Coronavirus 202: What Ports Are Closed To Cruise Ships
Planning for your cruise vacation can be difficult in these COVID times, with ports that open and close to cruise tourism seemingly at whim.
Cruise Critic has tracked port statuses with our detailed guide to what ports are closed to cruise ships.
Many Caribbean islands, as well as much of Mexico and Belize remain open, but as the omicron variant of COVID-19 continues to spread in the short-term, ports that are open to cruises can still turn away ships at their discretion.
Also note that local restrictions and health and safety protocols can, and often do, change overnight. Ports have been canceled due to new testing requirements that ships aren’t able to accommodate without additional supplies. Countries like Panama mandating PCR tests overnight can result in ports being scrapped with little notice.
Here is a look at which ports are closed to cruise ships in 2022. This is not an exhaustive list and is updated as new information becomes available, and it should not be relied upon to make firm itinerary choices.
Things To Know When You Cruise To Belize
If youre going to cruise to Belize then youll want to know everything to do at the cruise destination in Central America in the Western Caribbean. Follow these Belize tips for your next vacation at sea.
Excited about your cruise to Belize? Well, you should be. Belize cruise port is a growing attraction among cruise-goers with over 200 ships now visiting this small Caribbean country yearly. With more than twice its population visiting the port, its evident that Belize is truly a special place.
Top Rated Caribbean Port Destination
Roatan is the largest of the Bay Islands in Honduras and a popular western Caribbean cruise destination. Cruise ships depart from their home ports such as Miami, Tampa, Galveston, Ft. Lauderdale, New Orleans, and Port Canaveral. Cruise lines visiting the Mahogany Bay Cruise Ship Port include: Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruise Line, Holland America Cruise Line, Costa Cruise Line, P& O Cruise Line, etc.. The Mahogany Bay Cruise Center allows for two docked cruise ships at a time and up to 8,000 passengers. This port of call is diverse in services and offers a variety of bars, restaurants, and shops to enjoy during your stay.
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How To Explore Belize For Cruise Passengers
Unless you earnestly wish to explore a couple of historic landmarks in Belize City on foot, almost all highlights and principal attractions in the cruise port require traveling between 15 and 80 miles. Therefore, the best way for cruise visitors to explore, discover, and enjoy Belize is with Shore Excursions. The only exceptions are Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, which can be reached by water taxi. More about this in the following paragraphs.
Cruise Ship Itinerary & Schedule Changes
A cruise ships arrival and departure times may vary due to many factors. Unexpected weather conditions, onboard emergencies, and technical delays are just a few reasons arrival and departure times may change from the scheduled itinerary. Other reasons the average cruise passenger doesnt think about are port strikes or shutdowns, government travel advisories, and security concerns. In general, if a port of call destination is not met, the cruise line will credit the cruise passengers account for the port tax and affiliated expenses.
- Mahogany Bay Cruise Ship Port Exit & Meetup Map
- Mahogany Bay Cruise Center Information
We try our best to provide accurate and reliable cruise ship schedules and itineraries by cross referencing the information with cruise ship lines data and other third party resources. However, we dont take any responsibility for any inaccurate information and as explained above, cruise ship schedule changes may occur without any notice. We update the 2021-2022 Mahogany Bay Cruise Ship Port Schedule regularly, so please check back in the near future.
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Small Cruise Ship 130 Passengers Stock No S2285
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Things To Do In Or Near Belize City
Explore the Old Capital:Belize City is home to a number of intriguing and important structures. Spend a day checking out historical sites like the Baron Bliss Lighthouse, Belize Supreme Court, St. Johns Cathedral, and the House of Culture.
Go to Prison: If you like museums, especially those in quirky locations, you wont want to miss The Museum of Belize. Built in 1857, this was Belizes prison until 2002 when it was converted to a museum. Here you will find a wealth of artifacts and historical documents on display. And be sure to strike a pose for a photo op as you tour a well-preserved jail cell.
Get Wild: The Belize District is home to a number of wildlife sanctuaries and reserves. Visit Swallow Caye Marine Reserve to get a close-up look at manatees. The Belize Zoo is a popular stop as it houses a number of rescued native and endangered animals. Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary is a bird sanctuary, home to the large Jabiru Stork, and the Community Baboon Sanctuary is a protected home for black howler monkeys.
Visit Maya Sites:Altun Ha is one of the most convenient Maya sites you can visit. Its largest temple, The Temple of the Masonry Altars, might look familiar, and for good reason. That temple adorns the bottle of Belizes locally brewed Belikin beer. The famous Kinich Ahau Jade Head was discovered at Altun Ha.
And Here Is Why You Should Cruise To Belize
This small country, in fact, the second smallest in Central America, features a surprisingly unique combination of precious ecosystems. Starting from the second largest barrier reef in the world, to rainforest jungles, not forgetting some of the most important Mayan archeological sites.
To add to this, the country is uniquely half Caribbean and half Spanish. Bringing the diverse cultures of Kriols, Garifunas, Mayans and the Spanish people together in one place. Resulting in a beautiful culture that will have you enjoy the food, music, and practices of this diverse country even the more.
Get all your Belize souvenirs from Amazon so you can focus on enjoying the cruise destination.
Located between Guatemala and Mexico and bordered to the eastern side by the Caribbean Sea. This country has it all and its no wonder, it has become such a popular destination on western Caribbean cruise itineraries.
While enjoying everything this majestic nation has to offer, wont be possible in a day. Here is a guide on what to do on your port day at Belize to help you choose the best activity and plan effectively.
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Opening Slates For May 2021
Feinstein targets a May 2021 opening for Port Coral when the marine works are due to be completed. At that time, the upland will not be 100% finished but functional, he said.
As soon as two years after Port Coral’s debut passenger numbers at Belize City could rise from 1m annually now to 1.8m in 2023, according to Feinstein, citing a cruise line projection.
Other partners in the Port Coral project include Schneider Engineering & Consulting , EDSA and Simeon Halstead Associates and Atlantic Bank Ltd. .
Culture & History Of The Belize Cruise Port
For centuries, Belize was an important Mayan urban center and part of a crucial trading route between Mexico and Guatemala. After the Mayans were driven out of their land by the Spanish Conquest, the British usurped the country in the mid-17th century and named it British Honduras. The countrys name was officially changed to Belize in 1973, and it remained a British colony until 1981 when it finally achieved its independence.
Belize Port Facilities & Location
On cruises that go to Belize, youll dock in the Belize City port, which is a few miles away from the shore. A small boat will tender you to the city, dropping you off near Tourism Village, an area full of shops, restaurants, and bars.
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Where You Dock In Belize City Belize
Ships anchor off the coast of Belize and tender their passengers into the port, about a 20 minute, often choppy, ride. The port itself, called Tourism Village is quite small, with souvenir shops and Diamonds International and restaurants offering cheap drinks and Caribbean specialties. There is a high guarded fence around Tourism Village which they dont recommend tourists venture outside of by themselves.
Top Things To Do In Belize
Dive Into the Blue Hole
Famous underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau once called Belizes Blue Hole Natural Monument one of the worlds best diving sites. Grab your scuba gear and discover this 407-foot deep underwater sinkhole that lies inside the Lighthouse Reef. Make your way down the azure waters and see hundreds of stalactites, stalagmites, and exotic fish in this one-of-a-kind natural wonder.
From the mangrove forests by the shore to the crowded streets of Belize City, Belizes rich avian life is found everywhere. Sign up for a birding tour and see how many of the 500 bird species that live in Belize you can spot along the way.
Venture into an Ancient Cave
Journey into an extensive network of limestone caves while lounging on an inner tube or paddling on a kayak through the Caves Branch River. Venture deep into one of these ancient Mayan ceremonial sites and discover historical artifacts, pottery, eyeless fish species, and a subterranean lagoon.
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Cruise Lines Travelling To Belize
As of 2019, the cruise lines that have made port in Belize City are Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Princess, Regent Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Silversea, Oceania, AIDA Cruises, Seabourn, Costa, Marella, Phoenix, Costa, and more. There are about 333 cruise calls to Belize every year.
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Local Cuisine And Drinks Quick Bites And Lunch In Belize City Port
Cruise passengers that take pleasure in tasting local delicacies will be glad to discover in the Belize City port quite a few pleasant places to savor lunch, a light meal, a refreshing drink, a delicious snack, or even an ice-cream.
Cruisers may like to try regional specialties like Chicken Stew served with rice and beans and fried plantains Bile Up Hudut conch fritters, fried maize or tortillas.
In a country with a fertile tropical forest, fresh fruit is a must: passion fruit, starfruit, jackfruit, dragon fruit, guava, papaya, mango, and pineapples are out of this world.
Generally speaking, eating and drinking in Belize City cruise port is relatively affordable. Like most countries in the Caribbean, Belize also has some signature drinks like Belikin Beer, One Barrel Rum, used to mix with cranberry juice to get Cranbarrel, Caribbean Coconut, and Caribbean Gold Rum.
In the historical center of Belize City, within walking distance there are a few places like the Smoky Mermaid and the elegant restaurants and grills of the Radisson Fort George Hotel .
If you do not wish to venture outside the cruise terminal, there is a good number of restaurants, grills, and bars at the Fort Street Tourism Village where you can taste great food and drinks from Belize. The Wet Lizard is arguably the most famous but there are many others. Check Bars in Belize to learn more.
- Bearded Clam
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Where Is Belize And The Cruise Port
Although Belmopan is the countrys capital, Belize City is the largest city with a population of around 110,000. Belize City is located in the eponymous district, on the East coast of the country bathed by the Caribbean Sea. The cruise port is 191.67 nautical miles south of Cozumel cruise port, 118.25 nautical miles northwest of Roatan and 407.21 nautical miles west of Grand Cayman.
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Sightseeing In Belize City Cruise Port
cruise visitors that enjoy sightseeing will find a couple of interesting services touring Belize City with stops in the most notable landmarks such as the Museum of Belize, the Liberty Hall, the Baron Bliss Lighthouse, or the St. Johns Anglican Cathedral. These sightseeing services can be booked as a shore excursion.
- Calypso Train Tour
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Belize Sees Busiest Cruise Ship Day Since The Restart Of Cruise
The Belize Tourism Board says that it is excited to share that today, Thursday, December 30, 2021, the country received six cruise ships to our shores, marking it the busiest cruise day on our 2021 schedule of calls. Four Ships, including the Celebrity Apex, Carnival Pride, Carnival Dream, and Carnival Breeze, called to the Belize City FSTV port. Two ships, the Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian Breakaway, called to Harvest Caye in southern Belize. In total, these ships brought to our shores over 14,000 passengers.
“Today marks an important milestone, as the cruise sector continues to recover,” stated the BTB. “Compared to pre-COVID figures, this December will see close to a 50% recovery rate, capping off an important incremental performance trend for port calls in Belize since July 2021. Promising projections from cruise lines indicate that cruise operations should return to full capacity by the winter season of 2022.”
The Belize Tourism Board continues to work with cruise industry partners to ensure that all requisite health protocols are met and are improved as needed, to address concerns caused by the pandemic as the sector continues on its recovery path.
Where Do Cruise Ships Dock In Belize City
Due to the shallow waters of Belize Citys. If you do not see your ship listed here please choose the excursion that you are interested in on the Excursions page.
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Things To Do In Belize City Cruise Port
The port of Belize City is a stunning port for cruise travelers interested in Mayan archeologic sites, for those who appreciate breathtaking scenic sights, magnificent natural wonders, wildlife parks, zoos, or bird watching. There are lots of attractive options for cruise visitors looking forward to relaxing on a secluded beach and genuinely enjoy watersports.
Belize offers great outdoor activities both onland and in the Ocean some of which are ideal for those cruising with families including thrilling pursuits for the most adventurous.
In the Belize City cruise port, you can also savor local flavors and cuisine and shop for duty-free jewelry and watches. Once again, it must be emphasized that Belize City is far from ideal for cruise passengers that enjoy exploring cruise ports on your own and/or on foot.
Anchoring And Tender Boats In Belize City Port
Cruise ships do not dock in Belize City port. Because the Caribbean Sea waters are too shallow by the port, cruise ships anchor around 2 miles from the coast and large boats operated by local authorities transfer passengers to the Fort Street Tourism Village.
The tender operation typically takes around 20 minutes. The cruise terminal is a secluded area just a stoneâs throw away from the historic center of Belize City.
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Eating Sample The Local Cuisine
If you truly want to eat like many of the locals do in Belize, be sure to order a plate of rice and beans. This dish is cooked in coconut milk and is simple yet savory. Conch fritters are another popular mainstay in Belize, and are available at large restaurants as well as small food stands. Finally, curry chicken is a very well known part of the local cuisine of Belize and is sure to please the palate of even the most finicky eater.
Belize Cruise Tourism To Kickstart In July
The Belize Tourism Board has announced that the country is preparing to welcome Carnival Vista, which is operated by Carnival Cruise Line, to Belize City on July 7, 2021. The ship will embark from Galveston, Texas and will be the first ship to call on Belize since the cruise industry in our region was suspended over a year ago. This is encouraging news for thousands of Belizeans that work in the tourism sector who are looking forward to welcoming cruise guests to our shores once again.
The health and safety of Belizeans and visitors is paramount as cruise tourism resumes. Carnival Vista will operate with at least 95 percent of its passengers and all of its crew having been vaccinated, and there will be rigorous protocols in place for disembarking passengers.
The health and safety protocols that were recently released by the Belize Tourism Board will guide the restart of cruise operations in Belize. These protocols outline the necessary adjustments and adaptations to be undertaken at each step of the cruise cycle – from home port, to destination and return. Under these protocols, which adhere to the Centers for Disease Control guidelines, as this is a fully vaccinated ship a travel bubble will not be implemented. Cruise passengers will be allowed to go on both guided and self-guided tours and Gold Standard approved operations will be allowed to provide service to these passengers.
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