San Francisco to welcome cruise ships after 19-month hiatus
By Olga R. Rodriguez | Associated press
SAN FRANCISCO – Cruise ships are returning to San Francisco after a 19-month hiatus caused by the pandemic in what is sure to boost the city’s economy, the mayor said on Friday.
The Majestic Princess will sail into the Port of San Francisco on Monday, the first cruise ship to dock in the San Francisco Bay Area since March 2020, when the Grand Princess caught the world’s attention and made the coronavirus real to millions of people in the United States. The ship was carrying people infected with the coronavirus and thousands of passengers on board were quarantined as the ship idled off the California coast.
The Port of San Francisco, home to the Bay Area’s only passenger cruise terminal, expects to accommodate 21 cruise ships through the end of the year.
“Tourism is a vital part of our city’s economy, helping pay for important services that enable us to care for our most vulnerable residents,” the Mayor of London Breed said in a statement. “This announcement is just another example of our city coming back to life and coming out of this pandemic stronger than ever. “
Cruise ship terminals are close to some of the city’s most famous landmarks, including Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39, and the Ferry Building. When the larger cruise ships dock, there can be more than 6,000 passengers, crew and terminal workers disembarking, dining and shopping in the area, Breed’s office said.
The Majestic Princess will depart Los Angeles for a week-long trip to the California coast that will include an overnight stopover in San Francisco.
Passengers will need to show they have been vaccinated at least 14 days before boarding the cruise and have proof of vaccination. They must also undergo a negative COVID-19 test within two days of boarding, according to a statement from Princess Cruises, a subsidiary of Carnival Corp. who operates the vessel.
Cruises elsewhere in the United States began to resume operations in June after a long hiatus that saw the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention repeatedly extend no-boat orders as the pandemic raged. Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean, the three largest cruise lines, collectively lost $ 20 billion last year and an additional $ 4.5 billion in the first quarter of 2021, according to Securities and Exchange Commission documents.
The CDC’s latest cruise ship guidelines recommend that passengers show both a recent negative COVID test and proof that they have been immune. He advises travelers who are at a higher risk of contracting serious COVID-19 disease to avoid cruises.