puerto vallarta cruise

Puerto Vallarta’s cruise terminal planned as theme park

Puerto Vallarta’s Port Authority (API) will begin a series of renovations and new construction projects to develop Mexico’s only ‘theme’ cruise terminal.

The plans call for an aquarium being described as the largest in Mexico, a tequila museum pavilion, and a new promenade with restaurants and shopping.

The project has been lead through a tender process and development is done through investors and business owners.

Holland America adds more cruises to Puerto Vallarta

The new aquarium is estimated to cost $170 million pesos while the terminal upgrades are expected to cost $120 million pesos. Contracts are expected to be signed on April 12 to begin the renovations.

The companies who won the bidding for concessions were Shorex Vallarta Excursions, while for the passenger terminal and to aquarium was Blau Life.

The projected is expected to be completed in 2018.

Puerto Vallarta welcomed 135 cruises in 2015

The average cruise ship stay in Puerto Vallarta is only 5 hours. Current plans to create an entertainment center at the terminal could decrease tourist visits to the historical center of Puerto Vallarta and the Malecón, another blow to shop owners in the city.

47 Responses
  1. This may entice some people who don’t usually get off the ship to do so for various reasons, too much media scare, don’t want to go far from ship. Some won’t pay for a taxi or ride a bus to go to the Malecon and they prob have better Walmart and Mall Shopping at home… I think it is great, they can get off for a few hours do a little souvenir shopping, see some culture… Get back on the ship for lunch.. This sounds better than what they have built in Cozumel and Progresso…

  2. rivernic

    Does anyone else find the $170 million *peso* estimate for the aquarium’s construction, ridiculously low?

    1. The one in Mexico City was $200 million pesos and built by the same company that won the contract for Puerto Vallarta. I don’t think it’s going to be the biggest in Mexico for the cost of $170 million, but it’s an average cost for a project like this.

  3. PV needs to invest in free bus service along the malecon and put money into the Centro neighbourhood. Make it more attractive to visit. But as someone above said, cruisers are budget travelers (and not particularly interested in authenticity or local cultures).

  4. I wouldn’t waste my time going to something i could do at home I’ve been on many cruises and the demographic needed to support a theme park isn’t generally found on a cruise ship

  5. Only ppl who benefit from this is Americans and Canadians that are already making thousands if not millions while the Mexican ppl struggle daily providing just the basic needs for their families. The rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer. The ppl who do support this have a money interest in it for a fact. Help Mexicans have regular jobs besides timeshare selling. Who likes to work 12 hr days and not make nothing. Mexican ppl need jobs not Americans and Canadians getting richer and making money off their country. Live in poverty like the Mexican ppl and you will know a hard worker. They need opportunities to better their pay checks and pockets

  6. Take it from someone who lived in Key West before and after the arrival of cruise passengers. Old Town is better off w/o that crowd. It’s a lower end demographic

  7. The people will still flock to the old Puerto Vallarta Romantic zone, because they already have pretentiously overpriced shopping centers in their countries…

    1. I agree, who wants to spend time worrying about getting back to the ship on time? I want to see the area, shops & people. I took one short cruise from Long Beach to Catalina to Ensenada, was a total bore….

    2. I love cruising to scope out the places I want to come back to..take it as a sampler..plus nice to just get on and off without moving your stuff all the time.

  8. We visit PV annually. This will give us yet another reason to stay away from the Marina. We prefer Old Town Vallarta and the shops and restaurants there, along with Los Muertos Beach. We are happy when we see people from cruise ships venturing south during their short stay, but considering the number of ships that dock here, it seems as though not that many people actually do.

  9. I doubt it will make much of a difference. There are already so many people from the ships that just hangout in the mall. Those who want to see the town will still see the town. That being said, centro is basically a ghost town with all the empty and degrading commercial spaces. That is what the city should really be focusing on. Rejuvenation of the downtown core. It’s kind of embarrassing. More and more local business will be lost to the likes of the fluvial corridor and people north of centro won’t even bother coming downtown.

    1. OMG Clark Curtis I could write a novella about why I don’t want to see this happen….. but a couple of reasons:

      a) will probably have a negative economic impact on many PVers who won’t be participating in the new “theme park”
      b) will reduce some cruisers’ desire to get out and explore PV and area (see point A above :) )
      c) I personally am sick of “purpose built” tourism spots.

      I could go on and on but what’s the point?

    2. I think this would be great if other previsions were made, such as free shuttle service from the terminal to the Malecon for cruise passengers. The city’s current development plans are pushing more people north of the city, this all started with the co-branding of Vallarta-Nayarit. My personal fear is that in 10-15 years the Romantic Zone and Centro will be the ghettos of the city and tourism in the area is slowly moving towards promotion of the ‘new’ resorts, shiny, Cancun, travel experience. Puerto Vallarta once had pride in NOT being that resort and offering an alternative, but slowly they are moving away from the model. Besides, the city has allowed the Malecon and the Pier to fall into ruins, maybe they need to first learn how to manage what they have and collect trash before adding more projects.

    3. Margaret Zito That is what people said in 1984 about the Monterey bay aquarium and that was all proven wrong. I think it will bring more people to Vallarta and besides cruise ships nobody comes to Vallarta for a single day. Even the cruise ships are starting to stay two days and this will be another reason for them to do that

    4. it a great idea to keep them out of the rest of PV this way people who travel a stay in the hotels don’t have to deal with all the traffic and the people in the stores and keep the DREADED BIG BOX USA STORES OUT !

    5. Well, more cruise ships are not staying overnight, in fact less are. Cruise ship arrivals have increased however the terminal isn’t equipped to handle large numbers of overnight dockings. The port authority has opted to deny overnight stays so they can accept more ships, meaning more $$$. The original plan was to use money to dredge the terminal area to accommodate larger ships and to add more docking options to promote longer stays. The aquarium was originally planned for the south near the Zoo. But let’s also keep in mind the amount of corruption in the system that keeps most plans from getting off the ground. Politicians and developers will run off with the money, so let’s not get too excited hahaha

    6. We dont need an aquarium, we need a submarine to explore and show the beauty of the bay of Banderas. What Puerto Vallarta also needs is a monorail and some cable cars for the mountains…

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