High winds prevent season's last cruise ship from docking in Corner Brook

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The Ice Crystal anchored off the north shore of the Humber Arm in anticipation of the cruise ship Crown Princess visit to Corner Brook, which was cancelled due to high winds Monday morning. Star photo by Gary Kean

Corner Brook -

It wasn't the best way for the cruise ship season to finish off in Corner Brook, but at least the Crown Princess is due to make three return trips in 2010.

The ship, carrying more than 3,000 passengers and nearly 1,200 crew, made an appearance in the Humber Arm Monday morning, but decided against actually docking at the port because of high winds. The luxury liner and was on its way back towards the Gulf of St. Lawrence before 9 a.m.

It was the last of the 16 scheduled visits to the city by cruise vessels in 2009, half of which were made by Canadian Sailing Expedition's tall ship Caledonia, which used Corner Brook as its home port this past summer.

According to Jackie Chow, the Corner Brook Port Corporation's manager and chief executive officer, the ship did have one person aboard who had to be evacuated for medical treatment, and also used its proximity to Corner Brook to pick up two passengers who had missed the ship at an earlier port of call.

"It came in for those reasons obviously, but they were concerned about high winds and the forecast was for continued high winds throughout the day," said Chow. "There's always the risk of not being able to get off the dock if the winds keep up with the prevailing winds pushing the ship against dock."

This was only the second time a cruise ship has cancelled visiting Corner Brook since the port was divested to the Corner Brook Port Corporation in 2004. The last one was the Silver Cloud in October 2005.

Chow said cancellations like this are the nature of the cruise business. Sometimes, like the unexpected visit by the Eurodam to Corner Brook Aug. 22, a port can be the beneficiary of bad weather.

"It's a bad way to end the season, but you come to expect this when we have calls booked near the end of October," said Chow. "That's a risk that is always going to be there."

There are currently 11 cruise ships visits booked for Corner Brook in 2010. The Crown Princess accounts for three of them with visits scheduled for Sept. 24, Oct. 8 and Oct. 28.

Organizations: Crown Princess, Corner Brook Port

Geographic location: Corner Brook

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