Princess Cruises has welcomed the start of the 2018 Alaska cruise season, offering guests more options to experience the best of the Great Land. Princess Cruises takes more guests to the 49th state than any other cruise line, offering unique itineraries, cruisetour options and new guest experiences that bring the history, people and culture of Alaska to life both on land and at sea.
This summer Princess Cruises has seven ships sailing the region including the newly enhanced Golden Princess. Guests will be able to experience the newly designed restaurant space and menu at Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria; create, play and huddle at the Camp Discovery youth and teen center; and be entertained while watching a variety of the newest movies, shows and concerts on a more technologically advanced Movies Under the Stars screen aboard Golden Princess.
While onboard all ships sailing Alaska this year, guests will encounter a variety of ways to engage in unique Alaska experiences through the award-winning North to Alaska program, featuring the line’s favorite “Cook My Catch,” an exclusive culinary program allowing guests to return from select Princess fishing excursions to have the chef prepare their very own catch of the day. Also offered, the crowd-favorite Puppies in the Piazza, where real Alaska sled dog puppies are brought onboard in Skagway for guests to interact with.
Guests venturing into the interior of Alaska on a Princess cruisetour visiting Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge will be some of the first to visit the lodge’s newest addition, a wilderness treehouse built by Pete Nelson of Animal Planet’s hit show “Treehouse Masters.” The treehouse, completed in fall 2017, in conjunction with the line’s Discovery™ partnership, provides a unique perspective of Denali – the tallest mountain in North America.
The treehouse will open its doors to guests looking to take part in unique activities including “Tales from the Sourdough Expedition,” a historic walking tour led by Todd Huston, the first disabled person to break an able-bodied world record in sports by climbing to the highest elevations in each of the 50 United States faster than anyone else. During the walk guests will hear first-hand stories from his journey as well as that of the historic first summit by Pioneer Alaskans in 1910. Guests will also be able to meet with a local Birch tree sap harvesters and enjoy Sappy Hour, a “sweet” look into the process of harvesting this natural product of the boreal forests and products developed from it.
“This year, our guests will be delighted by the newly designed guest experiences highlighting the history of Alaska and its people that adds a unique layer to an already unbelieve cruise vacation,” said Lisa Syme, Princess Cruises vice president.
In addition to new programming on land, Princess debuts a new dining venue at the line’s Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge, Rod & Reel. The restaurant renovation is the latest enhancement to the lodge located on the Kenai Peninsula, and will offer new menu items for both lunch and dinner.
Guests will also enjoy newly updated Princess-owned rail cars operating on the Alaska railroad, taking travelers between their cruise ship and Princess Wilderness Lodges on the line’s exclusive Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail service, giving them more time to enjoy the Denali-area. The rail journey will now feature forward facing seats in the upper level dome for all guests, and updated interiors allowing guests to sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery surrounding them.
Details of the 2018 Princess offerings include:
With 130 departures from Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver, B.C. and Whittier featuring unique ports, there are options abound for exploring Alaska in 2018 aboard Princess ships, including:
• Voyage of the Glaciers – the most popular Gulf of Alaska sailings between Vancouver, B.C. and Anchorage (Whittier) offered by Princess Cruises features two glacier-viewing experiences on every voyage, with visits to the UNESCO-listed Glacier Bay National Park plus either Hubbard Glacier or College Fjord. These cruises are offered aboard Island Princess, Coral Princess, Star Princess and Golden Princess.
• Inside Passage –This awe-inspiring part of Alaska, known for its lush scenery and pristine fjords, will be featured on seven-, 10- and 12-day roundtrip voyages from Seattle, San Francisco and for the first time ever, Los Angeles. Ruby and Emerald Princess sail on seven-day cruises roundtrip from Seattle with all Ruby Princess cruises featuring a visit to Glacier Bay National Park. Grand Princess sails out of San Francisco, featuring five departures visiting Glacier Bay. Two 12-day cruises roundtrip from Los Angeles aboard Emerald Princess and Golden Princess will also include Glacier Bay.
In addition, cruisetours offer a more immersive experience and the opportunity to visit Denali National Park. Land tours are combined with a seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise and include the company’s premier wilderness lodges, exclusive Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail service, plus visits to the top two attractions in Alaska – Glacier Bay National Park and Denali National Park.
Princess offers guests more than 22 cruisetour options in 2018, most featuring multiple nights at Princess-owned and operated wilderness lodges to experience the grandeur of Denali. Guests will once again be able to purchase a pre-paid meal package for the land portion of their vacation in 2018. Options include:
• Denali Explorer – The line’s most popular cruisetour option, these itineraries feature multiple nights at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and/or Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge. Most offer Princess exclusive Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail service between the ship in Whittier and the Denali area all in one day, plus the opportunity to explore Fairbanks and/or Anchorage.
• On Your Own – An affordable option for independent-minded travelers, these itineraries offer a flexible way to see the heart of Alaska. Tours follow similar routes as Denali Explorer options, but do not include any pre-planned excursions, giving travelers the opportunity to customize their own experience.
• Off the Beaten Path – These itineraries are designed to take travelers beyond Denali to sought-after, remote regions of the state such as the Kenai Peninsula and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.
• Connoisseur – The line’s highest level of service, these cruisetours provide a truly immersive experience. With a professional tour director, most meals included on land and enhanced sightseeing, guests experience the best of the Great Land.
Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237) or by visiting the company's website at princess.com.