Complete Guide to All the Cruise Ports in Mexico

This complete guide to all the cruise ports in Mexico covers how safe they are, which cruise lines visit, popular activities, and more.

Complete Guide to All the Cruise Ports in Mexico

Ever wondered just how many cruise ports there are in Mexico and what fun and culturally-rich activities there are to do in them? To help give you an overview of Mexican cruise ports, we’ve put together this full guide that’s complete with what cruise ports are in Mexico (there’s over 20 — we bet you didn’t know there were that many!).

We cover whether they’re safe and then give an overview of port towns and cities on both the west and east coasts. We also go over which ports are visited by which cruise lines, including the ports in Mexico that Carnival visits, the ports in Mexico where Royal Caribbean ships stop, the ports in Mexico that Princess Cruises goes to, and more.

Call to Book Your Next Cruise Now: 1-855-228-5584!

Complete Guide to All the Cruise Ports in Mexico

Are cruise ports in Mexico safe?

According to the U.S. Department of State’s travel advisories for Mexico at the time of writing, a ‘Do Not Travel’ advisory is in effect for the states where Manzanillo, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Acapulco, Topolobampo, and Mazatlán are located. Further, a ‘Reconsider Travel’ advisory is in effect for the states where Ensenada, Puerto Vallarta, and Guaymas are located.

cruise ports in Mexico

This is not to say that you need to completely cancel a cruise that visits these places or not even consider booking one that stops there. But if you do take a voyage to one of these ports, we recommend either staying within the developed port area or taking an organized excursion — not venturing out too far on your own.

If going ashore at all makes you uncomfortable, consider staying on the ship that day and enjoying it while it’s much less crowded! Remember that it’s in the best interest of the cruise lines to keep their passengers safe. If the situation gets too bad in a particular area, cruise lines have been known to cancel calls to that port entirely to keep their guests and crew safe.

As for all other ports in Mexico, it’s always good to exercise a healthy level of caution. Leave your expensive accessories and jewelry on the ship, pay attention to your surroundings, and try to stay in more highly trafficked/touristy areas. Like with most countries, there are safer areas than others in Mexico, and certainly some ports are more advisable to visit than others. Check the latest Department of State travel advisories before you book and again right before sailing to help inform your decisions.

What cruise ship ports are in Mexico: Eastern Mexico Cruise Ports


Cruise lines that visit Cozumel: Royal Caribbean, Princess, MSC Cruises, Carnival, Celebrity, Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America, Disney, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Explora Journeys, Virgin Voyages, Silversea Cruises, Crystal, Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, Viking, Azamara, P&O Cruises, Marella Cruises, American Queen Voyages, Ponant, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, and Windstar Cruises.

Not only is Cozumel the busiest cruise port in Mexico, but it’s also one of the busiest cruise ports in the world. There are lots of things to do in and around Cozumel during a cruise. Some of these activities include going to the beach, visiting Mayan ruins, boat tours, ATV rides, and shopping. Cozumel is also known as one of the best places in the world for scuba diving, so it’s an ideal spot for those who love to go diving or snorkeling.

Costa Maya

Cruise lines that visit Costa Maya: Royal Caribbean, Princess, MSC Cruises, Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Celebrity, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Holland America, Virgin Voyages, Disney, Explora Journeys, Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, Marella Cruises, Crystal, and Azamara.

Costa Maya is another one of the most popular cruise ports in Mexico. Cruisers at this port can go see the nearby Chacchoben Mayan Ruins, hit the beach, or spend the day at the ruins-themed Maya, Lost Mayan Kingdom water park. Shopping and restaurants also abound, and the port area is beautifully developed with a swimming pool, bars, restaurants, shops, and more.

cruise ports in Mexico


Cruise lines that visit Progreso: Royal Caribbean, Explora Journeys, Disney, Carnival, Celebrity, Regent Seven Seas, Ponant, and American Queen Voyages.

Progreso is perhaps best known as the port gateway to Chichen Itza, which is an archaeological site of a large city built by the Mayans around the fifth century. Other things you can do in Progreso include visiting the beach, taking a cenote excursion, or going on a cuisine or alcohol-tasting tour.

EXCLUSIVE DEALS: Get Savings on Your Next Cruise to Mexico Now!


Cruise line that visits Cancun: American Queen Voyages.

Currently the only cruise line that visits Cancun is American Queen Voyages, as the port can only accommodate small vessels. Thus, it isn’t as popular with ships as other destinations in Mexico. During a voyage that does stop here, guests can spend the day on the beach, explore nearby Mayan ruins, or enjoy local cuisine.

cruise ports in Mexico

Playa del Carmen

Cruise line that visits Playa del Carmen: American Queen Voyages.

Another seldom-visited destination for cruise ships, Playa del Carmen has beautiful beaches of its own, but is often a jumping-off point for those who want to head north to busier Cancun.


Cruise line that visits Campeche: American Queen Voyages.

Campeche is a fortified port city, whose walls were built in the mid-1600s to protect against pirates. This city is great for exploring on foot, and is known for its historic district, military architecture, and baroque colonial buildings. For those who want to see Mayan ruins, those are also an option for exploring nearby.

What cruise ship ports are in Mexico: Western Mexico Cruise Ports


Cruise lines that visit Ensenada: Carnival, Disney, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Celebrity, and Viking.

Located about 90 miles and a two hours’ drive south of San Diego, Ensenada is one of the most popular cruise ports in Mexico as it’s so close to southern California homeports. Cruise passengers arriving in Ensenada can go horseback riding, take a wine or food tour, see the La Bufadora geyser, or spend time in town shopping and enjoying the city streets.

Cabo San Lucas

Cruise lines that visit Cabo San Lucas: Carnival, Holland America, Princess, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Disney, Crystal, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas, Celebrity, and Viking.

cruise ports in Mexico

When most people think of Cabo San Lucas they think of the Land’s End rock formation, which marks the spot where the Gulf of California meets the Pacific Ocean. Taking a tour to see this is one of the most popular things to do during a stop in Cabo. Other options include going whale watching, hitting the beach, tasting Baja cuisine around town, shopping, and snorkeling or scuba diving.

Puerto Vallarta

Cruise lines that visit Puerto Vallarta: Holland America, Princess, Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival, Disney, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas.

Puerto Vallarta is one of the most popular vacation spots in Mexico, and is home to some of the country’s best beaches. Aside from having a beach day, other things to do include strolling along the Malecon boardwalk, taking a tequila or food tour, enjoying the streets of Old Vallarta or the Zona Romántica neighborhood, or visiting nearby archaeological sites.


Cruise lines that visit Mazatlán: Holland America, Princess, Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney, Oceania, Celebrity, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Mazatlán is another popular resort city with a beautiful old town district that’s popular with visitors. While in Mazatlán, passengers can hit the beach, visit the aquarium, watch people cliff-dive at El Clavadista, go shopping and to museums, or take a ferry to Stone Island. Those with kids might consider going to Mazagua Water Park, which features water slides and rides, a wave pool, volleyball, and more.


Cruise lines that visit Loreto: Holland America, Princess, Scenic, and Lindblad Expeditions.

Known for its clear blue waters and rock formations, Loreto is a beautiful coastal city located on the eastern side of the Baja California Peninsula. Activities to do include strolling along the Malecon boardwalk, enjoying the city’s colonial architecture, or visiting Loreto National Marine Park, nicknamed “The Aquarium of the World” due to plentiful marine life that make it an excellent spot for diving and snorkeling.


Cruise lines that visit Huatulco: Holland America, Crystal, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess, Seabourn, Oceania, and American Queen Voyages.

Located in southern Mexico, Huatulco is a growing tourist area that features the charming old town of La Crucecita. Visiting cruise guests can head to nearby Santa Cruz to enjoy the beach, go snorkeling, go deep sea fishing, see waterfalls at Cascadas Magicas, or explore the Bocana del Rio Copalita archaeological site.

Puerto Chiapas

Cruise lines that visit Puerto Chiapas: Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Line, Seabourn, and American Queen Voyages.

During a cruise stop in Puerto Chiapas, you may consider taking a tour of nearby cacao, banana, or coffee plantations; explore the Izapa ruins; or walk the charming streets in the nearby historic city of Tapachula.

La Paz

Cruise lines that visit La Paz: Carnival, Princess, Holland America, Crystal, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas, UnCruise Adventures, and American Queen Voyages.

La Paz is the capital of the state of Baja California Sur. In this bustling cruise port in Mexico, you can stroll along the Malecon boardwalk, enjoy shops and restaurants, hit the beach, go kayaking, or head out snorkeling with whale sharks or scuba diving.

cruise ports in Mexico

San José del Cabo

Cruise lines that visit San Jose del Cabo: Lindblad Expeditions and UnCruise Adventures.

Most cruise ships that visit the southern end of the Baja California Peninsula are heading to Cabo San Lucas, which is just a 30 minutes’ drive from San José del Cabo. However, sometimes very small cruise lines like to dock at San José del Cabo instead.

Heading over to Cabo San Lucas is an option for passengers who dock at this port, but San José del Cabo has plenty for a port day on its own. These include exploring the downtown art district, hitting the nearby beaches which are popular for surfing, going deep-sea fishing, or touring local breweries.


Cruise lines that visit Acapulco: Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas, Oceania, Silversea, and Crystal.

Acapulco is one of the biggest Mexican party destinations. But it’s also one of the most dangerous cruise ports in Mexico due to crime. Guests should exercise caution when visiting Acapulco, and we recommend taking an organized excursion through your cruise line.

Things to do include hitting the beach; exploring shops, restaurants, and bars near the port area; exploring Old Acapulco; and watching cliff divers at La Quebrada.

cruise ports in Mexico


Cruise lines that visit Manzanillo: Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess, Holland America, Oceania, and American Queen Voyages.

With 40 miles of Pacific coastline, Manzanillo, Mexico is also a nice port to have a beach day. Further points of interest in the area include the Las Hadas Golf Resort, the Tortugario Ecological Center with a turtle sanctuary, and the nearby city of Colima and town of Comala. Scuba diving and snorkeling are popular activities in Manzanillo as well.


Cruise line that visits Guaymas: Holland America Line.

One of the quieter cruise ports in Mexico, many passengers who dock in Guaymas head to nearby San Carlos, which features miles of bays and beaches to enjoy. In addition to exploring the coastline, guests may hike the Nacapule Canyon, visit the Guaymas Historical Museum, go deep-sea fishing, or head out on a snorkeling or scuba diving excursion.

Cabo Pulmo

Cruise line that visits Cabo Pulmo: Lindblad Expeditions.

Cabo Pulmo is a tiny resort town that’s world-renowned for its unspoiled marine landscape. In fact, it’s designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as one of the “Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California.” So unsurprisingly, the best thing to do during a port call here is snorkel or scuba dive at Cabo Pulmo National Park, which features a beautiful living coral reef.


Cruise lines that visit Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo: Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Oceania Cruises.

When docking at the Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo cruise port, guests have the option to visit one or both of the two towns that the port serves: Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo (located three miles apart). Guests can hit the beach, go shopping, enjoy local cuisine, and visit shops selling lots of handmade goods in both towns. Deep sea fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayaking are also popular activities.


Cruise lines that visit Topolobampo: There are no current cruises scheduled to visit in 2024 or 2025.

There are no current voyages that have calls to Topolobampo. However, it does have cruise ship facilities, and Holland America has visited in the past. Popular activities to do in the area include taking a picturesque train ride through the Copper Canyon, hitting the beach, going snorkeling, heading out on a deep-sea fishing excursion, and enjoying the local cuisine.

Santa Rosalia

Cruise lines that visit Santa Rosalia: There are no current cruises scheduled to visit in 2024 or 2025.

Likewise, Santa Rosalia has no scheduled voyages, but cruises have called there in the past. Founded by the French, architecture in this small, old mining town is European-inspired but the culture is thoroughly Mexican. Guests can explore the town, visiting the Iglesia de Santa Barbara (Church of Santa Barbara) and Panaderia El Boleo, a bakery that still uses a wood-fired stove to bake bread and pastries.

BOOK NOW: Exclusive Savings on Cruises to Mexico!


How many of these cruise ports in Mexico have you visited? What are you favorite things to do in these ports of call? Drop us an anchor below to share which of these popular Mexican ports you enjoy visiting via cruise ship.

Sarah has been writing about the cruise industry since 2015, and in that time has taken a dozen cruises and counting. Her favorite onboard activities include trying the casual dining options, spending time in the spa’s thermal suite, and attending the love & marriage show. You can keep up with her on Instagram at @IAmSarahJaneB.
Sarah Bretz, Contributor
Previous Post «
Next Post »
Cruiseline module – Remove Title

Complete Guide to All the Cruise Ports in Mexico

Be the first one to post comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin This: