Fall cruise season arrives with Regatta

Seagulls take flight as the Regatta cruise ship remains docked at Pier 1 on Monday in Astoria.

The second half of this year’s cruise ship season started Monday with the Regatta from Oceana Cruises.

September and October will bring 13 more cruise ships to Astoria, starting with the Seven Seas Mariner from Regent Seven Seas Cruises arriving Thursday. Arrivals heat up in late September, with the Explorer of the Seas Sept. 17, Coral Princess Sept. 19, Crown Princess Sept. 20 and Explorer of the Seas again Sept. 24.

The season peaks with five cruise ships arriving over four days, including the Noordam Sept. 26, Zaandam and Norwegian Sun Sept. 27, Celebrity Infinity Sept. 28 and Norwegian Jewel Sept. 29.

“We’re so excited to see the four-day stretch,” said Bruce Conner, owner of Sundial Travel and marketer to cruise lines for the Port of Astoria. “It’s going to seem like cruise ships live here.”

Conner said the ships are stopping off in Astoria as they transit south from the Alaska market.

The season finishes with three ships in October, including the Nieuw Amsterdam Oct. 5, Explorer of the Seas Oct. 6 and Star Princess Oct. 22.

Conner, currently cruising on the Crown Princess in Juneau, Alaska, with about 20 other Astorians, said he is focused on getting more ships to stop in Astoria.

“I am now talking to Princess (Cruises) about boarding a ship in Astoria,” Conner said, adding it would be a smaller group boarding a vessel embarking from Seattle.

The Ruby Princess, scheduled for May 3, will kick off the 2017 season, which currently includes 22 ships stopping in Astoria. For the full schedule, visit portofastoria.com