Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city (population 277,000—about 42% of the state’s residents), has long been a major tourism hub for passengers transferring between the airport and ships docked in either nearby Seward or Whittier. But lately it’s become a popular port-of-call in its own right for the first time since the 1990s, when Cunard Line’s Sagafjord called here on a regular basis.
For the second season in a row, the city has several day calls scheduled from May through September aboard Holland America Line’s Amsterdam, which operates 14-day roundtrip cruises sailing from Seattle. The Amsterdam calls every other Friday. The city also hosts one or two turnarounds aboard Silversea Cruises’ Silver Shadow, which launched its Alaska season on May 30 with a 10-day cruise to Vancouver, and Oceania Cruises’ Regatta, which sails 12-day southbound cruises from Anchorage to Vancouver on June 29 and July 23.
Anchorage has been picking up port calls for a number of reasons. For starters, luxury and premium lines are more numerous in Alaska these days, and longer cruises are becoming more commonplace as well. And as cruising grows, the never-ending search for new destinations to entice repeat passengers also works in Anchorage’s favor. “Alaska has always had a natural allure,” agrees Julie Saupe, President and CEO of the Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau, “and I think there’s more demand for itineraries that incorporate new experiences and places in the state.”
To find out more about why Anchorage is such an up and coming port-of-call, visit the city’s award-winning website at www.anchorage.net.