May 1, 2009

Flu sends Mexican cruises to other ports

The H1N1 flu outbreak means a busier Port of San Francisco, as cruises to Mexican destinations are being rerouted to the City by the Bay, officials said.

Federal and state health authorities have advised against non-essential travel to Mexico because of the outbreak,. Several cruise lines, including Carnival, Princess and Royal Caribbean canceled all calls at Mexican ports, the reported Friday.

Besides San Francisco, new ports of call for the diverted cruises include Victoria, British Columbia; and Seattle and Astoria, Wash., port officials said.

Before the flu outbreak, nine ship calls were scheduled for May; the number now is 18, the site said. San Francisco usually has between 50-60 cruise ship calls annually; in 2009, about 70 are scheduled.