High winds force 4 cruise ships to skip Ketchikan

September 20, 2013 • Business

Pylons and barricades lay on the ground due [auth] to windy conditions Thursday morning at an empty Berth 4 dock in downtown ketchikan, Alaska. All cruise ships scheduled to visit Ketchikan on Thursday were canceled due to the weather. Ship visits to Ketchikan on Friday were also cancelled due to weather. Higher winds are predicted for Friday. Ketchikan had 4.7 inches of rain on Thursday. (AP Photo/ Ketchikan Daily News, Hall Anderson)

KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — Windy weather on Thursday prompted four cruise ships to bypass Ketchikan.

The Ketchikan Daily News reports ( there were nearly 9,000 passengers plus crews on those ships, and the economic loss was put at about $1.4 million.

Winds were steady all day Thursday, gusting up to 36 mph, and about 4 inches of rain was recorded at the airport.

Wind is a serious danger for cruise ships, which have broad, tall profiles that can catch the wind. Wind makes docking and undocking difficult.

The cancellations left Ketchikan without a cruise ship in port for the first day since May 11.

The cruise season will end after three cruise ships make port calls next Friday.

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