On Friday, January 13th, the Port of San Diego made history by becoming one of the first ports in California to have two cruise ships simultaneously use shore power.
Disney Wonder and the Insignia from Oceania Cruises were the first two cruise vessels to take advantage of this new capability. This achievement is a significant step towards reducing the port’s harmful pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions.
Second Shore Power Outlet Installed in San Diego
The Port of San Diego first installed a shore power outlet at the cruise terminals in 2010, making it one of the first ports in California to have this capability. However, with the recent addition of a second shore power outlet, the Port has now taken a significant leap forward in its efforts to reduce emissions.
The two shore power outlets will result in at least a 90 percent overall reduction of harmful pollutants such as Nitrous oxide (NOx) and Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM) while ships are docked. The expansion was made possible through a $4.6 million investment by the Port of San Diego.
Disney Wonder and Ocean Cruises’ Insignia had the honor to be the first cruise ships to use the system simultaneously, making it one of the most sustainable visits by cruise ships ever.
In a statement, the Port of San Diego said, “Port of San Diego Environment champions the safekeeping and environmental care of our diverse ecosystems. Year after year, environmental goals are set and measured to evolve environmental initiatives – ensuring San Diego Bay remains a vibrant resource and contributes to a remarkable way of life for visitors and residents for generations to come.”
In addition to the shore power expansion, the Port of San Diego is also working on installing an emissions capture and control system.
This system, known as the Marine Exhaust Treatment System (METS), will be able to connect to ships that are not shore power capable and reduce their emissions while at berth. The METS system places a bonnet over the vessel’s stack to capture and treat exhaust while the ship is at berth.
San Diego is the third-busiest cruise ship port after Long Beach and San Francisco. The move towards a second shore power outlet and the METS system is a significant step towards reducing emissions at the port and setting an example for other ports to follow.
San Diego is Ideal as a Cruise Port
The southernmost port on the U.S. West Coast, San Diego, is strategically positioned to begin a cruise to Mexico, Hawaii, or the US Pacific Coast. Currently, several cruise lines use San Diego as a homeport sailing to a wide variety of destinations.
Located just 65 nautical miles north of Ensenada, Mexico, San Diego’s location provides an excellent opportunity for guests to spend a quick few days at sea and enjoy Mexico’s sights and sounds. However, cruises to the Panama Canal, Costa Rica, Hawaii, and Southern Florida are also possible.
Amongst the cruises sailing from San Diego in the coming months are a 16-night Hawaiian Islands cruise onboard Diamond Princess, a three-night Baja cruise onboard Disney Wonder, and a 12-night Panama Canal cruise onboard Zaandam, visiting ports such as Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; Cartagena, Colombia; and Half Moon Cay, Bahamas.