Passengers of the MS Roald Amundsen joined PWSSC for a hike on local trails last week. Photo courtesy of PWSSC

Cordova welcomed the first cruise ship passengers of the 2023 season this past week. The MS Roald Amundsen docked in Cordova’s harbor on May 25 with approximately 250 passengers.

Passengers were able to enjoy a true Cordova experience exploring town in the pouring rain.

The MS Roald Amundsen is the first of a number of smaller expedition sized vessels owned by Hurtigruten Group that will port in Cordova this summer. The Norwegian-based tour company markets their offerings around exploring unique destinations while centering sustainability.

The MS Roald Amundsen demonstrates this effort to reduce climate impact as it was the first hybrid vessel built by the company that operates by utilizing both engine and battery power. Four more expedition sized ships will port in Cordova this summer through August.

The company’s sustainability concerns and smaller scale aligns with the Cordova Chamber of Commerce’s recent push for increasing regenerative tourism for the town.

Efforts were made to collaborate with the company ahead of their summertime schedule to develop tours and presentations around Cordova. Additionally, upon arrival the chamber provided visitors with self-guided tour brochures highlighting areas of interest within walking distance of the harbor.


For this particular visit, the Prince William Sound Science Center (PWSSC) gave both presentations and tours focused on the natural history and ecology of the area.

Back in town, businesses saw a small trickle of passengers. Shea Bowman works at two businesses located on Cordova’s Main Street: The Copper River Watershed Project (CRWP) and Copper River Brewing.

“Maybe 15 to 20 people stopped by,” Bowman said of the visitors.

Some of the visitors purchased items at the CRWP gift shop and then stopped by the brewery for a quick beer before the ship departed.

Bowman said she felt that the visit was good for foot traffic on Main Street, no matter how small: “I do think it is valuable to have them come into town … we have to diversify our economy a little bit.”