More visitors expected in Petersburg as Alaska tourism booms


Chris Basinger / Petersburg Pilot

The Nat Geo Venture marked the start of the summer tour ship season with its arrival in Petersburg on May 8. Cruise ships will continue visiting until the last port call of the season on September 22.

The sun is shining, the days are longer, and bands of people wearing identical jackets are wandering around main street.

"Petersburg can expect an uptick in tourism for...this 2023 summer season," said James Valentine, the co-owner of Viking Travel and a cruise line agency representative.

"Alaska in general just seems to be a really hot spot for cruise ship tourism and tourism in general."

According to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, an estimated 2.5 million people visited Alaska in 2019, 1.3 million of which traveled on cruise ships.

The industry tanked in 2020 becau...

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