How About a Cruise on the Sea of Cortez, Mexico?
The ‘Treasures of the Sea of Cortez’ cruises are now in operation! The maiden voyage took place on January 9th. Since then another departed on January 20th, and the final for the season leaves Rocky Point, Mexico today! These are the first cruises leaving from the new cruise dock in Rocky Point (or Puerto Peñasco, it’s Spanish name), in Sonora, Mexico.
Sandy Beach Sunset, Rocky Point, Puerto Peñasco ©Roxanna Brock McDade
Why Rocky Point?
Also called ‘Arizona’s Beach’, Rocky Point is only 60 miles south of the Arizona border. Only 4 hours from Phoenix or Tucson, it is much closer than San Diego ports for Arizona residents and less crowded. Arizona and Sonora have committed to the creation of a safety corridor, which will provide additional security on the stretch of road between Arizona and Rocky Point.
Originally a small fishing village, Rocky Point has grown to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in Sonora, particularly for Arizona residents. It hosts many high rise, luxury hotels, fabulous restaurants, and a ‘happening’ nightlife.
The port has been under construction since 2013, so residents are excited for the cruises to start setting sail.
The Astoria – The Ship
The Treasures of the Sea of Cortez cruise operates on the ‘Astoria,’ a ship that is part of the Cruise & Maritime Voyages cruise line fleet.
During the 11-day cruise the ship will port in Topolobampo, Mazatlán (both in Sinaloa); Cabo San Lucas, La Paz, Loreto and Rosalía (in Baja California Sur); Guaymas and Rocky Point, Sonora.
The smaller, upgraded, boutique-style cruise ship holds 500 guests and features eight decks, a restaurant, bars, disco, casino, movie theater, theater, beauty salon & spa, library, jacuzzi, exhibition hall, laundry. Learn more about the ship on the Come to Rocky Point website.
The Sea of Cortez
What makes the Sea of Cortez special? At close to 5 million years old, the Sea of Cortez is one of the youngest seas in the world.
Jacques Cousteau called the Sea of Cortez “the World’s Aquarium.” This clear body of water is home to over 900 species of fish, and vast numbers of invertebrates and mammals. It is the only place where you will find the rare and endangered Vaquita porpoise and many other marine animals.
Whales can be found all along the Baja Peninsula from January through March. They come to the warm waters to mate and stay to bear their young. People travel the world over to watch them play.
There are numerous uninhabited protected islands, completely untouched by humans. One can view plant and animal life from the ship that may not be found anywhere else on Earth.
You might see several different types of beaches on your Treasures cruise, from sprawling fine sand to rocks or seashells. In the Sea of Cortez, the water can recede as much as a mile at low tide. It is a sight to behold.
The sea of Cortez is generally calm which makes for great snorkeling, kayaking, diving or paddle-boarding.
When Can I Go?
The "Treasures of the Sea of Cortez" cruise is expected to return in December 2020. There have been discussions about bringing on the Magellan, another Cruise & Maritime Voyages ship that can hold up to 1200 passengers.
While no concrete plans have yet been made for Rocky Point to host other cruise lines, there are negotiations underway for additional lines to come on board.
"Our plan is to make Rocky Point the natural home port for the Sea of Cortez," said Rocky Point Mayor Kiko Munro.
Keep an eye out and your ears open for more cruises on the Sea of Cortez or just head down and get familiar with its natural beauty now!