LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Although the U.S. cruise ship industry remains at a complete standstill because of the pandemic, several ships will still be docking at the Port of Los Angeles over the next few months as they prepare for a resumption of passenger sailings, whenever that may be.
The Port of L.A. reported Monday that about two dozen passenger-less cruise ships for Princess Cruises, Holland America and Norwegian Cruise Line will be docking at the port through early February.
Under federal regulations, the ships must make occasional visits for fuel and supplies in order to reestablish themselves in U.S. waters as a prerequisite for resuming full operations, whenever they get the green light to do so.
The Port of L.A. had 93 cruise cancellations in 2020. The port estimates that each cruise ship visit accounts for a $1 million influx into the L.A. area economy, meaning that the cancellations combined for a $93 million hit to the local economy.
Last month, Santa Clarita-based Princess Cruises announced that all its cruises would remain suspended through at least March 31.
In February and March, two Princess Cruise Lines’ ships, the Diamond Princess, which sails through Asia, and Grand Princess – which sails between California and Mexico — each had dozens of passengers test positive for coronavirus, prompting the quarantine of both ships at sea for days.
At least 14 passengers from the Diamond Princess died of the coronavirus, and another seven passengers from the Grand Princess. A passenger on the Grand Princess was California’s first confirmed death due to the virus: a 71-year-old man.