By Lauren Maxwell
Holland America’s ship Nieuw Amsterdam cruised into the Port of Alaska under sunny skies and calm seas on Thursday. The ship is one of two that will visit Anchorage this season, with a different Holland America ship arriving in September.
Kimberly Wells, Cruise and Travel Director for Holland America, said the Nieuw Amsterdam can hold 2,300 passengers but 1,900 had signed up for the 14-day cruise. Wells said the company typically does 7-day cruises to Alaska, which are more popular among families than longer ones.
Passengers were provided shuttle busses to move into town from the port. With roughly 9 hours before they had to be back onboard, many said they planned to spend the day seeing the sights in downtown Anchorage. Others had booked excursions with local tour companies to go flightseeing or rent bikes to ride the Coastal Trail.
Carl Johnson, owner of Alaska Photo Treks, took twenty clients to various sites in Anchorage to take unique photographs. He said the cruise ship marks the official start of the summer season — which is important for many businesses.
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