Parnell to Drop Alaska Cruise Tax by 59%

Alaska’s cruise passenger head tax could end up falling from to $46 to $19.50 on most inside passage itineraries, according to the final bill Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell submitted late last week.

The 59% reduction would more than double the 25% cut that Parnell proposed less than two weeks ago, because the new bill contains a provision to offset local head taxes in Juneau and Ketchikan, of $8 and $7, respectively.

Cruise Blog at USA Today

Princess Cruises has added nine new choices to its lineup ofoptional land excursions for Alaska cruisetours

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (March 25, 2010) — Princess Cruises has added nine new choices to its lineup ofoptional land excursions for Alaska cruisetours, giving travelers opportunities for fresh adventures, including discovering how local hunters and trappers live, exploring by ATV, riding a dog cart, visiting a true Eskimo village or learning to cook Alaska cuisine.

In total, the optional land excursion program features 96 tour choices that cruisetour travelers can add to the land portion of their trip. These activities are currently open for purchase and offer a range of experiences from easygoing to exhilarating — including cultural tours, nature hikes, kayak adventures and flightseeing tours.

Cruisetour passengers can get additional information about the land excursions from a new section on Princess’ web site, http://www.princess.com/learn/cruisetours/alaska/land_excursions, offering full details on the program and tour listings.

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Alaskan govenor proposes reducing tax

According to the Anchorage Daily News Alaska Governor Sean Parnell on Friday proposed cutting the $46 tax currently imposed on Alaska cruise passengers by 25%.

In exchange for the tax cut the cruise lines have agreed to drop their collective lawsuit and send more ships to Alaska. The tax has generated $36 million for the state since it was voted into law by Alaskans in 2006.

Anchorage Daily News

This is good news for cruise passengers as the increased supply and lower tax should help keep the currently discounted prices low. The effects of the tax has been estimated to reduce passengers disembarking out of Vancouver from 900,000 to 600,000.

Vancouver is hoping to capitalize on the Olympic buzz and this may be a fortunate turn of events for them. We boarded our Alaskan cruise from Vancouver and we were very impressed with the city albeit our visit was short. I would definitely recommend starting in Vancouver.