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Cruises from Rocky Point to start in December

Cruises from Rocky Point to start in December

A British-based cruise line plans to start cruises through the Sea of Cortez from Rocky Point, Sonora, in December.

The cruises planned by Cruise & Maritime Voyages will be the first to set sail from Puerto Peñasco, also known as Rocky Point, and sail the length of the Sea of Cortez, according to the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Puerto Peñasco.

The company plans to offer six trips of 11 days each, beginning on Dec. 7 and ending Feb. 11, 2020.

The cruises will be aboard the company’s 500-passenger, 250-cabin cruise ship Astoria, with planned port calls in Topolobampo, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas, La Paz, Loreto and Santa Rosalia, before returning to Puerto Peñasco.

The new cruise route was announced Sunday at an event that included Sonora Gov. Claudia Pavlovich Arellano and other government and tourism officials.

After about five years of on-again, off-again starts, Mexico is still in the process of building a temporary cruise-ship port at Puerto Peñasco, with plans for a full port expected to be completed in 2021.

Once up and running, the cruise ship port could generate an economic impact of about $120 million annually, Mexican officials have estimated.

Héctor Vázquez del Mercado, president of the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Puerto Peñasco, said the new cruise will be the first from Rocky Point and the only one that is currently planned to depart or start its journey from a Mexican port and run the length of the Sea of Cortez, also known as the Gulf of California.

Founded in 2009, Cruise & Maritime Voyages offers cruises with smaller and medium-sized ships from 13 ports in the United Kingdom.

The Astoria, one of the company’s oldest ships, first sailed in 1948 as the Stockholm, operated by Swedish American Lines.

In 1956, the Stockholm collided with the SS Andrea Doria in the North Atlantic, sinking the Italian cruise ship and killing 46 in one of the worst cruise-ship disasters in history.

The Stockholm was repaired and was later rebuilt and changed hands several times. In 2015, Cruise and Maritime Voyages acquired the ship from a Portuguese cruise line.

Contact senior reporter David Wichner at dwichner@tucson.com or 573-4181. On Twitter: @dwichner. On Facebook: Facebook.com/DailyStarBiz

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