As a resident of Clatsop County, you might feel a bit annoyed when curious tourists meander through the streets taking photos of things we take for granted every day. You might even have to wait in line for more than five minutes for a cup of coffee! Oh, the pain of it! Love it or hate it, it’s cruise ship season again in Astoria, and local merchants are looking forward to the shot in the arm. Revenue from both passengers and cruise staff brings in significant revenue to our beloved city. Here’s the scoop on the 2019 cruise ship season in Astoria.
The season starts off spectacularly with the Celebrity Eclipse docking on Sunday, April 14th. Operated by Celebrity Cruises, the ship can accommodate up to 2,852 passengers when filled to capacity. To put it into perspective, since Astoria has a population of around 10,000 people, that means an influx of about 28 percent more people on a single day. That’s a lot of bodies, and a lot of welcome revenue to the city.
The next cruise ship arrives just two weeks later, on Monday, April 29th. The Island Princess is a recently renovated darling of Princess Cruises. With a length of 964 feet and a height of 204 feet, the majestic ship is bound to impress even the most prominent critics. Princess Cruises will grace our shores more than any other cruise line this season, with seven of the 18 total port stops. We are grateful to Princess Cruises for putting Astoria on their itinerary and bringing us wide-eyed visitors from around the world.
The Maasdam, by Holland America, comes into port three separate times this year; May 26th, again on June 16th, and one final time for the 2019 season on July 7th. It may not be nearly as large as some of the other cruise ships, with a capacity of only 1,258 guests and 719 feet long, but it’s still spectacular. Holland America is renowned for making every guest feel special by creating a more intimate family-like experience on the seas.
The busiest months for the 2019 cruise ship season in Astoria will be the months of September and October, which generally coincide with warm Autumn days, cool evenings, and gorgeous Fall colors. The Island Princess will grace us with her presence on September 17th, followed by her sister ship the Star Princess on September 23rd. A few days later, on the 26th of September, the Seven Seas Mariner arrives.
The Seven Seas Mariner, operated by Regent Seven Seas Cruises, became famous in 2009 when it rescued an endangered around-the-world sailor off the shores of New Zealand. It also has one of the best staff to guest ratios in the industry, an astounding 1 to 1.6. She is 709 feet long and holds up to 700 passengers. Guests will undoubtedly be used to lots of attention and pampering, so Astoria should be ready to show the best of hospitality to its passengers.
In fact, September 26th and 27th are going to be extremely challenging days for the city of Astoria because three separate ships dock on the 26th, and one more pulls up to the port on the 27th! That could mean that the city’s population may double during those two days. It might be a good time for local residents to hunker down and let eager tourists enjoy our town and shop until they drop. Astoria will have only a couple of days to catch its collective breath, and then the Star Princess returns again on the 30th, and another one docks on the 1st of October. Whew!
Four cruise ships come into port in October, but they are all nicely spaced with dock dates of October 1st, 9th, 15th, and the 22nd. October 22. The 22nd of October will mark the official end of a hectic cruise ship season for Astoria.
It’s unfortunate that with 11 cruise ships arriving in September and October, not a single one will be in port for the Astoria Sunday Market. Still, there’s bound to be a lot of dollars spent in Clatsop County, and we welcome the tourists and hope they enjoy their time in the area.