Cruise line company, Cruise West has announced that it will be joining other major cruise lines in announcing a cut in capacity of its Alaskan cruises next year. The small ship operator based in Seattle has said that on top of a reduction of ships in Alaska from five to four in 2010 it would also be cancelling five cruises on board its Spirit of Discovery and replacing them with two separate longer cruises.
The larger cruise lines have said that a lack of demand for berths on board their ships has caused them to pull cruises from Alaskan waters. Companies like Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Princess Cruises say that in addition to the world’s economic problems they blame an increase in regulations and growing taxes being imposed on ships carrying passengers in Alaska for their decisions to move ships away from the area.
Nine of the world’s cruise line companies are at present trying to sue Alaska over a $50.00 per passenger head tax that it recently imposed on ships carrying more than 250 passengers. Carnival Corp. who runs the two lines with the biggest presence in Alaska, Princess Cruises and Holland America, have already said that it is very likely that they will reduce capacity further in 2011.
Jerrol Golden, a spokesperson for Cruise West says that the company’s decision to cut shorter cruises in favour of longer ones should be seen as good news by the industry as it proves people are willing to pay more to spend a longer time aboard the ships.