Saturday, August 14, 2010

Another Cruise Line Says Adios to Mexican Riviera

Other cruse lines have steadily trimmed back on their sailings to the Mexican Riviera so it came as no surprise that Crystal Cruises is doing so as well. The luxury line has announced two new 7-day getaways exploring the Pacific Coast that depart on April 10 and 17, 2011. Sailing between Los Angeles and Vancouver aboard Crystal Symphony, the northbound and southbound "Pacific Escape" and "Coastal Exploration" itineraries visit Santa Barbara and San Francisco, California; Seattle, Washington; Astoria, Oregon; and Victoria, British Columbia.

Ship redeployments are not unusual in the cruise industry, but what is unusual is the frank statement by Bill Smith, Crystal Cruises' senior vice president, sales & marketing, "The beauty of a floating resort is that you can move your hotel to other destinations when there is demand. We are keeping several fall 2010 itineraries through the Mexican Riviera, in additional to others in spring and fall 2011; the West Coast and Northwest itineraries add dimension and scope to the worldwide destinations we're offering in 2011."

What he doesn't say is that the Mexican Riviera's ports are awfully "been-there and done-that" to west coast passengers. Lingering memories of swine flu and the hint of danger in Mexico don't help to pump up demand. And, probably most important, is that cruise lines can command higher fares in other regions.

About their newly announced itineraries, Smith adds, "Crystal's Pacific Coast cruises showcase a stunning and remarkably diverse blend of iconic West Coast highlights, from the California beaches and the Golden Gate Bridge to the plush forests of Oregon and British Columbia. The itineraries offer our guests new destinations, the opportunity to sail with the World's Best at an incredible value and great convenience for North American travelers. Even international guests can enjoy this sampler of some of the most beautiful places in the western U.S. and Canada."

Passengers who book by Sept 30, 2010 will enjoy complimentary air transportation from more than 20 North American gateway cities. For more information, visit

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