San Diego to Welcome Ships and Passengers Back

The Port of San Diego will welcome the return of cruise lines and cruise passengers on Friday, October 1, when the Disney Wonder and Grand Princess will be the first sailings out of San Diego since spring 2020. The Disney Wonder is setting sail for a four-day cruise beginning in San Diego to Cabo San Lucas and back. The Grand Princess sailing will begin in Los Angeles on September 30 and stop in San Diego on October 1 on its way to Ensenada and back to Los Angeles.

The port said it currently anticipates more than 100 cruise calls through May 2022. Those calls will primarily be from Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, and Disney Cruise Line.

According to a prepared statement, health and safety is a top priority. To safely resume cruising, the port said it is working with the cruise lines, along with various other local, state, and federal agencies to put extra precautions in place to minimize community spread of and exposure to COVID-19.

In conjunction with the cruise lines, precautions include that all crew members and eligible guests must be fully vaccinated (currently ages 12 and up; in special and rare cases, medical exemptions may be allowed, but Celebrity, Holland America, and Princess must maintain that at least 95% of all guests are vaccinated; Disney Cruise Line will be testing all guests on embarkation days).

All unvaccinated guests must provide negative PCR test results between three days and 24 hours before embarkation day. All persons must complete a health screening form to declare they have been vaccinated, are not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, and had a recent negative COVID-19 test result (if pre-testing was required by the cruise line).

All persons must wear a face covering while inside the cruise ship terminal.

Whenever possible while in the cruise terminals, all persons are strongly encouraged to social distance from persons not in their own traveling party.

To prevent an influx of passengers and to help ensure social distancing, the cruise lines have implemented a passenger appointment system for check-in/screening times.

The port will be fully cleaning and disinfecting the terminals immediately following each embarkation and disembarkation, plexiglass partitions have been installed in some areas, and hand sanitizer will be available throughout the terminals.

San Diego is California’s third busiest cruise port behind Long Beach and Los Angeles. And, according to the port, each homeported cruise has an economic impact of $2 million. While a single in-transit call (one stop on the cruise itinerary) generates a total impact to the region of nearly $600,000.

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