11 Sep 2007
Officials in Mexico’s Costa Maya region have determined that it will take about a year for operations to resume after damages caused by Hurricane Dean. After a thorough evaluation of the damages caused to the destination and port facilities, it was announced that 12 months are necessary for rebuilding. According to Cesar Lizarraga, Costa Maya’s director of sales and marketing, Costa Maya has been working closely with all pertinent government agencies to secure the necessary permits to immediately begin the reconstruction process. Starting next week, the first phase of reconstruction and cleanup of the port facilities and pier will begin, and will focus on returning ship berthing positions one and two to full operational mode by September 2008. Reconstruction of the port’s third berthing position will follow with an expected completion by early 2009.
Costa Maya officials are currently meeting with its cruise industry partners to re-evaluate ship schedules and to discuss their timely return to the destination. “We are excited to start discussing our return to Costa Maya’s shores,” said Vicki Freed, senior VP of sales and marketing for Carnival Cruise Lines. “Carnival is very supportive of Costa Maya’s rebuilding and our guests will be happy to see it back on our itineraries as soon as possible. Temporarily, we are adjusting our scheduled Costa Maya visits to other ports in the region.”
In addition, the rehabilitation and improvement of Mahahual, the beachside town that surrounds Costa Maya, has already begun. Presently, 100 workers are conducting clean-up of the beach and small fishing village. Restoration of services, including phone lines and electricity, are underway. Located on the southern Yucatan Peninsula near the border of Belize, Costa Maya is sheltered by the world’s second largest coral reef and currently attracts all the major cruise lines to its shores.