Princess Cruises has released its 2011 Alaska program, with season opening sales beginning May 13 with special rates that include adding three days at Denali to a cruise for $299. The program offers a range of cruise options on amenity-filled ships as well as cruisetour options such as a stay in Princess’ signature wilderness lodges and exclusive Direct to the Wilderness program— where guests step right from their ship onto luxury railcars that transport them directly to the Denali area.
The season includes a total of 104 Alaska departures aboard six ships sailing on three itinerary options during the May to September season. The lineup includes Diamond Princess, Coral Princess, and Island Princess traveling on the line's Voyage of the Glaciers route through the Gulf of Alaska; Golden Princess and Sapphire Princess sailing the Inside Passage from Seattle, and Sea Princess cruising on 10-day journeys from San Francisco.
The cruisetour program combines a seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise with three to eight additional nights on land exploring Alaska’s interior. For 2011, travelers can choose from four types of land and sea packages – Denali Explorer, On Your Own, Off the Beaten Path and Connoisseur. All cruisetours include the company’s exclusive wilderness lodges, rail or motorcoach travel, plus Glacier Bay National Park and Denali National Park, where visitors spend at least two nights exploring the wonders of this area.
Voyage of the Glaciers – The line’s Gulf of Alaska route between Vancouver and Whittier (for Anchorage) features calls at Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway with daylight cruising in Glacier Bay National Park and the 16 glaciers of College Fjord (or Hubbard Glacier on southbound sailings). Diamond Princess and Coral Princess sail on Saturdays and Island Princess offers new Wednesday departures for a total of 54 sailing choices between May 18 and September 17.
Inside Passage from Seattle – Golden Princess and Sapphire Princess offer weekend departures on seven-day roundtrip itineraries from Seattle along the Inside Passage with calls at Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria, British Columbia. Passengers will journey by Glacier Bay National Park (Golden Princess) or Tracy Arm (Sapphire Princess). The two ships will sail on 37 departures between May 14 and September 17, 2011.
Inside Passage from San Francisco – Sea Princess again sails from the “City by the Bay” on 10-day roundtrip cruises. The ship offers 13 voyages from San Francisco featuring the scenery of Glacier Bay National Park or Tracy Arm, stops at Victoria and Juneau, plus two other calls in Ketchikan, Skagway, Haines, Sitka or Icy Strait Point. Departures sail between May 10 and September 7, 2011.
Denali Explorer – Featuring multiple nights at the line’s own Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and/or Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, these tours also offer the exclusive Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail service between the Whittier cruise terminal and the Denali National Park area. Most also offer the opportunity to explore Fairbanks or Anchorage.
On Your Own – A new option for independent-minded travelers, these tours offer a more affordable and flexible way to see the heart of Alaska. Tours do not include any pre-planned excursions, giving travelers time to create their own experience.
Off the Beaten Path – For those who want to explore Denali and beyond, these tours offer options to the Kenai Peninsula with stays at Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge or Wrangell-St. Elias National Park with stays at Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge. Passengers can even choose to venture to the state’s far north into the Arctic Circle and Prudhoe Bay.
Connoisseur – These cruisetour options offer the services of a professional tour director and additional time for passengers to experience the the state. Travelers can choose from more of these extended itineraries in 2011, with most meals and enhanced sightseeing options included as well.
Gulf of Alaska cruises and cruisetours for 2011 are available for reservations on May 13, 2010. Launch Fares begin at $649 for seven-day voyages, and $948 for cruisetours.