US National Park Service announced a new concession plan on Friday, March 22, that approves 7 major cruise lines to visit the Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Southeast Alaska over the next decade.
The practice of permitting no more than 2 ships per day in the park will be preserved under the ten-year plan, park officials revealed.
In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge declared Glacier Bay and the surrounding wilderness a national monument. It is only accessible by water and air, and most travelers experience the park from a cruise liner.
According to concessions specialist David Lucas, from the park service’s regional business office in Anchorage, cruise visitors spent a total of about 8 hours inside the park waters and it was a very unique opportunity for them to get into the park.
The concessions plan includes a return of NCL (Norwegian Cruise Line) and Carnival Corporation-owned companies including Holland America and Princess. The plan also includes newcomers Viking Ocean Cruises, Seabourn, Royal Caribbean.
Once signed by the cruise lines, the concession contracts go into effect for 2020 season, resulting in 153 calls per year. Further details will become available after the contracts are finalized.