Cruise West Troubles Worry Alaskan Port Cities

From NPR station KFSK in Petersburg, Alaska.

A small cruise line known for its intimate Alaska sailings is in trouble. Seattle-based Cruise West is reorganizing and has laid off staff and stopped booking reservations. That’s left some cruises — which include Alaska, Europe and Central America routes — in doubt.

Cruise West has operated for more than three decades, carving out a niche market with small ships offering up-close tours.

“They’ve played a huge role in Southeast. They’ve been a long-term player bringing people to Alaska,” says Fred Reeder, a former mayor of Sitka who serves as local port manager for Cruise Line Agencies of Alaska.

He hopes Cruise West is able to continue its Alaska sailings. And he says a shutdown would impact the region.

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