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Nearly 250K cruise ship passengers to visit San Diego

SAN DIEGO -- The 2017-18 cruise season will bring an estimated 242,000 passengers to the city, the Port of San Diego announced Wednesday.

The Disney Wonder will offer 18 cruises to the Mexican Riviera and Panama Canal, while Holland America will sail from San Diego to destinations in Asia and the Pacific Ocean, according to the port. The cruise season actually began Sept. 15.

"San Diego continues to be a popular port for cruising," said Robert "Dukie" Valderrama, chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners.

"We have made improvements to our cruise ship terminal and the waterfront adjacent to it to enhance the passenger experience," Valderrama said. "We are proud that our homeported lines will be returning for yet another season."

While the projected number of passengers is around 18,000 higher than the previous cruise season, the number of port calls -- 83 -- remains the same.

Port officials estimate that port calls result in an average economic boost of $2 million for the region as passengers disembark for shopping, dining, attractions, entertainment and hotel stays.

On Thursday, the Disney Wonder and Holland America Line's Nieuw Amsterdam will be tied up at the downtown waterfront, according to the port.