Last week’s announcement by Royal Caribbean to pull Serenade of the Seas from its Alaska rounds in 2010 underscores one notion that Alaska cruising might be economically unviable. John Hansen, president of the North West CruiseShip Association, told the Vancouver Sun that for the past two years Alaskan ports have levied a $50 per-passenger charge on cruise ships. This fee, then, is passed on to passengers. “That adds $50 to your cruise vacation, and that has an impact on the market, especially at a time when people are looking to save money, and have concern about the cost of a vacation,” Hansen told the newspaper.
Alaska cruises are usually more expensive than cruises in the Caribbean, which are seeing an uptick in demand due to lower pricing and discounts. This may also be a reason why Royal Caribbean pulled its ship.
For Alaska’s sake, it's hoping that no more ships follow Royal Caribbean’s lead and pull out, as much of its economy comes from tourism and cruise ship stops.