Cruise company cancels stops in Olympia

The cruise ship American Constellation sits docked Tacoma in January.
The cruise ship American Constellation sits docked Tacoma in January. phaley@thenewstribune.com

A cruise company set to make its first stop in Olympia this weekend canceled at the last minute, according to the Port of Olympia.

American Cruise Lines announced last year that its 175-passenger ship American Constellation would stop in Olympia as part of a 11-day Grand Puget Sound cruise. It was to arrive at the Port Plaza dock Saturday night, said Jennie Foglia-Jones, a spokeswoman for the Port of Olympia, which worked for years to bring the cruise company here.

On Friday, port officials were told the cruise ship would not be coming because of “operational matters,” Foglia-Jones said. Another stop in early October was canceled as well.

Port officials will contact American Cruise Lines starting Monday to try to resolve the issue, Foglia-Jones said.

Earlier in the week the company had objected to a fee for longshoremen to tie up the cruise ship, but Foglia-Jones said that had been handled.

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“It’s a disappointment,” said E.J. Zita from the Port of Olympia commission. “We were looking forward to having cruise ships coming here, and we look forward to having them in the future. ... I hope we get a second chance on this.”

The Grand Puget Sound tour, which starts and ends in Seattle, includes stops in Tacoma, Poulsbo, Port Townsend, Port Angeles, Victoria, British Columbia, and the San Juan Islands, according to the company’s website. Tickets start at about $6,000.

Connecticut-based American Cruise Lines also operates tours on the Columbia, Hudson and Mississippi rivers, along the coast of New England and to Alaska.

The port worked with the local visitors bureau and other business groups to bring the company to Olympia and arrange activities for its passengers. This weekend, they were to be greeted at the Port Plaza and given tours of downtown Olympia and the Capitol.

The cruise company has arranged for passengers to take buses from Tacoma on Monday for the Capitol tour, said Shauna Stewart, CEO of Experience Olympia & Beyond.

Abby Spegman: 360-704-6869