Cruise lines pull out of Mazatlan citing violence towards passengers as main reason.

Disney Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Holland America Line have halted calls at Mazatlan in Mexico after reports of extreme violence in the area.

Disney pulled the port from Disney Wonder’s seven-night Mexican Riviera sailings indefinitely after an incident in which a 68-year-old Canadian holidaymaker was shot in the leg during a gang shoot out on January 17. It’s also been reported in the Mazatlan Messenger that, in January alone, 31 people have been killed in violent incidents.

Further precautions were taken with other ships operating in the region. Princess Cruises amended Sapphire Princess’ itinerary to include a full day in Cabo San Lucas instead of a half-day in Mazatlan, and Holland America Line’s Oosterdam swapped Mazatlan for a day Manzanillo. Both cruise lines stressed that, currently, the changes do not apply to future cruises.

“We have not made itinerary changes to future Mexican Riviera cruises for Sapphire Princess. Our next Mexican Riviera cruise will depart Los Angeles on February 12, 2011 and we will continue to monitor the situation and communicate any new developments or itinerary change,” said Karen Candy, a Princess Cruises spokesperson.

In an effort to quell concerns, The Mazatlan Tourism trust issued a statement saying the port city is “one of the safest destinations in Mexico, legendary for its history, culture and the warm hospitality of its people… We don’t want the [recent] incidents to happen again.”