Vessels in port
Anchorage's final cruise ship of the season leaves town Monday night
ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - It's as much a sign of the changing seasons as the yellow leaves and bulky jackets: The last cruise ship of the year, in Anchorage, docked Monday morning and will leave about 10 p.m. the same night. The cruise industry as a whole is one of the bright economic spots in what has been a less-than-exciting past few years. "It is doing very, very well. The demand has stayed," Ralph Samuels, vice president of external relations for Holland America Line, said. According to the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation's 3-year outlook, growth in cruise passenger traffic this year and next will pump another $100 million into the Alaska economy, and push total summer visitor spending to well over $2 billion. Samuels calls this year a "record" and says next year will most likely be the same. "About 1.2 million, that will be a record year for cruise traffic this year," Samuels said, "next year will be probably 1.3 million. So it will be another record year." Samuels says that about 60 percent of the total traffic that arrives in Alaska gets here by ship. He says out of the other 40 percent, a quarter of those visitors have previously cruised to Alaska and have returned to the state on their own. "Alaska is a unique enough destination to be very different, but it is still affordable enough to go to," Samuels said.
Tourism Industry Thanks Maasdam Cruise Ship Crew
The Holland America Line ship the ms Maasdam will be staying overnight at the Port of Anchorage on Aug. 22nd. This is the first time this ship will be staying overnight in Anchorage. Anchorage’s tour industry is taking this advantage of this opportunity to rally support and thank the nearly 600 crew who work aboard the ship, holding an appreciation barbeque for the crew. Visit Anchorage, an establishment set up to stimulate tourism growth and diversify the economy, is organizing the festivities with volunteers and business leaders gathering food donations and door prizes. “Hospitality starts at home,” said Julie Saupe, President and CEO of Visit Anchorage in a press release. “It’s a simple gesture to thank the staff who bring visitors from around the world to our city. It’s also a great way for us to demonstrate hospitality to those who work on the front lines – from the navigational crew to the housekeeping staff. We have been told that we are the only port in the world to hold an event like this for the crew.” It goes without saying that Anchorage's tourism industry relies heavily on the many cruise ships that anchor near its shores. http://www.youralaskalink.com/news/tourism-industry-thanks-cruise-crew/article_bd0223d8-6574-11e6-9264-cbb9b29ceb92.html
Powerful earthquake leaves Anchorage Port officials concerned
While security camera footage at the Port of Anchorage shows lots of shaking, port officials are saying that the infrastructure suffered minimal damage according to preliminary inspection. But the 7.1 magnitude earthquake has still raised concerns over what could have happened to the port under different circumstances. Port director Steve Ribuffo says the port was lucky. "Had that epicenter been closer to Anchorage, I don’t think we would be sitting here talking about it today, if we were even able to stand here and talk," Ribuffo said. "It is a point of fact that the conditions of these pilings supporting this dock is very bad." On Sunday morning, more than 600 cargo containers were being lifted off ships at the port, something that Ribuffo says could have been very dangerous during the earthquake just four hours earlier. "Circumstances could have been entirely different had there been a ship tied to the dock, and them be in business when it happened," he said. The Municipality of Anchorage says the more than 50-year-old port needs a face lift. "We got plenty of port, we just have a very old facility. It needs to be upgraded so not only can we provide the users with a modern facility to keep up with where the industry has gone, but a safe survivable one that will be here for 75 years." Ribuffo said." The municipality has allocated $127 million to fund the port's initial expansion, and is looking to the state for a $290 million obligation bond to finish the project. But some legislators are saying the bond is unlikely to get approved given the state's crippling budget deficit. http://www.ktuu.com/news/news/powerful-earthquake-leaves-anchorage-port-officials-concerned/37637678Upload News