Cruise ships are no longer welcomed by Port Monterey (California USA)

   February 15, 2023 ,   Cruise Industry

The city council in Monterey (California USA) voted last week to terminate passenger landing services for incoming cruise ships.

The council sent a message that cruise vessels were no longer welcome there.  

Monterey's council voted 3-2 to terminate city services to process disembarking cruise passengers. Ships continue to be allowed to drop anchor in the bay and take travelers to the shore via tender. However, cruise companies will have to hire staff at the port to process guests at the public dock. 

City officials said they hoped the decision would lead cruise lines to stop calling at Monterey Bay, which was home to one of the States' largest national marine sanctuaries. 

Kelly Craighead (CLIA's President and CEO) argued in a letter to the council that cruise shipping operations were "tightly regulated with rigorous enforcement by authorities, including the US Coast Guard."

She said their cruise line members set a high bar for themselves, and they attested to following policies for practices related to "shipboard safety, security, environmental stewardship, and more, which often exceed requirements of international law."

According to Craighead, CLIA research showed passengers spent an average of US$125 per shore visit in the United States.   

The port city has no power to ban liners from docking in the bay. Monterey has between 7 and 12 calls/ship visits annually. No liners have called at the Port since the COVID crisis (2020).

3 calls are scheduled in March, beginning with Discovery Princess (March 14th). In 2023 the Port has a total of 21 scheduled cruise calls.

Monterey Bay is a seasonal port of call, largely on voyages to Alaska/Mexico.  

Port of Monterey CA (California)

It is not the first time Monterey CA has expressed concern about cruise ships. In 2022, the port city welcomed back cruise ships after a 5-year hiatus, requiring that vessels agree to not discharge anything into their waters, including waste that could legally be discharged.