The 11-night program is part of CMV's new 'Voyages of Exploration' collection.
'Treasures of the Sea of Cortez' will sail round-trip from Puerto Peñasco to ports in Sonora, Sinaloa and Baja California Sur including Puerto Topolobampo, Mazatlán, Cabo San Lucas, La Paz, Loreto, Santa Rosalia and Guaymas. Six departures are planned in December and January.
A few hours' drive from Phoenix and Tucson
This novel itinerary also offers Arizonans the unique opportunity to embark on a cruise from their closest sailing port, located just a few hours' drive from Phoenix and Tucson.
The news was announced by officials from Baja California Sur, Sinaloa and Sonora in the exhibition at Seatrade Cruise Global this week.
'Our new Treasures of the Sea of Cortez voyage takes travelers to discover some of the best kept secret destinations of Mexico from a beautiful seaside town conveniently located just outside Arizona,' said John Dennis, VP sales and marketing for CMV USA. 'As such, we are thrilled—not only to be Arizona’s de facto cruise line, but also to welcome guests throughout the country and internationally to experience this "inclusive” Sea of Cortez itinerary.'
Nonstop UK flights to Phoenix
CMV said that with the many local drive-to opportunities, as well as good airlift into Phoenix and Tuscon, the cruise line has already started to see great interest from many markets, including the UK (CMV's home) that has nonstop service into Phoenix.
Born in an era marked by volcanic eruptions and ongoing earthquakes more than 5m years ago, the Sea of Cortez beckons with natural wonders, amazing wildlife, spectacular islands and more to explore. The sea and its islands are designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with their impressive array of marine mammals, more than 900 species of fish and plentiful birdlife.
A voyage there inspired John Steinbeck to write a book about his expedition, and Jacques Cousteau called the sea the 'world's aquarium.'
First in new 'Voyages of Exploration' collection
'The largely undiscovered pristine waters of the Sea of Cortez present the group’s first foray into the soft expedition cruise sector, inaugurating our new Voyages of Exploration collection,' said Chris Coates, group commercial director of CMV. He added that CMV’s Astoria offers a classic, boutique-style and authentic cruise experience, supported by an enrichment program and supplemented by classical and popular themed entertainment.
The ship is expected to carry mainly US and Mexican travelers, and the program is structured with inclusive pricig.
'Our mid-term aim is to introduce a wide array of Voyages of Exploration programs to other parts of the world, too,' Coates said.
Passengers will embark at Puerto Peñasco and sail to Topolobampo, gateway to the Sierra Madre mountain range and Copper Canyon, a series of canyons larger and deeper than the Grand Canyon. Next, they can take explore the coastal boardwalk of Mazatlán, and relax and rejuvenate in Cabo San Lucas. From there the cruise heads to the beach town of La Paz, visited by Hernan Cortez in 1535.
Later, adventurers can explore Bahia Loreto, a destination brimming with watersports options like kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling and diving. The cruise continues to Santa Rosalia, a popular whale-watching haven, and then to Guaymas with its stunning beaches, desert and mountains. before sailing back to Puerto Peñasco.
The 16,144gt, Portuguese-registered Astoria carries up to 550 passengers and offers a wide selection of well appointed public lounges and accommodations spanning eight passenger decks.
The pricing includes shipboard gratuities and house beer and wine with lunch and dinner on board. Rates start at $1,599 on select dates.
Pre- and post-cruise opportunities will be available in Arizona and Mexico that include hotel and transportation options to the Port of Peñasco with stays in Phoenix, Tucson and Peñasco.