Newport looks to the cruise ship industry to help float its boat

| Print |  Email
Saturday, March 01, 2008

NEWPORT Newport could find its niche in the niche cruise industry, experts say, but it’s not going to happen overnight.

A recent feasibility study found that the Port of Newport has the infrastructure to host smaller cruise ships, up to 600 feet, and initial response from the industry has been positive, says Bill Cook, principal partner at Cook and Associates in Astoria, which conducted the study. Executives at Princess Cruise Lines have even expressed interest in sending a ship there for a test run.

Unlike Astoria, which serves as a stopover for larger ships making the transition from summer tours in Alaska to winter waters down south, Newport’s opportunity lies in attracting specialized, niche excursions, Cook says. The smaller vessels could stay longer and even use Newport as a point of embarkation for other destinations along the Columbia River.

Drawing cruise ships to port is no easy task, though. Some communities, such as  Eureka, Calif., have been trying to entice cruise lines for years but continue to get the cold shoulder, says Lawrence Dessler, executive director of the Niche Cruise Marketing Alliance, an organization that promotes the industry. Even in Astoria, where 19 cruise ships are expected this year, it took about 10 years to grab the industry’s attention, says Bruce Conner, director of cruise marketing for Astoria’s port. He estimates that $20,000 to $30,000 is spent annually in further marketing efforts.

For Newport to see any cruise traffic, it’s also going to take aggressive marketing, Cook and Dessler agree. Networking with other ports of call, including Astoria, to develop itineraries in the region will be critical.

With each cruise patron spending from $70 to $120 on average at each port of call, the industry can be quite a boon for local business, though the feasibility study did not address the economic impact for Newport. This month, officials plan to begin gauging support from the community before deciding how to proceed.           

JAMIE HARTFORD


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

10 Innovators in Rural Health

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Telemedicine, new partnerships and real estate diversification make health care more accessible in rural Oregon.


Read more...

Getting What You Pay For

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Chris Maples, president of the Oregon Institute of Technology.


Read more...

Balancing Act

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY DAN COOK

The Affordable Care Act has triggered a rush on health care plan redesign, a process fraught with hidden costs and consequences.


Read more...

Grain Food

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

A Power Lunch at Bob's Red Mill Whole Grain Store and Restaurant.


Read more...

Reader Input: Road Work

March 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Oregon's roads are crumbling, and revenues from state and local gas taxes are not sufficient to pay for improvements. We asked readers if the private sector should help fund transportation maintenance and repairs. Research partner CFM Strategic Communications conducted the poll of 366 readers in February.


Read more...

Department of Self-Promotion

Linda Baker
Tuesday, August 04, 2015

061715-awards1Oregon Business wins journalism awards.


Read more...

House of Clarity

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Holding a Power Lunch at Veritable Quandary in downtown Portland.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS