SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The final cruise ship of the year visited Santa Barbara Friday and sailed off at 6 p.m. to end the 2022 schedule.
There were about 30 stops, mainly in the Spring and Fall months.
The return of cruise ships comes after they were stopped during the COVID crisis.
Some residents have complained about pollution issues, and the lack of signifcant benefits to the local economy.
Each ship brings about 1500 to 2000 people to the area, for visits downtown and tours which includes the Santa Ynez Valley.
The Waterfront Department gets a fee for everyone on board the cruise ship whether they get off or not.
Some of the businesses that have seen an increase in business include stores with local souveniers and novelties. There's also a spike in business at wine tasting rooms and breweries.
Stores with large items do not generally report an increase in business.
Some of the visitors who have been in Santa Barbara before were disappointed this year that there was no shuttle bus into downtown as they have been on before.
Overall the Santa Barbara City Council supports cruise ships based on economic presentations about both the impact of the visitors per stop and also those who say they will be returning.
Some members of the council and city staff did an inspection on board a ship earlier this year to learn about protocols on waster management and efforts to reduce pollution from engine exhaust.
The environmental group Channelkeeper is regularly monitoring the ships and conducts regular water testing near the vessels.
A special subcommittee from the Harbor Commission will have a hearing to talk about this year's cruise ships visits and public comment will be taken on December 1st at the waterfront classroom at 125 Harbor Way.