The Port of San Diego in California has joined numerous other ports which have shown and offered their support to cruise ships and their operators with vaccinating crew members.
As the crew works onboard, it would be impossible for them to get a vaccination in their home countries, so help from the ports is more than welcome.
Another Step Towards Restarting
Vaccinating crew members is an essential step for the ships. The CDC requires all ships that want to bypass the test-sailings in the United States to have at least 98% of the crew vaccinated.
Crew members of the Koningsdam received their first shot of the Pfizer vaccine with the help of the Port of San Diego and in partnership with Sharp HealthCare, a not-for-profit healthcare organization.
Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line:
“Today is an incredible day, not only for our team members on Koningsdam, but for our entire organization as we continue to take the necessary steps to get back to cruising. We extend our deepest gratitude to Sharp HealthCare for vaccinating our crew, and to everyone at Port of San Diego for offering the terminal and allowing us to make this process safe and smooth.”
Koningsdam is not the only vessel that will be receiving vaccinations for the crew on board; on May 20, Sharp HealthCare will vaccinate 179 crew aboard Noordam, which will be at a nearby anchorage for the day.
231 Crew onboard Nieuw Amsterdam will receive Pfizer vaccines from healthcare provider Ambulnz on Friday, May 21, while the ship is alongside at San Pedro, California. The US West Coast has been a traditional sailing area for the Holland America Ships, and several vessels will feature sailings from San Diego this year.
From October 2021 to April 2022, both the Koningsdam and the Zuiderdam will homeport in San Diego for cruises to Hawaii, Mexico, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal, and the South Pacific.
Four vessels will make 35 calls: Koningsdam in its inaugural season in San Diego (21), Zuiderdam (12), Eurodam (1), and Nieuw Amsterdam (1). The willingness of the Port to help out with the vaccinations comes as no surprise as the estimated economic impact of each ship visit is $300,000 for San Diego.
Holland America Ramping Up Slowly
Holland America is not pushing through the restart of cruising just yet. August will see the arrival of the company’s newest vessel, Rotterdam, sailing Northern Europe and the Mediterranean with the vessel’s maiden voyage being a 7-day voyage between Trieste and Rome, with stops in Zadar, Kotor, Corfu, Naples, and Taormina.
Another vessel set to start sailing is the Eurodam, which will sail the Greek Islands from August 15 onwards. The vessel’s route will take her to ports in Montenegro and Greek Islands like Santorini, Mykonos, and Corfu.
September will see the addition of three more ships that will all sail in the Mediterranean. Volendam will homeport in Venice and Rome, Westerdam will homeport in Venice and Piraeus, and Nieuw Statendam will homeport in Rotterdam, Barcelona, and Rome.
From this point onwards, Holland America plans to steadily increase the number of sailings each month before returning to full operating strength around December of this year if all goes well.