Mazatlan cruises and the best recommended shore excursions!
Mazatlán cruise ship arrival schedule 2017-2018
Carnival Cruise Lines | Holland America Line
Norwegian Cruise Line | Princess Cruises
Four cruise ship lines offer cruise vacations to Mazatlan during the 2017-2018 cruise seasons: Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Lines and Princess Cruises.
But before we get into the dazzling array of Mazatlan shore excursions you have once your cruise ship has docked at the port, let us help you plan your trip by reviewing your options for cruise vacations that are scheduled to stop in Mazatlan in 2017-2018.
I've booked my cruise, what are the best things to do in Mazatlan on shore excursions?
Disney Cruise Line will return to Mazatlan on October 11, 2017!
This inaugural Mazatlan cruise will be followed by another Disney Cruise Line port arrival on October 18th, 2017, with more Disney Cruise ship arrivals to be announced.
Mexican Riviera Mazatlan Cruises 2017-2018
Telephone toll-free USA and Canada 800 764 7419 • carnival.com
Carnival Cruise Lines has announced frequent 7-day cruises to Mazatlan on their beautiful Carnival Miracle.
This Spirit Class cruise ship was built in 2004 and manned by a crew of over 900 serving as many as 2100 passengers. These fun seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises depart from Los Angeles, California, with stops at the ports of Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta.
Book a Carnival Cruise vacation cruise to Mazatlan today and enjoy the adventure of one of our many recommended shore excursions!
Mexican Riviera Mazatlan Cruises 2017-2018
Telephone toll-free USA and Canada 877 932 4259 • hollandamerica.com
Holland America Cruise Line has announced a number of cruises to Mazatlan on two of their most luxurious cruise ships: the MS Westerdam and the MS Veendam.
The MS Westerdam, pictured to the right, is a Vista Class cruise ship christened in 2004 with eleven passenger decks that accommodates over 1800 passengers and a crew of 800.
The MS Westerdam returned to Mazatlan in the Fall of 2014, with a departure from Vancouver that stopped in San Diego and then on down the magnificent Pacific Coast of the Americas.
The MS Veendam, pictured to the left, was re-fitted in 2011 and is a beautiful ship that accommodates over 1300 cruise passengers and a crew of nearly 600.
The MS Veendam will has cruised two basic routes to Mazatlan: 7-night cruise vacations departing from San Diego with stops in Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta, and longer cruises (25 days!) which not only include stops in Mazatlan and other ports on the Mexican Riviera, but ports of call in Hawaii!
Book a Holland America Line vacation cruise to Mazatlan today and enjoy the adventure of one of our many recommended shore excursions!
Mexican Riviera Mazatlan Cruises 2017-2018
Telephone toll-free USA and Canada 866 234 7350 • ncl.com
Norwegian Cruise Line has made a major commitment to Mazatlan vacation cruises, and has scheduled visits from three of their finest cruise ships: the Norwegian Star, Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Jewel.
The Norwegian Star, pictured to the right, is a spectacular cruise ship christened in 2001 that can accommodate over 2300 passengers and a crew of nearly 1,100.
The Norwegian Sun, pictured to the left, is a Sky Class cruise ship christened in 2001 that can accommodate nearly 2400 passengers and a crew of nearly 1,000. The Norwegian Sun is scheduled to first arrive in Mazatlan in the Fall of 2015 on cruises that will originate in Vancouver, Canada, with opportunities for passengers to board in San Diego and other ports along the Pacific coast of the United States.
The Norwegian Jewel, pictured to the right, is a Jewel Class cruise ship christened in 2005 that can accommodate over 2300 passengers and a crew of nearly 1,100.
The Norwegian Jewel first arrived in Mazatlan in the Fall of 2014 on a cruise that originated in Vancouver, Canada with opportunities for passengers to board in Los Angeles. Book a Norwegian Cruise Line vacation cruise to Mazatlan today and enjoy the adventure of one of our many recommended shore excursions!
Mexican Riviera Mazatlan Cruises 2017-2018
Telephone toll-free USA and Canada 800 774 6237 • princess.com
Princess Cruises will be sailing four cruise ships to Mazatlan during the 2015-2016 cruise seasons: the Ruby Princess, Grand Princess, Crown Princess and Pacific Princess.
The Grand Princess is the larger of the two ships pictured in the photograph to the left, the Pacific Princess the smaller. Both provide extraordinary cruise amenities.
The Grand Princess was the largest and most expensive cruise ship ever when she was christened in 1998, and was the flagship of Princess Cruise Lines until June 2013. At over 950 feet in length and sporting 17 decks, this floating city can accommodate up to 3,100 passengers and a crew of 1,100.
The Pacific Princess is a lovely smaller cruise ship with big amenities. More intimate than larger vessels, the very high crew to passenger ratio -- just a maximum of 680 passengers served by 350 crew members -- assures fabulous service.
The Pacific Princess returned to Mazatlan on December 5, 2015, on a spectacular Pacific Coast cruise featured stops in in Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Mazatlan, Loreto, La Paz and Cabo San Lucas before returning to Los Angeles.
The Ruby Princess is a very large Grand Class cruise ship -- she was the heaviest ship in the Princess fleet until the christening of the new Royal Princess that was launched in 2008.
The Ruby Princess carries over 3000 passengers and 1200 crew, and boasts a whopping 19 decks.
The Ruby Princess was a frequent visitor to the Mazatlan port in 2015! Based in Los Angeles, her 7-day round trip Mexican Riviera cruises with stops in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas were very popular and highly recommended Pacific Coast cruises in 2015.
The Crown Princess is a Grand Class cruise ship christened in 2006. Over 950 feet long and accommodating over 3000 passengers and 1200 crew, this luxury cruise ship has sailed the world, and became a regular visitor to the Port of Mazatlan in 2015.
Based in Los Angeles, the Crown Princess is scheduled for many arrivals in Mazatlan 2016.
Book a Princess Cruises vacation cruise to Mazatlan today and enjoy the adventure of one of our many recommended shore excursions!
The good news and the bad news for cruise ship passengers on shore excursions in Mazatlan is the same simple fact: Mazatlan is a large, diverse, complex and fascinating city -- and in a single day a cruise ship passenger can only glimpse a tiny bit of it.
Take a shore excursion tour specifically designed for cruise ship passengers
Mazatlan has many experienced tour companies that have created city tours and other shore excursions that are tailored to the needs and time constraints of cruise ship passengers.
These tours are remarkably varied and range from island excursions and various outdoor adventures like ATV tours, banana boat rides, zip line canopy adventures, SCUBA diving, snorkeling, kayaking, parasailing, to private tours of Mazatlan and surrounding Rural Sinaloa communities.
Listings of our major tour companies can be accessed by clicking here.
But Mazatlan is a very accessible city for cruise ship passengers, and you don't necessarily need a tour guide to have a great shore break in it! We offer a few ideas about how to spend the day in Mazatlan -- and most of them are free!
Experience a Centro Historico shore excursion
Simply spending your day ashore in the Centro Historico is arguably one of the best shore excursions in Mazatlan -- and you don't need a tour guide to experience it!
The Centro Historico contains most of the truly historic colonial-era and latter 1800s buildings in Mazatlan -- including our magnificent Basilica -- but the Centro Historico is far more than history.
Within its maze of colonial-era streets entrepreneurs and homeowners have restored historic structures and created businesses that reflect Modern Mazatlan, opening restaurants, bars, cafés, art galleries that express the sensibilities of the countries of origin of their owners -- which is often not Mexico -- and that reflect a true international fusion of culture and artistic taste that is the Mazatlan Renaissance.
While most of our tour companies offer guided Centro Historico excursions designed for cruise ship passengers, mazatlantoday.net knows that the Centro Historico can be experienced by the independent traveler.
We have created a self-guided Centro Historico Walking Tour Map which can be downloaded below.
Download a free self-guided Centro Historico Walking Tour map with descriptions!
Note that the true heart of the Centro Historico is Plaza Machado, and it makes for a very good anchor for any shore excursion in the Centro Historico.
Also note that the tour includes 20 locations so -- unless you walk very fast; very relentlessly; don't hang out long in any of the art galleries, ditto for the art museum and the archaeology museum; skip eating at any of the many delicious Centro Historico restaurants or having a refreshing beverage at any of the bars (which would be a big mistake on all points) -- you will have to pick and choose your Centro Historico destinations on your shore excursion!
Hang out at the beach and walk the Malecon!
While your cruise ship no-doubt has (several) lovely pools, there is nothing like sand underfoot and the tranquility of a really great beach.
Cruise ship passengers on shore excursions in Mazatlan have their choice of literally tens of miles of magnificent beaches that have draw visitors from around the world for over half a century.
The closest beach to the cruise ship docks is Olas Altas Beach, which is the southern end of the chain of Mazatlan beaches, and marks the western edge of the Centro Historico.
The Mazatlan Malecon -- the waterfront walkway / promenade / boardwalk -- stretches north along the beachfront for 13 miles, and beaches in Nuevo Mazatlan even further north, all the way to Playa Bruja!
Cruise ship passengers have two basic ways to access the beaches in Mazatlan: take a taxi (or walk) from the cruise ship docks to Olas Altas Beach and proceed north on foot, or take a Pulmonia, taxi, auriga or bus north to a beach they've selected.
It is worth noting that the most classic beaches in Mazatlan form the western edge of the Golden Zone - Zona Dorada, and that the least developed beaches are at the northern edge of Nuevo Mazatlan.
Any beach in Mazatlan -- even Playa Bruja -- can be reached from the cruise ship docks in under 30 minutes by taxi or Pulmonia, so your shore excursion can really be about being at the beach and in the ocean, not about fun shore-time being eaten up getting to them!
Spend your shore day on Stone Island
Stone Island (Isla de la Piedra) has been a destination for Mazatlan cruise ship shore excursions for decades -- and for obvious reasons.
On your right as your cruise ship enters Mazatlan's port, Stone Island is technically not an island -- it is a peninsula located just off the south end of the coast of Old Mazatlan that can be reached by land from the east.
Stone Island (Isla de la Piedra) is most often accessed by cruise ship passengers via a panga (small boat) ride across the channel from the cruise ship docks.
Stone Island definitely has a tropical island feel and, if you want to just kick back on your shore excursion, Stone Island is the place to do it!
Stone Island is known throughout Mexico for its unspoiled, long sandy beaches -- Mexico's third largest coconut grove follows the length of the southern beach -- which seem to disappear as they stretch to the horizon.
Because of the island's sheltered orientation, the beaches at Stone Island are usually calm, and the water often warmer than on Mazatlan's city beaches.
Gentle waves at Isla de la Piedra make for refreshing easy swimming, and the beach is the perfect place among to take in the hot Mexican sun.
The first part of the Stone Island beach you encounter as you leave the panga docks is full of fun palapa restaurants. Many of these Stone Island restaurants and small businesses rent out ATVs, catamarans, banana boats, snorkeling equipment, and horses to cruise ship passengers on shore excursions.
Showers and volleyball courts are sometimes available from other Stone Island businesses -- sometimes free of charge -- making self-guided shore excursions to Stone Island inexpensive and stress-free.
More information about spending your shore excursion on Stone Island -- including recommended restaurants and maps -- can be found by clicking here.
Mexican Riviera cruise seasons
All cruise ship arrival dates are based upon published schedules of the four cruise lines serving Mazatlan: Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line and Princess Cruises.
Cruise ships from all four of these lines typically dock between 7am and 8am, and set sail between 5pm and 6pm -- giving cruise passengers a nice full day to enjoy an exciting shore excursion in Mazatlan!
Our cruise information is presented as Date of Arrival in Mazatlan / Name of Ship / Name of Cruise Line / Port(s) of Embarcation, Date of Departure.
For additional detailed information about cruises to Mazatlan including booking and cabin prices, we suggest you contact the individual cruise lines directly through their websites or by phone!
May 2017 Cruise Ship Arrivals in Mazatlán
May 3 Carnival Miracle / Carnival Cruise Lines / Los Angeles, Apr 30th
May 7 Grand Princess / Princess Cruises / San Francisco, May 1st
May 24 Carnival Miracle / Carnival Cruise Lines / Los Angeles, May 21st
June 2017 Cruise Ship Arrivals in Mazatlán
June 14 Carnival Miracle / Carnival Cruise Lines / Los Angeles, June 11th