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ROCKY POINT CRUISE SHIP UPDATE - courtesy of Bill Barvitski

( April 1, 2009 -- The Holland America shipping company revealed that in three years, with the construction of a Cruise Ship Home Port, Puerto Penasco will be taking another step to become a world-class tourist destination.HOME

Holland America is planning to have one cruise ship a week on the Sea of Cortez route as of 2011, stated Simon Douwes, Planning and Scheduling Director, who recently confirmed that at the latest in three years, Puerto Penasco will become the site for the arrival and departure of cruise ships.
Plans are to make between 50 and 60 trips in the “World's Aquarium”, departing from Puerto Penasco to Guaymas, Loreto, La Paz and Topolobampo, and then, returning to the port of departure.
He stated that the Sea of Cortez route is excellent for the company, because in only seven days they can go to six Mexican ports, which will provide a myriad of attractions.
On the other hand, the coordinator of the Commission for the Development of Tourist of the State Government, Epifanio Salido Pavlovich, explained that initially there will be a 14 day route that will depart from San Diego, California, and will travel to Puerto Penasco; then Guaymas, and the tour will conclude in the port of embarkation.
Representatives of Holland America and Carnival Corporation recently visited the area of Sandy Beach, where they intend to locate the cruise ship terminal in Puerto Penasco.
An assessment on the technic al feasibility of building the wharf in this area of Rocky Point, Mexico was conducted with good results. Possible attractions in that area that could be provided to cruise ship customers were analyzed within the plans to set-up the Home Port. Some of these attractions are the Visitor Center of the “El Pinacate” Biosphere Reserve which is another option that can be provided to nautical tourists.
Government sources said that the Home Port project in Puerto Penasco is looking for the appropriate conditions to remain as the Sea of Cortez cruise ship route, while at the same time duly caring for the environment and furthering a sustainable activity through ecological balance.
On October 16, the first tourist cruise ship owned by Holland America arrived in Guaymas, Sonora, while the second one arrived on November 15. in both cases, 1,200 tourists enjoyed the region's attractions.
A “home port” is a port of arrival, or rather, the site where cruises begin and end. It is something Mexico had never had up to now. This benefit will also include Puerto Penasco once the construction of the Home Port is completed a few kilometers from the US border.
The Government of Sonora, the Florida and Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), and the Coordination General of Ports and Merchant Marine, a body belonging to the Department of Communications and Transportation (SCT) entered into negotiations to make this project come true.


Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point) International Airport Update and Pictures

A friend provided me some pictures of the new Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point) international airport during the Border Governor's Conference a couple of weeks ago.  As you can see, the runway is complete and striped and was used for parking jets during the conference.  Governor Bores reportedly landed his plane at the airport for a dedication with Mayor Renteria, and other conference attendees used the airport as parking for their jets.

My source indicates that "the new airport will be available to commercial operations in the first quarter of 2009. Aeromexico Connect [Aerolitoral] will move its current operations at the Municial Airport (PPE) to the new instalations and probably new routes to both Mexico and the US will follow; there are several airlines that are looking at this new market."   So commercial airline operations to Hermosillo, Los Angeles and soon Las Vegas will ramp up using the Puerto Peñasco (PPE) airport as I have written in previous posts here and here and will eventually shift to the international airport as demand dictates. Good news for the future growth of Puerto Peñasco.

Update 10/30/2009

Rocky Point airport to open next week for private flights

Commercial air service could begin in January
By Mariana Alvarado
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 10.28.2009
"Arizona's Beach" will now be only a short flight away.
A new international airport in Puerto Peñasco — also known as Rocky Point — is to open next week. Initially, there will be service for private and executive flights, and the hope is to have commercial flights to and from Tucson, Phoenix and Hermosillo beginning in January.
The Mar de Cortes International Airport was built by Operadora Aeroportuaria Golfo de Cortes. S.E. de C.V. with an initial investment of $45 million, said Fernando Antillón, airport director.
"This is a terminal that is going to keep growing … according to the demand," said Antillón.
The airport is 20 miles south of Puerto Peñasco and about 60 miles from the U.S. border. Puerto Peñasco is 35 minutes by air from Phoenix and one hour from Los Angeles.
The terminal will be inaugurated next Thursday by Mexico's president, Felipe Calderón, as well as representatives from the tourism industry.
It will be fully operational by 2012, but currently its 1.55-mile concrete runway is capable of handling all types of service and aircraft up to Boeing 757s and similar aircraft, according to airport officials.
Antillón said the next phase of the construction will bring the total investment in the project to nearly $80 million.
The airport is operated by a subsidiary of conglomerate Grupo Vidanta, which is currently building several resort and residential developments in the region. Grupo Vidanta built and operates the Mayan Palace in Rocky Point.
Airport construction started in 2007. At that time, Grupo Vidanta built in six months a provisional airport to accommodate a Mexico-U.S. border governors conference in Puerto Peñasco.


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