The cruise industry injects $13.1 million into the Kenai Peninsula Borough economy each year, contributes $5.1 million to local government in taxes and fees and creates 65 jobs in cruise line hotel and tour operations, according to economic impact study conducted by the McDowell Group.
The Kenai Peninsula Borough encompasses one cruise port, Seward, and several communities visited by cruise passengers on land tours or traveling independently, including Holland America tours to Homer. Cruise passengers also visit Kenai, Soldotna and Cooper Landing, where Princess operates a wilderness lodge. Many passengers also experience Kenai Fjords National Park by cruise ship or day cruise.
The cruise industry purchased good and services from 82 Kenai Peninsula Borough businesses. Statewide, the cruise industry brought $1.35 billion in to the Alaska economy. Cruise passenger spending directly or indirectly counts for half of the economic activity, followed by cruise line purchases and wages. The industry generated an estimated $100 million for state and local governments, with half going to the state and half to local governments.
Forty percent of cruise visitors cross the Gulf of Alaska either to begin or end their Alaska vacation, a 23 percent increase over the past five years. These passengers cruise one way and fly one way, entering or leaving from the ports of Seward or Whittier via Anchorage.