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Alaska Small-Ship Cruises Offer New Itineraries, Ships For The 2012 Season

As the Alaska tourism industry gears up for another year of growth in visitor numbers, a variety of large and small ship cruise lines are scheduled to set sail in Alaska's waters in 2012.

Thirty large cruise ships are scheduled to serve the nearly 900,000 visitors who cruise in Alaska each year. In 2012, Alaska will see the return of a Disney Cruise Line ship, the addition of a Princess ship, Norwegian Cruise Line will replace the Norwegian Star with higher-capacity ship, the Norwegian Jewel, and The World of Residences at Sea will also make an appearance for one voyage in 2012.

Small-ship cruise lines are also coming to the table with new routes, ships and excursions to delight passengers. American Cruise Line will sail to Alaska for the first time in 2012, offering small-ship adventures along Alaska's Inside Passage aboard the American Spirit. With no more than 150 passengers on each cruise, guests are treated to an intimate onboard atmosphere on ships designed to navigate calm, narrow inland waterways. Seven night, round trip cruises from Juneau and 11-night, one-way cruises between Juneau and Seattle travel into Glacier Bay and Tracy Arm Fjord visiting Sitka, Hoonah and Petersburg. Complimentary shore tours are offered at each port of call, taking passengers to local sites and providing insight into the area's culture, heritage and history. For more information, visit

Small-ship adventure operator InnerSea Discoveries and American Safari Cruises has two vessels joining its fleet in Alaska for 2012, one sailing a new itinerary. American Safari Cruises recently added the 86-passenger Safari Endeavour to its fleet of three yachts. The renovated ship will be ready to sail in Alaska's Inside Passage in 2012 on weeklong, round trip itineraries from Juneau. Sister company InnerSea Discoveries also added a new ship. The 76-guest Wilderness Explorer will sail on weeklong adventure cruises one-way between Juneau and Sitka. Visit to learn more.

Adventure Life
is now offering a number of new small-ship adventures to Alaska in 2012, including itineraries with several luxury expedition cruise vessels. Travelers can choose from more than 25 small-ship adventures traveling to Princes William Sound, Glacier Bay, Point Adolphus and more. Trips range from eight to 15 days. Visit for more information.

Alaskan Dream Cruises of Sitka will offer three new itineraries and additional ports of call (Ketchikan, Skagway, Haines, Thorne Bay, Kasaan, Wrangell and Gustavus) during its second season, May-Sept. 2012. Owned by Allen Marine Tours, the company also completed renovations on both of its ships. Itineraries range from three-, six-, eight- and 11-day cruises spotlighting the glaciers, wildlife and Native culture of Alaska's Inside Passage. For more information, visit

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic celebrates 30 years of Alaska exploration in 2012 with its new Undersea Alaska Program, allowing travelers to experience life beneath the ocean's surface. An undersea specialist onboard each Alaska expedition will dive 40-80 feet below the water and collect high-definition footage to be shared with guests. Lindblad Expeditions' Alaska itineraries include the eight-day Exploring Alaska's Coastal Wilderness and the 12-day Alaska, British Columbia and San Juan Islands trips offered May through September. Its fleet includes two 62-guest vessels that voyage into remote passages where guests can explore by kayak or raft for up-close encounters with wildlife. For more information, visit For more information on visiting Alaska, go to