The Sapphire Princess, with Capt. Anthony Herriott, will visit Saturday and again May 10. The Star Princess, with Capt. Robert Oliver, will be in the port on Sunday. The ships are expected to arrive by about 7 a.m. and depart at 6 p.m. General public tours of the ships will not be available.
Because of swine flu travel restrictions recently imposed to areas of Mexico, the ships asked to include Santa Barbara as a port visit in exchange for their travel to the Mexico Riviera. Both vessels will not be visiting Mexico, nor are passengers coming from Mexico.
Each ship carries about 2,600 passengers and 1,000 crew members, providing a boon for the local economy just in time for this weekend’s Cinco de Mayo Festival.
The two-day community celebration, at De La Guerra Plaza, will showcase Latin music and entertainment, Mexican food and activities for children and adults. Other weekend activities include a two-day sailing regatta and the Sunday Arts and Crafts Show featuring local artisans.