Alaska will see a record-breaking cruise season this summer as the region is poised to finally break its most recent passenger record (set in 2018) according to the 2019 Cruise Industry News Annual Report.
More vessels and bigger ships are driving the expansion, while two key homeports in Seattle and Vancouver provide airlift to a stable, natural destination.
The Norwegian Bliss was positioned in Alaska for her debut season in 2018, generating record yields according to Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. The company will up capacity again this summer, adding the Joy to the market, only to be met by Royal Caribbean International’s Ovation of the Seas.
Other new or notable operators in Alaska include Cunard, Azamara, Viking and Hurtigruten.
By capacity alone, the market is dominated by two Carnival Corporation brands, Princess and Holland America Line, which account for nearly 50 percent of the Alaska cruise market, while Norwegian is the third largest operator by capacity.
Princess, of note, is celebrating its 50th year in the Alaska market, with seven ships highlighted by the Royal Princess. The 2012-built ship is making its debut in Alaska and will become the first Princess MedallionClass ship in the market.
Princess also owns and operates five wilderness lodges near national parks offering more than 20 cruisetour options for guests, who can combine a seven-day cruise with a multi-night land tour and exclusive rail service.
Overall Alaska cruise capacity is set to be up by just over 15 percent in 2019, with another rise expected in 2020.
Over 1.2 million cruise guests are expected in Alaska, well exceeding the 2018 number, which broke a previous record set in 2008 before a head tax sent traffic numbers spiraling downward between 2009 and 2011. Since then, the Alaska market has been on the rebound, posting modest capacity increases year-over-year.
About the Annual Report:
The Cruise Industry News Annual Report is the only book of its kind, presenting the worldwide cruise industry through 2027 in 400 pages.
Statistics are independently researched.
The report covers everything from new ships on order to supply-and-demand scenarios from 1987 through 2027+. Plus there is a future outlook, complete growth projections for each cruise line, regional market reports, and detailed ship deployment by region and market, covering all the cruise lines.