SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (March 21, 2008) – Princess Cruises will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alaska’s statehood in 2009 with a full season of cruisetour and cruise itineraries showcasing the best of the state, including the incomparable Denali National Park and Glacier Bay National Park. The schedule features complete land and sea vacations featuring the line’s own wilderness lodges and Direct to the Wilderness rail travel combined with sailings through the state’s dramatic glacier rimmed Gulf Coast. Cruises through the scenic Inside Passage as well as an extended two-week Connoisseur voyage will also be offered aboard the company’s eight-ship Alaska fleet.
The program features four cruisetour categories, all featuring the state’s top attractions – including at least two nights among the wilderness of the Denali area. In addition, Princess will again take more passengers to the ice-filled wonder of Glacier Bay than any other line, with 81 visits (all Gulf and Connoisseur voyages).
Throughout the May 9 to September 14 season, the Princess fleet will offer a total of 130 Alaska sailings, with Diamond Princess, Sapphire Princess, Coral Princess, and Island Princess traveling on the line’s signature Gulf of Alaska sailings, Golden Princess, Star Princess and Sea Princess sailing the Inside Passage routes from Seattle and San Francisco, while Pacific Princess takes over the line’s small ship experience on 14-day Connoisseur voyages to some of the state’s less-visited ports.
“We remain committed to delivering a range of programs which cover Alaska’s most popular attractions – Denali and Glacier Bay National Parks,” said Charlie Ball, president of Princess Tours. “We also offer programs that go beyond the Heart of Alaska to an array of destinations from above the Arctic Circle to the Emerald Isle of Kodiak.”
Princess cruisetour packages, featuring a Voyage of the Glaciers cruise and a selection of three- to nine-night land tour options, offer a complete land/sea exploration of “The Great Land.” Travelers can choose the way they want to experience the wilderness with Direct to the Wilderness, Classic Alaska, Explorer and Alaska Escorted cruisetour options. All Princess Alaska cruisetour options offer at least two nights at either Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge or Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, or a combination of both, ensuring that travelers enjoy more time among the Denali-area wilderness and wildlife they came to see.
Direct to the Wilderness tours feature trains conveniently waiting right at the Whittier cruise ship dock to offer passengers the only same-day luxury rail service between the ship and Denali Park — the only experience of its kind. Classic Alaska packages combine two nights in the park area with overnights in Anchorage and Fairbanks, and include Princess’ famed rail service. Explorer tours include visits to Denali and other areas in the state, with stays at Princess’ Copper River or Kenai wilderness lodges or adventures in the north into the Arctic Circle. Alaska Escorted tours offer three itineraries featuring the services of a professional guide and including most meals.
Princess’ Alaska cruisetours include accommodation at the line’s five exclusive wilderness lodges, with scenic riverside settings in some of the state’s most desirable locations. Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge house visitors to the Denali area, while the company’s Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge and Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge are set, respectively, among the dramatic beauty of the Kenai Peninsula and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. The Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge also offers quality accommodations in the heart of Alaska’s interior, set on the Chena River.
Voyage of the Glaciers
The 2,670-passenger Diamond Princess and Sapphire Princess will sail on the line’s famed Gulf of Alaska route between Vancouver and Whittier on 36 week-long voyages departing on Saturdays — featuring calls at Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway with daylight cruising of Glacier Bay and the 16 glaciers of College Fjord. In addition, the 1,970-passenger Coral Princess and Island Princess will offer 36 Monday departures of the same itinerary.
Alaska Connoisseur Voyages
Princess’ small ship cruising experience returns to Alaska for the second year as the intimate 670-passenger Pacific Princess takes over this extended 14-day voyage which now departs from Seattle, featuring the less visited ports of Kodiak, Valdez, Icy Strait Point and Seward. In addition the ship will also visit Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria, B.C., with daylight cruising of Glacier Bay. Pacific Princess will sail on nine voyages departing Seattle on Thursdays.
Golden Princess and Star Princess From Seattle
The 2,600-passenger Golden Princess and Star Princess both return to sail on seven-day roundtrip itineraries from Seattle with ports of call in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria, plus treat passengers to dramatic glacier viewing in Tracy Arm and its twin Sawyer Glaciers. Golden Princess sails on 19 voyages departing on Saturdays while Star Princess offers 19 Sunday departures.
Sea Princess from San Francisco
Sea Princess takes over the line’s San Francisco departures, offering 11 sailings from “The City by the Bay” for her 1,990 passengers. The 10-day roundtrip cruises sail on varying itineraries that include calls at Victoria, Juneau, Ketchikan, and either Skagway, Haines or Icy Strait Point, plus the premiere glacier viewing of Tracy Arm.
Alaska cruises and cruisetours for 2009 are available for reservations on April 9, 2008. Escape Fares begin at $599 for seven-day voyages, and $1,299 for cruisetours. A Captain’s Circle Launch Savings Discount of up to $300 is available to Princess past passengers who book by September 30, 2008.
Additional information about Princess’ Alaska cruises and cruisetours is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting www.princess.com.