The 88,500-ton Carnival Spirit returns to Alaska this season, primarily cruising between Whittier and Vancouver. The ship carries 2,124 passengers and a crew of 930.

Fourteen cruise lines have announced they will dispatch a total of 40 cruise ships to Alaska in 2009. They come in three basic sizes: large to mega-sized ships, mid-size vessels and smaller (yacht-size) craft.

Cruisers have four basic itinerary choices:

  • The traditional and ever-popular “Inside Passage” roundtrip cruise from Seattle or Vancouver to Southeast Alaska and return
  • A sail-one-way, fly-one-way cruise from Vancouver to Southcentral ports Seward or Whittier
  • A small-ship roundtrip or one-way sailing entirely within Alaska
  • A small-ship expedition voyage to far-north ports, the Aleutian Islands, or even Russia.

Here are telephone and web contacts for the cruise companies that will be active in Alaska this summer as well as names of the ships they will send to the 49th State.


Carnival Cruise Lines: 800-437-3111; One vessel: Carnival Spirit (2,124 guests).

Celebrity Cruises: 800-437-3111; Three vessels: Infinity (1,950 guests), Mercury (1,870), Millennium (1,950).

Holland America Line: 877-SAIL HAL; Eight vessels: Amsterdam (1,380 guests), Ryndam (1,258), Statendam (1,258), Volendam (1,432), Veendam (1,266), Westerdam (1,916), Zaandam (1,380), Zuiderdam (1,432).

Norwegian Cruise Line: 866-234-0292; Three vessels: Norwegian Pearl (2,394 guests), Norwegian Star (2,244), Norwegian Sun (2,002).

Princess Cruises: 800-PRINCESS; Eight vessels: Coral Princess (1,970 guests), Diamond Princess (2,670), Golden Princess (2,600), Island Princess (1,970), Pacific Princess (670), Sapphire Princess (2,670), Sea Princess (1,990), Star Princess (2,600).

Royal Caribbean International: 800-327-6700; Three vessels: Radiance of the Seas (2,100 guests), Rhapsody of the Seas (2,000), Serenade of the Seas (2,100).


Regent Seven Seas Cruises: 800-285-1835; One vessel: Seven Seas Mariner (700 guests).

Silversea Cruises: 877-215-9986; Vessel: Silver Shadow (382 guests).


American Safari Cruises: 888-862-8881; Two vessels: Safari Explorer (36 guests), Safari Spirit (12).

The Boat Company: 360-697-4242; Two vessels: Liseron (20 guests) Mist Cove (24).

Cruise West: 800-888-9378; Five vessels: Spirit of Columbia (78), Spirit of Discovery (84), Spirit of Endeavor (102), Spirit of Oceanus (120), Spirit of Yorktown (138).

Discovery Voyages: 800-324-7602; One vessel: Discovery (12 guests).

Lindblad Expeditions: 800-EXPEDITION; Two vessels: National Geographic Sea Lion and National Geographic Sea Bird, both 62 guests.

Maple Leaf Adventures: 250-FUN SAIL; One sailing vessel: Maple Leaf (8-12 guests).


Alaska Marine Highway System: 800-642-0066; Eleven passenger- and vehicle-carrying vessels: Aurora (149 guests), Chenega (250), Columbia (600), Fairweather (250), Kennicott (488), LeConte (300), Lituya (149), Malaspina (499), Matanuska (499), Taku (370), Tustumena (174). Six have cabins; 10 offer food service.

Inter-Island Ferry Authority: 866-308-4848; Two ferry vessels Stikine and Prince of Wales (160 guests each) provide passenger and vehicle service to/from Prince of Wales Island.


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