Inaugural Rocky Point cruise setting sail on Sea of Cortez voyage
PHOENIX – The abbreviated inaugural cruise season out of Rocky Point, a popular south-of-the-border destination for Arizona vacationers, embarks this week.
The first Treasures of the Sea of Cortez cruise will set sail from Rocky Point, aka Puerto Penasco, on Thursday for an 11-night voyage.
The ship Astoria, which can accommodate 550 passengers, will span the Gulf of California, or Sea of Cortez, and stop at seven ports, including Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas.
“It’s a beautiful destination,” John Dennis, vice president of Cruise and Maritime Voyages, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday.
The British-based line originally planned a six-cruise season that was scheduled to start Dec. 7, but the first three sailings were canceled because the Astoria’s arrival from Europe was delayed.
Dennis said a limited number of cabins were available for the remaining Rocky Point cruises of the season, which are scheduled to embark Jan. 20 and Jan. 31.
The drive of around 220 miles from Phoenix to the new port takes less than four hours. The approximately 360-mile drive to catch a cruise ship in San Diego takes close to six hours.
Dennis acknowledge concerns about safety for Americans driving through Mexico in the wake of recent attacks in other parts of the country.
“It’s been something that’s been obviously top of mind for us and I think our travelers as well,” he said. “Most of our passengers are coming via coaches from Phoenix and from Tucson, not necessarily so many individual cars transiting.”
The states of Arizona and Sonora have committed to creating a safety corridor with additional security along the route, Dennis said.
“We’re very, very optimistic that it will be event free and everyone will be able to enjoy a spectacular cruise and it will be the first of hopefully many seasons,” he said.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ali Vetnar contributed to this report.