Mayor London Breed Announces Return of Cruises to San Francisco
Record number of cruise ships expected to resume calling at the Port of San Francisco in compliance with public health mandates, bringing thousands of visitors and economic activity to local businesses
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed and the Port of San Francisco today announced the return of cruises to and from San Francisco. The first vessel to call on the Port of San Francisco will be Majestic Princess on Monday, October 11, 2021. The Port is expecting 21 cruise calls through the remainder of 2021 and a record 127 calls in 2022.
“I am so excited to welcome cruises back to our Port, and visitors back to our City” said Mayor Breed. “Tourism is a critical part of our City’s economy, helping to pay for important services that allow us to take care of our most vulnerable residents. This announcement is just another example of our City coming back to life and emerging from this pandemic stronger than ever before.”
The safe return of cruises is an important milestone in the City and Port’s economic recovery and the revitalization of the tourism and hospitality sectors. Each cruise call brings thousands of passengers and crew members to the City and waterfront that support small and family-owned businesses that have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Pre-pandemic, in 2019, San Francisco welcomed 280,000 cruise visitors, contributing $27 million to the City’s economy.
“The Port supported our small and family-owned businesses during the pandemic, and will continue to do so with the safe return of cruise, expected to bring thousands of people to our waterfront," said Elaine Forbes, Executive Director of the Port of San Francisco. “We are proud to work with public health agencies to ensure cruise will return safely, exceeding CDC guidelines, to keep our waterfront community healthy and economically vibrant.”
Cruise operations are resuming safely in strict compliance with all applicable U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rules and regulations. Additionally, individual cruise lines calling at the Port have each developed agreements with the San Francisco Department of Public Health that exceed CDC COVID-19 guidelines. Passengers and crew members are vaccinated per CDC guidelines. Each cruise line has vessel specific health and safety guidelines to protect all people on board, terminal workers, and members of the public.
“Our City has shown that with high levels of vaccinations and the right safety protocols in place, we can open up businesses and bring back tourism while mitigating the spread of COVID-19. The return of passenger cruises to San Francisco is another step forward in that direction,” said Director of Health, Dr. Grant Colfax.
The Port’s Cruise Terminals at Pier 27 and Pier 35 are also rolling out new COVID-19 informed protocols to ensure the safety of staff, passengers, and the public. Passengers embarking and disembarking will be staggered to minimize passenger congregation. Masks will be required indoors throughout the terminal, which will now be a touchless environment.
“Princess Cruises has visited San Francisco for more than 50 years, beginning in 1969 with our very first voyage to Alaska. Since then, Princess has made nearly 1,400 calls at the Port of San Francisco and carried more than 2 million guests,” said Jan Swartz, Presidnet, Princess Cruises. “We are grateful to the Port of San Francisco for their support during the pause and our team members are eager to welcome guests back on board to enjoy a safe and real vacation.”
San Francisco is home to the only passenger cruise terminals in the Bay Area. The terminals are located near the City’s most scenic landmarks and famous visitor destinations including Fisherman’s Wharf, PIER 39, and the Ferry Building. Nearly 60 percent of the calls are homeport sailings (where passengers embark and disembark), and 40 percent are transit calls (where passengers visit the city for sightseeing, dining, and shopping).
“Passengers aboard the Majestic Princess will be warmly welcomed to San Francisco this coming Monday. The return of cruises to and from San Francisco is an important step forward in our recovery and yet another positive sign for the City’s tourism and hospitality industry. The record 127 cruise calls expected in 2022 will deliver large numbers of visitors to the City and provide a tremendous boost to our economy,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president & CEO of San Francisco Travel Association.
The return of cruises will strengthen the waterfront and City’s economic recovery. When the largest cruise ships dock, there can be over 6,000 passengers, crewmembers, and terminal workers at the cruise terminal combined. Pre-pandemic, every dollar of economic activity on Port property generates nearly $1.50 in total citywide economic activity. Pre-pandemic, economic activity on Port properties supports an annual $4 billion economic output for the City, $117 million for Northern California, and over 16,000 jobs for the City and northern California combined.