Hamburgers & Hats Off - September Statendam send off
Tourism industry says thank you to its last wave of cruise crew
As the last wave of cruise passengers departs the Port of Anchorage on September 14, so will nearly 600 crew who work aboard the ms Statendam – the final cruise ship to visit our city this summer.
Since May 25th the vessel has been coming to Anchorage every two weeks carrying up to 1,260 passengers. The Holland America Line ship docks as early as 7 a.m. and leaves as late as 11 p.m., allowing plenty of time for passengers and crew to explore the city and surrounding areas.
Visit Anchorage’s Big Wild Life committee is hosting a barbeque to thank the ship’s crew on its last port of call. The event organizers have gathered donated food, and volunteers will don chef’s coats to serve grilled hot dogs and hamburgers to the crew on Sept. 14th. In addition to the typical American fare, the crew will be treated to desserts favored by many of the Filipino staff on board. Door prizes, donated by the tourism industry, are coveted items crew look forward to sharing when they return home.
“Travel, whether domestic or international, is an enriching activity,” said Julie Saupe, President and CEO of Visit Anchorage. “Hosting the crew is just one way we can thank and interact with the staff who bring visitors from around the world to our city. It’s also a great way for us to serve those who work on the front lines of the hospitality industry – from the ship’s navigational crew to the housekeeping staff.”
The 2015 cruise season comes to a close for Southcentral with the Star Princess calling on Whittier on September 12th and the Silver Shadow calling on Seward on September 17th. According to the Cruise Line Agencies of Alaska 2015 cruise ship calendar, the last ship in Alaska is the Norwegian Sun in Ketchikan on September 26th.
In 2016, the Statendam’s sister ship, the ms Maasdam, will sail to Anchorage accommodating the same amount of crew and passengers. The Holland America Line ship will call on Anchorage every two weeks beginning May 30th and ending on September 19th.
Cruise passengers are an important part of the tourism picture and the state’s economy. The average visitor spends about $941 in Alaska during their stay, not including the cost of any cruises or airfare, says Saupe.
Visit Anchorage’s mission is to attract and serve visitors to the Municipality of Anchorage while building and diversifying the Anchorage economy. Visit Anchorage’s marketing functions are funded by one-third of the bed tax collected by lodging facilities. One-third goes to the Municipality’s general fund, and one-third to service the bond debt and operations of the Anchorage Convention Centers. Visit Anchorage receives no state or federal funds. Visit www.Anchorage.net for more information.