Governor Sean Parnell welcomed the news that Norwegian Cruise Line will add a ship to Alaska for the 2013 season. The Norwegian Sun will sail between Vancouver, British Columbia and Whittier, Alaska in the summer of 2013. The Sun will be a third Norwegian Cruise Line ship to ply Alaska’s waterways.
“We are pleased that Norwegian Cruise Line will bring even more passengers to our great state,” Governor Parnell said. “This is more evidence that lowering taxes on an industry leads to increased investment that Alaskans will reap into the future.”
The Sun will embark on weekly southbound and northbound trips beginning May 20, 2013. The northbound trip leaves Vancouver and travels along the Inside Passage past Glacier Bay and Hubbard Bay, also making stops in Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway. The southbound trip leaves Whittier and travels along the Inside Passage, Sawyer Glacier and Hubbard Glacier, stopping in Skagway, Icy Strait Point, Juneau and Ketchikan.
Adding one large cruise ship has the potential to bring approximately 40,000 new visitors to Alaska and approximately $40 million in direct and indirect spending within Alaska. When combined with the projected increase of 60,000 cruise passengers in 2012, the health of Alaska’s visitor industry has improved considerably since losing more than 265,000 visitors and 5,000 Alaska jobs in recent years.
Reversing the decline in visitor travel has been a focus of the Parnell administration. Governor Parnell sponsored legislation that reduced the cruise passenger head tax, making Alaska a more affordable destination for cruise passengers.