Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — Playa del Carmen and Cozumel ferry passengers could soon have another option. When traveling to and from the mainland and island, passengers currently have two options, however, a third has been approved.
In late March, Grupo Xcaret was given approval to run its two vessels on the route. Currently, the route is run only by Ultramar and Winjet, however, Xcaret has been approved to also operate.
At the moment, Grupo Xcaret owns two ferry vessels, Xel-Ha and Xcaret, both of which run an Isla Mujeres-Cancun Hotel Zone route. Both boats transport passengers between its Torre Escénica del Embarcadero, the 80-meter Xcaret tower near the entrance of the Cancun Hotel Zone, and the island of Isla Mujeres.
However, on March 26, they were granted permission to run the Playa del Carmen-Cozumel route after submitting their application in late December.
In October of 2019, Grupo Xcaret acquired the two vessels. At the time, Miguel Quintana Pali, president of the Xcaret Group, reported that they had acquired the 650-capacity person vessels and planned to set sail from a berth on the beachfront of the Xcaret park for which they had already obtained the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources permits.
He explained that the vessels would be used to cross between Cozumel and their Riviera Maya theme parks.
“We are trying to bring passengers, cruise tourists from Cozumel because the complaint is the way they have to get to Playa del Carmen is to get off a boat and take one or two shuttles to get to our parks.
“We have already acquired two passenger ships (…) they will go pick up tourists at the Cozumel docks and bring them to our land,” he explained.
Instead, they began operating the Isla Mujeres-Cancun Hotel Zone run in December of 2021. There has not been any official date released as to when they will begin to offer the service or if it will run Cozumel-Xcaret theme parks as initially planned, or if they will run Cozumel-Playa del Carmen instead.