Princess Cruise Line FAQs
What type of Princess Cruise ship is coming to Yorktown and when?
The Island Princess is the smallest class in the Princess fleet and offers an intimate and luxurious experience for its guests. There are three proposed dates for the ship’s arrival: June 10, 21, and 27, 2024.
Learn more information about the ship here.
How will the charter buses for cruise passengers be handled to prevent congestion at the waterfront?
To prevent blockage of Water Street, charter buses will be staged off-site and parked at the Watermen’s Museum where cruise passengers will embark/disembark for excursions. Only a limited number of passengers (approximately 90 people per tender) will exit from the ship at any given time to participate in prescheduled excursions, which will also help control the number of buses required in the waterfront area at any given time.
How would an influx of cruise passengers affect waterfront restaurant wait times and crowding on Yorktown Beach?
York County and Princess Cruises have carefully selected dates to alleviate overcrowding. Our waterfront businesses have the capacity and the desire to welcome cruise guests. While cruise passengers may visit the beach, the theme of the cruise is history-centric, so they will be more likely to visit historically significant sites throughout Yorktown and surrounding localities.
How can Historic Yorktown handle this many people?
Of the potential cruise passengers, only 1/3 will stay in Yorktown, 1/3 will stay on the ship, and the other 1/3 will leave town for an excursion. Visitor attendance at popular concert nights and special Saturday markets is much higher and occurs with much greater frequency than the attendance we'll see from the Princess cruise ship.
Visits by Island Princess will not overwhelm our existing infrastructure and services, and does not involve the cars and trucks typically associated with higher volume visitation events. Through meticulous planning, strong partnerships, and a dedication to preserving our heritage, Historic Yorktown continues to be a welcoming and accommodating destination for both residents and visitors alike.
Where are they going to park a ship that big?
The USCG Waterways Division has approved the anchorage location for the ship and it will be anchored in the York River approximately 1.75 miles east of Yorktown Beach with passengers arriving at the Riverwalk Landing Piers via tender vessel (each tender carrying approximately 90 people). See the anchorage map here.
How will these visits benefit Yorktown? Passengers don’t use local restaurants because they eat on the ship.
Most cruise ship passengers are looking for hyper-local experiences that typically manifest in sampling local cuisine, purchasing local souvenirs, and visiting local attractions and museums. This has been consistent during visits from American Cruise Lines that currently frequent Yorktown.
What should local residents expect regarding increased crime, congestion, and overcrowding at our small beachfront?
The potential for congestion and overcrowding of the beachfront will be mitigated through a meticulously planned arrival schedule, as well as a well-thought-out strategy detailing the movement of individuals in town. Yorktown will not be a terminal location which means there will be no additional vehicular traffic beyond the buses for shore excursions.
As for increased crime, there is no indication that such arrivals will bring increased crime; nevertheless, additional deputies will be on site for each arrival, at the expense of Princess Cruise Lines, to ensure everyone is safe and secure.
What are the benefits of having a cruise ship stop in Yorktown?
Princess Cruise Lines selected Yorktown as a port of call because they believe in the significance of our town's rich history, and presents a unique opportunity to showcase our cultural heritage to a global audience of distinguished and experienced travelers.
York County and the region is being given access to a source of tourism that will bring economic prosperity to the community. As more visitors experience the historical significance of Yorktown, local businesses and artisans will benefit, contributing to the overall well-being of the town.
On average, port of call visitors spend $125 per passenger. Common examples of onshore spending include shore excursions, visits to local attractions and museums, shopping, and dining. These expenditures represent a significant infusion to Yorktown businesses and supports the investment that has been made at Riverwalk Landing.
Finally, cruise tourism gives guests a small taste of the destinations they visit without the accompanying cars, and results in referrals to friends and family for both cruise and land-based vacations. This results in longer visits with stays in local hotels and bed and breakfasts.
What impact will these visits have on the historic charm and integrity of our small community?
The historic charm and integrity is exactly why Yorktown was selected as a port of call for this history-centric cruise. Great measures are being taken to not only preserve but also uplift Yorktown’s rich history and small-town charm. It would be counterproductive to negatively impact the qualities that make Yorktown an attractive place to visit for such cruises.
By leveraging this opportunity, we can foster a greater appreciation for our unique historical character and create lasting memories for the cruise guests who will spread the word about our charming town. Through this symbiotic relationship, we will ensure that our heritage remains intact while sharing our stories with a broader audience, ultimately cementing Yorktown's place as a treasured destination for history lovers.