On May 11th, HAL-Holland America Line's ms Nieuw Amsterdam arrived at Port Alaska as part of a 2-ship visit to Anchorage AK for the season, with another vessel scheduled to arrive in September.
Although Nieuw Amsterdam has a capacity of 2300 passengers, only 1900 signed up for the 14-day voyage.
HAL usually offers 7-day sailings to Alaska, which are more popular among families. The passengers were provided with shuttle buses to move into town from the port, and many planned to spend the day exploring downtown Anchorage or booked excursions with local tour companies.
For many businesses, the arrival of cruise liners marks the official start of the summer season.
According to a recent Visit Anchorage study, Alaskan cruise ship tourists spend an average of US$253 per person per day in port/destination, and the state is expecting a record year, even though most ships won't dock in Anchorage.
Cruisers usually arrive from Seward or Whittier, but most of them still begin/end their vacations in Anchorage.