Here’s an update to my article on the current state of California’s cruise ship moratorium. The law that affects cruise ship travel in California is SB 822, which gives the governor the ability to temporarily suspend the ability to allow cruise ships to travel to California ports. This decision will be made by the governor after March 1st, 2022, when the current moratorium expires.
When the captain of the Queen Mary 2 told me that I would be unable to take a cruise to Australia on the California Queen 2, I was disappointed, to say the least. But why? I still think I am entitled to some kind of compensation for this.
In order to accommodate the ongoing state of emergency, the California Ports Authority has decided to not allow any cruise ships to dock at any of the three ports in the state after this year. The ports of Vallejo, Long Beach and Port Hueneme will remain closed to the flagship and other cruise lines until March of 2022.
Cruise companies such as Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises, and Holland America Line have been prohibited from calling at one of the most popular ports of call until March 1, 2022. Santa Barbara, located in California between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, is a favorite tender port on many cruise lines’ Pacific Coast itineraries.
Because to COVID-19 concerns, the Santa Barbara Waterfront Department and Mayor Cathy Murrillo agreed to put the city’s cruise ship program on hold until at least March 2022.
Officials decided on Monday to postpone the return of cruise ships to the California port, which haven’t been since March 2020.
In Santa Barbara, California, a Princess Cruise Ship is docked. (Photo credit: Shutterstock/rocco constantino)
The decision to prohibit cruise ships from the city for the next six months was made in response to a recent outbreak of COVID-19 among the fully vaccinated crew of the Carnival Vista, which was related to the death of one of the guests, according to municipal authorities.
Cruise ships bring in millions of dollars to the local economy and have a relatively minimal effect on the city since passengers utilize tenders to get into town. Nonetheless, the city feels it is not yet ready to resume cruise operations, citing the need to safeguard “community health and safety.”
Mike Wiltshire, Waterfront Director, stated the decision was not made lightly:
“Our cruise ship program contributes millions of dollars to the local economy and attracts tens of thousands of visitors from all over the globe to Santa Barbara. It’s a well-run program that deliberately reduces effects by only visiting during the shoulder seasons and, in many cases, on weekdays. As a result, we have chosen to suspend the program since the health and safety of our community, as well as the health and safety of cruise ship passengers visiting our region, are our top priorities. We’re hopeful that once we’re back to pre-pandemic levels, Santa Barbara will reclaim its position as a top cruise ship destination.
Another port on the California coast may be headed in the same direction. Monterey may also be halting cruise ship visits, according to Wiltshire. It remains to be seen where this will go. The decision will be a setback for the local population, since cruise ships may relocate to a port that allows access, possibly creating problems in the future after the epidemic.
In Santa Barbara, California, a Princess Cruise Ship is docked. (Photo credit: Shutterstock/Stephen Otero)
Several Cruise Lines have been impacted.
Several cruise lines have voyages to Santa Barbara planned for the near future. The Zuiderdam and the Koningsdam of Holland America Line are planned to arrive in October. Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises are two more cruise lines that have been impacted.
Radiance of the Seas is the first Royal Caribbean ship planned to visit the port, and it is expected to arrive in the spring of 2022.
For the time being, few ports have chosen to prohibit cruise ships from entering. While Santa Barbara is far from the busiest cruise port in the world, it is indicative of the bad connotations that remain surround cruise ships after the events of last year. Several breakouts presented a bleak image of an industry against an adversary that eventually brought the whole globe to a halt.
Also see: What to Do in Long Beach, California Before or After a Cruise
With cruise ships’ massive expenditures in a safe and healthy aboard experience, as well as fully vaccinated trips, one may question whether Santa Barbara’s cruise ship ban is founded on gut feeling rather than evidence.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will cruise ships be sailing in March 2021?
The cruise ship industry is a very volatile industry. It is not uncommon for ships to be cancelled or delayed due to unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, technical issues, etc.
Are cruises being booked for 2021?
Yes, cruises are being booked for 2021.
Will my cruise be Cancelled in June 2021?
It is highly unlikely that your cruise will be cancelled in June 2021.
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