Jump to content
  • Create an account or sign in to get involved

    Create an account

    Ask questions, share experiences and connect.

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Jason

Port lures Princess Cruises for 1 year's trial run

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

The cruise line also will consider a five-year extension. The deal is seen as a major coup for the area.

By Donna Littlejohn

Daily Breeze

Capping nearly two years of negotiations, port officials approved a deal Wednesday that brings Princess Cruises to the Port of Los Angeles for one year with an option to extend that for five more years.

The agreement marks a victory for San Pedro in a cruise ship industry rivalry that has emerged between the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

In 2003, Carnival Cruises left San Pedro for the Port of Long Beach, which offered the cruise line a new $40 million terminal. The 2,600-passenger superliner Star Princess also has since defected to the Port of Long Beach.

And Princess Cruises, which has since been acquired by Carnival, is keeping its options open after its year in San Pedro, weighing the possibility of going to Long Beach after that as well.

Still, port officials say striking a five-year contract with Princess Cruises looks promising, especially in light of San Pedro's new waterfront redevelopment plans now under way.

"We're very excited about all our cruise possibilities here in relation to the Bridge to Breakwater waterfront development," said the port's marketing manager, Chris Chase.

Currently, Royal Caribbean is based in San Pedro with a contract in place, and Disney Cruises will offer cruises for a 12-week trial period next year, which port officials hope will yield a contract for the future.

Eight other lines call at least three times a year, Chase said.

The first Princess ship to arrive under the new agreement, the 2,600-passenger Diamond Princess, is expected to sail into San Pedro by the end of this month, Chase said.

The vessel will offer seven-day cruises to Mexico and will rotate with the Sapphire Princess, also one of the fleet's large 2,600-passenger vessels.

The 1,950-passenger Island Princess also is expected to be part of the fleet based at Berths 91-93 near the Los Angeles World Cruise Center.

Princess Cruise ships have called in San Pedro through the years since the early 1970s -- the smaller Pacific Princess and Royal Princess were used for the television show "The Love Boat," much of which was filmed in San Pedro.

But this will mark the first time the local port has a standing contract with the Princess Cruise line, Chase said.

"It was an arduous process," he said of the negotiations, adding that he is confident the contract will be extended to 2010.

Cruise ship passenger counts have dropped since the loss of Carnival, Chase said, with the industry now bringing about 800,000 people to the area each year. Between 400,000 and 500,000 passengers a year embarked on Carnival, he said.

Port officials hope to boost annual numbers back up to 1 million in a few years.

The port staff is looking into plugging the new ships into portside power to reduce pollution. Princess ships are equipped for alternative maritime power, but cruise ship berths in the Port of Los Angeles are not set up for AMP.

There also is ongoing study to build a new or additional cruise ship terminal farther south where there is more room.

"Ships are getting bigger," Chase said. "Navigationally, we have ships taller than the bridge, so maneuvering them (through the basin) is becoming really tough."

Commission President Nick Tonsich said the one-year trial provides too much opportunity for the line to go elsewhere.

"This wasn't our first choice on how to do it, but it was the best option," Chase said. Efforts to get the cruise line to commit to five years, Chase said, "set us back a few months in negotiations."

"I understand the concern, but on the other hand, one year is better than no years," said Commissioner Camilla Townsend Kocol.

"Looking at the big picture, with the waterfront plans coming into final fruition," she said, "the cruise lines are going to see tremendous advantages to coming to Los Angeles."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting Jason. We have a group going on the Diamond Princess in late January 2005 and all info says Long Beach, now it sounds like it may well be San Pedro. No big deal for us as the two ports are about 3 mile apart, but I will be following this as I do not want to be taking the bunch to the wrong port!!

With Carnival the new owner of Princess, I don't know if they will really let Princess desert their brand new terminal and covered parking garage in Long Beach. I guess we will see as time goes by. :huh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
    • 1 Posts
    • 7 Views
    • 6 Posts
    • 92 Views
    • 3 Posts
    • 54 Views
    • 3 Posts
    • 198 Views
    • 1 Posts
    • 91 Views

×