The Port of San Diego kicked off its annual cruise season in high spirits, with an official ceremony featuring Holland America Line, a longstanding partner.
The cruise season, which runs between October and March, features 100 port calls from cruise lines such as Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Viking, Disney Cruise Line, and Regent Seven Seas.
The Port of San Diego expects to welcome more than 300,000 guests to the San Diego region by season’s end next spring.
San Diego Cruise Seas Kicks Off
The Port of San Diego and long-standing cruise partner Holland America Line celebrated the start of the San Diego cruise season with a kickoff event. Holland America Line’s cruise ships will use the port facilities extensively in the coming season, between October and March.
“Half of the Holland America Line fleet will visit Port of San Diego this season, departing on cruises that reach as far as Australia, making it one of our most vital homeports,” said Beth Bodensteiner, chief commercial officer for Holland America Line. “We thank Port of San Diego for decades of partnership and look forward to a successful cruising season.”
The longstanding relationship between the port and the cruise line, Holland America Line’s cruise ships have sailed from San Diego since the 1980s, was celebrated with a generous donation from the cruise line.
“We are incredibly excited to launch our annual cruise season, and what better way to do it than with Holland America, which has been calling here since the 1980s,” said Chairman Rafael Castellanos, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners.
“On behalf of the Port of San Diego, we are happy to welcome back cruise customers for what will be a fun and adventurous season with great benefit to our regional economy.”
During the kickoff event, the cruise line showed its ongoing support for the San Diego community by donating $10,000 to the San Diego Harbor Police Foundation.
Busy Cruise Season Ahead
San Diego is already the third busiest cruise port in California. With recent improvements to the B Street terminal pier and an additional 5 million dollar improvement scheduled to the terminal’s interior spaces, San Diego is well underway to grow even further.
The port of San Diego can look forward to one of the busiest cruise seasons to date, with over 100 cruise calls scheduled during the season and no less than 66 calls through the end of the year.
Visiting cruise ships include Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam, Eurodam, Koningsdam, and Volendam from Holland America Line, Sapphire Princess, Discovery Princess, and Crown Princess from Princess Cruises.
The port will also host maiden calls from MSC’s new luxury cruise line Explora, Disney Magic, and Viking Star. The port expects to welcome 338,000 cruise passengers to its two cruise terminals at B Street and Broadway Pier.
Wide Variety of Cruise Options
Some of the cruise itineraries sailing from San Diego this year include far-flung destinations such as Australia, as well as destinations closer to home, such as the Mexican Riviera, Hawaii, and the Panama Canal.
One of the most highly anticipated cruises is Holland America’s Solar Eclipse Experience. The Koningsdam is set to embark on a 22-night cruise to Hawaii focused on the solar eclipse, leaving from San Diego on April 5.
The vessel will make a stop at Cabo San Lucas just a day prior to the eclipse event. On April 8, the 99,500 gross tons cruise ship will be positioned offshore to provide an unobstructed view of the eclipse.