The hottest cruising destination for 2019 is also known as one of the world’s coldest – but most stimulating.
Alaska is estimated to take in more than 1.3 million passengers this year – 175,000 more visitors than last year.
Australians already love Alaska, being that we’re the fifth largest market for cruise visits to the Great Land.
This year there will be more ships going to Alaska than in previous years, with three new vessels, Norwegian Joy, Royal Princess and Ovation of the Seas, arriving for virgin ports of call in 2019, each carrying more than 3500 passengers.
“We are a popular cruise destination,” said Alaska Travel Industry Association chief Sarah Leonard.
Cruise tourism is now the number one private sector employer in Juneau, says port administrator for the City and Borough of Juneau Carl Uchytil.
“We try to build infrastructure that’s smart with the idea that we’re going to have … people who come to Juneau, they want to go out to (Mendenhall) glacier, they want to go whale watching. We try to build a bus staging area to improve efficiency. We try to increase the flow out to the glacier area,” said Mr Uchytil.
Most cruise lines call in at ports such as Juneau, Sitka, Skagway, Seward and Valdez. At least one cruise ship will dock at Juneau every day from the end of April to the beginning of October.
Cruise lines are also working hard to make sure the benefits for Alaska are mutual, helping local communities mitigate the impact of increased tourism numbers.
“It’s a great economic benefit, you can’t ignore that, but with that comes some other things you have to work on … sometimes we find a new issue each year. It doesn’t solve everything, but it sure goes a long way,” said manager of port operations for Holland America in Juneau, Kirby Day.
Have you got Alaska on your bucket list, or have you already been? Would you recommend an Alaska cruise to our members? With which cruise line did you cruise?
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