Why Cruise To Mexico?
America’s sunny southern neighbor seems to have all the fun, with powder-soft beaches, savory fish tacos, and endless tequila sundowns. In Mexico, it feels like every day is a festival that ends in starry skies with a mariachi band romantically crooning in the distance.
Cruise ships carry travelers to two different coasts, the Pacific side and the Caribbean. Itineraries through the Panama Canal unite the two. As you explore the country, you’ll notice that every port reveals a place that blends history, adventure, food, and beaches.
And oh those beaches: Mexico’s strands are things of legend. To really explore them, you’ll need to get wet, since the natural charms beneath the warm waters should not be missed. Don a snorkel mask or scuba gear to visit the iridescent fish and rainbow colors of Mexico’s coral reefs. Adrenaline junkies can swim with whale sharks while mellower travelers commune with dolphins.
It would be a mistake to only hug Mexico’s palapa-strewn coast, however. Venture inland on an excursion to cobblestoned colonial Spanish cities with bustling craft markets and stylish boutiques, or spend a day among the ruins dedicated to Mayan gods.
Mexico offers a rich palate of colors in which to paint memories. Regardless if you choose a trek to jungle-shrouded temples, a seaside massage, or a simple kickback with a fresh lime margarita, Mexico will make a national sport out of spicing up your vacation.
When To Go To Mexico
Mexico’s cruise season runs year-round. Winters are balmy; summer temperatures can reach past the 90s. The high season is also the driest season: That’s December through April, when the beaches are most crowded and prices peak. June and July are the hottest months of the year.
Those who don’t object to a mid-afternoon rain shower or sticky nights will find steep discounts and fewer crowds during the rainy season, May through October. September is the rainiest month on the Caribbean side and the heart of hurricane season. While hurricanes are rare, cruisers inclined to seasickness might prefer to visit in other months.
Multigenerational families are plentiful on cruises during school holidays, including Christmas and spring break, and prices can skyrocket because of the demand. In addition, some single and senior travelers might feel overwhelmed by the crowds during these weeks.
For nature lovers, the annual gray whale migration up and down Baja California is a treat. The world’s largest mammals travel south from Alaska in the winter to Mexico's Pacific coast, where they'll accompany your ship on a journey along the peninsula. The season lasts from January through March, when they birth and nurse their calves.
Mexico Cruise Routes
Mexico’s Riviera rivals the Mediterranean for its blend of striking beaches, chic shopping, and spirited partying. The western coast also offers world-class views of large sea animals, sport fish, and sea lions along the stark and beautiful Baja peninsula.
Good for: Travelers craving variety will enjoy the mix of desert and beach.
Downside: While the protected bays of Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco shelter swimmers from open ocean rollers, some Pacific-facing beaches get more swell in summer months than little children or nervous swimmers would find comfortable.
The calm, blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico create placid beaches and underwater worlds rich with color. Cruises to Mexico’s Western Caribbean ports often make stops in several countries, such as the Cayman Islands, Belize, or Jamaica, a boon for travelers who enjoy diversity. The Gulf Coast was the center of Mexico’s ancient civilizations, which left behind temples, pyramids, and palaces that you can still see today.
Good for: Snorkelers and scuba divers can’t get enough of the candy-colored fish in Mexico’s Caribbean waters.
Downside: You may have to travel away from the port to view the best sights. But cruisers who don’t take advantage of on-shore excursions will miss out on highlights such as Mayan pyramids that bring out your inner Indiana Jones.
The Panama Canal is an engineering wonder, providing passage between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. It can only be experienced by ship; most canal itineraries make a stop in at least one Mexican port.
Good for: The canal offers a long, slow at-sea day with a rare glimpse of the world’s most exciting shortcut.
Downside: Small children might not understand what all the waiting and fuss is about when passing through the canal.
Mexico Cruise Itineraries
- Long Beach (Los Angeles), California
- Ensenada, Mexico
Long Beach (Los Angeles), California - Ensenada, Mexico - View more ports
2020 sail dates: May 21, May 28, Jun 04, Jun 11, Jun 18, Jun 25, Jul 02, Jul 09, Jul 16, Jul 23, Jul 30, Aug 06, Aug 13, Aug 20, Aug 27, Sep 03, Sep 10, Sep 17, Sep 24, Oct 01, Oct 08, Oct 15, Oct 22, Oct 29, Nov 05, Nov 12, Nov 19, Nov 26, Dec 03, Dec 10, Dec 17, Dec 20, Dec 27 More
2021 sail dates: Jan 07, Jan 14, Jan 21, Jan 28, Feb 04, Feb 11, Feb 18, Feb 25, Mar 04, Mar 11, Mar 18, Mar 25, Apr 01, Apr 08, Apr 15, Apr 22, Apr 29, May 06, May 13, May 20, May 27, Jun 03, Jun 10, Jun 17, Jun 24, Jul 01, Jul 08, Jul 15, Jul 22, Jul 29, Aug 05, Aug 12, Aug 19, Aug 26, Sep 02, Sep 09, Sep 16, Sep 23, Sep 30, Oct 07, Oct 14, Oct 21, Oct 28, Nov 04, Nov 11, Nov 18, Nov 25, Dec 02, Dec 09, Dec 16, Dec 19, Dec 26 More
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