The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has handed down a decision that might affect those of us who are taking an Alaskan cruise this year. The Court ruled that the National Park Service is ordered to reduce the number of cruise ships entering and plying Glacier Bay be reduced from 138 to 107. The Park Service has also been ordered to prepare an enviromental report on cruise ships using the bay and their affect on wildlife,fish, seals, whales, birds, etc. It is not known at this time whether the reduction will be imposed for the coming season or next year since the Court of Appeals is leaving this up to the distruct court. This decision may be welcomed by some but it can create havoc for the cruise lines who have had passengers book a cruise for this season. Anyone interested in more on the subject can read about it today in the Anchorage Daily News http://www.adn.com/business
Another piece news concerns the City of Juneau proposing to charge the cruise ships an additional fee of 23 cents per gross to for using th harbor.
I just called Princess and was told that they are changing
itineraries on alot of their Glacier Bay cruises this summer.
If you haven't heard anything, you should call your cruise line
or travel agent!! (So far, my Dawn Princess cruise on September
8th is still going to Glacier Bay).
It may not be a popular opinion, but I support the close observation and limits being placed on Glacier Bay. I have been there several times and in no way want any environmental issues to infringe on this natural beauty. I found it interesting that in the past, all laundry was nonoperational in Glacier Bay which led me to consider that dumping must be done otherwise -there would have been no reason to announce the shut offs. Last year the laundry was unavailable the entire cruise both weeks I went. I also have no objection to any additional fees placed by the ports. These ports are worth any extra revenue.
Most of the cruiselines offer the same ports of call in Alaska, including those which do roundtrip or one-way cruises. What you might want to consider is whether or not you want to add a landtour to your cruise. If so, I would strongly recommend Princess based on our experience with them a few years ago. Since all of the lines are bringing their newest ships to Alaska you have a wide range of choices if you are doing a roundtrip cruise (Vancouver to Vancouver). The new RCI ships have plenty of glass and a glass-enclosed pool and solarium which allow you to swim, protected from the elements, without foregoing the gorgeous Alaskan scenery. Whatever you choose, I strongly recommend you add some days to the start or end of your cruise to explore the wonderful city of Vancouver and its surroundings. We have been there twice and still have lots left to see on our next visit.
In my experience- your glacier and ports, route need to be chosen first then fit the ship. , priority for me is Glacier Bay. Most everything I go to Alaska for is outside the ship, I have cruised 9 times and 4 different lines. The only line I would avoid is RCI due to their full front blue wind screens, very annoying for any marine wildlife watching. BUT I spend all my sailing hours out at the front decks- few passengers do.