Cruise Ship Scheduled to Dock in Eureka This May

Ships and smoky skies

Woodley Island Marina.[Photo fromSandy Packer of Ferndale]

Press release from the Humboldt Bay Harbor District and the City of Eureka:

The Humboldt Bay Harbor District and the City of Eureka have formed a partnership with the Eureka Visitor Center, Eureka Main Street, and community volunteer Chet Albin to strategically recruit cruise ships to Humboldt Bay. The Tourism Committee of the Greater Eureka Area Chamber of Commerce has also recently joined the team. The Humboldt Bay Cruise Ship Partnership (HBCSP) consists of jointly‐staffed teams that focus on: Infrastructure and Logistics, Cruise Ship Coordination and Marketing, Passenger Fulfilment, and Long‐term Strategic Planning. The marketing campaign is well underway, with the tag line “Cruise Humboldt’s Redwood Coast.” Several weeks ago, team members of the partnership attended an international cruise ship trade show in Fort Lauderdale to promote and market Humboldt Bay and our redwood coast. Later this year, team members will attend another cruise ship industry meeting in Seattle to recruit additional ships.

Earlier this month, members of the team traveled to Astoria, Oregon to witness the arrival of a 2,600 passenger cruise ship and to learn from our neighbor to the north. While Astoria’s population consists of less than 10,000 people, the city has had remarkable success in attracting cruise ships over the past several years. While very few ships stopped in Astoria 10 years ago, over 20 ships now stop by the port each year. In 2018, twenty‐five ships are scheduled to visit Astoria, with a collective total of more than 46,000 passengers. While Humboldt Bay’s channel depth and dock capacity does not quite match Astoria’s, 16 of the 25 ships scheduled for Astoria could easily be accommodated in Humboldt Bay, which shows Humboldt Bay’s great potential. Those 16 ships (and dozens of others) cruise past Humboldt Bay each year without stopping here. The purpose of the Humboldt Bay Cruise Ship Partnership is to begin actively attracting cruise ships to our port.

The partnership is happy to announce that initial efforts are already paying off. One cruise ship is scheduled to arrive in Humboldt Bay in May of 2018, additional bookings are being considered in 2019, and there are efforts underway to increase these numbers. Because cruise ships rely on recommendations from one another, the best way to recruit additional ships in the coming years is to ensure that the passengers and crew of this year’s ship have a phenomenal experience. The ship is scheduled to arrive on Monday, May 21st at 6:00am and multiple efforts are underway to optimize their experience. A dock‐side party is being arranged to greet the guests as they de‐board, multiple tours are being organized directly with the ship’s tour coordinator, Eureka Main Street is working with businesses to ensure that stores are open and ready, a community clean‐up is being arranged, and a request has been issued to NOAA for a day of great weather.

While this first ship is relatively small (approximately 120 passengers) the ships being courted for 2019 are much larger and could each carry over 1,000 passengers. The fact that the first ship in the que is small provides an opportunity to test our community’s readiness for bigger ships. Volunteers will be a keystone of our success. While much can be done with
the collective resources of the Humboldt Bay Harbor District, the City of Eureka, the Eureka Visitor Center, and Eureka Main Street, a significant number of volunteers will be needed in 2019 if the partnership is successful in recruiting bigger ships.

The future looks bright for attracting cruise ships to Humboldt Bay. The economic boost to our region could be significant and many tourism‐related businesses could be created. Not only would attracting cruise ship to Humboldt Bay provide direct economic benefits to our region, many people on cruises tend to visit an area again if they enjoyed their experience, which means cruise ships can be an excellent marketing tool for Humboldt’s tourism economy. While there is much to be done, including significant on‐going efforts to ensure our Bay is dredged, the Humboldt Bay Cruise Ship Partnership is on the path to success.

For more information, contact the Eureka Visitor Center at



  • Yes, because everyone wants to see Eureka. Can we at least get the people shooting up on the boardwalk out of sight before it gets here?

  • Yes and let’s be sure to highlight all the “secondary uses” for the baby strollers and of course the old standby…the stolen grocery carts. It’s a nice idea though. Hope it works.

  • It nice to see folks try vs talk. Thank you!

  • Ya we need to hide the junkies ,but there are so many off them it will be hard .plus seeing the needle
    Kiosks around would make the tourists wonder what’s up .ewwww.

  • I can see it now all the junky/bums lined up at the dock begging for change, needles in hand, people scrambling back up the ramp trying to get back on the boat 😂 seriously though would be an awesome idea if we could clean the town up, people could walk through old town and check out the shops.

  • Astoria has a nice dock beautified for the cruise ships. Eureka has ugly old dangerous industrial docks. What first impression does that make? If Eureka is serious about tourism, they would clean one up or have a new one built. Whatever happened to the Headwaters forest fund to help businesses here?..

  • First, I’d like to thank my old classmate Chet Albin for being a consistent advocate for business and economic diversity in Humboldt county. With the future of the cannabis industry in viable uncertainty, the county needs a few other sources of income. The cruise ship industry keys right into the non-intrusive type of business that the county needs.

    Those of us that have lived here for many years know how beautiful Humboldt County is. To walk the floor of a Redwood forest in May is as close to a spiritual experience that a person will ever feel. The sword ferns are in new fresh growth, the redwood sorrel is in full bloom and, the greenery completely covers the ground. The fallen Dyerville Giant is so impressive in size that is is an unforgettable sight. It was so big that it crushed its own roots and fell over in a slight wind.

    There are so many things to see and do that it would fill a book. Those who worry about the people on Second Street need to get their eyes out of the gutter. Lift your eyes just a little bit and you will see the wonderful assets Humboldt has, not to mention the great people that live here. There are way more people to like than there is to look down on.

    Rather than try to hide the poor unfortunate people that have lost their way, show your children how they live and ask them to speculate how they got that way. You will be amazed at the lesson that your children will learn, and you will learn how smart a child can be.

    With the right tour guides the tourists will have a great experience and will recommend Humboldt to others. Humboldt has some very amazing bugs and critters and places.

    Fifth generation north coast lover.

  • Perhaps our local unemployed could seek careers diving for coins in Humboldt Bay to amuse the cruise ship passengers. Face it – until the unwashed addicts, their dirty syringes and fecal matter are cleansed from our piers and streets, ain’t gonna be any tourists arriving by cruise ships in our port.

  • Fact. Eureka is NOT a destination. It is a progressive shithole. Don’t stop no matter what the city fathers and mothers tell you

  • Well put Ernie. All the beauty that flourish’s around Humboldt is the reason why I will be moving to your area. My family loves Eureka as much as I do. They have lived there for nearly 20 years and there is so much to see in Nature and the people. You can always see the down trodden anywhere you go but there’s so much more to see and experience in your area. I plan on enjoying every minute of it with my family who loves Nature and beauty as much as I do. I salute you.

  • I know that Eureka needs economic improvement but also have a lot of reservations about the possible damage that ships can bring with them, from invasive plants or animals to waste discharge and oil spills.

    It would be one thing if we had some manufactured goods to reliably export that would create long term jobs for regular shipping to be viable. The occasional tourist ship bringing some money for Old Town businesses is not going to be a consistant enough revenue source to make it worth the risk of losing a relatively clean bay.

    • wouldn’t want to pollute the already polluted bay by the pulp mill and nuke plant,

    • Todays modern vessels conduct a ballast exchange at sea to prevent the introduction of marine organisms when they dock. They also hold their waste discharge in tanks, and empty them at sea after sailing. The oil spills? Since there are not any other ships around collision isn’t a problem. That leaves grounding, and much of the bay is soft mud. My understanding of threats of potential oil spills on Humboldt Bay is that the derelict fishing vessels scattered around the bay pose the most serious environmental threat.

      For those in the know, the hardest part of a large ship coming in to the bay is turning left (to port) at the end of the entrance channel, with a strong northwest summer breeze blowing. But with bow, and sometimes stern thrusters on modern cruise ships, its not so bad. Don’t forget the tugs that would be there to assist if needed.

      46,000 people visiting Astoria this year? Over 1800 in a single visit. It would certainly help Eureka, and with buses ferrying passengers from the dock to the redwood forests and back I believe many people would have a great time.

      I think maybe they would have to throw a free meal and camp site to the homeless on the other side of town for the day before and after; cruise ships don’t hang around long, so that shouldn’t be a big deal.

      Cleaning up Old Town is definitely a must though.

  • If you’ve ever been on a cruise anywhere in Europe, the first thing you see is junkies and street peddlers. People still flock to those destinations.

    • So true ryan!
      Im consistently surprised how many people seem to think we are the only ones with these issues.
      Far from it.

  • What's in your definition of Dumb

    This was done before and it failed. Cruise tourists stated there was nothing to see except shopping which was the only thing the old town merchants wanted. And that failed because merchants forgot to remove “made is China” tag. How dumb was that? And now we are expected to believe Dumb and Dumbner? Nothing plus nothing equals ZERO……………..

  • Pinch of Salt River

    Okay, we’ll see how it goes. Probably wont happen. Nothing to see here…move along.
    It’s good to have a positive attitude and try, but it is Eureka. Best to all!

  • PS I really miss the fishing boats.

  • well put ernie,I think cruise ships are a step in the right direction,Be it a baby step,but at least some one is trying to bring something new to the north coast that will infuse some new income into the mix,and kym,I so much enjoy reading your site,please keep on keeping on.and all you daily trolls out there,give it a rest,go do something constructive out in the sunlight lets here some positive waves.

  • City officials, BOS should take this seriously, first impressions are important, clean up downtown, or have visitors regret thier stay and never stop again.

  • Eureka the City of OOPS.........................

    Off loading from the North spit and then busing them to Eureka? Is Eureka the only place cruise people want to see? There are other communities that have sites a tourist might be interested in seeing. Redwood park behind Arcata has interesting short trails. Ferndale has interesting Victorian houses. Trinidad has access to beaches. What does Eureka have? Stores and more stores and a private men’s club the Carson Mansion. And then there are stores and stores with inflated prices. YEP!, People would be clambering to them to spend their money on trinkets made in China and Singapore. Like the last cruise ship failures the Chamber of Commerce underestimated the tourists. They thought they would be stupid people with money. Only to pretend it was something else when it didn’t work. There hasn’t been any research on what cruise travellers expect or like. The Eureka photos show places not in Eureka. Big trees miles from the city. Roosevelt Elk 30 miles from Eureka. A bay boat ride while a guy rambles about Eureka history without any historic buildings or sites. And not one word about the historic massacre on Woodley Island. Can you hear his BS. “On your left you can see a bird and on the right is a huge mound of wood chips”. “And look over there a bridge to nowhere”. I predict the tourists will jump over board and swim back to their ship.

  • Suzanne Bigelow,CTC

    Ok, I know this is way past the sell date but I must comment. I found this thread because my friend and I couldn’t remember the name of the cruise line that visited recently. I live in SoCal, am a professional travel agent, and have been on dozens of cruises. To say there is nothing to do or see is inaccurate. What is the first thing my husband and I do when we book a cruise? Why check out the shore excursions. In my mind I have already designed a few. Thirty miles to see Elk, too far. No and with a stop at Patrick’s Point, the Lady Bird Johnson Redwoods, Trinidad for an authentic lunch. I would buy that. But perhaps our Native Peoples could be brought into the discussion and add some really good product. And then there is south to Ferndale and the “should be a movie set” town of Lolita with cheese. But I am not on the payroll so I shall stop with this comment. I have landed at yucky industrial docks and I have seen the unfortunates all over the world. You underestimate the cruisers.

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