Ships from the major cruise lines are booking more stops in Astoria for 2013 but Astoria remains as a niche market for the big boats as they transition to and from regular routes in Alaska.  The tentative bookings for next season tally twenty-two.  Astoria benefits from the fact that Alaska cruises are the most popular in the world, tend to be more expensive than Caribbean cruises attracting well-heeled passengers and, the cruise season is short so the turnaround time as ships take in Astoria on their way back to warmer waters comes within a manageable time frame

The biggest previous years for cruise ship visits saw eighteen to nineteen vessels make Astoria a day trip on the way to someplace else. 2010 there were nine ship visits and 2012 there were ten booked to dock for the day at the Port of Astoria.

In a news release from the Port Thursday, The Port’s new CEO, Hank Bynaker stated, “This is a wonderful event to report on and a great signal to me of the excellent job performance of staff members involved in working with the cruise ship industry.”  Port of Astoria Marketing Director, Bruce Conner, added “Our community and cruise volunteers totaling over 150 people have embraced the cruise ship guests. Passengers and crew members have stated many times over, how welcome and warmly greeted they feel when they get off their ships in Astoria.”

The community has embraced the cruise ship business that arrives here twice a year.  The Sunday Market becomes the "Never on a Sunday Market" with tent booths pitched on the dock.  The Cruise Host volunteers take care of myriad details to make the passengers experience here something to remember and Conner helps organize the excursions passengers can opt for while in Port. A shuttle system takes  passengers to and from the ship.  Passengers usually report feeling welcome and Astoria ranks high as a crew favorite as well because of the tax free shopping and proximity of the Costco and Fred Meyer in Warrenton which are popular with crew members who often return to the ship hauling flat screen televisions along with personal items they would have to pay more to buy in pricey Alaska.

Northwest Lending Group