Acapulco (nicknamed "Pearl of the Pacific") is a large port city and Mexico's fun capital and most glamorous pacific resort. As destination, it offers superb weather with an average 360 days of sunshine a year and amazing beaches. The city's urban area is approx 85 km2 (33 ml2), and its population - around 700,000 (metro over 800,000).
Situated on a deep, semicircular bay, the city has the best harbour on Mexico's Pacific coast. Acapulco runs along a narrow strip of land between the bay and surrounding steep mountains. The most popular beaches and hotels are to the east, around the bay from zocalo - Condesa, Icacos, Playas Hornos and Hornitos. Remember to visit the famous cliff diving at Le Quebrada.
The Acapulco harbour was discovered in 1531 by Cortes and a settlement established in 1550. Acapulco was very important as a port city for Spanish galleons which sailed between Spain and the Orient before it was founded as a vacation playground. Sea traffic dwindled following Mexico gaining independence. Acapulco saw few tourists until 1927, when a paved road over mountains led it to become the first Mexican resort city on the West Coast.
Today, tourism is the main economic activity, with most of it centered on Acapulco Bay. More than 70% of the population is involved in commerce, as most of it relates to tourism and the cruise port. Manufacturing and mining employ less than 20% and only about 5% is dedicated to agriculture.
Acapulco is one of the oldest coastal tourist destinations in Mexico, reaching prominence during the 1950s as the place where millionaires and Hollywood stars vacationed on the beach in exotic locale. However, in modern times, tourists have been facing problems with corrupt local police stealing money by extortion and threatening tourists with jail. Sadly, once a premium resort vacation destination, today Acapulco is largely associated with crime and corruption.
In recent years, the city was plagued by violence from drug cartel wars. In 2015, here were reported 903 murders - more than in any other Mexican city. The US State Department issued travel warnings for some Mexican areas, and Acapulco was also listed as a risky destination. In 2016, it banned US Government employees from going to Acapulco.
- In 2016, the cruise port handled a total of 18 ship calls. In 2017, the number grew to 32 (a 78% increase). The list of cruise companies with scheduled ships to Acapulco included Crystal, Hapag Lloyd, NCL, Oceania, Regent, Saga, Silversea.
- In 2017-2018, the cruise port had scheduled a total of 30 ship calls. For season 2017-2018, Holland America pulled from its Mexican Riviera cruise itineraries Port Acapulco due to concerns about violent crime in the region. The company (Carnival Corporation subsidiary) had scheduled 8 different itineraries to Pacific Mexico ports, but the popular resort destination Acapulco was scrapped and replaced with alternative Mexican ports. The changed Itineraries included 7 Panama Canal transits and 7 South American cruise.
- During winter 2018-2019, the UK-based comapy CMV (Cruise and Maritime Voyages) homeported here its ship Magellan (max capacity 1452 passengers). The Acapulco roundtrip cruise program included itineraries visiting the most popular Mexican Riviera ports Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas (Baja California).
- The USD 1 billon cruise port development plan includes major resorts renovations (Pierre Mundo Imperial, Princess Mundo Imperial), building new airport terminal, as well as new hotels, shops, restaurants, amusement park, tennis stadium, medical center. The project's completion is by 2022.
The investments in planned new developments and improvements (cruise port, airport, old historic districts) in Acapulco for the period 2017-2022 exceeded USD 1 billion. Among the projects were:
- Intense Emotion (space adventure attraction with suspension bridges, extreme rides, restaurant, world’s highest climbing wall / 40 m / 130 ft)
- major hotel renovations (including Pierre Mundo Imperial, Princess Mundo Imperial)
- new Princess Medical Center (sized 4,645 m2 / 50,000 ft2)
- new tennis stadium, new eco-amusement park
- In 2017 was inaugurated the XTASEA zip-line (world’s largest oversea zipline).
- In 2018 was opened a new airport terminal.
- City's infrastructure Improvements included several beautification projects.
During 2017's holiday season (Dec 20 - Jan 7) the city was visited by around 573,000 tourists, with average hotel occupancy over 81%. The port reported 3 cruise ship calls (Oceania Sirena, MS Europa, Norwegian Star) during the holidays, and 40% increase in passenger shipping over 2016.
Acapulco cruise terminal
The following photo shows Acapulco's cruise ship terminal.
Port Acapulco cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Acapulco, Mexico Riviera. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
|Day||Ship||Arrival||Departure||Next Port of Call|
|11 April, 2018|
|Oceania Marina||09:00||18:00||Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala|
|11 April, 2018|
|Oceania Regatta||12:00||21:00||Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala|
|12 April, 2018|
|Norwegian Star||08:00||14:00||San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua|
|22 April, 2018|
|Norwegian Pearl||08:00||18:00||Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Mexico|
|27 April, 2018|
|Norwegian Sun||09:00||18:00||Puntarenas, Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica|
|29 April, 2018|
|Seven Seas Mariner||08:00||17:00||Mazatlan, Mexico Riviera|
The Acapulco cruise port map is interactive. It shows the port's exact location, along with the real-time cruise ship traffic (if any) in its vicinity - today, and right now. By zooming-out you can see other cruise ship ports located near Acapulco, Mexico Riviera.
If you lose the Acapulco location on the map, simply reload the page (also with F5 button). This feature is integrated with the CruiseMapper's cruise ship tracker tracking the vessels' current positions at sea and in ports.