SAN DIEGO — The embarcadero is often packed with tourists and customers ready to enjoy the San Diego scene.
“Always something else, something else to see in San Diego,” says tourist Thomas Gallagher.
But what you may not see are as many cruise ships off the port of San Diego next year.
Norwegian Cruise Line is not scheduling cruises out of San Diego for the 2023 to 2024 season.
“We have a lot of people from those cruise ships when they come and stop by here,” says shop worker Suhaib Ahmadi. “They come and visit our shop and they start shopping here, so if they don’t stop by here we will have fewer sales, fewer business and we will lose a lot of customers.”
Norwegian is setting sail for Asia instead. Other lines expect fewer San Diego cruise calls as well. The Port of San Diego says Disney Cruise Line is shifting to Australia and Princess Cruises is also shifting to Asia as cruising opens back up there.
“When Asia was shut down, the cruise lines had to make adjustments to put their ships considering many other ships were already sailing out of Los Angeles and putting additional sailing and ships in San Diego made a whole lot of sense,” says Stewart Chiron of the Cruise Guy. “It was nothing that San Diego did or could’ve done to kept those ships.”
The Port of San Diego said in a statement in part:
“Sales for the 2022-2023 season are stronger than expected and we continue to build relationships with our cruise lines…”
“Well that’s not good news for the economy any way, but maybe the city officials could reach out to other cruise lines,” says Gallagher.
Norwegian Cruise Line says as it plans its 2024 and 2025 itineraries, it looks forward to returning to San Diego.