Tuesday, May 7, 2013
San Diego on Tuesday had the rare occurrence of three cruise ships in port all at once. The region’s once faltering cruise industry is starting to make a comeback.
Three large cruise ships carrying nearly 5,500 passengers arrived in San Diego within a few hours of each other on Tuesday, giving a boost to the tourism industry.
Two of the vessels, the Celebrity Solstice and the Oceania Regatta, made their inaugural visits to the Port of San Diego.
The Solstice, with 2,900 passengers on board, and Holland America Line's Zuiderdam, carrying 1,937 passengers, arrived to the B Street Pier before 7 a.m.
Oceania Cruises' Regatta arrived at the Broadway Pier at 11 a.m., with 600 passengers on board.
According to the Port of San Diego, each cruise ship that visits for the day brings in approximately $250,000 to $350,000 from retail and attraction spending.
Vessels that begin and end their voyages in San Diego boost the local economy by nearly $2 million, according to the Port.
San Diego's cruise business declined 70 percent in recent years because of the poor economy and violence in Mexico, said Adam Deaton, the Port’s cruise marketing representative.
Deaton anticipates the industry will recover.
"We’re thinking that by 2015, 2016 the numbers will start to climb again slowly, and by 2017-2018 it will start to jump," said Deaton.
"Typically, this business goes in big spurts. Back in 2007, we gained about 300,000 passengers in a matter of two years, which can happen again," he added.
Cruise ships are scheduled to make 77 stops in San Diego in 2013.