Cruise Line Pulls Ships from Port Following Local Opposition

A serene waterway with charming houses and colorful boats peacefully sailing through it.

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Princess Cruises has changed its summer itinerary by scrapping planned calls at historic Yorktown, Virginia due to local opposition concerned about overcrowding. Three scheduled calls have been shifted to Norfolk cruise port instead.

A waterway with houses and boats on it.

The town has a population of just a few hundred residents, while the Island Princess ship, which was set to call, can accommodate over 2,000 guests. Emerald Princess was also due to visit Yorktown.

Ships will Instead Call at Norfolk

The cruise line emailed county officials, formally canceling stops in Yorktown. “To ensure our guests experience Virginian hospitality as they explore the region’s American history, Princess is confirming Norfolk on the published itinerary for Island Princess and its three new calls to the Commonwealth.”

Princess cruise ships were set to drop anchor in the York River and tender guests to shore. There was strong pushback against this, with thousands of residents signing a petition to stop it. “The character of Yorktown would be changed forever if ocean-class cruise ships are allowed to come to this small river community,” it stated.

Front view of Carnival Magic in Norfolk, Virginia
A Carnival Corp. ship docked in Norfolk, Virginia (Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

“The character-altering ships that could have significant impact on our historic community, the environment, and the quality of life,” it added. Still, there was some support, mostly from local business owners.

Yorktown is the gateway to the “historic triangle” of early colonial America, with Yorktown itself, Jamestown, and Williamsburg, VA. Princess offers existing shore excursions to Jamestown and Williamsburg from Norfolk, which is about 45 minutes away.

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