While the CDC ban on cruising from American ports continues in place, cruise lines continue to prepare for a restart. Yesterday crew members from Holland America Line’s Koningsdam received their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination in the Port of San Diego.
The shots were arranged in partnership with Sharp HealthCare, a not-for-profit regional health care group, with 118 crew coming ashore to be vaccinated.
During a brief ceremony, Capt. Henk Draper, master of Koningsdam, remarked how the crew vaccinations were a welcome step as the ship waits to resume cruising. Also on hand were Rafael Castellanos, commissioner of the Port of San Diego, and Brett McClain, executive vice president and COO of Sharp HealthCare.
“Today is an incredible day, not only for our team members on Koningsdam, but for our entire organization as we continue to take the necessary steps to get back to cruising,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line, a Carnival Corporation brand. “We extend our deepest gratitude to Sharp HealthCare for vaccinating our crew, and to everyone at Port of San Diego for offering the terminal and allowing us to make this process safe and smooth.”
Today, May 20, Sharp HealthCare is set to vaccinate 179 crew aboard Noordam, which will be at a nearby anchorage just off Coronado for the day. Likewise, 231 crew from Nieuw Amsterdam will receive Pfizer vaccines from healthcare provider Ambulnz on Friday, May 21, while the ship is alongside at San Pedro, Calif.
Starting in October 2021 through April 2022, Koningsdam and Zuiderdam will homeport out of San Diego for a season of cruises to Hawaii, Mexico, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal and South Pacific. In total, fours ships will make 35 calls: Koningsdam in its inaugural season in San Diego (21 calls), Zuiderdam (12 calls), Eurodam (one call) and Nieuw Amsterdam (one call).
The estimated economic impact of each ship visit is $300,000 for the San Diego region.