January 11, 2022. 79°F/26°C.
I spent much of today going through photos and finishing yesterday’s blog post. It’s still very, very quiet on board. Passengers who boarded yesterday have only just been given clearance to leave their cabins (negative tests confirmed), and many of the other passengers are off on guided tours of L.A.
Related to that, we learned from our tour guide yesterday that we’re not actually in Los Angeles, despite being docked in Berth 93 at the confusingly named Port of Los Angeles World Cruise Center. We’re not even in Los Angeles COUNTY, which is comprised of 88 individual cities. We’re in San Pedro, in San Pedro County. (CORRECTION Jan 12: our tour guide led me astray- San Pedro is indeed within L.A. Thanks David P. !)
This would, in non-Covid times, be one of the busiest ports in North America. It is the west coast’s largest cruise port. Today there is only one other cruise ship here, the Seabourn Ovation (bottom photo). When it sails tonight, it will be replaced by the Royal Princess.
This is not only a cruise ship port, though. The commercial Port of Los Angeles processes the most cargo of any port in the Western Hemisphere. Covid has certainly impacted supply chains as well as cruising, but in 2019 (our most recent “normal” year), the statistics for this port were:
Container volume: 9.3 million twenty-foot equivalent units
Cargo tonnage: 178 million metric revenue tons
Passenger traffic: 650,010 passengers
Annual revenue: $506 million
The occasional large yacht also moors at the foot of the pier. They’re easier to get a photo of than the dolphins that swim through the harbour area, enjoying the warm water and sunshine. Note the snow-capped mountains below the line of the bridge in the distance in the yacht photo. L.A. boasts about the fact that those who live here can ski and go to the beach all in the same day.
Viking generously added an included tour to our itinerary tomorrow, since we have a one day extension in L.A., but it’s hard to choose between staying safely cocooned in all the comforts of the ship vs. taking the 4 hour panoramic bus tour through Santa Monica, Malibu, and Beverly Hills. After all, on board Yoyo keeps me supplied with Bloody Marys and smiles, Ephraim makes sure I’m eating (and occasionally helps me track Ted down when I can’t find him), Shawn’s sense of humour guarantees we don’t get complacent, and Albert ensures we don’t have to lift a finger in our stateroom (you’ve never seen such eternally perfect crisp white sheets in your life!).
The entertainment in the Star Theater tonight was Guitarist Matt Wolfe and vocalist/dancer Lainie Munro, both from New York City and flown in for a couple of performances. For Ted and for me Guitar = Happy, so we were really looking forward to the show, and it didn’t disappoint. They performed jazz, blues, and rock, with Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” as their finale.