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Could cruise ships be returning to the South Coast in March? It depends on latest COVID-19 surge

Russ Widger
Before the pandemic, Santa Barbara had been averaging 20 to 30 cruise ship visits a year.

Some visits to Santa Barbara are on the schedule for March, but that could change if surge continues.

It’s one the many impacts of the pandemic on the Central and South Coasts. Dozens of visits by cruise ships to Santa Barbara County have been cancelled. But, there’s now a chance they might return in March.

Last August, COVID concerns led to the City of Santa Barbara pulling the plug on 14 scheduled cruise ship visits from September through this month.

Because of all the planning involved, the visits are often set up years in advance. There are some now on the schedule for March.

Santa Barbara Waterfront Director Mike Wiltshire said the decision will be based on what health experts are saying.

Princess and Holland America are among the cruise lines currently offering trips with stops in Santa Barbara during March.