Cruise ships without passengers start to flock to Port of Los Angeles
Cruise ships without passengers are coming to the Port of Los Angeles in rising numbers as cruise liners turn hopes to the long-awaited resumption of cruising in the U.S. waters.
The cruise ships are coming to the port to refuel and restock supplies as a prerequisite to meet federal regulations in order to resume cruising in the future.
There is currently no clear date on the resumption of activties as it stiill depends greatly on the public health state.
“Princess Cruises, Holland America and Norwegian Cruise Line cruise ships are scheduled to send ships arriving in Los Angeles this week and through the new year, periodically docking at the Los Angeles Cruise Terminal for fuel, food, supplies, and/or services. No vessels will be carrying passengers,” the port authority said.
The Port of Los Angeles expects more than two dozen cruise ship calls through early February.
Cruise operations have been suspended since March due to the pandemic, and no date has been set yet for U.S. passenger sailings.
After expiration of the No Sail Order on October 31, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announced a framework for phased resumption of cruise ship operations.
The framework includes easures like testing and additional safegiards for crew members, followed by simulated voyages to test cruise shi operators’ ability to mitigate infection risks, certification of ships that meet specific standards and a phased return to voyages.
In addition to increased precautions to minimize community spread of and exposure to COVID-19, cruise ship safety implementations while at berth include Passenger Ship Safety Certificate (PSSC) training and Marine Evacuation System (MES) replacement.
In 2020, the Port of Los Angeles experienced 93 cruise cancelations—more than 70% of total cruises—due to the pandemic.
According to the port’s estimates, each time a cruise ship calls in Los Angeles, it contributes about $1 million to local businesses and the economy. Losing these cruise ships amounts to losing nearly $100 million in economic activity on the LA Waterfront.
“The port continues to closely monitor the situation and is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), California Department of Public Health, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and other emergency and public health agencies,” the port said.