The department program in Alaska that’s responsible for tourism stats is expecting a record year this year for guests visiting the Last Frontier. Last year’s tourism season (May-September) saw 1.78 million out-of-state visitors, up 7 percent from 2014. The majority of visitors were cruise ship passengers, and accounted for 3 percent of the volume increase. This year’s season is also gearing up to be a big one, with 30 large cruise ships scheduled to call in Alaska.
New ships scheduled for this year’s Alaska season include:
- Explorer of the Seas
- Crystal Serenity
- ms Maasdam
- ms Nieuw Amsterdam
- Island Princess
- Seven Seas Mariner
Ships leaving Alaska include:
- Jewel of the Seas
- ms Oosterdam
- ms Statendam
- Pacific Princess
- Seven Seas Navigator
Visitors will also be able to explore new ports this year such as Elfin Cove, Endicott Arm, Barrow, Alert Bay, Misty Fjords, Petersburg, and Icy Bay. Cruisers will also have the convenience of two new cruise ship docks: the floating dock at Icy Strait Point, and Juneau’s first of two new Panamax docks, capable of handling ships that are 1,000 feet long.
Other exciting new offerings in Alaska this year include a new fleet coming in June. Alaskan Dream Cruises will be offering cruisers unique adventures with three itineraries ranging from 8, 9, and 11-day excursions. These will include Alaska’s Inside Passage Sojourn, Alaska’s Glacier Bay & Island Adventure, and Alaska’s Southeast Explorer.
Princess Cruises will be sailing six ships to Alaska sailing from San Francisco, Vancouver, Seattle, and Whittier with 15 unique ports. And finally, Crystal Cruises is offering a new 32-day Northwest Passage cruise that travels from Anchorage to New York City and calls in ports such as Kodiak, Dutch Harbor, and Nome before continuing to Canada, Greenland, and New York.
Information courtesy of TravelAlaska.com.