Thursday, 9 January 2014

Alaska's Booming In 2014

We knew we chose Alaska as our Cover Story in this month's edition of World of Cruising magazine (publishing on January 20) for a good reason - it is promising to be THE boom cruise region of the world this year.

Their latest press release details record cruise traffic, new itineraries and new shore excursions for 2014, with some truly wonderful additions to the already feature-packed experience of an Alaskan cruise.

Here's what they say:

Perched on the Arctic Circle, high above the ‘lower 48’ - the spectacular 49th state of the United States of America hogs all the top ten highest mountains in the union and is one to watch in 2014 as more and more travellers seek crowd-free, wilderness destinations. Not only is Alaska the largest US state – making up an area the the size of California, Texas and Montana combined – but it is also the least densely populated and boasts the largest area of national parklands.

Yet Alaska is very accessible and easy to travel around. It appeals to a wide range of demographics, whether adventurous or laid back and, new for 2014, the Southeast Alaska Independent Living (SAIL) is providing information and services to visitors with limited mobility or physical, visual, or hearing impairments in the Juneau area (sailinc.org). Visitor numbers to Alaska in summer 2013 grew by 7 per cent (1,693,800) compared to summer 2012, and more are expected this year.

Alaska By Sea

Taking a cruise is really the perfect way to see the vast tracts of south-east Alaska and a total of 30 large cruise ships are scheduled to call here in 2014, while there will be an increase in itineraries for small-ship cruise lines (as highlighted in this month's World of Cruising).

Icy Straight Point: both Celebrity Cruises and Norwegian Cruises will add Icy Strait Point, a small-ship cruise port located 30 miles west of Juneau, as a port of call for two ships, the Celebrity Solstice and Norwegian Pearl.


Alaska - it's a whale of a time!

Wrangell’s Alaska Charters & Adventures is now offering full-day whale-watching tours on the calm, pristine waters of the Inside Passage. A custom-built 35-foot aluminum cabin-style boat, enough to fit six passengers, provides wildlife viewing potential from both the inside seats and the deck areas (www.alaskaupclose.com).

Alaska Sea Adventures is offering visitors the unique experience of viewing wildlife in Alaska during spring herring trips in the 2014 season. The small luxury cruise operator will point out views of bald eagles, whales, seals, sea lions and various seabirds (yachtalaska.com).

Featuring stunning views by catamaran, Kenai Fjords Tours will add a new 150-passenger catamaran to its 12-vessel fleet, offering more visitors the chance to travel through Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords National Park to view wildlife and glaciers (www.kenaifjords.com).

And that's just a small taste of what's on offer in the big state of Alaska - you'll just have to make sure you are subscribed to our new issue this month for more!

Have you subscribed to World of Cruising magazine yet? We have a very special, limited-time offer to save 50% off a full year's subscription, which includes six issues PLUS our new year-end Cruise Directory. That means a year's worth of Europe's leading cruise publication will be only £15. Check out the special rate on this link!