[QUOTE=c.captain;192198]I don’t know about that…Alaska has thousands of miles of coastline no company is offering itineries for but due to its remoteness and distance away from Canada makes it pretty much a given that any ship offering such cruises be American. I do know that at least one of the US flag operators is exploring opening up this territory to cruising but nobody seems to be in any hurry to do this. I also know that there is a big hurdle these companies need to get over which is that they cannot continue to use the handful of existing small US built passenger vessels forever and that remote Alaska cruises will demand a larger and more seaworthy vessel. I have advocated that ex TAGOS ships (which Seattle happens to be the home of several) be converted to this role.[/QUOTE]
The few American companies already operating in the Inside Passage and coastal Alaskan waters could expand their routes and ship inventories. They cater to a niche market and their business model is more along the lines of expedition style cruising than the floating hotel/casinos the size of aircraft carriers.
Their current ships are capable of accommodating fewer than 100 passengers and are similar in size to the converted TAGOS ship in your rendering. There are yards in BC and Seattle capable of purpose building these pocket cruise ships from scratch.
We should concentrate on expanding that corner of the market. I don’t see us being able to compete with the likes of Carnival Cruises and other FOC operators who load thousands of passengers in a style reminiscent of cattle drives and who pay their third world crews peanuts.
These floating monstrosities are generating huge profits and by their sheer size are the ones most likely to impose a burden on existing facilities and cause environmental damage.
Canada should impose a cruising tax based on tonnage in preparation of such an eventuality and we should concentrate on solidifying our grip on the niche market we already own.