A cruise ship will set sail from the Port of Los Angeles Saturday afternoon, Sept. 25, for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic nearly torpedoed the seafaring tourism industry.

The 951-foot Grand Princess will department from the Port of Los Angeles World Cruise Center Berth 93 about a month after the 1,060-foot Carnival Panorama marked the return of cruises out of the Port of Long Beach. The return of cruises out of the twin ports will likely prove an economic boon for their respective cities and the region.

Each time a cruise ship comes into Los Angeles, for example, it brings in more than $1 million to local restaurants, hotels and businesses, Port of LA Executive Director Gene Seroka said earlier this year. And the cruise industry is expected to add more than $230 million to the local economy next year, he said.

Overall, the industry generates more than $150 billion per year in global economic activity and supports more than 1 million jobs worldwide, according to the Cruise Lines International Association.

The five-day Grand Princess cruise set to leave for Cabo San Lucas on Saturday is the first of five scheduled sailings with this itinerary and the first of 11 from the Port of Los Angeles set for 2021.

The Carnival Miracle and Carnival Radiance, meanwhile, will also set out from Long Beach soon, Carnival Cruise Line spokesman Vance Gulliksen confirmed in a phone call.

But these trips — like Carnival Panorama’s seven-day Mexican Riviera cruise last month — will be different from those in previous years because of coronavirus safety precautions. Those precautions include proof of vaccination and negative test results before boarding, masking and social distancing.

“I’m pleased that Princess has such stringent vaccination and testing requirements as well as enhanced health screenings,” said Long Beach resident Judy Bliss, who has booked a cruise with friends aboard Grand Princess next month. “Learning there will be on-board mask and physical distancing requirements was a pleasant surprise.”

Princess is LA’s home cruise line and has sailed out of the Port of Los Angeles since 1965. For the 10 years prior to the pandemic, Princess had more than 700 ship calls in Los Angeles, making it the most frequent LA cruise line visitor.

The Grand Princess has 1,301 passenger cabins, 17 decks, four swimming pools and eight hot tubs.

Last week, 180 Princess employees with non-shipboard assignments helped Grand Princess hospitality staff prepare by acting as guests on board.

“During the pause, there were moments of light and we saw unexpected heroes within our crew. This deepened my gratitude for our entire staff,”  Princess Cruises President Jan Swartz said in a telephone interview. “We learned and developed practices and managed international complexities that will have an enduring value to guests.”

The ship is scheduled to set sail at 4 p.m. Saturday.

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