Santa Barbara California announced its continued suspension of cruise ship calls on Monday, August 30.
According to Waterfront Director Mike Wiltshire, it had been a tough decision as cruisers played "a big role in the community and to the city and the waterfront and so making a call to put it on pause until the spring doesn't come lightly."
The decision was taken after the crew COVID outbreak on Carnival Vista was linked to a passenger's death.
According to Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murrillo, they were watching the increase of Coronavirus/COVID cases and wanted to protect the community's health. She believed the industry would bounce back.
The suspension of all cruise ships is expected to last until March 1, 2022.
Many guests book trips on the Santa Barbara Trolley Co., Land and Sea Tours (aka Land Shark) and Totally Cali Tours. Travelers visit the Old Mission Santa Barbara, Los Olivos, and other popular spots. Passengers popular as "free rangers" walk from the drop-off spot at the Sea Landing and then shop along State Street and Stearns Wharf.
The cruise ships visit during what the industry calls "shoulder season" between September and May and usually book stops off Santa Barbara's coast over a year in advance.
However, that changed due to COVID.