Mexican Riviera cruises take in the golden beaches and famous resort towns strung along Mexico’s Pacific Coast. The climate is a bit drier than what you’d find on the country’s Caribbean side, and the terrain more mountainous. These itineraries typically start in the Southern California cities of Long Beach, Los Angeles and San Diego. A handful of sailings depart from San Francisco farther north.
The most popular ports of call on Mexican Riviera voyages are Cabo San Lucas, perched at the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula; Mazatlan, famous among sportfishing enthusiasts; and Puerto Vallarta, where the past is preserved in picturesque courtyards and cobblestoned streets. Ensenada, just south of the border, is featured prominently on three- and four-day cruises.
Ships can spend time at La Paz and Loreto, both on the Baja Peninsula facing the Sea of Cortez. Smaller expedition ships are able to dock at tiny islands off the peninsula, like Isla Espiritu Santo and Isla Partida. Topolobampo is one of the newer additions to Mexican Riviera itineraries. It's a gateway for rail trips through the spectacular Copper Canyon, offered as overnight shore excursions.
Your Mexican Riviera cruise may venture farther south to the superb, broad beaches of Manzanillo or the glittering resort city of Acapulco. Between the Sierra Madre peaks and the Pacific Ocean lie Ixtapa, a well-developed tourist town, and neighboring Zihuatanejo, which has a more rustic feel.