SANTA CLARITA, CA, Jan 24 – Whether exploring Juneau in a chauffeur-driven Hummer, soaring over Misty Fjords National Monument in a private floatplane, or exploring the historic highlights of Skagway in a vintage Cadillac, Princess passengers have a variety of new ways to personalize their Alaska shore experience. Seven new private touring options debut for the 2007 season, offering unique opportunities for visitors who want to explore Alaska on their own terms. Princess offers custom adventures where passengers can travel in style in their own Hummer, floatplane, open-air boat, stretch SUV, catamaran or classic car.
“Our guests have become more diverse than ever, and these private adventures offer outstanding new options for the independent-minded traveler,” said Charlie Ball, president of Princess Tours. “We’re fortunate to have very entrepreneurial Alaskan business partners who love to work with us each year to come up with new and novel ways to explore some of Alaska’s most special places.”
The new private excursions are part of Princess’ extensive Adventures Ashore program, which offers a total of 171 Alaska tour options in 2007, including 21 new excursions debuting this season. Private excursion options include a Custom Hummer Adventure in Juneau or Ketchikan; an Exclusive Ketchikan by Land option with transportation in a private stretch SUV; Exclusive Ketchikan by Sea with a private 20-foot custom-built open-air skiff; Exclusive Ketchikan by Air with travel by private floatplane; Skagway’s Custom Classic Cars where passengers will explore in a restored vintage Cadillac; and the Alaska Up-Close Exclusive Cruise Adventure in Sitka while sailing aboard a new 30-foot catamaran. Each tour includes the services of a private guide/chauffeur who will lend local expertise and suggest possible routes. Tours can accommodate between four and 10 guests, depending on the excursion. Prices begin at $499 per vehicle.
In addition to the new private excursions, the season also includes a variety of new Adventures Ashore options:
- Dog Sled Summer Camp – Visitors have the chance to learn about Alaska’s state sport, dog mushing, as they view an exact replica of an Iditarod Race checkpoint and experience the thrill of riding behind a team of highly trained Alaska huskies in a wheeled summertime training sled.
- Rainforest Canopy & Zipline Expedition – A thrilling opportunity to enjoy gliding among the rainforest treetops along more than 6,000 feet of ziplines through an old mining area. The adventure also includes crossing aerial suspension bridges with breathtaking views.
- Mountain Zip & Rainforest Bike Ride (Princess Exclusive) – A unique eco-adventure combining the thrill of gliding from tree to tree, suspended over the lush rainforest, with an exhilarating downhill bicycle ride through the Tongass National Forest.
- Mendenhall Glacier Explorer – An opportunity to enjoy an extended visit to Juneau’s marquee attraction, the famous Mendenhall Glacier. The excursion offers visitors the most time at the glacier of any tour, allowing extra time to learn about the dramatic beauty of the Juneau Icefield.
- Neets Bay Bear Cruise (Princess Exclusive) – Passengers travel in a unique high-speed boat on a search for great views of black bears feasting on spawning salmon in remote Neets Bay. Visitors may also spot whales, porpoises, seals, eagles and a variety of seabirds in these nature-rich waters.
- Remote Beach Trek (Princess Exclusive) – Visitors journey to a remote beach aboard a one-of-a-kind high-speed landing craft. Customized to take advantage of the day’s best locations, the excursion features a naturalist-led tour of the rich natural life found along the shoreline.
- Paddle Wheel Waterfront Cruise – The authentic stern-wheeler “Alaska Queen” takes visitors on an entertaining cruise along Ketchikan’s active and historic waterfront for a journey back in time.
- Potlatch Park & Heritage Tour – A comprehensive tour of Ketchikan’s cultural riches, including a re-created 19th-century Alaska Native village at Potlach Park. This new attraction features beautifully carved totem poles and a clan house depicting how Natives lived in the 1800s.
- White Pass Bennett Lake Adventure – A one-of-a-kind adventure to a historic outpost of the Klondike Gold Rush. Limited to small groups, this tour features transportation on the famed White Pass & Yukon Route railroad to the abandoned town of Bennett, once a vital stop for gold seekers, where participants can step back in time and enjoy a hearty prospector’s meal.
- Glacier Discovery By Helicopter – An extended glacier discovery with flight routes and landing zones that are customized daily to ensure the best tour for the day’s conditions. Participants may explore Chilkat Glacier, Ferebee Glacier or Meade Glacier on an unforgettable walking tour.
- Klondike Summit, Suspension Bridge & Salmon Bake – A chance to experience the heights of the Klondike Summit, take in the natural beauty of the area and the churning Tutshi River at the Klondike Suspension Bridge, and enjoy an Alaskan-style feast at a salmon bake.
- Garden City Highlights – Discover why Skagway is known as Alaska’s Garden City with visits to two unique attractions: the new Skagway Sculpture and Flower Garden – where participants can reflect on a million-dollar collection of artwork from some of America’s finest sculptors in a Zen-like environment – and Jewell Gardens, the town’s dazzling organic show garden.
- City Lights, Wine & Chocolate – Golden Princess passengers can make the most of their evening in Victoria and savor the city’s nighttime views along with a visit to Church & State Wines to sample local wines paired with exquisite chocolate truffles.
- Heritage Highlights by Vintage Car – An opportunity to explore Victoria’s fascinating historic downtown, neighborhoods and major sites in style from the comfort of a restored vintage car, complete with chauffeur.
Adventure Ashore Available for Pre-Reservation
All Alaska Adventures AshoreÂ® are currently available for pre-reservation. Passengers who are already booked on an Alaska cruise can reserve their tours by logging on the Cruise Personalizer on www.princess.com, to ensure they get the excursions of their choice. As many Princess tours fill up quickly, passengers are encouraged to make selections as early as possible. Princess pioneered online shore excursion booking, and this season marks the seventh year that Alaska passengers are able to use this convenient reservation system.
These new excursion options are offered as part of Princess’ 2007 Alaska season, featuring its largest ever fleet with eight ships sailing through the scenic waters of the “Great Land.” Passengers can choose from 139 total departures aboard a diverse lineup of vessels that range from 670 passengers to 2,670 passengers. For the first time, the line offers mid-week departures of its popular Gulf of Alaska cruises aboard the intimate Pacific Princess. In addition, Golden Princess will make her Alaska debut, adding new choice and expanding the capacity of Princess’ popular Inside Passage program.
Passengers have more opportunities than ever to visit Glacier Bay in 2007 as Princess ships will sail into the national park a record 78 times, carrying more passengers to this spectacle of ice than any other cruise line. Travelers can choose from Gulf of Alaska cruises and cruisetours or round-trip Inside Passage sailings from Seattle and San Francisco. Princess remains the only company to offer Alaska’s two most popular attractions – Mt. McKinley and Glacier Bay – on virtually every cruisetour. Additional information about Princess’ Alaska program is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company’s website at www.princess.com.