Why the Port of San Diego is investing in growth

The port is making improvements to its cruise terminals to cater for the rapid growth in calls

Why the Port of San Diego is investing in growth
In the 2022-2023 cruise season, San Diego hosted over 140 sailings and approximately 450,000 passengers

By Alex Smith |

The future is looking bright for the Port of San Diego’s cruise business. After struggling with cancellations and lost business during the pandemic, the port has experienced a surge in cruise calls and has further growth on the horizon.  

San Diego’s cruise season began in September and ran until May. In the 2022-2023 cruise season, the port hosted over 140 sailings and approximately 450,000 passengers. This is an increase from the 2021-2022 cruise season, which was the first since the pandemic and saw the port welcome 101 calls and 172,000 passengers. 

The port has welcomed new business this season too. Princess Cruises chose San Diego as the homeport for Diamond Princess, marking the first time the cruise line has homeported at the destination in 17 years. In addition, Disney Cruise Line has more than doubled its sailings from San Diego this season. 

San Diego’s growing popularity as a cruise destination is founded on the diversity it offers. The port offers easy access to the airport, train and trolley stations, and is close to a range of entertainment opportunities. Hotels, restaurants, attractions and amenities are all located within reach of the cruise terminals too. Also nearby are notable cultural and historical neighbourhoods, such as the Gaslamp Quarter and Little Italy, offering a wide choice of activities for guests. 

The Port of San Diego is on track to make cruising out of San Diego even more attractive to guests and cruise lines with planned new developments. It has doubled shore power capabilities at the cruise terminals, which will help improve the air quality for the area’s residents, visitors and downtown waterfront workers. In 2023, the port began a $5 million project to improve the interior of its B Street Cruise Ship Terminal, which will greatly enhance the guest experience by providing a more welcoming atmosphere and making the embarkation process more efficient. There will be expanded queuing, security screening, check-in and waiting areas, as well as new bathroom facilities and upgraded aesthetic features. 

The port’s cruise business is an important contributor to the economy of the San Diego region and the Port has committed to providing its cruise partners and cruise customers excellent service and memorable experiences.

This article was first published in the Spring/Summer 2023 issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. Subscribe to Cruise & Ferry Review for FREE here to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox or your door. 

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