“I’m excited, I mean we’re back,” Passenger Jeff Farschman said.
The cruise ship which is expected to have an occupancy rate of approximately 60% had a grand welcome by staff and a ribbon-cutting before it set sail Sunday.
Holland America's staff ensured people that they have safety measures in place in the new COVID-19 reality.
“There are layers of safety on board the ships. It really starts before guests even get on the ship, the vaccination requirement testing two days prior to the cruise and then on board we have a series of protocols and procedures” Holland America Line President Gustavo Antoracha said.
In fact, the same ship brought the ship's crew to San Diego to receive Covid vaccinations in May provided by Sharp HealthCare.
According to Sharp, 450 crew members were vaccinated.
The return of cruises operating at the Port of San Diego means an economic boost for the city of San Diego.
“There's you know, very direct economic impact to the community here. Each call represents about $400,000 in direct spending with our over 30 calls this season. You know, it's over $35 million in spending that you know the community receives from, from us calling San Diego home,” Antoracha said.
Both Holland America Line and industry experts believe vacation cruise demand will increase over time.