The very excellent USA Today Cruise Log reports on some stormy waters around Alaska.
In recent years, the state has been making the lives of cruise lines quite miserable. New taxes, fees and regulatory requirements are slowly turning ships away, and some lines have already resorted to moving their Alaska ships to new routes.
Obviously, when a state starts taking too much advantage of tourism dollars, they run the risk of scaring people away, but the Alaskan cruise industry has been expanding for years, and may have simply reached the point of overcapacity.
Holland America CEO Kruse had some stern words for Alaska – “we can, and we will pull ships out of the region”. Alaska has become one of the costliest cruise regions in the world, with new fees like a $46 per person “head tax” and taxes on shipboard casino earnings.
Alaskan cruise traffic is down 17% in 2010, and for a state that relies this heavily on tourism, this is going to have a huge impact.