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It’s almost here

Ketchikan Daily News

There’s an air of expectancy in Ketchikan as the 2015 cruise ship season is about to begin.

The Ketchikan Visitors Bureau estimates about 892,100 cruise passengers to the First City as a result of 496 ship visits. This estimate is about 8,000 higher than a year ago, despite one less ship and 12 fewer stops.

The Wilderness Discoverer of Un-Cruise Adventures will start the 38-ship season off on Saturday, April 25 — just two weeks from today. The 185-foot ship has a capacity for 152 passengers and 26 crew members. It will be making 11 stops in Ketchikan this season.

The huge-capacity ships begin calling in Ketchikan on the following Friday (May 1), with the Ruby Princess of Princess Cruises leading the parade. This is an inaugural port call for the Ruby Princess. At 952 feet in length, it can cruise with 3,082 passengers and 1,240 crew. It is scheduled to make 20 calls here.

The Ruby Princess’ capacity is one of the most of all ships to make Ketchikan port calls this season, and it is expected to bring the most passengers — 61,640. The Crown Princess has the same capacity, but is scheduled to call only 18 times.

The smallest capacity ship this season is the 120-foot Safari Quest operated by Un-Cruise. It has a capacity of 22 passengers and nine crew members; it is scheduled for two stops in Ketchikan.

KVB’s cruise calendar shows that ships will call every day in June, July and August, while May has three no-ship days and September experiences four before the final day of ships on Sept. 27.

May 28 marks the day during the cruise season with the most ships carrying the most passengers. Between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. that Thursday, 12,042 passengers will visit Ketchikan. That’s about 1,500 more than in a single day last season. Add 5,146 crew members and the community will be host to 17,188 visitors in a 13-hour period on the 28th.

Holland America’s Westerdam will visit most frequently at 21 times. But the Princess Cruises ships will bring in the most passengers — 295,556.

In addition to the cruise lines mention earlier, Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Silverseas Cruises, Alaskan Dream Cruises, American Cruise Lines, Crystal Cruises, Oceania Cruises and Ponant will be making calls in Ketchikan.

All will be welcome; Ketchikan will see to that.

Categories: News