New Rocky Point cruise hub attracts Arizonans

For years now, Arizonans have let their thirst be known for a new cruise embarking out of Rocky Point. About 1.2 million people from the state set sail on cruise liners every year, so there was enough interest to get something off the ground—or out of the docking area—as a British-based cruise line has just announced it’s opening up a sailing option for travelers from Puerto Peñasco.

By the end of 2019, Arizona seafarers can gather their floaties and head to Rocky Point on Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ inaugural sailing. The Dec. 7 maiden voyage offers Arizonans another reason to head to the port city of Puerto Peñasco, a popular destination for citizens of our state. The drive from Phoenix takes about four hours, which is closer than San Diego, another popular cruise embarking spot, which takes about six hours by car from our capital.

The British cruise line will offer six separate 11-day cruises that will sail around the Sea of Cortez, making pit stops in Mazatlán, Cabo San Lucas, and Santa Rosalia before circling back to Rocky Point.

“This is great news for Sonora, and for travelers who want to explore the Sea of Cortez from Arizona,” Debbie Johnson, executive director for the Arizona Office of Tourism, said in a statement.

“It’s also another stepping stone toward a completed cruise port in Rocky Point, which would continue to strengthen tourism commerce in — and between — Arizona and Sonora, and is something Governor Ducey and Governor Pavlovich have long supported,” she added.

While this is a huge get for the Sonoran state in which Rocky Point rests, it’s also a possible boost for Arizona, specifically in tourism. Phoenix Sky Harbor could be a fly-in destination for travelers looking for a short-ish drive down south. Phoenix may be a cheaper landing spot than flying directly into Mexico, especially since Sky Harbor is an international hub that sees a lot of international passengers coming in and out.

Rocky Point has long been a destination for Arizona travelers looking for a close international beach, even being dubbed “Arizona’s Beach.” And with the 1,250-passenger CMV ship taking off from the port there, it may very well be known as our docking station as well.

Nick Esquer

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