Puerto Vallarta is set to open a new cruise terminal this summer. Travel Agent spoke with the officials behind the project at Gala Vallarta, which took place February 11 - 12 in Puerto Vallarta.
“Our main objective is to become more competitive as a port destination,” says Carlos Gerard, the founder of Puerto Mágico, the private company responsible for building the new terminal, noting that the project would allow Puerto Vallarta, as well as other ports on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, to become more competitive worldwide.
“We’re not competing versus the ports down south,” Gerard says, referring to other popular calls out of homeports on the West Coast of the United States, “but all the other ports in the world. We’re a team.”
The new terminal will be set on Pier 1, which handles approximately 80 percent of cruise calls to Puerto Vallarta. Plans call for hacienda-style architecture that’s meant to reflect the local traditions of Jalisco.
“The federal government wants to improve all of these ports, and strengthen the identity of each one,” says Constanza Suárez, director of the Puerto Vallarta Cruise Port (API).
That will include incorporating materials and accents that harmonize with the style of the rest of Porto Vallarta, such as iron, tile and bougainvillea. “We know we need to focus on the experience,” says Gerard.
Plans call for a spacious welcome center of over 30,000 square feet, as well as a number of shops selling local products. Also on the horizon is a new aquarium, although there is no official opening date for that yet.
The new facility will make its debut as Puerto Vallarta continues to grow its cruise calls. 2018 saw 134 calls, while for this year, the destination already has 180 confirmed calls.