The cruise ship Astoria will begin voyages out of Puerto Peñasco, Mexico, starting December 7th, 2019. Mostly booked, a second voyage is now accepting reservations for a January departure date as well.

Astoria, owned by Cruise and Maritime Voyages out of England, will tour the Sea of Cortez. She will make stops in Mazatlan, Cabo, La Paz, and other Mexican ports.

This week, a gathering in Rocky Point brought together representatives of various interests that will be crucial for the successful start, and long term success of cruises into local waters.

Hosted by the OCV, or Office of Conventions and Visitors, this first get together covered topics like boarding proceedures, border crossings (current projections say most cruise customers will come from the US), coordination with the various ports involved, and more.

On hand was John Dennis, Operations Director for Cruise and Maritime Voyages. “This is a joint task. We are going to work with the Navy, the State of Arizona, and with the people of Puerto Peñasco. We must create a marine plan for the port, and work with hotels and tour operators of Peñasco.”

Some of the first objectives to be agreed upon in the meetings included creating a directory of affiliated vendors, hotels, tour providors, etc. It was also hoped that passengers could be convinced to arrive early to to enjoy time in Rocky Point. The local Convention Center will initially be used as the Terminal for the cruise departures.

Hector Platt from COFETUR, the Sonora State’s Commision for promoting Tourism, stated that “It is important that there is a close relationship with the shipping company, this is not something improvised, we have been working for two years with a lot of passion to make this a reality,”

Platt also spoke of the probability that a thriving local cruise business would attract regular airline flights to the city. Also in attendance was a representative of Group Vidanta, parent company of Mayan Palace. The company has begun it’s own cruises out of Acapulco, and they have an interest in adding a line departing from Rocky Point in the future.