Sitka Welcomes ‘Westerdam’ Cruise Ship

Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka

The U.S. Coast Guard visited the cruise ship Westerdam during its stop in Sitka yesterday to investigate a reported collision between the 936-foot vessel and some ice on Tuesday evening near Hubbard Glacier.

The ship reported that it had struck some ice and had suffered some hull damage about 15 feet below the waterline.  The Coast Guard is conducting a routine investigation to determine exactly what happened.

The arrival of the Westerdam opened the large-ship cruise season in Sitka. The local chamber of commerce for the last few years has marked the occasion with a special “Welcome to Sitka Day.” For Sitkans, it’s an opportunity to venture out on a spectacular spring day and visit with people who may be seeing Alaska for the first time.

The Westerdam is the first of 102 large ship calls this summer. Sitka also receives 20 port calls from smaller ships.

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