The progress of Playa Del Carmen is unstoppable! The municipality has unveiled many plans to improve infrastructure and facilities in the city over the last few months. However the latest development is a plan to extend the current Playa Del Carmen dock in order to welcome mega yachts and even cruise ships.
Currently the dock, which is located on the beach at the juncture of 5th Avenue and Calle 1 Sur, is used by ferry companies to transport visitors to and from Cozumel island. Cruise ships that wish to stop here in Playa Del Carmen must first dock in Cozumel. They then ferry passengers across. The proposed plans will eliminate the need for ships to dock in Cozumel. Instead they can come directly to Playa. However it is necessary to extend the dock in two stages as explained by Jesus Vega Arriaga, the Director General of Navigation Veracruzana.
Playa Del Carmen to Receive Luxury Yachts
The first stage is to be completed by 2018. This will entail adding an extra 100 meters to the dock. This extension will allow luxury mega yachts to dock at Playa Del Carmen. Verga Arriega has stated that, on average, those who travel on luxury yachts spend $300 dollars each per day. This development in itself will benefit the local tourism industry and thus, the economy. An estimated 20 to 30 yachts a year will dock in Playa Del Carmen once the extension is complete.
Playa Del Carmen to Receive Cruise Ships
The municipality hopes to have the second stage completed by 2019. The final extension will add a further 220 meters to the dock, which will allow the docking of passenger cruise ships. Cruise ship passengers spend an average of $125 dollars a day when visiting Playa Del Carmen. Often, passengers travel across from Cozumel in order to take part in day trips to popular cultural sites and tourist attractions such as Xcaret theme parks.
One major issue with the potential success of the project is financing. Vega Arriega has stated that:
“It has been a concern of the state and the municipal government especially. President Cristina Torres has invited us to receive cruise ships, but first we need to work out the cost as it costs 20 million dollars and we do not have that money. It would have to be financed and there are a lot of mechanics and permits, but now is not the time. For now, we will focus only on mega yachts.”
When questioned about the likelihood of the cruise ship dock going ahead he commented that, “The idea is good, to make a cruise ship dock. So we will see what can be done. It’s feasible.”