Six ships, including the new Discovery Princess, will sail 12 itineraries between May and September 2022
Princess Cruises’ 2022 Alaska cruises and tours programme will go on sale from December 16, 2020.
The programme features six ships, including the newest addition to the line’s fleet, Discovery Princess. Guests can choose from 12 cruise itineraries, plus 25 tour options, combining a cruise and land tour visiting the Denali National Park.
Four West Coast home ports – Seattle, Vancouver, Anchorage (Whittier) and San Francisco – are included in the May to September 2022 season.
The 3,660-guest Discovery Princess will mark its inaugural season as the youngest ship in Alaska departing from Seattle on a seven-day Inside Passage itinerary, alongside Emerald Princess.
Majestic Princess will debut along with Sapphire Princess and Grand Princess sailing the seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers itinerary, which features two glacier viewing experiences on every cruise including Glacier Bay National Park.
Ruby Princess will offer 10-day Inside Passage cruises out of San Francisco, featuring the added bonus of a sailaway under the Golden Gate Bridge.
All six ships sailing to Alaska in 2022 are Medallion Class-enabled.
Ron Peck, director of tourism development, tells us about plans for the major Alaskan gateway
A cruise to Alaska is on many people’s bucket lists. With the 2020 season cancelled, there is likely to be even more demand for 2021. For the Port of Seattle, which has made itself a major Alaskan gateway over the last few years, that’s big news.
The Alaska season, which lasts roughly from April until October, has added emphasis for Seattle because of Seattle International Airport’s new arrivals facility – which includes a scenic walkway right over taxiing aircraft – and increased capacity. Anyone who has flown into Seattle will know what a big deal that is. The Port of Seattle – which uniquely comprises the airport and the cruise terminal – is also on a mission to get more of its cruise passengers to stay for longer, either before embarking or after their cruise. Whether that’s a stay in Seattle or a journey further out into Washington State, there is a huge amount to see and discover, much of which has been added to its trade-friendly Cruise & Stay Guide.
We spoke with Ron Peck, director of tourism development at the Port of Seattle, to find out more.
Cruise Adviser: Why did you hold the event?
Ron Peck: We wanted to talk about what great places Seattle and Washington State are to come and visit. But, just as importantly, that we as a destination are taking the right measures so that people who are travelling internationally can feel comfortable coming. It’s also a great opportunity to talk about the brand new international arrivals facility that’s being built. Brits really view travelling as being essential and this year so many people have missed taking their big holiday. Next year is a prime opportunity for them to take a bucket list holiday, and an Alaskan cruise out of Seattle is absolutely a bucket list holiday.
Why is visiting Seattle or Washington State safe? What measures are you putting in place?
We are a fantastic destination but, just as importantly, we’ve got the right protocols and safety measures in place, such as our FlyHealthy@SEA programme. Research says that an aircraft is one of the safest indoor places to be right now, and on the ground we are working closely with our partners to ensure that the right measures are put in place and clearly communicated to both locals and visitors. I would expect travel to be back by the second half of 2021.
Can we talk a bit about the new facility at the airport?
Prior to Covid, we were the eighth largest airport in the United States and, frankly, we were putting five pounds of tuna in a two pound tin. The new facility will make the entire experience much smoother for travellers. The great thing about this facility is that it’s got one of the longest elevated bridges that runs over the taxiway, with great views of Mount Rainier. We believe that we should be able to have it open and operating by sometime the middle of the year.
What can you say right now that that puts people at ease in terms of safety?
Well, I think I think one of the unique things about the Port of Seattle is that we’re both an airport and a cruise terminal. You’ll see us continue to work with our cruise friends, just as we have done with our airline partners. All the major cruise lines in the United States have announced that there will be 100 per cent testing of Covid before you embark and disembark. And that’s just one small component. I would say over January and February those trials will take place, as part of the CDC’s Safe Sailing document. So we’re pretty excited about how we see Alaska shaping up as a destination.
Tell me a little bit more about the Cruise & Stay Guide?
There’s a lot of pent up demand and interest in returning to travel again. Our Cruise & Stay Guide is a way to help if you’re coming this far, and offer inspiration so that you don’t just take that cruise. Spend three to five days seeing the rest of this cool state that has so much to offer. We’re the smallest state west of the Rockies. But you name an activity and we do it – except for two things. We have four mountain ranges, a temperate rainforest National Park, two other national parks, the fifth fastest flowing river in the United States, the Columbia River. Huge agricultural, great wine and beer industry. Lots of wide open spaces where you won’t see other visitors for miles around. The only two things we don’t have here are Mickey Mouse ears and swamps. And you can go to Florida for that.
See SeattleCruiseAlaska.co.uk for more