It's been a bit since we've talked Princess, but there are some announcements and expiring offers I wanted to let you know about.
First off, if you're thinking of Europe or Alaska for 2011, the Captain's Circle Launch Savings of up to $200/cabin discount is expiring on September 30. This is significant, and I highly recommend you take advantage of these offers.
Speaking of Alaska, met with my Princess rep this last week, and she indicated that sales for 2011 in Alaska are off the charts, especially for cruise tours. While most Alaska bookings occur in the first quarter of 2011, I'd recommend not waiting that long, as the prime sailings and tours will likely be gone or extremely limited by January 1. To help you make your decision, I am offering a reduced deposit of $100/person along with an onboard coupon book and selected sailings with onboard credit if booked between now and October 15!
Did you know that Princess offers a round-trip cruisetour from Seattle? They do! You get the convenience of purchasing low-cost round-trip air into Seattle, and Princess takes care of everything from there! On northbound itineraries, they transport you to Vancouver for your cruise, then after the tour portion of the cruise, they fly you back to Seattle. Southbound itineraries are, of course, the opposite, starting out with a flight arranged by Princess to Alaska and included in your fare. I am always happy to put together a package like this for you, on Princess or any other line, but this option through Princess is seamless and worry-free.
Thinking about a cruise tour, but want to go with your family and not sure how that will go over with the younger generation? Princess has announced the return of their Family Cruise Tour option in Alaska. These unique tours incorporate a variety of features not usually included in a cruisetour package, such as the opportunity to learn about dog mushing at the Iditarod Headquarters, pan for gold, take an interactive tour of Denali National Park, and enjoy a fun campfire experience.
The 12-night family cruisetours include a seven-night Voyage of the Glaciers cruise plus a five-night land tour. The land segment also features such family-friendly extras as daily breakfasts, a visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, and a dinner theater performance. At sea, families can also take advantage of Princess’ many onboard programs especially for children, including a special Junior Ranger program in Glacier Bay National Park.
“Alaska is the perfect place for a family vacation,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “There are amazing wildlife viewing opportunities, awesome scenery and lots of active adventures. With this in mind, we wanted to make it easier for family groups to plan the perfect Alaska experience with activities that will appeal to many ages and interests.”
Passengers can choose to sail aboard Diamond Princess or Coral Princess, and the cruisetour land itinerary includes stays at three of Princess’ own wilderness lodges – one night at Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, two nights at Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and two nights at Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge. The tours are offered on 34 departures with both northbound and southbound itinerary options.
The following special extras are included in the 2011 season tours:
Daily Breakfast – Everyone in the family can start their morning off with the most important meal of the day.
Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center – Wildlife appeals to all ages, and families will be able to see a variety of animals such as bears, elk, bison, moose, caribou, musk ox, coyotes and eagles with a visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. This non-profit organization takes in injured and orphaned animals and gives a permanent home to those that can’t be returned to the wild.
Iditarod Headquarters with Dog Sled Ride – En route to Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, family members will enjoy a stop at the Iditarod Headquarters in Wasilla. Here travelers can learn about mushing and its importance in Alaskan culture. The center offers the opportunity to meet sled dogs and see them at work with wheeled cart rides.
Evening Campfire Experience (Mt. McKinley) – An evening campfire near the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge is the perfect way for families to end the day, complete with treats such as s’mores and hot chocolate, plus unique Alaska stories and songs.
Music of Denali Dinner Theater (Denali) – This rollicking musical comedy tells the legend of the first expedition to the summit of Mt. McKinley, accompanied by a hearty, family-style meal featuring smokehouse ribs and Alaska salmon.
Experience Denali with Alaska Geographic Tour (Denali) – A more intimate tour of Denali National Park, this special excursion includes a variety of interactive experiences, including an enhanced view of the Denali ecosystem and current research taking place. The narrated bus tour takes guests 15 miles into the park to a beautiful river valley where they embark on a short walk to the historic Savage River Camp, where they can participate in a number of hands-on activities.
Sourdough Expedition Breakfast (Denali) – While fueling up for the day with an Alaskan roadhouse-style breakfast, guests experience an unforgettable journey up Denali through breathtaking images in Laurent Dick's Climb Denali. Participants have the opportunity to meet this real mountain climber and ask questions about mountain climbing.
Riverboat Cruise and El Dorado Goldmine Tour (Fairbanks) – Families can enjoy traveling on an authentic sternwheeler for a fully-narrated cruise along the Chena River and try their hands at gold panning at the El Dorado Gold Mine, where they will learn about Alaska's gold mining history.
Fares for the Alaska Family Cruisetours start at $1,648 per person for the first and second berths, and $1,246 per person for the third and fourth berth passengers.