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ANCHORAGE - Anchorage is preparing to welcome regular visits this summer by Holland America cruise ship passengers.
On May 24, the Amsterdam will dock for the first of nine times, bringing nearly 1,400 people for a 16-hour stay every other Monday. The ship begins a two-week tour in Seattle, and other stops include Homer and Kodiak.
The Port of Anchorage will use taxis and free shuttles to bus tourists downtown from the industrial area.
The Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO, Julie Saupe, told KTUU the cruise ship passengers will be great for business.
"Certainly the cruise ship landing in Anchorage is going to help the retailer operators, the restaurants, our local attractions from the museums to our dog sled tours, down in Ship Creek, it's going to be great for everybody," she said.
"I can tell you that on average in Alaska each cruise passenger spends about $950, so what portion of that $950 Anchorage will get is hard to say," Saupe said.
The cruise line is committed to another round of trips in 2011, but if they continue after that, it's up to the community.
"There's the comment cards that the passengers fill out and if coming into Anchorage was a success as far as they are concerned, if they were treated well by the merchants in town and by the folks here in town - which, quite frankly I can't imagine they wouldn't be - then there's another opportunity for another cruise ship to call again in 2012," said Deputy Port Director Stephen Ribuffo.