The Port of San Diego announced that Disney Cruise Line will kick off the 2014-2015 cruise season on Friday, September 12, 2014, with the arrival of the year's first ship, the Disney Wonder, at Broadway Pier.
The vessel, carrying more than 2,100 passengers, will set sail from San Diego on September 12 on a 15-day Panama Canal voyage that will stop in Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. After traveling through the Panama Canal, the vessel will stop in Cartagena, Colombia and Cozumel, Mexico before ending the cruise at Port Canaveral, Florida.
The Disney Wonder will return with three more cruises leaving from San Diego in Spring 2015, followed by seven calls in Fall 2015. Itineraries include a three-day weekend getaway, a six-day Baja California, Mexico cruise and a 15-day Panama Canal cruise. The 2015 Disney sailings are on sale now.
"The Port of San Diego is proud to welcome the Disney Wonder and its guests to our world-class waterfront," said Bob Nelson, Chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners. "Disney's stellar reputation for quality and service combined with its onboard entertainment and attractions make it a popular choice for cruise vacationers. We invite Disney Cruise Line's guests to experience our San Diego-style hospitality."
The Port of San Diego's cruise season runs from September through May. Currently 76 vessels are scheduled to arrive; that number may change as the season progresses.
"I'm genuinely pleased to see that the Port's hard work with the cruise lines is paying off. We start this year's cruise season with cruises departing from San Diego offered by our long term partner Holland America Line returning with some traditional seven-day cruises to Mexico, plus we will see new cruises offered by Disney Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line this year," said Brandy Christian, the Port's Vice President for Strategy and Business Development.
"The demand for cruises from San Diego is a testament to the continuing economic recovery, strong support from our regional partners and renewed demand for the San Diego-Mexico itinerary. These are all positive signs pointing to the San Diego cruise market's longterm viability."
In May 2014, Disney Cruise Line announced its return to the West Coast market. In addition to the San Diego cruises, Disney will be offering cruises from the Hawaiian Islands.
The Port is experiencing a resurgence of interest in the San Diego-Baja California itinerary from both existing and new clients. Besides the Disney cruises, the Port's 2014-2015 season features cruises from the Holland America Line, a homeporting cruise line in San Diego.
Holland America Line is a longtime partner of the Port of San Diego and was among the first cruise lines to return to the Mexican Riviera after several years of decline in that market. By expanding its Mexican Riviera presence, Holland America Line demonstrates its continuing confidence in the area. Holland America Line currently has 32 cruises on the Port of San Diego's 2014-2015 schedule.
Another plus for the Port of San Diego is the return of Norwegian Cruise Line, which has re-entered the San Diego cruise market for the first time in five years. Norwegian has six cruises scheduled for the Port's 2014-2015 season.
Other cruise lines scheduled to visit San Diego in the 2014-2015 season include Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Regent Seven Seas, Oceania and Crystal Cruises.
The cruise industry has a significant economic impact in San Diego. A homeported cruise call – a cruise that begins and/or ends its itinerary from San Diego – generates an estimated $2 million in economic impact based on passenger and crew spending, refueling and restocking, and other activity. There are 43 homeports this season, for $86 million in economic impact.
The Port of San Diego is putting the final touches on a $31 million project that made improvements to its North Embarcadero area, where the cruise terminals are located.
Passengers will be welcomed to an enhanced public promenade, complete with public gardens and groves of jacaranda trees. Public art, a widened esplanade, new landscaping and a public restroom that incorporates art into its architecture are also included. Both cruise terminals have undergone significant upgrades that will further enhance the passenger experience.