“This is a good demonstration of how an improved business climate can make a positive impact on Alaska’s economy,” says John Binkley, president of CLIA Alaska. ”Alaska significantly improved its competitiveness in the world through changes in regulations, taxes and marketing – and now we’re going to enjoy the benefits.”
Three larger cruise ships will call on Alaska next year and a new 14-day itinerary will significantly impact Southcentral Alaska. Royal Caribbean will deploy two Radiance-class ships; Radiance of the Seas (2,100 passengers) and Jewel of the Seas (2,501 passengers). Princess Cruise Lines’ Ruby Princess (3,080 passengers) will replace the Island Princess (1,992 passengers). In total, ships will visit the state 473 times.
In Southeast Alaska, Ketchikan will greet 28 cruise ships including the Amsterdam, Carnival Legend, Crystal Symphony, Coral Princess, Crown Princess, Disney Wonder, Golden Princess, Grand Princess, Infinity, L’Austral, Millennium, Noordam, Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Pearl, Norwegian Sun, Oosterdam, Pacific Princess “aka Love Boat”, Radiance of the Sea, Regatta, Ruby Princess, Seven Seas Navigato, Silver Shadow, Solstice, Star Princess, Statendam, Volendam, Westerdam and Zaandam.
“While the majority of our guest are self-guided anglers who stay at our Alaska fishing lodge an average of 3-5 days, we enjoy hosting private fishing charters and day trips to independent travelers and cruise ship passengers during the months of May and June,” said Jeff Wedekind owner/operator of Chinook Shores Lodge. “We offer complimentary shuttle service to cruise ship passengers looking for Ketchikan shore excursions and same-day fishing to guests arriving via Alaska Airlines.”
Ketchikan will host cruise ships from May 1, 2015 through September 26, 2015. The 2015 Alaska ports of call include Anchorage, Dutch Harbor, Glacier Bay, Haines, Homer, Juneau, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Nome, Petersburg, Point Sophia, Seward, Sitka, Skagway, Tracy Arm, Whittier and Wrangell. Alaska now ranks as North America’s second-largest cruise market, after the Caribbean.
Sources: Chinook Shores Lodge, Cruise Line Agencies of Alaska and Cruise Ship Calendar for 2015