Published on : Friday, January 25, 2019
Princess Cruises first began cruising to Alaska on June 3,1969 with Princess Italia carrying 525 guests to this breathtaking bucket-list destination. This year, the #1 cruise line in Alaska is celebrating its 50 years of sailing to the Great Land by introducing new entertainment, shore excursions and culinary offerings to mark this significant milestone.
New programs will be available onboard seven Princess Cruises ships sailing in Alaska for the upcoming May through September season, marking the cruise line’s largest deployment ever and featuring the debut of Royal Princess, the first time a Princess MedallionClass™ ship will be sailing in Alaska. Considered a breakthrough in the vacation industry, the OceanMedallion wearable device features leading-edge technology that delivers personalized service through enhanced guest-crew interactions, eliminates friction points and enables interactive entertainment.
“We’ve spent half a century developing our legacy in Alaska and host more guests there than any other cruise line – more than 5 million over the last 50 years,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “We invite guests to celebrate this 50-year milestone with us, to try new and authentic experiences, combined with the awe-inspiring beauty of the Great Land and embark on an unforgettable journey.”
As the recognized cruise line leader, Princess offers a variety of cruise and cruisetour options highlighting the state’s must-see attractions, including Glacier Bay National Park and Denali National Park. Alaska cruises range in length from seven to 12 days and depart from Vancouver, Anchorage (Whittier), Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Princess also owns and operates five wilderness lodges nestled in scenic riverside locations near National Parks offering more than 20 unique cruisetour options for guests. Princess cruisetours highlight the best of Alaska by combining a seven-day cruise with a multi-night land tour and exclusive “Direct to the Wilderness” rail service – giving travelers a seamless Princess vacation experience in the Great Land.
New for 2019, as part of the Alaska cruisetour offerings, is the grand opening of Fannie Q’s Saloon at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge. This new restaurant and bar named after famed Alaskan pioneer, Fannie Quigley, will showcase her story and locally inspired dishes in a modern saloon setting, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Just outside of Fannie Q’s Saloon, the new Fireside Patio also debuts with three firepits offering a new gathering place for guests to roast marshmallows, talk about their adventures and have a drink in the midnight sun. Light refreshments will be available for purchase at this new cozy spot. Last, newly named Grizzly Burger offers a fast-casual restaurant serving up the cruise line’s award-winning “Ernesto” burger, named “Best Burger at Sea” by Cruise Critic. This uniquely crafted ribeye burger was created exclusively for Princess by burger expert Chef Ernesto Uchimura.
An exclusive treehouse experience at the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge built by Pete Nelson of Animal Planet’s Treehouse Masters offers guests the ultimate Denali view in an unforgettable setting.
For this anniversary year, specially-themed offerings are added to the award-winning “North to Alaska” onboard lineup that brings unique Alaska experiences to life through local seafood and real Alaskans coming aboard to share their stories:
Northern Lights Planetarium – Gazing up at the Northern Lights is an unforgettable natural phenomenon. Now, guests have the opportunity to enter the indoor planetarium in the Princess Theater and look up at this aurora, a natural and colorful light display.
Adventures Ashore – A number of new shore excursions in Juneau, Ketchikan, and Icy Strait Point will be available for guests to truly connect with the local nature, culture and adventures only found in Alaska, including:
Hubbard Glacier & Wilderness Exploration – Hubbard Glacier
Luxury Whale Watch by Yacht – Juneau
Interactive Self-Guided Jeep Adventure – Juneau
Ketchikan Pub Walk – Ketchikan
Rainforest Trail Bike & Hike Adventure – Ketchikan
Seafood Feast & Tribal Dance Show – Icy Strait Point
Tree Top Adventure Park & Zipline – Icy Strait Point
Adventure Park & ZipRider Combo – Icy Strait Point
Wilderness Hike & Kayak Adventure – Icy Strait Point
Discovering the Birds of Hoonah – Icy Strait Point
Local Guest Speakers – From naturalists, to a “Deadliest Catch” fisherman captain, to a world champion lumberjack and the first female winner of the Iditarod, guests will meet with local experts and hear first-hand how Alaska’s unique environment has fueled their lifestyles, passions and professions.
A Taste of Alaska – From fresh menu offerings in the main dining rooms to a new Chef’s Table featuring the local cuisine of Alaska, guests will delight in seafood, such as salmon and crab, and locally inspired dishes.
“Glacier Tea” & Beer Tastings – A new celebratory cocktail will also be served up – a take on a Long Island Ice Tea, topped off with Blue Curacao, similar to the brilliant glacier blue color found in Alaska. For beer lovers, a special Alaska beer tasting flight will be offered, featuring blends from Juneau-based Alaskan Brewing Company.
Historical Alaska Display in the Piazza – Guests will enjoy a mini museum exhibit featuring notable images throughout the 50 years Princess Cruises has sailed to Alaska.