Downtown Anchorage seen with the Alaska Range to the north.
Ken Graham

When does summer 2018 season kick off in Anchorage?

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

The first cruise ship of 2018 arrives in Whittier on May 12. It’s a repositioning cruise, so don’t expect an entire ship’s worth of people to debark in Alaska. The first full shipload arrives on May 14, when the Zaandam calls on the port of Anchorage for the day. The ship calls on Anchorage every other Monday, with the final call on September 17.

Businesses might want to consider opening early for the first few days of the season, testing their needs for staffing for the rest of the season. Remember that the Zaandam port of call in Anchorage puts passengers ashore in the city first thing in the morning. Ships calling on Whittier and Seward make up the bulk of Anchorage’s cruise visitation; those ships arrive in the morning as well, so companies should be ready.

If your business has had pattern of busy week followed by quieter week in the last few years, expect that pattern to disappear this summer. Changes in deployments for 2018 eliminate the on-again, off-again pattern some businesses have reported in prior summers.

The airport recently announced they anticipate an increase in available seats between June and August as well.

Download the 2018 cruise calendar to stay up-to-date all summer long.