Ferry Explosion Causes Cozumel Excursion Cancellations
At least two cruise lines have begun canceling excursions involving ferries following a February 21 explosion on a ferry running between mainland Mexico and Cozumel.
After a warning went out from the US State Department, both Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean have canceled ferry-related tours. Initial indicators pointed to a mechanical malfunction as the cause of the explosion which injured 19 Mexicans and at least 5 Americans.
However, speculation quickly arose that the explosion wasn’t an accident, and on Thursday, two undetonated explosive devices on another ferry in Cozumel were found. On February 27, the drug ring Cártel de “El Pumba” y “Tata” claimed responsibility for the blast, and issued a threat to the mayor of Cozumel at the same time.
The US Embassy in Mexico gave the following statement regarding the situation: “On March 1, undetonated explosive devices were found by Mexican law enforcement on a tourist ferry that operates between Cozumel-Playa del Carmen, Mexico. On February 21, an explosive device detonated on a tourist ferry in Playa del Carmen resulting in injuries, including to U.S. citizens. U.S. Government employees are prohibited from using all tourist ferries on this route until further notice. Mexican and U.S. law enforcement continue to investigate.”
Except for isolated shootings last year, the Caribbean coast of Mexico, where much of the country’s tourism revenue comes from, has mostly been spared the violence that abounds in other parts of the country. Guests on Carnival and Royal Caribbean that were scheduled for effected shore excursions are receiving full refunds — on Royal Caribbean in the form of onboard credit.