Holland America cruise ships returning to Kodiak


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KODIAK (AP) — Holland America cruise lines is restoring its regular service to Kodiak in 2014, Discover Kodiak has announced.

The news comes one year after Holland America said it was dropping its two-week cruise across the Gulf of Alaska to focus on seven-day cruises in southeast Alaska, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported (http://is.gd/9a8NIn).

"I don't think they ever stopped looking at it, but I believe they heard enough consumer demand for Kodiak that they really tried to analyze a way to get back to south-central and Kodiak," said Janet Buckingham, executive director of Discover Kodiak, formerly known as the Kodiak Island Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Holland America has just one Kodiak port visit scheduled for this year. The Volendam will be stopping April 26 on its way from Japan to Vancouver, British Columbia.

The Volendam will be back in 2014, and will be joined by the 1,380-passenger Amsterdam, which will stop in Kodiak five times. That's fewer visits than the seven or eight the Amsterdam made annually before the break, but Discover Kodiak welcomed the additions.

"I feel like they've found a way to reintroduce the cruise and have full ships, but just not as many," Buckingham said.

In a bonus to Kodiak businesses, the Amsterdam will visit Kodiak on four Tuesdays and a Thursday, a change from the Sunday stops that forced businesses to add staff and work overtime to meet the flood of tourist traffic.

The Amsterdam is tentatively scheduled to visit Kodiak on the following dates in 2014: May 27, July 1, Aug. 8, Sept. 2 and Sept. 25.

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Information from: Kodiak (Alaska) Daily Mirror, http://www.kodiakdailymirror.com

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