Princess: New Adventures Ashore for 2009 Alaska Season
The world’s highest and longest zipline, an Alaska seafood culinary feast and an exhilarating bike ride through the Tongass National Forest highlight the 21 new tours Princess Cruises is debuting this summer Alaska season. Whether visitors are interested in the adrenaline rush of an exciting adventure, delving deeper into local culture, enjoying authentic Alaska flavors or organizing their own private fishing expedition, Princess’ Adventures Ashore program features new choices to help passengers make the most of their time in port.
The new tours join Princess’s extensive Alaska shore excursion program, which offers 222 options this summer. Among the new choices are a variety of activities in Icy Strait Point, as this season Princess begins calling regularly at this uniquely Alaskan port near the state’s largest Tlingit community.
“There are so many ways to experience Alaska, and we want to offer passengers the full breadth of the options available in each of our ports,” said Charlie Ball, president of Princess Tours. “These local tour operators offer great ways for our passengers to experience the wildlife, natural beauty, native culture and thrilling adventures available throughout this great state.”
Alpine Zip and Glacier Adventure (Juneau) — Passengers can fly through the trees in a scenic alpine rainforest, plus visit Juneau’s breathtaking Mendenhall Glacier. Participants will have a bird’s-eye view as they take a thrilling ride from tree to tree over multiple zip lines surrounded by snowcapped mountains.
Bike and Tram Elevation Sensation (Juneau) — Visitors can combine the exhilaration of a bike ride descending 1,200 feet through the Tongass National Forest with an effortless 1,800-foot ascent on the Mount Roberts Tramway.
Private Salmon Fishing and Wildlife Cruise (Juneau) — The unique opportunity to relax on a private, all-inclusive marine adventure that can include fishing, whale watching and sightseeing, depending on what passengers wish to do. Up to six passengers can enjoy this personalized VIP experience.
Coastal Wildlife Cruise (Ketchikan) — A high-speed boat ride into the wilderness to search for black bears, orcas, eagles, humpback whales and other wildlife on the move. Specially designed for wildlife viewing, the boat provides a prime bear-watching venue.
Taste of Skagway (Skagway) — The unique flavors of the “Gateway to the Klondike” offer up a gourmet delight with a tour that takes passengers to Jewell Gardens for a taste of delicacies made from the garden’s own organic ingredients as well as the opportunity to sip fine Alaska wines. At the Gold Rush Brewery, visitors can sample three locally brewed beers and “gold nugget” appetizers — corn fritters with honey butter.
Tribal Dance and Cultural Legends (Icy Strait Point) — An opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the local Tlingit culture at an interactive performance showcasing the rich heritage of the original inhabitants of Glacier Bay.
Wild Alaska Culinary Extravaganza (Icy Strait Point) — A culinary demonstration and hands-on cooking course where visitors can learn about the local seafood, with guidance on filleting and cooking fish such as salmon and halibut as well as how to cook, crack, clean and eat a crab with style. The excursion concludes with a family-style feast.
Remote Wildlife and Brown Bear Search (Icy Strait Point) — A trip to explore the wilds of Chichagof Island in search of the Alaska coastal brown bear — otherwise known as the grizzly bear — and other local wildlife.
Ziprider Adventure (Icy Strait Point) — At 5,330 feet, the Ziprider cable ride is the highest zip line in the world. Six riders can zip at the same time on parallel cables, so it’s a race to the bottom on an exhilarating ride at speeds up to 60 mph.
Hoonah Bike Trek (Icy Strait Point) — An eight-mile ride through Alaska’s largest Tlingit settlement, with experienced guides to lead riders through the scenic coast and rainforest, and explain local life as visitors pedal through the village of Hoonah.
Glacier Bay Flightseeing (Icy Strait Point) — Passengers can get a bird’s-eye view of the majesty of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, one of the state’s most dramatic attractions. Visitors will fly past waterfalls, lakes, deep crevasses and the azure blue meltwater pools that make up the park, as well as the mighty Brady Glacier.
All Alaska Adventures Ashore excursions are currently available for pre-reservation. Passengers who are already booked on an Alaska cruise can reserve their tours by logging on to the Cruise Personalizer on princess.com, to ensure they get the excursions of their choice. As many tours fill up quickly, passengers are encouraged to make selections as early as possible.
Princess Cruises will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alaska’s statehood in 2009 with a full season of cruisetour and cruise itineraries showcasing the best of the state, including the incomparable Denali National Park and Glacier Bay National Park. Throughout the May 9 to September 14 season, the Princess fleet will offer a total of 130 Alaska sailings, featuring the line’s signature Gulf of Alaska sailings, Inside Passage routes from Seattle and San Francisco, and a small ship experience on 14-day Connoisseur voyages to some of the state’s less-visited ports. In addition, Princess will again take more passengers to the ice-filled wonder of Glacier Bay than any other line, with 81 visits (all Gulf and Connoisseur voyages).