Your Ultimate Cruise Guide

Alaska Attracts More Ships

May 22, 2001
Alaska used to be the kind of destination that attracted cruise lines’ older, smaller ships (and older, demographically speaking, passengers). No more: as cruise lines like Carnival (with Spirit) and Celebrity (with Infinity) are now sending their swankiest, newest vessels to Alaska. Not to mention biggest: next summer, Princess is shipping the 2,600-passenger Star Princess, its latest biggest ship at 109,000 tons (and sister vessel to Grand and Golden), to Alaska. Will this biggest ship soak up a lot of berths (and replace existing vessels)? No way, she’s adding to the traffic, according to Princess Cruises, which plans to send the 1,950-passenger Sun, Dawn and Ocean to Alaska as well. The change in philosophy has a lot to do with the way cruise lines see Alaska as a destination. They’re all promoting itineraries that are geared to multi-generational travelers -- mom and dad, junior, and grandma -- as opposed to marketing it as a destination primarily geared to older folk. Cruise line efforts aren’t just targeted at on-board atmosphere but also in actual touristing areas, with shore excursions that are now active (kayaking, mountain bike riding, salmon fishing) complementing the traditional bus tour trips.

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