Cruise holiday companies have heeded warnings from government bodies to avoid calling at Mexican ports whilst swine flu is at large in the country.
Although swine flu is yet to reach coastal resorts like Cancun, Mexico, the epidemic is spreading quickly and as the death toll rises, cruise companies understandably are reluctant to take a risk with passenger safety. Many cruiselines have altered their itineraries including Carnival and Royal Caribbean International.
Yesterday US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a warning to all holidaymakers that non-essential travel to Mexico should be suspended. The advice was reaffirmed by the British Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).
Princess Cruises said that six of their ships scheduled for an all inclusive Mexico stop would now visit alternative ports or spend an additional day at sea. In total eight cruise itineraries will be altered and 22 port calls to Mexican cities will be cancelled.
A statement on Princess Cruises’ website said: “We are sorry that circumstances beyond our control have caused these itinerary changes, and we recognize that these modifications may cause some disappointment among our passengers. However we hope our passengers will also agree that adhering to the recommendations of the CDC is the best course of action for the safety of our passengers and crew.”
Royal Caribbean International announced that four of their cruise ships would be changing their itineraries in light of the swine flu outbreak. Mariner of the Seas will instead take passengers on holidays to America and Canada in place of the Mexican tour.