Holland America among first to send ships to the SoCal port

By Patti Pietschmann, Travel Diva

Ships await certification in San Diego

Port of San Diego

Although they’re not sailing with passengers yet, cruise ships are arriving in San Diego, California.  The first include four Holland America vessels. Each will undergo rigorous certification by the Centers for Disease Control. This is mandatory for any line sailing in US waters.

Leading the pack

Holland America’s Koningsdam is the first to arrive. While in San Diego the ship’s crew is undergoing testing. After that the ship will undergo simulated voyages to examine how the Captain and crew will handle any COVID19 outbreaks.

And additional trio of Holland America vessels is also en route to San Diego with the last arriving in January 2021.  Each ship is spending a day at the pier and then anchor off the coast. HAL’s Westerdam arrives Dec. 28. The Zuideerdam hits town Jan.8 and the Noordam does its San Diego stop on Jan. 11.

Princess Cruises Emerald Princess stopped in San Diego en route to Los Angeles.

 Also spotted in town

During the last few months there were two o Celebrity ships with crew members in presence the pier.

Cruising in US is still under CDC suspension. Still Holland America has a half dozen cruises on its 2021 schedule for this year out of San Diego.

The cruise and travel industries are optimistic that the availability of the COVID19 vaccine will facilitate resumption of operations. Both industries are considering asking for proof of vaccination before allowing passengers to board.

 Big financial loss for San Diego and other areas

The  pandemic-caused cruise pause has hurt many cities.  In San Diego, where many cruises normal depart during fall and spring,  losses in  tourist dollars  is estimated $200 million.  As of now about 54 voyages are scheduled to sail from San Diego. But with a surging coronavirus it remains a very fluid situation.

Sailing out of San Diego is easy if you live on the west coast. We did a few cruises from there, love the port and shops but really like that we can ride Amtrak from Los Angeles direct to the pier. In fact you get off the train and walk straight to the ship. But you should have a wheeler to tote your bags.

Let’s just pray that the holiday season doesn’t generate an even bigger spike in infections and that the vaccine gets into more arms soon.

For updates on the cruise industry, or future bookings, contact a Pavlus travel agent at 800-528-9300.

 

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