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Holland America cruise celebrates first voyage from San Diego since pandemic began

With about 1,600 guests onboard the Koningsdam, the ship was at 60-70% capacity, which allows for more social distancing.

SAN DIEGO — A ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Port of San Diego Sunday celebrated the first time a Holland America cruise ship set sail from San Diego since the pandemic began. Passengers were excited for their adventure at sea.

"We've never been out to the California coast and it's a nice way to see it all," said cruise-goer Melissa Miller.

"We are very excited,” said Albert Albertsen.  “We've been waiting 19 months."

With about 1,600 guests onboard the Koningsdam, the ship was at 60-70% capacity, which allows for more social distancing.  Other COVID safety measures involve enhancements to the air filtration system, which include UV light treatment and a higher percentage of fresh air intake.

"There are layers of safety on board the ship,” said Gustavo Antorcha, President of the Holland America Line.  “It really starts before guests even get on the ship.  Vaccination requirement, testing two days prior to the cruise."

"We've had our shots,” said Albert. “We were tested 2 days ago and everything came up negative."

"Fully vaccinated, negative test,” said Melissa.  “It is what it is."

On the seven-day trip, stops include Catalina Island, San Francisco, and Ensenada down south in Mexico.

"I just love it,” said Beverly Miller.  “I just love to see different things and to just cruise in the water.  It's fun."

For the first time in a long time, these cruise-goers will be soaking in all the fun and enjoy their time at sea.

“We're just looking forward to relaxing, going out at the ports, and being alive again," said Albert.

"I'm just looking to relax,” said John Miller.  “Always have a great time.  Good food and gambling and drinking.”

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