Launch of Astoria from Puerto Peñasco for 11-day “Treasures of the Sea of Cortez” cruise makes history
Sonora Governor Claudia Pavlovich led a flag waving ceremony marking the launch of the majestic vessel, which sailed from Puerto Peñasco on Jan. 9th with 500 cruise goers and nearly 300 crew on board. Travelers will visit and explore seven ports along the coast of the “world’s aquarium”, making history as the first cruise ship in the country to depart from and return to a Mexican port.
The Astoria ship of the Cruise & Maritime Voyages cruise line, which crossed the Atlantic from England, has cruise goers on board mostly from the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. They will have the opportunity to navigate and see the beaches, emblematic sights, and corners waiting to be explored in Topolobampo and Mazatlán in Sinaloa, Cabo San Lucas, La Paz, Loreto, and Santa Rosalía in Baja California Sur, as well as Guaymas, Sonora before returning to Puerto Peñasco.
In her speech prior to the symbolic flag waving ceremony, Governor Pavlovich expressed congratulations for this dream now made a reality that undoubtedly will put Puerto Peñasco on the international scene for cruise goers from several countries. She also thanked John Dennis, Vice President of Cruise & Maritime Voyages, for the trust of bringing investment to Puerto Peñasco and Sonora, which means economic revenue of at least 190 million pesos for the region.
This unprecedented act will encourage further investment, such as the project for a comprehensive cruise ship center, as well as vessels with capacity for over 1200 passengers next year, noted Puerto Peñasco mayor Ernesto Munro López. He explained there are also considerations for aerial connections between Puerto Peñasco and Tijuana, Baja California, within the next three months. This is an effort of the local Convention and Visitors Bureau as well as the Sonora Tourism Promotion Commission, which would be able to bring in markets from California and Asia.
The Astoria cruise ship, built as the Stockholm in 1946 and whose maiden voyage was in 1948, is now run by the British based cruise line. It is 160 meters long and 21 meters wide, with 8 decks, 277 passenger cabins including interior and those with ocean views, restaurants, bars, discos, casino, movie theater, a theater, beauty salon and spa, library, elevators, jacuzzi, laundry, and exhibition hall.
Upcoming departure dates of the “Treasures of the Sea of Cortez” cruise are Jan. 20th and 31st. This cruise will strengthen the Sonora- Arizona MegaRegion as the U.S. market represents a majority of current cruise goers.
Important data about the Astoria
- This is the first cruise ship in history with a Mexican port as both starting and end point, or rather sailing from and returning to Puerto Peñasco.
- The route for “Treasures of the Sea of Cortez” includes:
Puerto Peñasco, Sonora – embarkation
Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur
La Paz, Baja California Sur
Loreto, Baja California Sur
Santa Rosalía, Baja California Sur
Puerto Peñasco, Sonora – disembarkation
- The Astoria was built in 1946 and took its maiden voyage in 1948 as the Stockholm. It has flown under several flags including that of Sweden, England, and now Portugal for transatlantic journeys.
- The majestic vessel has 8 decks, 277 cabins, the Olisipo restaurant, lounge bars, disco, casino, movie theater, theater, beauty salon and spa, library, jacuzzi, exhibition hall, laundry, and elevators.
- The ship has a capacity for 500 passengers and over 200 crew (from different parts of the world)
- On its first departure from Puerto Peñasco, cruise goers were mostly from the U.S. (341), Mexico (19), and Canada (8), as well as from England and Latvia.
- Upcoming departures of the Astoria from Puerto Peñasco are Jan. 20th and Jan. 31st, and will visit the same route through the Sea of Cortez
- Foreigners must have their passport or Mexican resident information in order to quickly process the Multiple Migratory Form (FMM) through Mexican Customs in order to board the cruise ship.
- Mexican passengers must have their official identification (INE) for boarding.
- Maximum luggage permitted: 23 kilos per passenger
- Cost per person starts from $1599 US for interior cabins and $2199 for ocean view
- Special rate for residents available for Jan. 31st cruise starting from 16,999 pesos per person for interior cabins and 25,999 pesos per person for ocean view
Visiting five of the most attractive beaches in Mexico in one journey.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Free self-service coffee and tea station (during hours of service)
Daily and nightly entertainment on board
Gala Dinner with the Captain
Theme parties and classical music concert
Recreational activities during the day
Port fees and taxes
Unique experience of traveling on a traditional English style cruise ship, with a touch of Mexico.
Personalized, friendly, and attentive service
Coin – Mexican pesos
Contact with local tour operators in each port for excursions and tours.