The first cruise ship to sail from the Port of Los Angeles in more than eighteen months is departing from the Port of Los Angeles World Cruise Center Berth 93. Grand Princess sails on a five-day cruise that will call in the Mexican Riviera this week.
The return for Princess Cruises to Los Angeles marks a special occasion for the cruise line and LA; the cruise line finds its home in the city and sailed for the very first time from the port back in 1965.
Grand Princess is the fourth Princess Cruise ship to resume operations and the second ship in the Carnival Corporation fleet to sail from a Californian Port after Carnival Panorama sailed from Long Beach a few weeks ago.
“It is a pride point for us that Grand Princess is returning to service in our hometown port. Our crew members are eager to welcome guests back on board as we continue resuming operations in the United States,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “We are grateful to the Port of Los Angeles for their support during the pause and are excited to be working together once again.”
Grand Princess Resumes
It has been 18 months since the 107,517 gross ton Grand Princess sailed with paying guests on board. The cruise ship, which was built in 1998 and at the time was the biggest and most expensive ship in the world, is on a five-day itinerary sailing to Cabo San Lucas. The ship will spend a day and a half at sea and spend two half days in Cabo before returning to Los Angeles.
Grand Princess will remain on the same itinerary until November. She has several cruises scheduled to depart from LA to the Mexican Riviera, including the 5-day Cabo San Lucas itinerary and a 4-day West-Coast Getaway that calls in San Diego, California, and Ensenada, Mexico.
From December, Grand Princess will also feature longer cruises. The first is a 10-day sea of Cortez cruise that calls in Cabo San Lucas, La Paz, Loreto, and Puerto Vallarta, all in Mexico before the vessel sails back to Los Angeles.
In January, the ship will sail on her first 15-day cruise to Hawaii post-pandemic, calling in Lahaina (Maui), Hilo, Honolulu (Oahu), and Nawiliwili (Kauai), Hawaii, and Ensenada, Mexico.
Protocols From LA
Guests sailing onboard Grand Princess from Los Angeles will need to comply with a wide variety of health and safety features. As many will remember, Grand Princess played a significant role during the first days of COVID-19 when 159 cases were associated with two cruises on board.
Cruises are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination.
The cruise line also requires fully vaccinated guests to produce a negative, medically-observed COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within two days of their embarkation on all Princess sailings.
Other measures include wearing a mask in most indoor areas and crowded settings. Social distancing will also be enforced; something made easier by the introduction of the MedallionClass, which makes life onboard effortless and mostly touchless throughout the vessels.
Princess Cruises found its beginnings in Los Angeles back in 1965, and it’s no surprise the cruise line wanted to return to the city of angels as soon as possible. From 2010 until 2020, Princess cruises made more than 700 calls to LA, making it by far the most frequent cruise ship operator, something the city benefits greatly from.
Port of LA Executive Director Gene Seroka said earlier this year to the Daily Breeze: “Here at the port, each time a cruise ship calls in Los Angeles, it brings more than $1 million to area restaurants, hotels and businesses. We expect to add more than $230 million into our local economy in 2022.”
The benefits are therefore substantial both for the cruise line and the city itself. This year three Princess Cruise ships will set sail from the Port of Los Angeles World Cruise Center. These include Grand Princess, Majestic Princess, and Emerald Princess (1 cruise).
Princess Cruises has been operating three other vessels to date; Majestic Princess is cruising Alaska from Seattle, Regal and Sky Princess are sailing scenic cruises in the UK.