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Cruise ship visits to Santa Barbara suspended until next year amid rising COVID-19 cases

Cruise ships SB harbor.PNG
Posted at 11:35 AM, Aug 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-30 14:35:53-04

An uptick in COVID-19 cases has prompted the suspension of cruise ship visits to Santa Barbara.

The Santa Barbara Waterfront Department reportedly made the decision to suspend the visits until March of next year with the next cruise ship set to arrive on March 10, 2022.

“Our cruise ship program brings millions of dollars to the local economy as well as introduces Santa Barbara to tens of thousands of people from around the world. It is a well-run program that strategically minimizes impacts by scheduling visits only during the shoulder seasons and often mid-week. That being said, the health and safety of our community, as well as the health and safety of cruise ship passengers visiting our area are our top priority so we have decided to pause the program. We remain optimistic that once we’re back to pre-pandemic status, Santa Barbara will return as a premier destination for the cruise line industry,” said Waterfront Director Mike Wiltshire.

The City says the decision to postpone visits until next year was made to provide enough time to see how impacts from COVID-19 will unfold and to determine whether the program can be reinstated safely at that time.