Monday marked a symbolic return and auspicious day in San Francisco after a cruise ship docked at Pier 27 of the city for the first time in 19 months.
The Majestic Princess was the first cruise ship to return to the city since March 2020 when the Grand Princes cruise ship brought the reality of the coronavirus pandemic to the Bay Area.
Many people saw the return of the cruise ship as a big step forward and away from the pandemic. Residents look forward to the local economy welcoming cruise ships and the business they bring with them.
It was a very different scene from the one the Grand Princess had brought back last year; Dozens of COVID-19 infected passengers and a sobering hint of the unfolding global pandemic.
This time around there are no outbreaks and instead a wave of excitement from both passengers and local businesses.
“Fleet week has happened, the Giants are winning, the cruise lines are coming back,” said Bob Partrite, CEO of Simco Restaurants. “There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Partrite operates Wipeout Bar and Grill at Pier 30, one of many companies looking to take advantage of returning cruises.
Before the pandemic, Pier 39 had around 15 million visitors annually. That has changed to just a fraction of that, and companies are ready to bounce back.
Taylor Safford, president of Pier 39, said he realized that the local economy will not return overnight, especially as the service sector is facing staffing problems.
“Companies pool and share resources on the pier, which is a first for props and a very smart decision on their part.”
Majestic Princess passengers said they felt safe on board with the applicable COVID-19 protocols. The cruise ship will be docked for two days and then sail to Mexico.