Is the Tampa ferry really coming?

by Beryl Gorbman, Yucatan Yenta

Every few years we are tantalized by the prospect of a ferry line running between Progreso and Tampa. Imagine how convenient that would be. If you wanted to drive your car to the US, instead of driving through cartel territory in the north, you could put your car on the ferry and ride with it to Tampa overnight.

If you go without a car, the fare is going to be around $350 round trip, including a cabin and all meals. What a fabulous deal.

The ferry will also take freight, like households goods, but of course you still have customs and immigration to deal with at either end.

The current conversation is that the ferries will run to Tampa twice per week. They will also go to Cuba!

Right now, the Port of Progreso, the Port of Tampa and two ferry companies are gathering information. To run this ferry, new ramps will have to be built in Tampa.

The Port of Progreso is trying to figure out how many foreigners are living in Yucatan because they estimate that this population will be their steadiest customers. The projection is that the ferry could be operational by summer 2012.

Such a ferry ran briefly in 2003, and I’ve been waiting for it ever since. The ships they ran then looked like cruise ships.

If you want to express your interest and be added to their mailing list, just send an email to

About BG

Beryl Gorbman is a writer and private investigator who divides her time between Seattle WA and Merida Yucatan Mexico. She has published two works of fiction, 2012: Deadly Awakening, and Madrugada. They are both available on Amazon and other outlets. Also at Amate Books, and Casa Catherwood in Merida. You can read about them in various articles on this site.
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14 Responses to Is the Tampa ferry really coming?

  1. kwallek says:

    I do not live in Yucatan but would like to sometime in the next few years, being able to skip the long Gulf of Mexico drive would be nice. Fingers crossed.

  2. Sven Martson says:

    My wife and I would be very happy to take the proposed Tampa/Merida ferry, twice yearly. Currently we have to drive all the way around the Gulf of Mexico. This usually takes 8-9 days and can be expensive. The ferry would be wonderful.

  3. Ahh yes. The eternal maritime carrot, dangled before the expectant expat community. :D

  4. ferries says:

    Its going to be a wonderful trip and a lot of people will be benefited by this route. The offers too are really cool……..I just can’t wait to see it start!…………….ferry.

  5. dave black says:

    There is a substantial gringo population in Guatemala who are very excited about the prospect of a ferry service. I for one will use it at least twice a year.

  6. Brenda Castilla says:

    Has ANYONE heard anyrhing more about this route? I am very anxious for this to begin and to continue running more than 1 season; We did The Yucatan Express twice…the first trip and the very last trip. It was so nice; there in 36 hours and even tho an old ship,had been re-done and was comfy enough for 36 hours and the best part was deck with bar and the restaurant had very delicious meals. Fot 36 hours, I would settle for fresh sandwiches!…due to easy route. We have to go thru immigration/customs somewhere; might as well be when We are ready to board in Tampa and when We leave ship in Progresso. Tampa is about 8 hr. drive for Us from South AL but much cheaper than the First Class airline seats We pay for out of MSY (New Orleans). If You hear ANY news, Please comment!

  7. This would be absolutely amazing! I have many friends ready to go on a roadtrip to Yucatan. Being from there I have alot to show them. It’s also a hell of alot cheaper and less dangerous than driving all the way around the gulf. Please post any updates on this service, if there are any.

  8. Kris says:

    I hope to be going to the Yucatan soon for my first trip. Will fly most likely but it is so expensive. It would be great to know there was another option besides driving 3500 miles which would be expensive and exhausting!

  9. Paul Bussoli says:

    We have a place south of Playa Del Carmen and would greatly appreciate the option of having a ferry to get to the Yucatan. Fact is if the ferry was running we not use air at all, we would drive from Washington state to Tampa and take the ferry in a heartbeat. Air travel from the northwest is a huge hassel if you bring a pet and we cannot leave our small dog for 3 to 6 mos at home. Alaska used to fly direct out of Seattle but stopped the service for some reason I can’t understand because the flights were always full each way. So lets see if we can gathee enough people to make the ferry viable.

  10. JALC says:

    I used the ferry from Tampa to Merida in 2004.
    I had a amazing travel.
    I hope that new ferry start again.

  11. lynn waller says:

    We live in Paamul Mx about 10 miles from Playa del Carmen six months at a time. We would use the ferry twice a year. For years we have heard this ferry was starting back up so I hope this will happen. We just found out that Mexico no longer is letting pets that fly in the cabin into the country. So we now have to drive down and back.

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