By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News
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The 950-foot-long Holland America cruise ship is expected to dock at Port of Port Angeles' Terminal 1 at noon today, chamber Director Russ Veenema said, and is slated to leave port for Seattle at about 11 p.m.
“Everything's still on track,” he said.
Veenema said he expects between 25 and 35 volunteers to be on hand to great the Oosterdam passengers, which he estimates to be at least 1,800.
A second large Holland America cruise ship, the ms Statendam, is expected in Port Angeles on May 17 after a journey bringing it from San Diego to Vancouver, B.C.
Veenema said he would “not turn anybody away” if they wanted to volunteer for welcoming the 710-foot, 1,258-passenger Statendam.
“Most people have said they're going to [volunteer] both days,” Veenema said.
With a capacity of 1,848 people, the Oosterdam is one of Holland America's largest cruise ships.
Its arrival in Port Angeles will be near the end of a journey that started in Australia and included Hawaii, Veenema said, adding that the ship left the Aloha state May 3.
Downtown shuttles and tours will await the disembarking passengers.
Willie Nelson of All Points Charters & Tours has organized 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 Life 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.
Nelson also put together three tours that will be sold aboard ship.
Cruise ship passengers 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.
The Holland America cruise ship stops, which are only in Port Angeles, are in addition to the weekly American Cruise Lines tours that began in April.
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.
Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Managing Editor/News Leah Leach contributed to this report.