Princess Cruises in 2024 will celebrate two major milestones tied to the Last Frontier State, as it honors the 65th anniversary of Alaska’s statehood and marks the 55th year it has been sailing to the pristine and sought-after destination. Not surprisingly, the cruise line will have a big presence in Alaska during the upcoming summer season.
Alaska became the 49th state on January 3, 1959, nearly 100 years after the US bought the land from Russia, and back then, few could have guessed that the Great Land would become one of the world’s premier cruise destinations.
Princess Cruises began offering Alaska sailings in 1969, and has since provided unforgettable cruise experiences to millions of guests who longed to see the state’s rugged coastlines, massive glaciers, and abundance of wildlife.
In summer 2024, the cruise line will deploy seven ships to the destination, offering 158 departures of 14 itineraries. Voyages of varying lengths will visit 17 Alaskan locations, and offer 91 scenic cruising opportunities in Glacier Bay National Park alone.
“Alaska’s statehood marked a historic moment in American history, opening doors to a world of opportunities and possibilities, and we salute this very important anniversary,” said Terry Thornton, chief commercial officer for Princess Cruises.
“Princess Cruises has been a proud partner in Alaska’s growth and prosperity, providing unforgettable experiences, contributing to its economy and fostering a deep appreciation for its unique heritage,” Thornton added.
Three ships will operate 7-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruises, including the 142,229 gross ton, 3,560-guest Royal Princess; the 115,875 gross ton, 2,670-guest Sapphire Princess, and the 107,517 gross ton, 2,600-guest Grand Princess.
Seven-day Inside Passage voyages will operate roundtrip from Seattle aboard the line’s 145,000 gross ton, 3,660-guest Discovery Princess, and the 143,700 gross ton, 3,560-guest Majestic Princess.
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From San Francisco, Princess will offer 11-day Inside Passage cruises aboard the 113,561 gross ton, 3,080-guest Crown Princess, while the 113,561 gross ton, 3,080-guest Ruby Princess operates 7-day Inside Passage voyages from Vancouver.
Princess Cruises in 2024 will offer a series of cruisetours that combine sea voyages with land stays at wilderness lodges and visits to iconic national parks and other popular destinations. In all, 20-plus cruisetours are featured in 2024, taking guests to Denali National Park, Kenai Peninsula, Copper River, Fairbanks, and Anchorage.
The upcoming season will debut two new cruisetours. One is a 15-night National Parks Tour that takes guests to five parks — Glacier Bay, Denali, Wrangell-St. Elias, Kenai Fjords National Parks, and Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. The itinerary combines a 7-day cruise with eight nights on land, and accommodations at Princess Cruises’ lodges.
The second new cruisetour is the 9-day Katmai National Park Tour, offered pre- or post-cruise. The itinerary includes a 7-night sailing and two nights in Anchorage, providing opportunities for guests to see brown bears at Brooks Falls in the national park. Flights between Anchorage and the park are included in the cruisetour fare.
All Princess Cruises’ voyages to Alaska feature the line’s North to Alaska cultural immersion programs, which include guest interaction with local people, educational activities about the state’s history and traditions, and the availability of Alaskan seafood for onboard dining.
For youngsters, the Alaska Explorer’s Youth Program offers a Junior Ranger experience, in partnership with the Glacier Bay National Park Rangers.
Looking ahead, Princess Cruises has rolled out its plans for its 2025 season as well, offering 150-plus departures on seven ships sailing from five homeports. Also in 2025, the line will feature some 25 cruisetours.
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