NEW YORK -- Although the Caribbean has emerged as the primary
beneficiary of the widespread cruise-ship redeployments in the wake
of Sept. 11, Alaska also is seeing increased traffic. Several
suppliers have removed vessels from Europe and other regions to
reposition their ships in the state for the summer.
Among them is Holland America Line, which is basing its newest
ship, the 1,380-passenger Amsterdam, in Seattle next summer for a
series of 19 seven-day Alaska cruises. "As we address the global
travel climate and the expectation that travelers will focus
domestically, HAL decided to bring its flagship home," said David
Giersdorf, senior vice president of marketing and sales. HAL's
deployment of the Amsterdam in Seattle also is a coup for that
years of watching the largest cruise lines bypass Seattle to make
Vancouver the main home port for Alaska-bound vessels, the cruise
industry's aggressive fleet-expansion programs, in addition to its
post-Sept. 11 redeployments, have led more lines to base ships in
the Emerald City.
The Amsterdam will depart Saturdays between May 18 and Sept. 21,
making stops at Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and Victoria, British
Columbia. Fares start at $1,299 per person, including port
Three of HAL's Alaska-bound ships -- the Ryndam, Volendam and
Zaandam -- will sail on the company's Glacier Bay Inside Passage
itinerary, departing roundtrip from Vancouver and visiting Juneau,
Skagway and Ketchikan, with a day of cruising in Glacier Bay.
Passengers who book prior to Feb. 28 are eligible for 25% savings.
With the discount, fares for the Glacier Bay itinerary start at
$1,249 per person.
In all, HAL will have six ships sailing Alaska's waters in 2002,
offering 115 separate cruises departing from Seattle, Seward and
Vancouver. The line also will offer 36 seven-day Glacier Discovery
sailings between Vancouver and Seward, departing May 12 through
One northbound route calls at Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and
Sitka and includes cruising at Hubbard Glacier. The other
northbound itinerary calls at Ketchikan, Juneau and Sitka, with
sailing in Glacier Bay and College Fjord. The southbound programs
offer the same routes in reverse.
Princess Cruises will debut a new ship, the 2,600-passenger Star
Princess, in the 49th state, offering seven-night Voyage of the
Glaciers cruises between Vancouver and Seward. The Star will be
joined on that route by the 1,950-passenger vessels Dawn Princess,
Ocean Princess and Sun Princess. A fifth ship, the Sea Princess,
will sail a seven-day Inside Passage route departing roundtrip from
Rates for the seven-day trips start at $999 per person under
Princess' Love Boat Savers advance-purchase program. Princess added
a sixth ship to its Alaska fleet for 2002. The 1,590-passenger
Regal Princess will offer 10-day cruises departing roundtrip from
San Francisco beginning May 29. The series runs through Sept. 6 and
calls at Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and Victoria.
Princess also offers 56 different land-tour itineraries in
conjunction with its cruise programs, the newest of which are 11
tours featuring stays at the company's Copper River Princess
Wilderness Lodge, which will open near Wrangell-St. Elias National
Park and Preserve in the summer.
Premium operator Celebrity Cruises is redeploying one of two
ships originally scheduled to cruise in Europe to Alaska. The
1,870-passenger Mercury, previously slated to offer Baltic and
Mediterranean cruises from Copenhagen, Denmark, and Barcelona,
Spain, will instead begin seven-day Alaska cruises from Vancouver
from late May through September.
Among luxury operators, Crystal Cruises will offer a series of
sailings visiting the state. The 940-passenger Crystal Harmony will
offer six 12-day Alaska cruises departing roundtrip from San
Francisco on July 4, 16 and 28; Aug. 9 and 21, and Sept. 2. The
vessel also will run a 10-day Alaska sailing from San Francisco to
Vancouver departing Sept. 14.
Seabourn Cruise Line revised its 2002 schedule to bring the
212-passenger Seabourn Spirit to Alaska in May. The ship will spend
the bulk of the season on 10- and 11-day voyages departing
roundtrip from Vancouver. Seabourn has not sailed in Alaska since
1997, according to company officials, but repositioned from Asia to
Alaska this season in deference to North Americans' desire for
Ports of call along the 10-day Alaskan Spirit route include
Victoria, Juneau, Skagway, Sitka and Ketchikan, with sailing in the
waterways of the Inside Passage, Misty Fjords and Tracy Arm. The
11-day version, the Alaskan Vistas route, adds Alert Bay, British
Columbia. Advance-purchase fares start at $4,379 per person.
Spirit also will offer two 10-day Grand Alaska cruises sailing
between Seward and Vancouver. The May 12 departure calls at Sitka,
Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan and Alert Bay. The Aug. 14 voyage
features the same itinerary in reverse. Early-booking fares start
at $4,379 per person.
Small-ship operator Cruise West is offering five separate
itineraries that sail entirely within Alaskan waters, according to
company officials. These include an eight-day Secluded Waterways
cruise/tour that sails between Juneau and Ketchikan and calls at
Skagway, Haines, Petersburg, Sitka and Metlakatla. The voyages also
visit Misty Fjords, Tracy Arm, Frederick Sound, Wrangell Narrows
and Glacier Bay. A pre- or post-cruise over-night stay in Juneau is
included. Rates start at $2,949 per person.