Santa Barbara Cruise Ship Program Suspended Until March

Santa Barbara Cruise Ship Program Suspended Until March title=
Cruise ship off the coast of Santa Barbara (Photo: Patti Gutshall)
34 Comments
Reads 5125

Source: City of Santa Barbara

Due to local increased COVID infection rates, the Santa Barbara Waterfront Department will be continuing the suspension of all cruise ship visits to Santa Barbara, until March 1, 2022. This will provide time to see how the impacts from COVID unfold, as well as work with the industry and stakeholders to determine the right time to reinstate this program safely.

 Waterfront Director, Mike Wiltshire said in a statement, “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.”

The next cruise ship visit currently on the schedule is March 10, 2022.

Login to add Comments

34 Comments

Show Comments
a-1630362099 Aug 30, 2021 03:21 PM
Santa Barbara Cruise Ship Program Suspended Until March

Yes, a good decision and it seems like a well-run program, but this is laughable, "“Our cruise ship program brings millions of dollars to the local economy " --- word of mouth is that as for the "local" (Santa Barbara City) economy very few cruise visitors go beyond Cabrillo Boulevard or maybe lower State Street --- and almost none to shops beyond the underpass, when there were shops beyond the underpass. The presentations by the tourist people never jibed with what was seen and received.

Voice of Reason Aug 30, 2021 03:28 PM
Santa Barbara Cruise Ship Program Suspended Until March

I was not aware that between the ocean and Cabrillo Blvd. is not considered part of the local economy, is not home to many locally owned businesses, does not employ local workers, and does not pay local taxes. I've lived here 30 years and am still learning about this town!

ZeroHawk Aug 30, 2021 03:42 PM
Santa Barbara Cruise Ship Program Suspended Until March

VOR, so you have factual data that says these cruise ship passengers actually spend their money here? That's what all of this is really about, and I can tell you for certain, they do not. The numbers are grossly inflated.

Voice of Reason Aug 30, 2021 03:52 PM
Santa Barbara Cruise Ship Program Suspended Until March

Let me get this straight; you want me to provide "factual data" (but not factual data provided by the Waterfront Dept., Visit Santa Barbara, or the City of Santa Barbara because those numbers are "grossly inflated") that cruise ship passengers actually spend money while ashore, while at the same time you simply say "for certain" they do not spend any money?

Seabird Aug 30, 2021 07:53 PM
Santa Barbara Cruise Ship Program Suspended Until March

@Zerohawk, that's untrue. All you need to do is go down to Sea Landing on a morning after a ship has docked. You'll see hundreds of cruise-goers disembarking. They eat at the restaurants, shop in the stores, take day tours up to wine country with local tour companies, and absolutely do spend their money here.

dukemunson Aug 30, 2021 07:54 PM
Santa Barbara Cruise Ship Program Suspended Until March

Zero - they obviously spend money here. They wander about, do excursions and spend millions here. That’s a fact that’s obvious and self evident.

Considering they are all vaccinated, tested negative for Covid and don’t use any of our water, I kind of see them as a win-win-win!

Minibeast Aug 30, 2021 08:25 PM
Santa Barbara Cruise Ship Program Suspended Until March

The Santa Barbara Independent did an article re: the fallacy that these cruise ship passengers are such big spenders. Ship touros might stroll around and even "cruise" State St. (not too far up), but they're not the extravagant moneybags they're made out to be. Our ocean and air quality would both be much better off without those gross polluter ships stopping here.

a-1630426283 Aug 31, 2021 09:11 AM
Santa Barbara Cruise Ship Program Suspended Until March

Yes, they did get shuttled up State Street and along Cabrillo, when there was a shuttle, but did you see them shopping? They were not here on many weekends but artists at the Sunday show said they made very few, if any, sales. …The theory of supporting the visits is to introduce more people to Santa Barbara so that they will return under their own steam.

OGSB Aug 30, 2021 06:18 PM
Santa Barbara Cruise Ship Program Suspended Until March

I'm not at all down with cruise ships visiting here. The passengers however are our safest (covid wise) visitors by far! They must be vaccinated AND pass a covid test before boarding. Way better than the randos from LA or here that don't do either!!!!

a-1630430395 Aug 31, 2021 10:19 AM
Santa Barbara Cruise Ship Program Suspended Until March

"Safest" does not equal "safe"! Vaccines are only somewhat effective, and we know vaccinated individuals (esp Pfizer and J&J) spread COVID easily. Testing at boarding does NOT necessarily mean one doesn't have COVID. It's akin to taking a pregnancy test the day after unprotected sex and declaring you aren't pregnant. Well, sure, not from last week's escapade, but it tells you nothing of recent events.

Voice of Reason Aug 31, 2021 10:48 AM
Santa Barbara Cruise Ship Program Suspended Until March

What you seem to be looking for @10:19 is zero risk, which didn't exist before covid, and certainly won't exist after covid (or at least once we've accepted it's endemic). You should stay home and stay as safe as you possibly can for as long as you can. We'll keep things running for you.

a-1630433757 Aug 31, 2021 11:15 AM
Santa Barbara Cruise Ship Program Suspended Until March

Nice try, VOR, but your assumption is wrong. We need not make reckless decisions because it is "safer," nor do we need "zero" risk in order to open up. A lack of a cruise ships for a few months is not going to make-or-break Santa Barbara's economy. I understand the anxiousness to reopen everything and fatigue for how long this is going on, but we are not there yet.

Voice of Reason Aug 31, 2021 11:35 AM
Santa Barbara Cruise Ship Program Suspended Until March

@11:15, you must be taking my advice and staying home, staying as safe as you can, for as long as you can, because everything has been open for 2.5 months now. You're correct that the lack of cruise ships for a few months won't break our economy, their presence also won't impact us on the covid front either. In terms of risk profile the passengers are are a significantly lower risk than the Ventura/LA crowd that drive up for our nightlife (which is wide open FYI).

a-1630438383 Aug 31, 2021 12:33 PM
Santa Barbara Cruise Ship Program Suspended Until March

VOR, that is a logical fallacy to say that we should allow option A to happen because option B is more dangerous and is already happening. Effects are additive, ICU beds don't care who or what group caused an outbreak. Travelers from down south have nothing to do with cruise ship visitors. Not sure why you insist on continuing to make incorrect and pointless assumptions about how I live my life, they are irrelevant and not helping whatever argument you are trying to make.

Voice of Reason Aug 31, 2021 12:45 PM
Santa Barbara Cruise Ship Program Suspended Until March

That might be true if I were making an argument @ 11:15, but I was just pointing out the cruise ship passengers are a signfincitaly lower risk profile than our current visitors, whom we aren't restricting in any way shape or form.

sacjon Aug 31, 2021 01:31 PM
Santa Barbara Cruise Ship Program Suspended Until March

VOICE - nice try backpeddaling, but you did "argue" a point:

" their (cruise ship passengers) presence also won't impact us on the covid front either." (Conclusion)

" In terms of risk profile the passengers are are a significantly lower risk than the Ventura/LA crowd that drive up for our nightlife (which is wide open FYI)." (Premise)

There you go.

Byzantium Aug 30, 2021 06:27 PM
Santa Barbara Cruise Ship Program Suspended Until March

Make sure the city budget reduction reflects this loss, Harbor Dept mainly takes the hit on this one. Let the small businesses also suffer who benefit from these very short-time visitors. That's cool, for the few days a year cruise passengers enjoy this town and then leave. I suspect very few who live here even directly know when the cruise ships are in town, let alone ever get within social distance of their passengers who are 100% vaccinated, before they can even embark on the ship. A continued "abundance of caution" overkill.

Byzantium Aug 31, 2021 11:09 AM
Santa Barbara Cruise Ship Program Suspended Until March

Cruise ship passengers are not "cooped up". They share the risk of running into locals who have stayed too long inside their own homes, and may be spreading vaccinated infections to the cruise passengers now too. This splitting hairs. Ships today are spacious, many outdoor places, most cabins with balconies open to the ocean air, large public rooms and multiple dining venues to avoid crowding. Too bad people who complain about cruise ships have never been on one. No reason to lie about them. Agree, the few stops cruise ships make to this town during their limited Alaska repositioning seasons are win-wins - little impact and lots of upside revenue potential for our tourism infrastructure, as well as substantial support for the Harbor Commission balance sheets as they charge tendering services per passenger. They come and leave in one day - don't require hiring low wage service personnel or increased water use, like fixed hotel visitors demand. Hope we welcome them back and that others get over their fear of cruise ships by actually taking a cruise - 7 days to Mexican Riviera from San Diego is surprisingly a low-cost, all inclusive way to have a very nice getaway. Look it up. Can be less than $100 a day for room, board, transportation and entertainment.

Babycakes Aug 31, 2021 10:06 AM
Santa Barbara Cruise Ship Program Suspended Until March

There is no way that the cruise ships will be canceled forever because they bring an enormous amount of benefit to the city and to our local businesses. It does not make sense why anyone would want to ban the ships simply because they don't like them. They basically represent free money with virtually no negative impact. If you don't like the boats, that's okay, but banning them "forever" is not going to happen any time soon. Most everyone in SB benefits from the cruise ships, and my guess is that there will be an increase in the number of ships that visit here in the future.....Ka-Ching!!!!

Please Login or Register to comment on this.