SANTA BARBARA - There will be 15 cruise ship stops in Santa Barbara in the first seven months of the year.
The Crystal Symphony led off the lineup on Monday. It arrived at 8 a.m. off of Stearns Wharf and departed at 5 p.m.
January will have four cruise ship visits overall. The next stops will be in March with two, April will have five, May will have one, June has two and July has one.
None of the cruise ship arrive before 7 a.m. Most leave at sundown although one will stay until 10 p.m. in March.
The cruise ship stops have raised some concerns about impacts to the ocean environment, and that is checked regularly by watchdog groups locally along with Harbor officials. No issues have resulted in changes to cruise ship operations.
The city says the cruise ship business is occasional and offers a boost to the local economy often at times when it needs a spike, such as the winter and spring months. Passengers often take local tours, see the historic landmarks, eat, and shop while they are on shore.
Many restaurants and businesses add extra employees when the cruise ships are in town. They say it helps them with their monthly budgets which is often tight for a service industry worker.