Monday marked a symbolic return and a promising day in San Francisco after a cruise ship docked at the city's Pier 27 port for the first time in 19 months.
The Majestic Princess became the first cruise ship to return to the city since March 2020 when the Grand Princes cruise ship brought the reality of the coronavirus pandemic to the Bay Area.
Many people witnessed the return of the cruise ship as a major step forward and away from the pandemic. Residents are excited for the local economy to welcome cruise ships and the business they bring.
It was a very different scene from what the Grand Princess brought last year; dozens of COVID-19 infected passengers and a sobering hint of the global pandemic unfolding.
This time around there are no outbreaks and instead, there's an outpouring of excitement from both passengers and local businesses.
"Fleet Week happened, the Giants are winning, the cruise ships are coming back," said Bob Partrite, CEO of Simco Restaurants. "There's a light at the end of the tunnel."
Partrite runs Wipeout Bar and Grill at Pier 30, one of many businesses looking to benefit from cruises coming back.
Before the pandemic, Pier 39 saw around 15 million visitors per year. That changed to only a fraction of that total and businesses are ready to bounce back.
Taylor Safford, president of Pier 39, said he recognized local economy won't all come back overnight especially as the service sector faces staffing struggle.
"Businesses are pooling and sharing resources on the pier, which is a first for the prop and also a very smart decision on their part."
Passengers on the Majestic Princess said they feel safe onboard with COVID-19 protocols in place. The cruise ship will be docked for two days and then head to Mexico.