Around 0900 hours on Tuesday, December 19, 2017, dozens of cruise ship passengers from two Royal Caribbean International (RCI) cruise ships have reportedly died or been injured as the cruise ship excursion bus they were traveling inside crashed on a road in Mexico. The excursion bus is owned by Costa Maya Mahahual and was traveling the hour-long ride to Chacchoben Ruins (see video below) near Costa Maya, (Mahahual) Mexico in the state of Quintana Roo when the accident took place.
Dozens of passengers involved in the accident were from two cruise ships owned by RCI, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines’ Serenade of the Seas and Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Equinox. The latest reports say 12 cruise ship passengers were killed and 20 more were injured in the bus, which was carrying 31 people, including passengers from the United States, Canada, Italy, Brazil and Sweden.
The two RCI cruise ships were only two of four cruise ships calling at Costa Maya, Mexico on December 19, according to our Costa Maya cruise ship port schedule. Also in Costa Maya were Oceania Cruises’ Marina and Oceania Cruises’ Riviera.
Riviera was the first to arrive at 0700 hours and the other three cruise ships arrived at 0800 hours. Serenade of the Seas and Celebrity Equinox were schedule to depart Costa Maya at 1700 hours while Marina and Riveria were schedule to depart at 1800 hours.
A convoy of buses full of cruise ship passengers from the four cruise ships were traveling to Chacchoben Ruins when one excursion bus went off the road. The injured were taken to three hospitals spread over a distance of 248 kilometers (154 miles), including Hospital Comunitario de Bacalar in Bacalar, General Hospital
The two ships had been at Costa Maya Mexico where they took the Chacchoben Ruins excursion on a beautiful, warm, partly sunny day.
Serenade of the Seas had embarked from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on Friday, December 15 at 0700 hours for 7-night Caribbean cruise with calls at Key West, Florida; Roatan, Honduras; Costa Maya Mexico and Cozumel, Mexico before returning to Ft. Lauderdale.
Celebrity Equinox had embarked from Miami, Florida on Saturday December 16 at 0600 hours for a 7-night Caribbean cruise with calls at Key West, Florida; Costa Maya, Mexico; Cozumel, Mexico and Georgetown, Grand Caymen before returning to Miami.
Royal Caribbean tweeted on Twitter after the accident, “The news from Costa Maya about a bus accident involving
#CelebrityEquinox & #SerenadeoftheSeas guests is heartbreaking. Our hearts go out to all those involved. We are doing all we can to care for our guests, including assisting with medical care and transportation.”
“Our 27 guests were on a bus tour to the Chacchoben Ruins. We are working with the local authorities to learn more about the accident. We are doing all we can to help our guests.”
Fanya Shamis, 78, of Coconut Creek, Florida was one of the passengers killed on the bus, according to family members. When we have the list of all passengers who died on the excursion, they will be added the Cruise Ship Deaths website.
There is a high probability of this incident resulting in one or more lawsuits. We will follow the case and report on it as it unfolds.
Chacchoben is just one of the many Mayan ruin tours available to cruise ship passengers at Port of Costa Maya. The Mayan ruins in the area like Chacchoben are not as developed as Chichen Itza and Tulum so although several buses arrive from the port which can accommodate up to 4 cruise ships at a time, it is still not as crowded as Chichen Itza and Tulum.
UPDATE: December 21, 2017 – Cruise passengers who died are named.
- Celebrity Equinox Cruise Ship Schedule
- Serenade of the Seas Cruise Ship Schedule
- Costa Maya, Mexico Cruise Port Schedule
- Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Cameras
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Video: WELCOME TO COSTA MAYA PORT