The complete reopening of San Diego County means the return of many things locals and visitors love to do, including boarding a cruise ship for a vacation out of San Diego Harbor.
Monday, Holland America Line alongside the Board of San Diego Port Commissioners and city and tourism leaders, announced plans to bring the cruise back to San Diego this fall.
And they are not alone. Port of San Diego President Michael Zucchet said the fall season schedule is already filling with names like Disney Cruise Line and Carnival joining the list.
“We expect to have between 70 and 80 cruise stopovers starting in September or October for the season, which is obviously down from pre-COVID levels, but it’s a pretty healthy comeback,” said Zucchet.
The return of online cruises will have a big impact on the local economy, which has reportedly lost $ 282 million since last March due to canceled cruises.
The Port of San Diego said each ship that docks locally contributes $ 300,000 to the local economy in supplies, port taxes and expenses. Holland America Line works with more than 35 local suppliers who supply the company and its ships with goods and services.
Usually what happens is visitors out of town stay overnight the night before and often they stay in San Diego when they come back to the dock. So we can get some pre and post stays, explained Julie Coker, president and CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority.
For cruise ships to resume service, 98% of crew members and 95% of passengers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For example, Holland America’s ship Koningsdam arrived at port on Monday morning so crew members could receive their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, administered by Sharp HealthCare.
In May, Sharp offered cruise ship employees their first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the B-Street Terminal of the Port of San Diego, making it the first port in California to offer the vaccine against the coronavirus to cruise line employees. A total of 450 crew members from three ships have been vaccinated, according to Sharp.
Two more ships will arrive in the port of San Diego in the coming days so that their crews can also receive their second doses.
Three cruise ships arrive in San Diego so crew members can receive their first COVID-19 vaccine. NBC 7s Audra Stafford has more information on Sharp HealthCares’ involvement in the effort.
Koningsdam is scheduled to begin its first homeport season in San Diego for cruises to Mexico and Hawaii on October 24.
According to the Port of San Diego, Holland America Line has been homeported from the Port of San Diego since the 1990s, which means its cruises start and end in San Diego.
The Port of San Diego said Holland America Line is also actively involved in donating to more than 30 local nonprofits, including La Jolla Playhouse, San Ysidro Health and Girl Scouts San Diego.
After information on cruise lines departing from the Port of San Diego and plan your vacation can be found here.
NBC 7’s Rory Devine breaks down the new guidelines for test trips.
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