Princess Cruises will turn the spotlight on American history in the summer of 2024, when two of its cruise ships will call at the port of Yorktown, Virginia, and offer guests the opportunity to explore Virginia’s Historic Triangle — Yorktown, Jamestown, and Williamsburg.
The port of Yorktown is within a small harbor where Chesapeake Bay meets the York River in southeastern Virginia. Princess will be the first major cruise line to call at the port.
Ties to Revolutionary War
Two Princess Cruises ships will include five-day-long port calls to Yorktown on their itineraries in summer 2024, with three visits by the 92,000 gross ton, 2,200-guest Island Princess and two visits by the 113,561 gross ton, 3,080-guest Emerald Princess.
Dates and itineraries will be announced in coming weeks, the line said, along with excursions, which are certain to include the historically significant sites and events that tie the region’s Historic Triangle destinations to the Revolutionary War.
Princess Cruises President John Padgett said, “Princess is already well known for our unique itineraries that appeal to our guests who gravitate toward interesting historical and cultural opportunities and Yorktown is perfectly in tune with that philosophy, offering not only a glimpse at the Revolutionary War but also dining, shopping and activity options with wide-ranging appeal. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
It was the Battle of Yorktown that decisively ended the war when British General Lord Charles Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington in 1781.
Williamsburg is home to Colonial Williamsburg, a historic district and living-history museum, while Jamestown has the ruins of the first permanent English settlement in North America as well as a living-history museum. The three historical sites are within a short drive of each other.
According to Padgett, the calls at Yorktown and excursions to the region’s historic sites are significant as the country approaches the 250th anniversaries of the start of the Revolutionary War and the writing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The anniversary will be celebrated in 2026.
Padgett added, ”We couldn’t be more excited about this incredible opportunity to add this truly unforgettable destination experience to our already impressive array of itineraries. As a native Virginian myself, I can attest that an itinerary that offers the chance to visit Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown promises to be a most welcome addition for our guests, providing them with memorable vacation experiences that they can’t find anywhere else.”
Local Tourism Boost
With the Princess ships sailing at full capacity, the five port calls could deliver around 14,000 cruise guests to the area, representing a boost to local tourism and to local tour operators.
York County Economic & Tourism Development Director Kristi Olsen-Hayes said, “Our community is rooted in history and it is an important part of our visitor mix. We are honored that Princess Cruises sees the value in bringing their customers to Yorktown.”
“Additional visitors coming to our area via the cruise line would contribute to the region’s economy, benefiting retail, restaurants, and regional attractions, as well as generating revenue for both the Commonwealth and multiple local governments,” Olsen-Hayes added.
Excursions are likely to include revolutionary battlefields, colonial architecture, gardens, the living-history museums at Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg, and other area attractions.
As a small port with limited docking facilities, the Princess ships will tender guests ashore. Another cruise line already includes Yorktown on its itineraries, American Cruise Lines, which operates small ships carrying under 200 guests.
The line’s 170-guest American Constitution calls at Yorktown on her 6-night Chesapeake Bay Cruise and 10-night American Revolution Cruise, both departing from Baltimore.
The Princess announcement of port calls at Yorktown was the second itinerary reveal by the line this week. On February 7, it unveiled its Alaska 2024 schedule, which will see seven vessels deployed to the destination.