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Princess Cruises' 2011 Alaska program includes 104 departures by six ships sailing on three itineraries during the May-to-September season. The lineup includes Diamond Princess, Coral Princess and Island Princess traveling on the line's "Voyage of the Glaciers" route through the Gulf of Alaska; Golden Princess and Sapphire Princess sailing the Inside Passage from Seattle; and Sea Princess cruising on 10-day voyages from San Francisco. The season opens for sale May 13 with special rates that include adding three days at Denali to a cruise for $299. Launch fares begin at $649 for seven-day voyages, and $948 for cruise-tours.
The cruise-tour program combines a seven-day "Voyage of the Glaciers" cruise with three to eight additional nights on land. For 2011, there are four types of land and sea packages -- "Denali Explorer," "On Your Own," "Off the Beaten Path" and "Connoisseur." All Princess cruise-tours include the company's wilderness lodges, rail or motorcoach travel, plus the top two attractions in the state -- Glacier Bay National Park and Denali National Park, where visitors spend at least two nights. Three days at Denali begin at $299 more than the cruise.
"Voyage of the Glaciers" sails between Vancouver and Whittier (for Anchorage) and calls at Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway with daylight cruising in Glacier Bay National Park and the 16 glaciers of College Fjord (or Hubbard Glacier on southbound sailings). Diamond Princess and Coral Princess sail on Saturdays and Island Princess offers new Wednesday departures for 54 sailings between May 18 and Sept. 17, 2011.
The Inside Passage cruises from Seattle operated by Golden Princess and Sapphire Princess offer weekend departures on seven-day roundtrips from Seattle. This itinerary calls at Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria and includes Glacier Bay National Park (Golden Princess) or Tracy Arm (Sapphire Princess). The two ships will sail on 37 departures between May 14 and Sept. 17, 2011.
The 10-day roundtrips from San Francisco by Sea Princess feature Glacier Bay National Park or Tracy Arm and stops at Victoria and Juneau, plus two other calls in Ketchikan, Skagway, Haines, Sitka or Icy Strait Point. The 13 departures are between May 10 and Sept. 7, 2011.
The "Denali Explorer" land tour features multiple nights at the line's Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and/or Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge along with the Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail service between the Whittier cruise terminal and Denali. Most also offer the opportunity to explore Fairbanks or Anchorage. "On Your Own" is a new option for independent-minded travelers. These tours do not include any pre-planned excursions.
"Off the Beaten Path" offer options to the Kenai Peninsula with stays at Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge or Wrangell-St. Elias National Park with stays at Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge. Passengers can choose to venture to the state's far north into the Arctic Circle and Prudhoe Bay. The "Connoisseur" options offer the services of a professional tour director and additional time to experience the Great Land. Travelers can choose from more of these extended itineraries in 2011, with most meals and enhanced sightseeing options included as well. For more information, call 800-PRINCESS or visit www.princess.com.
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