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San Francisco is welcoming cruise ships once more after 19-month hiatus

Olga R. Rodriguez

SAN FRANCISCO – Cruise ships are returning to San Francisco after a 19-month hiatus caused by the pandemic, which is sure to boost the city’s economy, the mayor announced on Friday.

The Majestic Princess will enter the port of San Francisco on Monday, the first cruise ship to dock in the San Francisco Bay Area since March 2020, when the Grand Princess caught the world’s attention and hit the coronavirus for millions in the United States made. The ship carried people infected with the coronavirus and thousands of passengers on board were quarantined while the ship was idle off the California coast.

The Port of San Francisco, home to the Bay Area’s only passenger cruise terminal, is expecting 21 cruise lines for the remainder of the year.

“Tourism is an important part of our city’s economy and helps us pay for essential services that enable us to take care of our most vulnerable residents,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement. “This announcement is just another example of our city coming back to life and emerging stronger than ever from this pandemic.”

The cruise terminals are close to some of the city’s most famous attractions, including Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39 and the Ferry Building. When the largest cruise lines dock, over 6,000 passengers, crew and terminal workers can disembark, dine and shop in the area, the Breed office said.

The cruise terminals are near some of San Francisco's most famous attractions, including Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39, and the Ferry Building.  In this April 7, 2020 file photo, a man crosses the street under a footbridge at Pier 39 while the cruise ship Grand Princess, in the rear, is docked at Pier 35 in San Francisco.

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The Majestic Princess will set sail from Los Angeles on a week-long voyage on the California coast that includes an overnight stay in San Francisco.

Passengers must provide proof of vaccination and proof of vaccination at least 14 days prior to departure. A negative COVID-19 test must be taken within two days of her embarkation, according to a statement from Princess Cruises, a subsidiary of Carnival Corp., which operates the ship.

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Cruises elsewhere in the U.S. resumed operations in June after a lengthy hiatus during which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended repeated no-sail missions as the pandemic raged. Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean, the three largest cruise lines, lost $ 20 billion together last year and another $ 4.5 billion in the first quarter of 2021, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

The CDC’s latest cruise ship guidelines recommend that passengers provide both a recent negative COVID test and proof of vaccination. It advises travelers who are at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illnesses to avoid cruising.

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