Thursday, 17 November 2011

Alaskan Dream Cruises 'optimistic'

66-passenger Admiralty Dream

Alaskan Dream Cruises, the Sitka-based, native-owned small ship operator, is "optimistic" about its second year after an encouraging finish to its inaugural season. "Our inaugural season for 2011 definitely had a slow start, but thank goodness for last-minute bookers," reports Vice President of Sales and Marketing Michael Wien. “The end of the season was encouraging, and that gave us the confidence and boost to move into 2012,” he says.

Wien told Cruise Business Review that ADC aims to carve out a unique niche for itself that will distinguish the small ship line from its competitors. "At Alaskan Dream Cruises, we want to make sure our guests have an overall experience of what life is like in Alaska. We’re going to have a strong native cultural influence to make sure guests have a good understanding of the rich history of native culture in the Southeast."

Commenting on the sudden expansion by small ship lines in Alaska since the failure of Cruise West, he notes, "With the demise of Cruise West more boats were available. With that, the three cruise lines [Alaskan Dream Cruises, American Safari Cruises, and InnerSea Discoveries] picked up the boats and are designing their own business model and highlights. And whatever cruise line you choose, it’s a great way because they all have a different angle."

For now, Alaskan Dream Cruises is not looking to increase capacity as it builds brand awareness with its existing fleet of two ships, carrying 42 and 66 passengers respectively. "We are currently focusing on the 2012 itineraries aboard the Alaskan Dream and Admiralty Dream," Wien emphasizes. However, the line does own another former Cruise West vessel, renamed the Baranof Dream, which is being held in reserve and is available for charter.