Princess Cruises has announced a range of new Alaska-based shore excursions and themed onboard activities to mark 2019 as its 50th year sailing to the region. Seven Princess ships will sail in Alaska from May to September this year, the largest deployment in the line’s history.
The shore excursions will offer guests more opportunities to experience Alaska first-hand. They include:
- A whale watch by luxury yacht or interactive self-guided jeep tour in Juneau
- A rainforest trail bike and hike in Ketchikan
- A treetop flyover of Icy Strait Point via the 5,000 feet long ZipRider cable ride, the highest in the US at 1,330 feet above sea level
- A boat tour of the 122km Hubbard Glacier and surrounding wildlife
Several entertainment and culinary initiatives have also been introduced onboard, which will complement Princess’ existing award-winning ‘North to Alaska’ programme. They include:
- Local guest speakers – From a ‘Deadliest Catch’ fisherman captain to the first female winner of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, guests have the chance to meet local experts and hear how Alaska inspired them to pursue their passions and professions
- Northern Lights planetarium – An indoor light display that will offers guests the chance to experience The Northern Lights in the Princess Theatre
- ‘A Taste of Alaska’ menu items – Including fresh, locally-sourced food such as salmon and crab in both the main dining room and on a new Chef’s Table
- Glacier tea and beer tastings – A new take on Long Island Ice Tea, Glacier Tea will be available at the ships’ bars. Topped off with Blue Curacao, the new cocktail will reflect the colour of Alaska’s famous glaciers. A new beer tasting flight will also be offered, featuring blends from Juneau-based Alaskan Brewing Company
Finally, a mini museum exhibit will be curated onboard featuring notable images throughout the 50 years Princess Cruises has sailed to Alaska.
The 2019 programme will see the 3,560-guest Royal Princess make her inaugural visit to Alaska and mark the first time a Princess Medallion-activated ship has sailed the region.
The Medallion is a complimentary, automated piece of technology, the same size as a 10p piece, given to each guest, which enables features including:
- Keyless stateroom access
- A streamlined embarkation and disembarkation process, giving quicker and easier access to the ship
- Enhanced interaction with crew members and other guests, e.g. staff can see guest’s individual food and beverage preferences and offer a more personalised service
- On demand beverage delivery
The ship will join Ruby Princess, Coral Princess, Island Princess, Star Princess, Golden Princess and Grand Princess, with departures offered from Vancouver, Anchorage, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Tony Roberts, vice president Princess Cruises UK and Europe, said: “Throughout the 50 years Princess has sailed in Alaska we have taken more guests to the region than any other cruise line. With seven ships visiting this year alone we are keen to bring new and engaging experiences both ashore and onboard.
“These enhancements, coupled with the introduction of Medallion-activated Royal Princess sailing in Alaska for the first time, mean we are confident a new dimension will be added to the guest experience to mark this special milestone.”