TUCSON - The first cruise ship is setting sail from Puerto Peñasco, also known as Rocky Point.
The ship left the port on Thursday, January 9th.
The “Treasures Sea of Cortez” cruise will take people on an 11 night expedition along Baja, Mexico.
The ship “Astoria” will stop at 8 ports including Puerto Peñasco.
“We’ve been waiting for this for a long time for this cruise and I’ve personally been a skeptic, we heard it was going to happen and then not happen and here it is, we’re finally here,” said Steve Schwab, founder and CEO of Casago, a vacation rental and property management company.
Before the completion of the cruise ship port in Rocky Point, people in Arizona looking to book a cruise would have to go out of San Diego or Los Angeles, now you can head on over to Rocky Point from Tucson, cutting that drive time in half and vacation rental experts say a lot of people are taking advantage of that for this initial launch.
“We have a lot of homeowners coming from Tucson for this initial voyage, a lot of people who live in Tucson and some who even own in Puerto Peñasco. Also, there is a big buzz about it with people coming in through Tucson and driving down to Puerto Peñasco so there is going to be a lot impact for Southern Arizona and Puerto Peñasco,” said Schwab.
News 4 Tucson wanted to find out if more people in Tucson are willing to go and if they had any safety concerns about making the trip south of the border.
“I’m concerned, but I would be willing to look into it more,” said UA student Izu Sampson.
"I have never been on a cruise before and the fact that it being relatively close to me being in Tucson is definitely very intriguing,” said UA student Nathan Smith.
“Puerto Peñasco and Northern Mexico we’ve had our share of bad news throughout the years but people that know Puerto Peñasco know it is safe,” said Schwab.
News 4 Tucson also reached out to Rocky Point’s Mayor to ask about safety and environmental concerns with more people in the area.
In a statement, Mayor Kiko Munro said, “Puerto Peñasco is well prepared for the already growing tourism our community is seeing and we are proud to see the launch of the much anticipated cruise Treasures of the Sea of Cortez. New businesses, new development, and the hard work of our public safety officials makes Puerto Peñasco an ideal beach destination for many Tucsonans and Arizonans. If you haven’t been to Rocky Point in a while, I encourage you to visit our town and experience all we have to offer.”
The business community is also ready for the boost in tourism the new ship will bring.
“The entire town is excited for the future of Puerto Peñasco to be the gateway with two cruises throughout Mexico and we are really looking forward to the future for this,” said Schwab.
Find more information on the voyage here: https://bit.ly/2R48mae