Asian cruisers make Alaska their favourite long haul destination

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The country has been crowned the most popular cruise locale in 2018.

Alaska has recently been revealed as a top long-haul destination for Princess Cruises’ guests, particularly from Southeast Asia.

TripAdvisor subsidiary Cruise Critic also named Alaska’s Glacier Bay as the “Most Popular Cruise Destination in 2018.” The 25-million acre World Heritage Site is a highlight of Alaska’s Inside Passage, and only accessible by cruise ship.

Mr Farriek Tawfik, Director Southeast Asia, Princess Cruises, attributes the location’s popularity to its stunning glaciers and breathtaking scenery.

“Alaska is one of the most spectacular places on earth. So it is not surprising that the most popular long haul destination outside of Asia for our guests from Southeast Asia is Alaska, especially for guests from Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia,” he noted.

Travel agents are also noticing an increased interest in Alaska cruises from their customers.

Said Mr Kent Tay, Sales Manager of Travel 21 in Singapore, “Alaskan cruises continue to sell well and it has consistently been a top growth destination. Its popularity is due to it being a once-in-a-lifetime experience, with cruising being the best way to visit this Great Land.”

He added, “Our customers also take the opportunity to extend their stay in the US or Canada before or after the cruise, since they can strike off several items from their bucket list in one FlyCruise trip.”

In a CLIA report released this week, overall passenger source volume (for all destinations) saw double digit growth from Singapore (39.9%) and Indonesia (54.9%). Mr Tawfik added that these figures coincide with the increasing trend of cruisers selecting bucket list destinations such as Alaska, which are becoming more sought-after among millennials, honeymooners and families.

CLIA estimates that cruise ship tourism in Alaska will increase by about 6 percent in 2019, as compared to 2018. This translates to an estimated 1.3 million tourists arriving by cruise ship to Alaskan ports such as the capital Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and the Glacier Bay National Park.

Additionally, 2019 marks Princess Cruises’ 50th year of sailing in Alaska, with the liner having hosted more than five million guests to the country over the last five decades. To celebrate this significant milestone, Princess will be introducing new entertainment, shore excursions and culinary offerings on Alaskan itineraries.

New programmes will also be available onboard seven Princess Cruises ships sailing in Alaska for the May through September season, making this the cruise line’s largest deployment ever. Royal Princess is set to make her debut as well – the first time a Princess MedallionClass™ ship will be sailing in Alaska.

Currently, Princess Cruises to Alaska range in length from seven to 12 days and depart from Vancouver, Anchorage (Whittier), Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.