Cruise line CEO looks favorably at Alaska market

Posted: Sunday, May 02, 2010

SEATTLE - Holland America Line is going to look far more favorably at bringing more vacationers to Alaska now that the state's passenger head tax has been reduced, company President and CEO Stein Kruse told the Associated Press.

The cruise line - one of the major lines doing business in Alaska - has already decided how many ships to devote to Alaska this year and next, but Stein said pro-business actions this year by Gov. Sean Parnell and the Legislature "will certainly be a positive influencing factor" as the company makes its deployment decisions for 2012.

"I can't say right here and today what we will do because those decisions haven't been made, but I can tell you that it's a far more positive outlook than it has been for the last couple of years," Kruse said.

He spoke during an interview in Seattle.

Lawmakers lowered the state head tax from $46 to $34.50 last month. Parnell introduced the measure after visiting with industry executives at a Miami trade show earlier this year.

Holland America this year will have eight ships on Alaska runs from Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia, one more than in 2009, and 149 total departures from the two cities. Next year it will deploy seven ships making 125 total departures.

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