two dead in the parking lot of a hotel in Mazatlan's tourist area.
A travel warning by the U.S. State Department, issued in April, said the violence in Mexico usually targets "Mexican citizens associated with criminal activity," but it went on to say that "the security situation poses serious risks for U.S. citizens as well."
-- Hugo Martin
Photo: The Sapphire Princess sails from Los Angeles to Mexico. Credit: Princess Cruises