With three ships sailing Alaskan itineraries this summer and more than 100 different shore excursions, ranging from relaxed to outrageously wild, Royal Caribbean International is offering more ways to “get out there” in the great frontier. This year, the cruise line has added 26 new excursions, including a few not intended for the faint of heart.
“Coming from the company that put rock-climbing walls on cruise ships, it`s only natural that many of our shore excursions would be adrenaline- boosters, too,” said Craig Milan, senior vice president, Shore Excursions and Explorations, for Royal Caribbean International. “We offer guests a chance to fully experience the wild side of Alaska from getting up close and personal with a glacier, to taking on a sheer Klondike cliff, to spying on Alaskan black bears as they fish the salmon runs.”
The shore excursions are offered in conjunction with Royal Caribbean`s seven-night Hubbard Glacier sailings on Radiance of the Seas and Vision of the Seas, and seven-night Gulf of Alaska cruises on Legend of the Seas. The full lineup of excursions offers something for everyone, including outstanding experiences like mingling and “mushing” with the “top dogs” at a remote dog- sledding camp; soaring over the Juneau ice field on a personally guided floatplane trip; and soaking up the spectacular scenery and sipping a few suds on the Glacier View Bike and Brew.
Following is a sampling of the exciting, new additions in 2003:
* Klondike Rock Climbing and Rappelling (Skagway): Climbers of all abilities—even those with no experience—can put their skills to the test on the granite cliffs off the Klondike Highway under the direction of professional mountain guides. * Extended Helicopter Glacier Trek (Juneau): This rigorous four-hour trek over rugged glacier terrain teaches techniques for climbing and descending ice walls. * Traitor`s Cove Bear Adventure (Ketchikan): Open only to a limited number of visitors to minimize the impact on the wildlife population, this tour takes guests by floatplane to Margaret Creek Falls to see the state`s famed black bears fish for salmon.
* Helicopter Glacier Walkabout (Juneau): Equipped with trekking poles and crampons, guests explore one of the 36 Juneau Icefield glaciers on an hour- long hike. * Glacier Outback Adventure via Helicopter (Juneau): This excursion combines a helicopter tour over the massive Juneau Icefield with an extended glacier landing. * Mendenhall Lake Canoe & Salmon Bake (Juneau): After paddling near the face of the Mendenhall Glacier in traditional-style Tlingit canoes, guests enjoy a well-earned, all-you-can-eat Salmon Bake featuring Alaskan Salmon prepared over an open fire.
* Pennock Island Kayaking (Ketchikan): Guests try out their paddling skills with a partner as they explore the waters surrounding pristine Pennock Island in two-person kayaks. * Wilderness Exploration and Crab Feed (Ketchikan): Killer whales, sea lions and seals are just some of the wildlife that could be spotted as guests take a seven-mile boat journey to a remote Dungeness crab fishery. Guests learn the ins and outs of the business before enjoying a crab feast in a nearby rustic lodge. * 60 Degrees North Yukon Golf (Skagway): One of the northernmost courses many golfers will ever play, these greens are also some of the most scenic and challenging. * Exclusive Guided Fishing & Wilderness Dining (Ketchikan): Outfitted from head-to-toe, guests will board an open skiff to take part in saltwater, bottom fishing and then enjoy their catch, prepared al fresco by the guide.
Cruisers headed to Alaska with Royal Caribbean can view the full selection of shore excursions available—and book their desired adventures in advance—on the company`s web site, www.royalcaribbean.com. Excursion details are available by port city as well as by the specific ship and sail date.
Royal Caribbean International also offers 20 different Alaskan cruisetour packages, giving guests the opportunity to extend their cruise with fully escorted, two- to six-night land packages into Alaska`s interior.
Radiance of the Seas offers seven-night, Hubbard Glacier cruises from Vancouver, May 24 - Sept. 20, 2003, with stops in Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan. Vision of the Seas sails seven-night Hubbard Glacier cruises from Vancouver, June 8 - Sept. 7, 2003, featuring stops in Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, as well as a visit to Misty Fjords. Legend of the Seas sails seven-night, open-jawed Vancouver to Seward and Seward to Vancouver cruises, May 30 - Sept. 12, 2003, with stops including Ketchikan, Skagway, Juneau and Sitka.
Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand currently with 16 ships in service and three more under construction or on firm order. The company also offers unique land tour packages in Alaska, Canada and Europe through its cruisetour division. For additional information about the cruise line, please visit the company`s web site at www.royalcaribbean.com or call 800-327-6700.