Holland America-Westours has added Haines to its itinerary next summer. The 1,266-passenger, 600-crewmember Ryndam is set to make seven full-day Tuesday stops in Haines in 2003, company officials confirmed this week.
Company director of port operations Bill Sharp said the company is giving Haines a trial run to see if tying up here is profitable. "We want to try it out and see what kind of reaction we get."
City of Haines and tour company officials said the move is a major step toward re-establishing the local visitor economy, hit hard when Royal Caribbean International pulled and took Haines off the schedules of four of its ships in 2001.
Proximity and easy access to Skagway sold Holland America-Westours on Haines, city manager Marco Pignalberi said. The Seattle-based cruise line was the first bite in Haines' new campaign to sell itself as an auxiliary port for Skagway.