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It’s beginning

By: Ketchikan Daily News
April 3, 2019

The cruise season begins this week in Ketchikan.

Un-Cruise Adventures kicks it off Thursday with sailings of its Wilderness Adventure and Wilderness Explorer.

The 332 total passengers between the two ships will be in the First City for a couple of days.

These ships aren’t the smallest coming to call — those would be Alaskan Dream Cruise’s Alaskan Dream at 104 feet and Baranof Dream at 143 feet — but the Un-Cruise duo is among the smallest ships due this summer.

The first big ship — the Ruby Princess of Princess Cruises at 952 feet — is scheduled into the Port of Ketchikan on April 27, only about three weeks hence. It is capable of carrying 3,082 passengers and 240 crew members. It’s expected to make 20 stops in 2019, bringing in 61,640 passengers total.

But the biggest ship of the season will be the Norwegian Bliss of Norwegian Cruise Lines, which makes its first stop on May 10 with potentially 4,174 passengers and 1,700 crew members on board. The 1,094-foot ship — the longest along with the Norwegian Joy — is scheduled to stop 21 times.

The Joy stops 23 times, bringing in the most passengers of all ships with 89,401 for the year.

Ketchikan will welcome an estimated 71,188 more passengers than it did in 2018 for a total of 1,145,111. This year also will see 46 ships calling, compared to 40 in ’18.

Starting May 16, Ketchikan will be the host to cruise ship passengers every day until Sept. 18. The fewest number of visitors on any specific day will be 2,400 on May 25 when the Disney Wonder of Disney Cruise Lines is the only ship calling.

The most passengers in any one day will be July 26. That Friday, 14,109 passengers are expected, which is 1,213 more than any day in 2018. Seven ships call that day, the most of any day.

On nine days throughout the season, the number of cruise ship passengers will exceed 13,000. Eight of those nine days will fall on Fridays. The latest U.S. Census shows Ketchikan Gateway Borough has a population of 13,477.

The least busiest days — although at least a couple thousand passengers can be expected on most of them — will be Wednesdays and Saturdays.

That’s what the season looks like at the start. It’s full of promise and opportunity. Ketchikan welcomes both.

Categories: News