From San Diego and Los Angeles, it’s a short journey by sea to the storied cities and sites along Mexico’s western shore.
A Mexico cruise is where Tecate (one of the national beers) and tequila meet marine life and cacti — and where seven- and 10-day sailings expose travelers not only to marine wonders but also to Mexican culture. Mixed among such shoreside activities as swimming with dolphins and sport-fishing are cooking classes where participants learn to make six types of salsa before being instructed in salsa dancing.
Rich in history and natural wonders, Mexico is primarily a fall, winter and spring cruise destination, though some ships offer Baja itineraries year-round. Cruises in Mexico typically are offered as either Mexican Rivera (which require one week or longer) or Baja (primarily short sailings from San Diego or Los Angeles).
Mexican Riviera cruises feature resort destinations and Spanish Colonial cities such as Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo (the two cities are only four miles apart and are referred to as one, a mouthful to pronounce, no doubt) and Acapulco.
Baja cruises call on cities along the 800-mile, semi-arrid peninsula flanked by the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez. Primary ports are Ensenada and Cabo San Lucas (also a port of call on Mexican Riviera cruises).
Typically along the way, passengers see lots of marine life, as ships ply the Pacific using the same channels as the gray whales that make migratory journeys between Alaska and the warm lagoons of Baja each year. Because of its abundant marine life, in fact, the western coast of Mexico has been compared to Alaska.
Yes, you will likely see whales on your Mexico cruise vacation, particularly if you sail during the peak winter months. And you’ll have ample opportunity on and off the ship: Whale-watching excursions are offered throughout the region.
Be sure to see Avid Cruiser Voyages: The Mexican Riviera