Tuesday, March 20 , 2018, 1:26 am | Fair 49º


Cruise Ship Still Plans Portside Visit to Santa Barbara

The crew and passengers are scheduled to arrive at 7 a.m. Sunday

Capt. Anthony Herriott and passengers of the Princess Cruise Lines’ Sapphire Princess will return to Santa Barbara on Sunday. The ship is expected to arrive at 7 a.m. and depart at 6 p.m.

General public tours of the ship will not be available.

Typically, Santa Barbara Harbor accommodates one or two cruise ship visits per year. Because of flu-related travel restrictions to Mexico, however, two Princess cruise ships substituted Santa Barbara as a port visit May 2-3. Unlike those port calls, however, planning for Sunday’s visit began several months ago.

Waterfront officials have discussed with Princess’ management the implication of a cruise ship visit during the ongoing Jesusita Fire. Princess decided to go forward with the visit, noting that if fire conditions persist, creating air quality problems or other potential effects to the ship’s passengers, the captain may opt to cancel shore-side excursions.

Although Highway 154 may be closed Sunday, scheduled bus tours to the wineries will take Highway 101 as an alternative route if necessary. Trolley tours, pedicabs, taxies and MTD shuttles will move visitors around town.

The 110,000-ton, 950-foot-long Sapphire Princess carries up to 2,600 passengers and 1,000 crew members.

The Sapphire Princess itinerary includes scheduled California stops in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and San Francisco; Astoria, Ore.; Seattle; and Canadian stops in Victoria and Vancouver, B.C.

For more information about the ship visit, call the Santa Barbara Harbormaster’s Office at 805.564.5530.

— Brian Slagle represents Santa Barbara Harbor.

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