Port of San Francisco's commercial docks with the Oakland Bay Bridge in the background.
Port of San Francisco’s commercial docks with the Oakland Bay Bridge in the background. (photo via iStock/Getty Images Plus/RoschetzkyIstockPhoto)

Princess Cruises is scheduled to operate the first passenger cruise to sail out of the Port of San Francisco in 18 months when the Majestic Princess arrives on Monday, en route from Los Angeles on a seven-day round-trip Classic California Coast cruise. From there, she’s bound for San Diego and Ensenada before returning to L.A.

San Francisco is home to the Bay Area’s only passenger cruise terminals and the cruise sector plays an important role in the city’s economic health. In 2019, prior to the pandemic, San Francisco played host to 280,000 cruise-goers, who contributed an overall $27 million to the local economy.

In pre-pandemic times, every dollar’s worth of economic activity on Port property generated about $1.50 in economic activity across the city, reported local outlet KRON4. During the pre-COVID era, Annual economic activity on Port property yielded $4 billion in economic output for the city, generated $117 million for the Northern California region and supported more than 16,000 jobs throughout Northern California.

“I am so excited to welcome cruises back to our Port, and visitors back to our city,” said Mayor London Breed. “Tourism is a critical part of our city’s economy, helping to pay for important services that allow us to take care of our most vulnerable residents. This announcement is just another example of our city coming back to life and emerging from this pandemic stronger than ever before.”

Majestic Princess
Princess Cruises’ Royal-class cruise ship Majestic Princess. (photo courtesy of Princess Cruises)

All crew members and eligible passengers on cruises coming to San Francisco are fully vaccinated, per CDC guidelines. Each cruise line has developed special COVID-19 health and safety protocols in cooperation with the CDC, and undergone rigorous evaluation before resuming passenger operations.

The Port and cruise lines have signed agreements with the San Francisco Department of Public Health to adopt regulations that exceed even federal guidelines, including specific protocols to protect terminal workers and members of the public.

Passage through Piers 27 and 35 will be staggered to minimize the possibility of crowding in those areas and the wearing of face masks will be required throughout the terminal’s indoor areas. KRON4 also reports that the cruise terminal will now be a touchless environment.

“Our city has shown that, with high levels of vaccinations and the right safety protocols in place, we can open up businesses and bring back tourism while mitigating the spread of COVID-19. The return of passenger cruises to San Francisco is another step forward in that direction,” said Director of Health, Dr. Grant Colfax.