The Port of San Diego will welcome the Norwegian Jewel for its inaugural call on Saturday, May 3, 2014. Coupled with a visit by the Norwegian Pearl on Friday, May 2, this week marks the return of Norwegian Cruise Line to the San Diego destination for the first time in five years – one of many signals that the West Coast cruise market is on the rebound.

The Norwegian Jewel will be arriving at the B Street Cruise Ship Terminal at 8 a.m. from Cabo San Lucas and leaving at 5 p.m., when it sets sail for San Francisco. Approximately 2,376 passengers and 1,100 crew members will be on board. The 965-foot long vessel will be nearing the end of a 22-day Panama Canal and Caribbean cruise.

During inaugural port calls, it is customary for the ship’s captain to exchange plaques with a representative from the welcoming port. Port Commissioner Dan Malcolm will welcome the Jewel’s captain, Kenneth Harstrom, and participate in a traditional plaque exchange ceremony onboard.

San Diego’s cruise season runs from September through May. In 2013, the port had 77 cruise ship calls and welcomed approximately 205,000 passengers at its B Street Pier and Broadway Pier cruise terminals.

The West Coast cruise market is on the rebound with multiple cruise lines returning ships to the Mexican Riviera market, resulting in a 66 percent year-over-year increase in passenger capacity forecast for 2014, according to the Cruise Industry News Annual Report.

This promising activity is linked with the U.S. economic recovery and increasingly positive consumer perceptions of the Mexico destination. The Port of San Diego is experiencing a resurgence of interest, particularly in the San Diego-Baja California itinerary, from both existing and new cruise clients.