By Leah Leach
Peninsula Daily News
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The ms Oosterdam will arrive Friday, May 9, while the ms Statendam is expected Saturday, May 17.
The ships will dock at the Port of Port Angeles’ Terminal 1 at about noon and depart the same evening at 11 p.m.
At 950 feet long and with a capacity of 1,848 passengers, the Oosterdam is one of Holland America’s larger cruise ships.
Its arrival in Port Angeles will be near the end of a long journey that began in Australia and stopped in Hawaii, according to Russ Veenema, chamber executive director.
Port Angeles will be the final stop before the cruise ends in Seattle.
Downtown shuttles and tours of area attractions will await disembarking passengers, he said.
“I think they are really going to want to get off the boat. From Hawaii to Port Angeles — that’s a long time without seeing land,” Veenema said.
“[The ship] is close to being full and we expect a lot of folks in town,” he added.
Volunteers are needed to welcome passengers at the dock, said Barb Frederick, director of the Port Angeles Downtown Association.
“We also could use volunteers to be at stations downtown where the shuttle buses stop to hand out information and give directions,” she said.
Willie Nelson of All Points Charters & Tours is organizing a fleet of four shuttles to take cruise ship passengers to such locations as a central downtown stop, the Elwha Klallam Heritage Center at 401 E. First St., the Museum at the Carnegie at 207 S. Lincoln St., and the waterfront so travelers can visit the Feiro Marine Science Center on City Pier, The Landing mall at 115 E. Railroad Ave., and the esplanade.
Shuttles will begin running as passengers disembark at about noon and continue until 6:30 p.m.
Then a lone shuttle will travel around ensuring that all passengers have a ride back to the ship, Nelson said.
“We need people on the buses to help them on and off, answer questions, tell about town and give directions,” he said.
Nelson also is putting together three tours that will be sold aboard ship.
Cruise ship passenger can choose a three-hour tour of Hurricane Ridge, a longer tour of Lake Crescent, Marymere Falls and Hurricane Ridge or an afternoon visiting wineries in the Port Angeles area.
Volunteers also will be needed when the Statendam pulls in later in the month.
Smaller than the Oosterdam at 710-feet long with a 1,258-passenger capacity, the Statendam is coming to Port Angeles from San Diego and will continue on to Vancouver, B.C., Veenema said.
The Holland America cruise ship stops, which are only in Port Angeles, are in addition to the weekly American Cruise Lines tours that began earlier this month.
The 205-foot American Spirit stops at City Pier in Port Angeles every Tuesday and leaves each Thursday for a day in Port Townsend.
The vessel is visiting the North Olympic Peninsula 20 times this spring and fall as part of larger cruises of Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands.
The cruises, beginning and ending in Seattle, also stop in Anacortes, Friday Harbor and Poulsbo.
In Port Angeles, American Spirit passengers are offered tours of Hurricane Ridge and downtown Port Angeles, as well as an opportunity to visit Victoria on the MV Coho ferry on Wednesdays.
In Port Townsend, cruise ship passengers are offered downtown walking tours, uptown bus tours and visits to Fort Worden State Park.
Those who want to help out for two or three hours for the Holland America cruise ship stops are asked to contact Veenema at email@example.com or phone 360-452-2363, ext. 13.
Managing Editor/News Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3531 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.