Ship sail

Cruise ship docks Tuesday, 2 more scheduled for September – Times-Standard

The arrival of the first cruise ship in the port of Humboldt Bay in two years and its disembarking passengers will likely have a positive economic impact, but the magnitude is difficult to determine.

The 709-foot-long Seven Seas Mariner, sailing under Regent Seven Seas Cruises, will arrive in port at around 7:45 a.m. on Tuesday and depart at 7 p.m. The ship is carrying hundreds of passengers aboard a 26-day voyage that started in Miami and is expected to end in San Francisco.

Eureka Economic Development Manager Swan Asbury told The Times-Standard via email that the immediate impact of the tourists’ brief stay off the ship is difficult to pinpoint.

“Although it is difficult to calculate the actual expenditure of each visitor who arrives via a specific cruise ship, we can estimate that more than half of the ship’s passengers are likely to disembark for the day to shop and dine in the old town or a trip to the county, and of course there is also economic value in using the port. Many of these visitors are seeing our region for the first time and we hope they will plan to return and stay for a longer visit at a later date, which will help the tourism economy as a whole to gain momentum at over time,” Asbury said.

Humboldt County Office of Visitors and Tourism Executive Director Julie Benbow also pointed to the difficulty of predicting these numbers, especially since the ship has not informed public authorities of the number of passengers who will be disembarking. His organization monitors specific companies based on consumer habits.

“Visitor spending behavior predicts that they will spend in three or four places including cafes, restaurants, retail stores and museums. We will then survey the Old Town and report on their experiences,” Benbow said.

The city will hold a plaque-exchanging ceremony to celebrate the ship’s roll call and welcome passengers with oysters and local drinks before the Mariner’s departure, a city-state statement said.

Cruise ship visitation market valuations are listed in Eureka’s Economic Development Strategic Plan Update. The city has also partnered with the harbor commission and the county to participate in the Cruise the West cruise promotion association.

“Coming out of COVID, there has been a lot of interest in Eureka as a cruise destination. We are responding to this interest and working collaboratively to make the most of the opportunity and industry interest,” Asbury emphasized.

Benbow said cruises have not been a major part of the county’s tourism plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic over the past three years, as well as challenges with docking details and shore transportation. ,

“These challenges are being resolved and this initial cruise ship and passenger feedback will inform future direction,” Benbow said.

The Port of Eureka is expected to receive two more cruise ships, the MS Oceania and the Scenic Eclipse, in September.

Mario Cortez can be reached at 707-441-0526.