Published on : Saturday, September 24, 2016
Three Holland America cruise ships, namely Maasdam, Amsterdam and Westerdam have been forced to cancel their port calls due to the stormy weather. Sherry Aitken, director of tourism for VisitSika said that the cruise ships would not be able to take the path of the ferries, through the interisland areas. So, the ships are already exposed to high seas and going through these routes would pose challenges of tremendously high seas.
So, the ships would have to go on the outside of Baranof Island.
The cruise ships were scheduled to set sail on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of the week. By the end of this month, two ships are also scheduled to make a call at Sitka. The Norwegian Jewel is expected to stop at Sitka on 24th September that is Saturday. The Westerdam is expected to stop at Sitka next Wednesday that is on the 28th September.
Aiken is hopeful that the weather would gradually permit the cruise ships to sail and bring more passengers to Sitka shops and tours.
It is only natural to make such cancellations during this time of the year when the weather is violent. The cruise ship Silver Shadow was unable to call on 10th September due to the storms. About three years ago, two large cruise ships also skipped Sitka at the end of the season.
Aiken said that it feels quite disappointing since Sitka is losing out on her potential guests during this season. She said that Sitka is a region that is worst hit by the turbulent weather conditions.
Alaska is attracting over 1 million cruise ship travellers this season.
However, only 1,20,000 of them are visiting Sitka. The tourism officials feel that this number would rise when Celebrity and Holland America launch additional cruise calls next year.