“Cruise Season” underway as 3 ships set to pull in
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Three ships together carrying more than 6,000
passengers will pull in Thursday at the unofficial start of the Port of San
Diego's “Cruise Season,” giving at least a one-day boost to a local industry
battered by the poor economy and safety fears about Mexico.
Two ships from Holland America, Westerdam and Statendam, and one from
Princess Cruises, Sapphire Princess, will tie up along North Harbor Drive,
which port officials said could be very busy during the day. The vessels will
bring a combined 6,300 passengers to San Diego.
The state of the economy has prompted cruise lines to shift their ships
elsewhere around the world.
The regular run by the Carnival Spirit from San Diego down Mexico's
western coastline has been limited to only a few months early next year, and
the shipping company plans to subsequently transfer the vessel to Australia.
Other cruise companies have also lowered the number of San Diego port
calls because more money can be made overseas and travelers are worried about
going to Mexico because of crime, according to the port district.
The port estimates that each visit by a cruise ship has a local economic
impact of $2 million.