|Photo by Dreamstime/Crystal Cruises|
Our eye was on Alaska this week in cruise travel news, with three cruise lines and tour operators making new announcements ahead of the 2016 travel season.
Crystal Cruises announced seven Alaska itineraries for 2016, ranging from seven to 10 days onboard Crystal Serenity.
Highlights include a Heli-Hike and White Pass Railway trip that takes guests high above the Sawtooth Mountains, through the wilderness via train, and on a four- to five-mile hike along the Skagway River to the Laughton Glacier. Bears, moose and mountain goat sightings are an added perk (from Skagway, Alaska).
Glacier flightseeing and dog sledding is another combo adventure that highlights two of Alaska’s most popular sports. It takes travelers via helicopter to the top of Denver Glacier before entering the world of mushing, guided by the professionals of the Iditarod Dog Races (from Skagway). A second “musher’s camp” dog sledding adventure is offered from Juneau.
Dozens of other Crystal Adventures offer glacier treks, kayaking excursions, photography-focused expeditions, highlights of Alaska’s Russian and native heritage, ziplining, wildlife encounters and preservation education, and crab feeds. Crystal Serenity’s 2016 Alaska cruise season runs from June 19 through August 16, with a spring Asia voyage and a late-August Northwest Passage route also featuring Alaskan calls and adventures. For bookings by December 31, 2015, travelers can enjoy additional “Book Now” savings, with all-inclusive cruise fares starting at $2,915 per person.
Also this week, Un-Cruise Adventures announced that the National Park Service has awarded the line 102 permit entries per year into Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park for a five year period beginning in spring 2016. The line will run six small ships carrying 22-84 guests on itineraries exploring Glacier Bay on weeklong adventure cruises.
During 2016 the National Park Service will be celebrating its 100 year anniversary. Guests visiting Glacier Bay during the week of August 25, 2016—the actual anniversary day—will enjoy a commemorative gift and special celebration on board Un-Cruise Adventures’ ships.
Itineraries spending one day inside Glacier Bay National Park include Exploring Muir’s Wilderness and Northern Passages & Glacier Bay. Discoverers’ Glacier Country spends two days inside the park. The 22-guest Safari Quest, 36-guest Safari Explorer, 60-guest Wilderness Adventurer, 74-guest Wilderness Explorer, 76-guest Wilderness Discoverer and 84-guest Safari Endeavour are the six ships exploring Glacier Bay.
Rates begin at $2,295 per person, double occupancy.
Finally, John Hall's Alaska has announced its 2016 Tour Schedule, offering seven Alaska itineraries for the upcoming season.
Highlights include Alaska Iditarod & Aurora Adventure (11 days land), National Parks of Alaska (12 days land/7 days cruise), and Three Bears of Alaska (10 days land/7 days cruise).
Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for the latest cruise industry news, trends and updates.