Alaska in Trouble? Royal Caribbean, Cruise West Pull Ships
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The comment about the Head Tax is interesting, but probably not the major reason why cruise lines are having difficulty selling Alaskan itineraries. There aren't many places for cruise ships to visit, so unlike the Caribbean, the standard itinerary gets a bit old.Promoting the cruise tours might not help during these economic times; they are still very expensive, especially when you add the airfare.
The biggest reason they are seeing a drop is, of course, economic conditions and the cost of air travel. The air costs for north and southbound itineraries are prohibitive for a 7-day cruise. B2B really isn't an option compared to other cruises of 14 days since you're going to exactly the same places. If you've been to Alaska before, hitting each of the 3 or 4 standard ports twice during a B2B isn't very attractive.
Cruise lines could possibly do better in Alaska by promoting their cruise-tours and pricing them reasonably.