Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas…Puerto Peñasco?
Now, we’ve been to many cruise ports in Mexico but yesterday was the first we’d heard of this one. Our resident expert on all things Mexican, Barbra Bishop of MEXpeditions, tipped us off about a new cruise port that’s under construction. In fact, it’s 50 per cent complete and not a cruise ship is in sight.
The new port-to-be is located at the northern end of the Sea of Cortez, less than an hour’s drive from the Arizona border. By the time it’s finished in the first month of January 2017, it will have cost $100 million, which is a lot of pesos for the Mexican government to invest in the hope that cruise lines will find it attractive.
They probably will.
For one thing, passengers can get weary of cruising the Mexican Riviera with its three main stops unless you want to go beyond the conventional 7-day window. For another, it’s pretty much virgin territory for cruise lines…at least the big ones. It would probably mean spending a “sea day” on the Sea of Cortez because it’s a long haul to Puerto Peñasco to the nearest major cruise port in Cabo…or even La Paz.
The idea in building the port is not so much to extend Mexican Riviera cruises as it is to embark on new cruises. That means Puerto Peñasco would be a homeport, precisely what the Mexicans have in mind — and that would be a first in the country.
The market will come from Phoenix and Tucson, both about three and a half hours away, which would make cruising much more accessible to the people of Arizona. You should note that the population of the two cities is more than two million people and another five million or so live in the state. This sleepy resort town is already well-known to many of them and has been dubbed “Arizona’s beach.”
Boarding a ship in Puerto Peñasco would be a huge advantage over flying (or driving) to the West Coast, and if you’re wondering what size of ships might be based there (or visit), Puerto Peñasco is preparing — in what is being called its “most important project” ever — for 3,000-passenger ships.
That’s still the majority of world’s fleet. Will Puerto Peñasco land one, or more?
In 19 months, or sooner, we’ll know.
In the news…
• Chinese cruise passengers had 30 seconds to react to capsizing
• Crystal Serenity first to have ship's casino open in Malta
• New ship orders expected from Virgin Cruises, Crystal Cruises
Today at portsandbows.com: Freighter cruising
Holland America Veendam
November 19, 2015
San Diego (return): Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta
Cost per day: $78