Last two ships of year cancel Sitka stops
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The Holland America ship Westerdam sits at anchor near Sitka in the early morning hours of July 4. (KCAW file photo)
Sitka’s cruise season is over two days before it was expected to end.
The Holland America ships Westerdam and Oosterdam both canceled their port calls this week. According to the Sitka Convention and Visitors Bureau, the move was made to avoid bad weather forecast for the outside waters.
The two vessels hold nearly 2,000 passengers each, and were the last scheduled ships of the 2012 visitor season in Sitka. The Westerdam was scheduled to call on Wednesday and the Oosterdam was due on Thursday.
The cancellation doesn’t do any favors for Sitka’s visitor industry. Numbers were already down 17 percent this year, to just over 106,000 people. In 2011, approximately 129,000 visitors came to Sitka aboard cruise ships.
The National Weather Service has posted gale warnings near Cape Edgecumbe for Wednesday and Thursday, and called for seas between 14 and 20 feet.
Sitka JazzFest! director Mike Kernin says this year's festival will feature Grammy-winning violinist Mads Toling,
among its headliners. Also trumpeter Kenny Washington, vocalist Kenny Washington, and the Dewayne Pate trio. For a complete rundown of artists and performances, visit Sitka JazzFest!
Downloadable audio. more
The activities budget for Sitka High School may have reached a tipping point -- and it could force the end of some programs. The Sitka School Board heard a report from activities director LieuDell Goldsberry earlier this month. Between the recent addition of several new activities and a reduction in district spending, most programs have seen a cut of at least 40-percent over two years. more