Alaska Railroad grows up with cruisetours
Traveling in Alaska by rail is considered a rite of passage for many cruise customers, who take advantage of what are affectionately called “cruisetours,” which give travelers the opportunity to combine a Gulf of Alaska cruise with a tour of interior Alaska in comfort and style.
Holland America-Princess Alaska (HAP Alaska) manages a fleet of 20 two-level dome railcars, including 10 of the largest domed passenger railcars in the world. More than 155,000 HAP Alaska guests travel by rail as far north as Fairbanks and as far south as Whittier.
Princess Cruises and Holland America Line offer dozens of cruisetour excursions to fit each traveler’s schedule, budget and interests. The maintenance and expansion of the rail is one of HAP Alaska’s top priorities, and its preservation is vital to keeping tourism growing in the Last Frontier as visitors continue to explore this great land by sea and rail.
Cruising in Alaska
The cruise industry includes approximately 2,175 Alaska businesses that provide tours, activities and services to the cruise lines and their passengers. These businesses include:
- Car-rental companies
- Air transportation companies
- Day cruises/sled dog rides/sightseeing tours
Shore excursion participation in Alaska is extremely high compared to other cruise destinations, with an estimated 80 percent to 90 percent of passengers purchasing at least one excursion. Wildlife viewing, sightseeing tours and riding the railroad are the most popular.
Some 22 percent of passengers who cross the Gulf of Alaska participate in an extended land tour, generally consisting of a rail segment and overnight stays in Fairbanks, Denali and Anchorage.