Hurricane Patricia Update: Airports Close, Cruise Lines Alter Schedules

Hurricane Patricia, the strongest tropical cyclone ever measured in the Western Hemisphere, is set to make landfall in the state of Jalisco on the Pacific Coast of Mexico today. Here are the latest travel updates from the area. 

A spokesperson for the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau tells Travel Agent that airports in the Riviera Nayarit area are now closed. 

All beaches in the area now have red flags, meaning there is no swimming or boating. The National Guard has been dispatched to the states of Nayarit, Jalisco and Colima to assist as needed over the coming days. 

Pleasant Holidays reports its in-destination team is assisting with evacuating the company's customers to secure locations. Additionally, it has contacted travel agency partners with vacations scheduled to Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit through October 30, 2015, to provide assistance in altering their vacations plans as requested, either to future dates or a new destination in Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii or Tahiti. Pleasant Holidays is waiving its change fees for modifications due to the storm.

Travel Impressions has released a travel alert advising clients of the hurricane warning and advising clients that if they are traveling on a scheduled flight that has been delayed or cancelled, they should contact Travel Impressions so they can assist. 

Travel Impressions also recommends that travel agents provide an accurate passenger phone number for all passenger reservations traveling to Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo October 23-26 in the booking record so Travel Impressions can contact passengers as changes occur. 

Travel Impressions also provided the following updates on hotel evacuations. RIU Hotels are evacuating guests to Universidad del Valle de Banderas (University) during the storm. Secrets Vallarta Bay and Now Amber are evacuating guests to Tepeyac School in Puerto Vallarta. Dreams Villamagna and IBEROSTAR hotels will shelter guests on property. Grand Velas is evacuating guests to University Technologic of Bahía de Banderas. CasaMagna Marriott and The Westin Resort and Spa have evacuated guests by bus to hotels in Guadalajara. Sheraton Puerto Vallarta has evacuated guests to the Puerto Vallarta Convention Center Manzanillo. 

MLT Vacations reports that its Customer Engagement Center (CEC) is working with travel agency and hotel partners to quickly rebook affected customers of the Delta Vacations and Aeromexico Vacations brands. Support teams at the CEC are also working with vacationers not covered by the current waivers on a case-by-case basis.

Cruise Schedule Changes

Princess Cruises has said that a scheduled call for Ruby Princess to Cabo San Lucas was cancelled today due to swells from the storm. The ship is headed back to Los Angeles for its scheduled arrival. 

Latest Forecast

Jalisco, where the Category 5 storm is forecast to make landfall, includes the popular destinations of Puerto Vallarta, as well as Guadalajara further inland. The adjacent states of Colima and Nayarit could also feel the effects of the storm. The following watches and warnings are in effect

  • A hurricane warning for the Pacific coast of Mexico from San Blas to Punta San Telmo, including Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo
  • A hurricane watch east of Punta San Telmo and Lazaro Cardenas
  • A tropical storm warning east of Punta San Telmo and Lazaro Cardenas
  • Tropical storm conditions are possible early Friday in the warning areas, with hurricane force winds expected to reach the warning area Friday afternoon or evening. 

According to the Vallarta Daily, the Mexican government has declared a state of emergency for 56 municipalities in the projected path of the hurricane. 

Evacuations have begun on the Pacific Coast, including an estimated 20,000 in the Vallarta-Nayarit area. In all 50,000 people are expected to be evacuated before Friday afternoon. 

In Puerto Vallarta, the city has created 18 shelters to house evacuees. A list of shelters is available here
Keep visiting for further updates on this developing story.