Many Alaska cruise itineraries stop in Ketchikan, Alaska. // © 2015 Thinkstock
Feature image (above): Princess Sapphire was once among vessels catering to demand for Alaska-bound cruises. // © 2015 Princess Cruises
Carnival Corporation & Plc reports that, with cruise passengers in Seattle expected to increase by 11 percent this year to 895,055 passengers, three of its brands are beefing up their presence for the Alaska season. More than 208,200 guests are expected to sail with Carnival Corporation brands on these itineraries in 2015.
Holland America Line (HAL), Princess Cruises and Carnival Cruise Lines are operating a total of 103 roundtrip cruises on six ships sailing between Seattle and Alaska.
Growth in demand prompted HAL to add a third ship for the 2015 summer season, the Statendam, which joined the Westerdam and Amsterdam on May 18. HAL accounts for 47 of the roundtrip cruises sailing from Seattle this season.
Princess is increasing its capacity by introducing two larger ships — Crown Princess and Ruby Princess — to replace Grand Princess and Golden Princess. Each of the new ships has space for 500 additional guests. Princess is set to sail 40 Seattle cruises in 2015.
Carnival Cruise Lines’ Legend will arrive in early June to provide 16 cruises.
“We are excited to begin another great cruise season in Alaska, taking our guests on an unforgettable vacation to the Great Land where they can experience lush forests, ice-blue glaciers, whales, puffins, orcas and frontier towns filled with Gold Rush history, native culture, wildlife and thrilling adventures — all while only having to unpack once,” said Arnold Donald, CEO and president of Carnival Corporation.
HAL’s seven-day cruises from Seattle depart Saturdays on the Westerdam. Alaska ports include Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and Victoria as well as scenic cruising in Glacier Bay National Park. The Amsterdam’s seven-day itinerary, departing Sundays, calls in Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and Victoria, with scenic cruising in Tracy Arm. The Statendam departs every second Monday on 14-day Alaska itineraries, visiting Ketchikan, Juneau, Victoria, Icy Strait Point, Anchorage, Homer, Kodiak and Sitka with scenic cruising around Tracy Arm and the Hubbard Glacier.
Princess ships sail seven-day cruises departing Saturdays and Sundays, with Crown Princess calling in Juneau, Skagway, Victoria and Ketchikan. Guests will also be treated to scenic cruising in Glacier Bay National Park. Ruby Princess calls in Juneau, with scenic cruising at Tracy Arm Fjord, Skagway, Victoria and Ketchikan.
Carnival’s Legend sails seven-day cruises departing Tuesdays to Alaska ports, including Juneau, Skagway, Victoria and Ketchikan as well as scenic cruising in Glacier Bay.