California Port Prepares for Busiest Cruise Season Since 2010

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San Diego, California, is preparing for what it expects to be the busiest cruise season since 2010. Officially starting September 19, the cruise port expects to welcome 140 cruises, more than 45% more than last year, and 460,000 passengers will be visiting the Southern Californian city. 

San Diego’s Cruise Season About to Set Sail

The cruise industry is operating at full capacity again, something the Port of San Diego is noticing while it prepares for the start of the cruise season on the US West Coast. This year, the cruise port expects to welcome 140 cruise ships, starting on September 19 with the arrival of Windstar’s Star Breeze. 

This season will be the busiest the port has been since 2010, marking a massive 45% increase compared to last year, with the ships bringing approximately 460,000 passengers.

Cruise Ships in San Diego
Cruise Ships in San Diego (Photo Credit: meunierd / Shutterstock)

“The Port of San Diego’s cruise business is definitely experiencing a rebound and we expect continued growth,” said Port of San Diego Chairman Dan Malcolm. “We’re pleased to be welcoming our cruise customers back to San Diego and to share how wonderful our port is to our cruise passengers. This season’s business will be a great boost to our regional economy.”

The choice for San Diego by this many ships is no surprise. The Port’s two cruise ship terminals on B Street and Broadway piers are conveniently located downtown, offering easy access to city attractions and waterfront hotels and restaurants. The terminals are also close to unique historic neighborhoods like Little Italy and the Gaslamp Quarter.

Disney Cruise Line Doubles Sailings

Although Star Breeze will open the season in San Diego on September 19, the focus will be on Disney Cruise Line sailings from San Diego this year. The company has doubled its scheduled sailings from 24 to 51 calls this cruise season. Disney Wonder will arrive on September 23 to start its Mexican Riviera sailings. 

Besides Disney and Windstar, Princess Cruises will also be operating from San Diego, offering thirteen cruises in what is the first season the California-based cruise line homeports from the city.

San Diego Cruise Ship
San Diego Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: andysartworks / Shutterstock)

Other cruise lines to sail from San Diego include Holland America Line with a 94-day Australia and New Zealand Cruise, Silversea Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise Line. Voyages from MSC Cruises, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, Scenic Luxury Cruises, Oceania Cruises, and American Queen Voyages will also call in San Diego. 

Due to its proximity to Mexico, the Port of San Diego is an ideal base for cruise lines to offer short cruises to the Mexican Riviera, with popular cruise ports such as Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Ensenada

San Diego Makes Improvements for the Future

Besides preparing for the upcoming cruise seas, San Diego is also getting ready for the future. The port is California’s third busiest cruise port after Long Beach and Los Angeles but hopes to make the necessary improvements to draw more ships to the port in the future. 

These include significant repairs and improvements to the B Street Cruise Ship Terminal, a project to install a new curtain wall to extend the life and long-term stability of the pier structure, and doubled shore power capacity. 

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