Cruise ships will call on Cordova this summer

Cruise liner Le Soléal departs Orca Inlet. (Aug. 21, 2019) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times
Cruise liner Le Soléal departs Orca Inlet. (Aug. 21, 2019) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

A well-known Norwegian expedition company will be visiting Cordova twice this summer and the Cordova Chamber of Commerce is hoping to give them many options in land excursions and other interaction with local businesses during their first scheduled arrival in nearly a decade.

Hurtigruten Cruise Ships’ MS Roald Amundson has scheduled stops on May 30, during Memorial Day weekend and again on June 23, said Cathy Renfeldt, executive director of the Cordova Chamber. Renfeldt has been busy helping to coordinate land excursions for the visitors to enjoy while in port for eight hours for each of these visits, hoping that as many businesses as possible will be open from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. under the midnight sun, as visitors explore this historic fishing community.

The Roald Amundson has capacity to carry up to 500 people, but is expecting only 350 passengers on each of these visits.

While smaller boats visiting more often would be preferred by the chamber, Renfeldt said she sees it as a benefit that the cruise company, Hurtigruten, shares some of the same ethos of the community.

Hurtigruten is “not a bad match” for Cordova’s newly created Destination Strategy, a 15-year roadmap to increase the positive impacts of tourism for the community while maintaining its core community values and advancing healthy economic diversification in a way that supports both local residents and visitors, she said

Hurtigruten Expeditions is committed to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals of finding a balance allowing the planet people and profit to co-exist harmoniously, she said.  This includes a war on plastics announced in 2018, becoming the first expedition company to ban single-use plastic, and teaching their guides and guests to speak informatively on the environment and habitats explored.

In addition the Hurtigruten Foundation supports a wide variety of projects, including fighting marine pollution and supporting beach cleanups, she said.