In Yorktown, a large grassroots citizen group called “Preserve Yorktown” is voicing opposition to Princess Cruises starting a two-year pilot historical cruise program that would ferry visitors from the ship into Yorktown.
Concerns were raised about the quality of life for Yorktown residents if cruise ship visits lead to noise pollution, traffic congestion, and changes in the town’s character that locals find undesirable. The large ship could interfere with historic shipwrecks at the bottom of York River and Chesapeake Bay and large numbers of visitors to the small village could change the small-town culture of Yorktown.
Opponents expressed concerns about the environmental impact of cruise ship visits, including issues related to air and water pollution, waste disposal, and damage to local ecosystems and waterways.
Some residents worry that an influx of cruise ship passengers could lead to overcrowding in the town, putting stress on local resources and disrupting the atmosphere of Yorktown.
Many critics, not just in Yorktown, argue that excessive tourism, especially from large cruise ships, may erode the unique cultural and historical character of Yorktown, as businesses cater more to tourists and less to the needs and interests of local residents (Cape Charles locals know all about that).
Hosting cruise ships may require significant upgrades to local infrastructure, including roads and parking facilities, which could result in inconvenience and additional costs for residents. The Emerald Princess, which will make two calls in Yorktown, is 951 feet long, 19 decks high, and has 1539 cabins The Island Princess, which will make three calls in Yorktown, is 964 feet long with 987 cabins.
The York County Board of Supervisors is reviewing the pilot and may cancel it if the juice isn’t worth the squeeze.
What if?? If Yorktown deep-sixes the cruise line, could Cape Charles jump in and usurp the business? Think of the possibilities. Even more tourists! More congestion! And the business community could stuff the greasy till with more money. Remember locals, the Town and its business owners only have your best interests at heart.
Just think of it! The future is glorious!