Sunrise at Chichen Itza. A Mayan healing ceremony. A lost Mayan city. Ten-course tapas meal. The new 9-night Victory Cruise Lines all-inclusive cruise between Miami and Mexico takes your clients on a spell-binding adventure through the Yucatan peninsula. It features three of the country’s most celebrated Mayan archaeological sites as well as the cultural and historical highlights of the Mexican states of Quintana Roo, Yucatan and Campeche.
During the inaugural season—January to May 2019—the package has an all-inclusive 3-day pre- or post-cruise stay at Campeche, Mexico, creating an 11-night all-inclusive cruise and land experience for the cost of the cruise alone. Guests who book a winter 2019 cruise by May 31, 2018 receive a $1,000 pp discount for a total savings of $2,000 per cabin.
Victory Cruise Lines’ inaugural Grand Mayan Experience cruise departs PortMiami Jan. 4, 2019 on the newly remodeled, 202-passenger Victory II, sister ship to Victory I.
“Not only are we the first cruise line to feature all three states of the Yucatan Peninsula, we are pioneering the marriage of all-inclusive cruising with integrated land stays to get our guests closer to the people and unique Mayan culture,” says Bruce Nierenberg, chairman of Victory Cruise Lines.
During the first season, Victory Cruise Lines will operate The Grand Mayan Experience cruises from January to early May 2019. The second season begins in November 2019 and ends in May 2020.
Exclusive features of the cruise include a private sunrise experience at Chichen Itza, an exclusive light and sound show at Campeche and a rare visit to a traditional Mayan healing ceremony.
“This cruise is a carefully designed experience with a significant land component, including an overnight land stay during the cruise to give our guests access to UNESCO-listed Mayan archeological sites, along with first-class food and entertainment,” Nierenberg says. He points out that the itinerary is for the mature cruiser who wants to explore the country, rather than sit on a beach and get a tan.
The Quintana Roo portion of the cruise includes a full-day exploration from the quaint town of Puerto Morelos. In addition to visiting the Tulum archeological site, one of two evenings in Puerto Morelos will feature the “Xcaret Mexico Espectacular,” a journey through Mexico’s history from the pre-Conquistador era.
After Puerto Morelos, guests travel inland to the state of Yucatan, visiting Chichen Itza and the “Magic Towns” of Valladolid and Izamal. After touring Valladolid, guests will overnight at the Mayaland Hotel, built to create the feeling one is staying in a traditional Mayan village. The hotel is located within Chichen Itza. Following a gourmet dinner at the hotel, Victory guests will experience the Chichen Itza Sound & Light Show, and the next morning begins with an exclusive visit to Chichen Itza before it opens to the general public for a “Sunrise with the Mayans Experience.”
The itinerary continues with a stroll through Izamal, a colonial town built over Mayan ruins that was visited by Pope John Paul II in 1993. In preparation for the pope’s visit the entire city was painted Vatican yellow and has maintained that color ever since. It is now widely known as “The Yellow City.”
The Victory II enters the Yucatan State at the port of Progreso where guests will spend two days exploring Merida. Guests also visit one of the last working haciendas in the region, Sotuta de Peon and Mayapan, a lost Mayan city, before participating in an ancient Mayan cleansing ceremony.
Next is the state of Campeche, where guests will be welcomed into the colonial wonderland of the Walled City of Campeche. Here, they’ll find perfectly restored pastel buildings, narrow cobblestone streets, fortified ramparts and well-preserved mansions. Either before or after the 9-night cruise, guests will stay at the Hotel Plaza Campeche within the walled city for two nights. The stayover provides an all-inclusive immersion into Mexican history and culture, including an exclusive folkloric ballet show for Victory guests at the beautiful Toro Theatre.
“Campeche is exactly what the luxury cruise lines such are looking for—cultural, intimate, and UNESCO World Heritage sites,” says Gilberto Romero Ortegon, planning manager, Ports of Campeche Authority. “Campeche is timeless, and the [Victory Cruise Lines] client wants something unique like what this destination offers.”
For more information, visit victorycruiselines.com.