Princess shore tours drawing the younger set

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LOS ANGELES -- Princess Cruises' Alaska passengers aren't as old as they used to be, according to the line's constantly monitored guest profiles.

The Sea Princess sailing in Alaska. One reason for the trend toward a younger average age on board is the company's increasingly "family friendly" shore excursions effort.

Its Alaska tour book shows pictures of each activity, and next to the description is a new, and very apt, icon -- two adults and a child holding hands.

Tours in which the kids can participate and use their imaginations get the "family friendly" designation. Some activities are checking out the huskies at the Iditarod sled-dog kennel, horseback riding, river rafting, panning for gold and riding in an airplane or helicopter. Tours that involve a lot of walking or those that may be too strenuous for kids are ruled out.

Not only is Princess not worried that its new, more boisterous clientele will disturb its longstanding, more sedate customers; it believes this will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. "Seniors love kids," a spokeswoman said.

"Kids are the most popular people on the ship. Seniors enjoy seeing and experiencing Alaska through the eyes of a child." She said she sees a lot of grandparents taking their grandchildren on cruises and three generations of a family traveling together.

At sea, kids' facilities can be found on all of Princess' Alaska ships in 2000. The spokeswoman said these facilities afforded families an opportunity to break from "the 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week togetherness they often are forced to experience on vacations."

Princess Cruises
Phone: (800) 421-1700

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