February 08, 2009 | Comments 2

Trouble Brewing in Alaskan Waters

Royal Caribbean has already reported pulling out Serenade of the Seas from its Alaskan cruises in 2010. Only two ships will be left operating, Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas. The move by one of the major cruise lines was followed by Cruise West, as the small ship company told Juneau Empire that their ships will not be returning to Alaska this coming summer.

Royal Caribbean’s move may have been triggered by the fact that Juneau Empire implemented head taxes back in 2006. This reasoning was reiterated by John Binkley, President of Alaska Cruise Association, as $50 per passenger could be an appalling amount especially for passengers looking for cheaper cruises. The Juneau Empire has also been implementing stricter rules about excursions and discharges that has made it complicated for passengers to enjoy their shore excursions; and this could also be one of the reasons.

Royal Caribbean on the other hand has said that their decision was made due to the fact that Serenade of the Seas would be more profitable in other destinations.

Juneau Empire is questioning the moves by both companies, as this might trigger an alarming response from other cruise liners. Alaska may be deemed as no longer a favorable cruise destination. As such, the state is already set to lose about 37 million dollars revenue from passengers and cruise lines. If Holland America and Princess pull out ships from Alaska, the state could experience a heavier decline in profits. So far, these two major cruise lines have not made any decisions regarding their 2010 itineraries.

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  1. Cruise West has NOT pulled out of Alaska. The company is operating five ships in 2009 and 10 itineraries.

  2. I don’t believe the writer said they were entirely pulling out - just mentioned 2 of the ships not returning - right?

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