Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean canceled their calls to Ensenada, Mexico on Sunday after local unrest made it unsafe for passengers to disembark at the port.
With the Mexican National Guard patrolling the city and much of Baja California under lockdown, cruise lines are left with few options.
The unrest comes as Mexican cartels shut down much of the region on Friday. Government officials said the attackers hijacked and burned at least two dozen vehicles, and many bars and restaurants closed early.
Cruise ships are required to ensure the safety of the crew and passengers on board. So it’s no surprise that both Royal Caribbean International and Carnival Cruise Line canceled their Ensenada, Mexico ports this weekend.
Carnival Radiance and Navigator of the Seas were scheduled to be in Ensenada on Sunday, August 14. But cartel-related unrest rocked the region on Friday, with most of Baja California shut down for the weekend.
Carnival Cruise Line responded on its Twitter account, saying Carnival Radiance would not visit Ensenada: “Due to recent local unrest and the US State Department’s instructions to its employees to shelter in place in Ensenada and the surrounding region, Carnival Radiance will be canceling calls to Ensenada.”
The State Department further advised those in the region and those planning to visit to avoid the area to seek shelter, monitor local media, be aware of their surroundings and inform friends and family of their safety.
US State Department: “The US Consulate General Tijuana is aware of reports of multiple vehicle fires, roadblocks, and heavy police activity in Tijuana, Mexicali, Rosarito, Ensenada, and Tecate. US government employees have been ordered to shelter in place until further notice.”
Carnival Radiance and Navigator of the Seas have since returned to their home port of Los Angeles.
Both Carnival Radiance and Navigator of the Seas are scheduled to come to Ensenada in the coming weeks. Both ships operate similar itineraries, alternating between three- and four-day cruises to Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, including calls to Ensenada.
The outbreak of unrest in the region is, rightly, a situation that will worry many guests. For now, the US State Department said the situation in Ensenada was back under control and it would be safe to travel and visit.