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International cruise lines are putting Acapulco in their itineraries again

Acapulco tourism officials have announced a large increase in the number of new cruise ship arrivals this year, with the port expected to welcome 32 ships, versus 18 for 2016 — a 78% increase.

Nine cruise lines — Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas, V-Ships, Silversea, Oceania Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Global, Saga and Hapag Lloyd Cruises — currently are visiting the Mexican port, according to the announcement.

Once a popular resort that drew an international slate of A-list celebrities, Acapulco's fortunes turned when crime increased in the region.

In the last few years the city, with a population of about 800,000, was plagued by killings and violence from drug cartels. Acapulco saw 903 murders in 2015, more than any other Mexican city.

The U.S. State Department has warned that travel to some areas of Mexico, including Acapulco, may be risky, and last year banned government employees from going there.

But Acapulco is working to improve its reputation internationally, according to Ernesto Rodríguez Escalona, secretary of tourism for the state of Guerrero.

Acapulco's port operations are assisted by the Center for Tourist Attention and Protection, which focuses on the safety of tourists. In addition, federal, state and municipal authorities say they are committed to collaborating with cruise lines and resolving their concerns.

Another piece of good news for including Acapulco is the recent announcement that a new Magellan Mexican coastal cruise is expected to depart from the city's port in 2018, making stops in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas before returning to Acapulco.

travel@latimes.com

Twitter: @latimestravel

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