It’s been a long, rough road economically for many small Alaska businesses without cruise tourism for 20 or so months. In a positive development, though, earlier this month, American Cruise Line‘s (ACL) American Constellation became the first ship to call at Haines, AK, in 622 Days.
In fact, the last time a ship visited Haines was on September 29, 2019. To celebrate the arrival of American Constellation, Haines’ Mayor Douglass Olerud, the Chilkat Dancers and many local residents showed up to welcome ACL’s guests ashore.
Once the welcome festivities concluded, American’s guests immediately began several guided small-group tours of Haines. Shore excursions for guests included kayaking on Chilkoot Lake, rafting in the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, historical walking tours of Haines, touring the Haines Sheldon Museum, and visiting local shops, restaurants and other cultural sites.
Returning to the Great Land
Charles Robertson, president and CEO, American Cruise Lines, said in a press statement that ACL looks forward to 12 dockings in Haines this year and many more in the coming years.
While American Constellation can accommodate up to 175 guests, right now the ship is sailing with a reduced guest capacity for health/safety precautions during this COVID-19 era.
American Cruise Lines has been exploring Alaska since 2010 with small U.S.-built ships which operate domestic U.S. itineraries ranging from eight to 15 days in length. Between June and September, ACL’s ships operate between Seattle and Juneau, roundtrip from Juneau and between Ketchikan and Juneau.
What’s new for 2021? The small-ship, U.S.-flagged line has added an 11-Day “Alaskan Explorer” cruise to its Alaska cruise line-up. That new itinerary will sail through the Inside Passage, Clarence Strait, Tracy Arm and Glacier Bay, and guests also will visit Mendenhall Glacier, LeConte Glacier and Chilkoot Lake.
ACL cruises include a complimentary pre-cruise hotel night in Juneau, and the newest “Alaskan Explorer” itinerary offers a complimentary hotel stay at the Cape Fox Lodge for departures from Ketchikan. Guided shore excursions are offered by ACL at every port in Alaska and include: Private fishing charters, native Tlingit cultural experiences, wildlife kayaking excursions, glacier flight-seeing adventures, active hikes and casual walking tours.
ACL’s fleet consists of 13 ships, all accommodating 100 to 190 passengers. These small ships operate more than 35 itineraries in more than 30 states.
For more information, visit www.americancruiselines.com.