We reported a few weeks ago on the arrival of several Carnival Cruise line ships into California. The World Cruise Center in Los Angeles is expecting more than two dozen cruise ship calls through early February. These calls will be technical stops for provisions, bunkering, and crew changes, while no passengers will be onboard any of the vessels.
While the no-passengers might be disappointing, it is a very good indicator of how much is going on behind the scenes. The cruise industry is indeed ramping up full steam towards a potential re-opening in February 2021.
Ships from Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, and Norwegian Cruise Line all had scheduled calls in the Port of Los Angeles the past week and throughout the new year.
Financial Losses Are Building
While the cruise lines’ losses are incredibly high right now, and we see more and more cruise lines struggling to stay afloat, the ports’ impact is no less significant.
A few of the cruise lines that generally call the World Cruise Center in San Pedro, California home, are Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruise Line, and MSC Cruises.
The Port of Los Angeles has estimated that each large cruise ship that makes a call in the port contributes about $1 million to local businesses and the economy. This is spread around handling agents, port stevedores, port fees, bunkering, and local farmers and growers.
There has been a record number of 93 cancellations for the World Cruise Center alone in 2020 between March and December, which has cost the local economy around $100 million.
The USA Is Surrounded By Cruise Ships
Many, many, vessels have surrounded the United States awaiting their turn to come into port, for most of them the first time in many months they have even been in US coastal waters.
In Los Angeles, we can see Carnival Panorama and Norwegian Jewel. The port of San Diego has Celebrity Millenium close by at anchor, drifting further out are four different Princess cruise line ships (Royal, Emerald, Majestic, and Ruby Princess), five different Holland America ships (Noordam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Koningsdam, Zuiderdam, and Westerdam), while Carnival Miracle can be seen drifting around here as well.
Of course, the busiest place in the world right now for cruise ships is the area around South-Florida and the Bahama’s where roundabout forty cruise ships of all shapes and sizes are waiting their turn to come into port.
The framework for conditional sailing is progressing for the cruise lines, and preparations should now enter the final stages. This means that in the coming weeks we should be seeing test cruises happening.
The CDC’s Crew Disembarkations through Commercial Travel list, a good indicator of which ships are doing preparations and crew changes, is growing longer each day. More ships are added daily to the different color codes as they go through various preparation stages.
If all goes well, we should be seeing the first ships departing for US cruises in a few short months. Or maybe you could be one of the lucky ones and be on a test cruise onboard one of the ships.
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