The Port of San Francisco is a more festive place this month due to the influx of three Carnival Cruise Lines “Fun” ships. These vessels represent millions of dollars in revenue and thousands of labor hours for San Francisco businesses and workers.

The 2,000-passenger Carnival Elation sailed from San Francisco’s Pier 70 shipyard on March 10 after 12 days of scheduled repairs and refurbishments by BAE San Francisco Ship Repair. The Elation returned to southern California, where she offers three- and four-day itineraries to Mexico.

Another Carnival ship, the 960-foot Carnival Spirit, arrived in San Francisco Bay March 13, also for a two-week refit at the Pier 70 drydock. The Spirit offers a variety of West Coast and Hawaii cruises throughout the year.

Combined, these two repair jobs are generating 100,000 hours of work for shipyard workers and revenue of approximately $8 million, a percentage of which comes to the Port by agreement with BAE Systems. This is a most welcome boon in this difficult economic period.

Furthermore, BAE Systems has been working in conjunction with the City of San Francisco’s CityBuild Academy to train members of the local community for well-paying trade careers. Spearheaded by Supervisor Sophie Maxwell and Mayor Gavin Newsom, CityBuild coordinates workforce training and job placement for construction projects. Hugh Vanderspek, president and general manager of BAE Systems San Francisco, reported that the first five CityBuild graduates sponsored by BAE Systems started work this month at the shipyard.

A third Carnival ship, the 113,300-ton Carnival Splendor, is making her maiden call to San Francisco on March 21. Built in Italy in 2008, the ship offers her 3,000 passengers a host of innovations, including a 21,000-square-foot spa and a 5,500-square-foot children’s play area. Beginning in April 2009, the Splendor will provide year-round seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises from Long Beach.