After turning a cold shoulder to an Alaska that seemed determined to tax cruise ships out of the market, many lines are heading to the land of the midnight sun with more ships, sailings and capacity. Today’s announcement by Norwegian Cruise Lines to position Norwegian Jewel on an inside passage itinerary from Seattle is the latest in a string of “Can’t we all just get along?” moves.
Joining Norwegian Pearl sailing to Glacier Bay from Seattle, Norwegian Jewel will sail Alaska’s inside passage replacing Norwegian Star that will sail to Bermuda for the first time from her new home in New York City.
Earlier this year the Alaska legislature, on the heels of a low-capacity season, voted to lower the prevously raised head tax on cruise passengers. Later in the year, Princess Cruises announced a fourth ship to be added to it’s popular Voyage of the Glaciers run after two years of running a reduced capacity.
“We are particularly appreciative of the efforts of Governor Sean Parnell and the Alaska state legislature that have resulted in meaningful progress toward resolving the challenges facing Alaska’s recovery as a cruise destination,” said Princess President and CEO Alan Bucklew.
As some cruise lines head back to Alaska, others who have never been there before are joining in too.
Disney Cruise Line is sailing North with Disney Wonder as the line doubles its size by adding Disney Dream debuting in January and Disney Fantasy in 2012. Another first-timer, Oceania Cruises will send their Regatta on a series of departures from San Francisco, Vancouver or Anchorage.
It’s good to see the cruise lines and politicians play nice.
Flickr photo by brh_images