A new study from a cruise industry group shows that Alaska has lost some ground when it comes to worldwide competition for cruising destinations, as ports of call halfway around the world have become more popular.
Last year, the report from the group Cruise Holidays showed that Alaska ranked as the second most popular cruising destination, but Europe has taken that No. 2 distinction this year, sinking Alaska down to the No. 3 spot.
Over the last year, the travel agency U.S. Travel says bookings for European river cruises have gone up 24 percent. Officials at Visit Anchorage -- the city's convention and visitors bureau -- say even though Alaska's ranking has gone down, there still are more people expected to be taking cruises to Alaska this year, especially with new cruise lines like Disney coming to Anchorage.
Visit Anchorage explained what it thinks caused this latest round of survey results.
"I think we may have seen a downtick in that survey was reduced inventory," said David Kasser with Visit Anchorage. "There were fewer cabins to sell in this market, and the ships that left Alaska were redeployed in other markets."
Visit Anchorage sees positive signs for 2013 as well, with the addition of a Norwegian Cruises liner scheduled to arrive in Alaska.
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