The Seven Seas Mariner | Photos provided by Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

A 709-foot cruise ship, twice the size of the Silver Explorer that visited Humboldt in 2018, will dock in Humboldt Bay next week, dispensing 230 tourists into Humboldt County for the day.

The “Seven Seas Mariner,” operated by Regent Seven Seas Cruises, is scheduled to arrive in Eureka on Tuesday at 7:45 a.m. and depart the same day at 7 p.m. The scheduled stop-off is day 24 of the cruise’s 26-day excursion, which began in Miami on April 10 and will end in San Francisco on May 5.

Jonathan Jones, an economic development coordinator hired by the City of Eureka to develop a working relationship with cruise companies and third-party tour operators, told the Outpost that the Mariner is likely the largest cruise ship to ever dock in Humboldt Bay.

“And the [Silver Explorer] looked massive,” Jones said, imagining the 48,000-ton ship in Eureka’s coastal backdrop.

The Silver Explorer drifting in Humboldt Bay in 2018. | Andrew Goff

Upon debarking from the Mariner, about 160 tourists will take part in a number of local activities that the cruise line has arranged through the travel logistics company Onward.

“In a city named for the joy of discovery, you’ll be spoiled for choice in the heart of California’s Redwood Coast,” the cruise line’s website says about its stop in Eureka. “Get a canopy view of these remarkable trees – 100 feet above the forest floor – at the Redwood Sky Walk in Eureka’s Sequoia Park. Take in over 150 Victorian-era buildings and spectacular murals in one of California’s best-preserved and most eclectic downtowns. Along the Eureka Waterfront Trail, enjoy Humboldt Bay views and tasty microbrews.”

Once passengers have debarked, Eureka’s Economic Development Manager Swan Asbury said that the city and Regent Seven Seas Cruises will hold a private plaque exchanging ceremony commemorating the efforts made by local government agencies, organizations and businesses to bring the cruise liner into Humboldt Bay.

“This has definitely been a group effort over the past couple of months to pull this all together,” Swan said.

The visit is the latest effort in a long history of successful and unsuccessful attempts to bring more cruise ships into Humboldt Bay.

While Humboldt Bay hasn’t seen a working cruise ship in its waters since 2018, Jones said that Regent Seven Seas Cruises plans to return with two additional cruises in September — bringing hope that these cruise stops may become more common in Humboldt County.

It’s unclear how much money these stops may inject into Humboldt’s economy. However, Humboldt County Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Julie Benbow hopes that these cruises will help promote future tourism for Humboldt County.

“It’s a great opportunity to showcase the best of Humboldt County’s assets to voyagers,” Benbow said. “They won’t be experiencing anything like on the rest of their trip. Hopefully, it will whet their appetite to come back.”