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Cruises scheduled to return to Kodiak this summer, but uncertainty remains

The cruise ship the Silver Shadow. (Photo by Maggie Wall / KMXT)
The cruise ship the Silver Shadow. (Photo by Maggie Wall / KMXT)

Kodiak is slated to see its first cruise ships since 2019. Nick Szabo is the resident port agent for Kodiak with Alaska Maritime Agencies. He says there’s currently 15 large and small cruise ships scheduled to call in Kodiak. That’s unless COVID-19 disrupts those plans.

“It just depends, if we have another variant that is as severe as some of the others, the CDC is probably going to put a no sail order out,” said Szabo. “But if things keep getting better than I expect we will have a cruise ship season.”

Kodiak Island doesn’t see as many cruises come through as other parts of Alaska – like Skagway and Ketchikan – that might see five or more ships in one day. Szabo says in a normal summer, about 25 ships carrying summer tourists dock in Kodiak for the entire season. And back in 2019, 30 cruises visited the island. But COVID isn’t the only thing that might affect cruise operations this summer.

“Some of the cruise ships in the past, they stop at Russian ports,” said Szabo. “So, that’s not going to happen for sure. And then there’s a lot of apprehension about just how this whole Ukraine thing is going to play out.”

The situation in Ukraine might already have an effect on the island’s first cruise ship of the season. The Minerva, a 152-passenger cruise ship, is scheduled to dock in Kodiak on May 19 before its scheduled to make its way to the far eastern reaches of Russia and ultimately Japan.