Thank you to our cruise family
It takes a village to greet a cruise ship – and Alaska welcomed more than 470 ships this season, carrying almost 1 million visitors. Some called a single time, while seven made 20 or more trips. They ranged in size from the 240-passenger luxury yachts L’Boreal and L’Austral to the Ruby Princess, which carries 3,082 guests. Their itineraries spanned thousands of miles, stretching from Ketchikan to Barrow to Nome to Dutch Harbor.
The cruise industry is a major anchor in our state’s economy, generating $1 billion in economic activity and supporting 19,000 jobs, with a payroll of almost $900 million.
Who are these 19,000 workers? They’re pilots and farmers. Ice cream makers and piano tuners.
They’re the folks who remove the garbage, drive passengers around and supply the ships with the freshest salmon in the world.
Our cruise family includes approximately 2,175 Alaska businesses that provide tours, activities and services to the cruise lines and their passengers. Businesses include retail, restaurants, car-rental companies, air transportation companies, hotels, lodges and excursions that provide once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for cruise passengers to experience the wild and wonderful Last Frontier.
“Every year, we are honored to share the rich history and culture of the Interior with our summer cruise tour visitors. Those visitors allow us to hire nearly 200 summer employees and the dollars our visitors bring are spread to every corner of the local economy.”
– Ryan Binkley, Captain, Riverboat Discovery
For example, there’s a growing trend of bringing local cuisine on board. At Princess, the “Eat Like a Local” program serves a variety of Alaska foods, such as salmon and halibut. In fact, the cruise industry is one of the largest purchasers of Alaska seafood.
“Cruise land tours have a tremendous positive impact on the Fairbanks economy.”
– Deb Hickok, President and CEO, Explore Fairbanks
So, from servers to guides to the local businesses, which support our entire industry, thank you to Alaska’s cruise family! It was another great season!
Cruise visitor profile
When it comes to cruising in Alaska, the majority (82 percent) of cruise passengers hail from the U.S., with the western United States representing nearly one-third of the total market, followed by the South, East Coast and Midwest. “Destination” cruise passengers – those who prioritize the destination above all other factors when picking a cruise – favor Alaska at a high rate. In a 2011 poll of experienced destination cruisers, respondents ranked Alaska top among all destinations worldwide. Destination cruisers are the passengers most likely to return for a non-cruise vacation, and they tend to spend more time in the port city than other passengers.
While cruising attracts many different types of travelers, they share some traits. Nationwide, cruise passengers tend to be slightly older than other vacationers, with a median age of 49. Most cruise travelers were employed (72 percent) and 21 percent had retired. The income earned by one-third of cruise travelers was from $100,0000 – $199,000 annually. The annual household income earned by cruisers in 2014 was $114,000.
The greatest benefit cruisers derived from their cruise vacation was the ability to see several destinations in one trip. In fact, 42 percent of cruisers later returned to a destination first visited during their cruise vacation, so Alaska can expect more tourists in the years to come.
Reference: CLIA Consumer Profile 2014
Cruise destinations by population
|Cruise passenger demographics|
|Average Age||49 years|
|Average Household Income||$114,000|
| Employment Status
|College/Post College Education||69%|