Long the leader in cruising both Alaska's Inside Passage and its dramatic glacier rimmed Gulf Coast, Princess Cruises announces that its 2008 Gulf of Alaska program will feature five vessels, including one which will offer the most destination-intensive itinerary in Alaska. Sailing in Alaska for the first time, the intimate Tahitian Princess will debut a new longer "Connoisseur" route that features a number of unique and memorable experiences not usually included on most Alaskan cruises, including the chance to view the famous brown bears of Kodiak, explore the natural beauty of "Alaska's Little Switzerland," at Valdez and revel in one of Alaska's best wildlife spectacles from Seward, the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park.
Princess ships will offer 73 signature Gulf of Alaska sailings and eight departures of the new Connoisseur voyages throughout the May to September season. Ranging in size from 670 to 2,670 passengers, ships include Diamond Princess, Sapphire Princess, Coral Princess and Island Princess, each returning for another season of the seven-night "Voyage of the Glaciers" cruises between Vancouver and Whittier, and Tahitian Princess, which for the first time joins the lineup with its 14 day Connoisseur cruise sailing roundtrip from Vancouver.
"We dedicate our newest and most innovative ships to these itineraries because we believe they offer an unrivaled way to see Alaska's world famous coastline," said Charlie Ball, president of Princess Tours. "No other line offers the range of ships and itineraries we do, and no one else provides the wonderful opportunity to experience Glacier Bay on every Gulf sailing. And with our new longer Connoisseur itinerary, we're offering travelers the chance to explore many of the hidden gems of this region they don't often get the opportunity to explore, Making it the perfect vacation choice for the growing number of returning visitors to Alaska who want to see even more of the state's wonders."
The seven day Gulf of Alaska cruises can also be combined with one of 34 different land tour options for a complete cruisetour featuring the best of Alaska by land and sea, including the state's two most sought-after destinations on every departure, Glacier Bay National Park and Denali National Park. All of the line's 2008 Gulf of Alaska cruises include calls in Glacier Bay, and Princess ships will carry more passengers to this spectacle of ice and sea life than any other cruise line. In addition, travelers headed to Denali arrive earlier with Princess exclusive Direct to the Wilderness rail service to/from Whittier, giving them more time to explore the state's dramatic interior.
Voyage of the Glaciers
The 2,670 passenger Diamond Princess and Sapphire Princess will be deployed on 37 voyages departing Saturdays from Vancouver or Whittier and 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 sailings on the same itinerary, departing on Mondays.
Alaska Connoisseur Voyages
Princess will offer a new Connoisseur itinerary aboard the intimate 670-passenger Tahitian Princess. This 14 day voyage includes new port calls at Kodiak, Seward, and Valdez in addition to visits to Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Sitka and Victoria, B.C., with daylight cruising of Glacier Bay. Tahitian Princess will sail on eight voyages departing on Thursdays from Vancouver. With eight ports of call and a full day of cruising Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, this itinerary is perfect for the traveler who wants the most Alaskan cruise available.
Voyage of the Glaciers passengers can choose from a variety of three to nine night land packages to create a comprehensive 10 to 16 night land/sea vacation in the heart of "The Great Land." All Princess Alaska tours 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-are wilderness and wildlife they came to see. Passengers can travel directly to their lodge from the ship with Princess exclusive Direct to the Wilderness rail service. Expanded for 2008, this unique service features trains waiting right at the Whittier cruise ship dock to offer passengers the only same-day luxury rail service between the ship and Denali Park.
Princess Alaska cruisetours include accommodation at the line's five exclusive wilderness lodges, with scenic riverside settings in some of the "Great Land's" most desirable locations. The expanded Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge house Denali area visitors, 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 with views of the Chena River.