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Published in: Cruise News

The Port of Los Angeles is expecting a nice bump in traffic in 2019, with the Norwegian Bliss back for a second straight year, joined by the Norwegian Joy as well as the Royal Princess.

“Ships are going into Alaska and there is no doubt that is what is driving this,” said Chris Chase, marketing manager. “The Mexican market is still getting back on its feet, but is doing well.”

With new ships in Alaska, Los Angeles is able to capitalize on the shoulder seasons, with ships sailing from the port to the Mexican Riviera, or offering longer cruises to Hawaii.

"It’s very positive and we are excited,” Chase said. “The last decade has not been kind. It’s great to have these guys looking back in our direction again, and taking advantage of what we have to offer; the improvement in security in Mexico has helped quite a bit.”

The port recently finished a big upgrade on its shorepower system for larger ships. Any significant terminal investments would have to come with a long-term commitment from a cruise line.

“We don’t have the business case to invest for just a couple of ship calls,” Chase said. “We are looking at opportunities where we can expand and grow more.”

Nevertheless, the port has the infrastructure and navigation merits to handle any cruise ship size, Chase said.

LNG is also around the corner, as the port’s regular Hawaii cargo service will implement the fuel starting in 2020, and will most likely bunker by truck.

More ships in Alaska will drive seasonal business for Los Angeles, but Chase has his eye on more.

“We are open in the summer,” he said. “We would love to see more vessels calling in the summer. For 20 years we had short cruises, three and four days. Carnival is doing that now out of Long Beach and there is an opportunity for that market.

“Princess and Norwegian have brought a lot of attention back to the market, which is a positive thing.”

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