A boy snatches a salmon from the river in Ketchikan © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.
Each year, Princess Cruises marks the end of the Alaska season with shipboard awards ceremonies celebrating the year’s favorite local tour operators. The line’s 12th annual C.R.U.I.S.E. service awards have just been handed out, honoring the best shore excursion experiences and guides in most ports on Alaska itineraries, based largely on passenger feedback throughout the season.
Award winners were chosen from the extensive line-up of Alaska and Pacific Northwest shore excursions offered to Princess passengers, and recognize the most popular tours, individual guides and dock representatives in many of the communities where Princess ships call. The awards highlight the important role played by local tour operators in each community as part of a passenger’s overall cruise experience. Winners are determined primarily by tour scores and comments made on passenger surveys.
“It’s always gratifying to recognize these local tour operators who go above and beyond to provide our passengers with unforgettable experiences in Alaska and British Columbia,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “We know that a passenger’s time in port and their activities while on land are a significant part of their cruise experience, especially in such an exciting place as Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.”
The C.R.U.I.S.E. (Courtesy, Respect, Unfailing in Service Excellence) program is the longest running customer service program in the cruise industry. The Alaska awards began in 2000 and cap off a season-long effort to recognize the role that Princess’ tour partners play in passengers’ cruise experiences. Tour Guide of the Season and Dock Representative of the Season award winners receive $100, a letter of commendation, a plaque, a tour of the ship and lunch onboard with their family. Operators of the Shore Excursion of the Season receive a plaque, a letter of commendation, a tour of the ship and lunch onboard for company officials.
The 2011 winners are:
Helicopter Glacier Trek, NorthStar Trekking
Taku Glacier Lodge Flight & Feast, Wings Airways and Taku Lodge
Tracy Arm Fjord & Glacier Explorer, Allen Marine Tours
Joe Pawelek, Gold Rush Tours / TEMSCO Helicopters
Stacy La Mascus, Gastineau Guiding Company
Nathan Barzee, Allen Marine Tours
Back Country Zodiac Expedition, Ketchikan Outdoors
Bering Sea Crab Fishermen’s Tour, Commercial Fishing Adventures
Rainforest Canopy & Zipline Expedition, Alaska Canopy Adventures
Annie Bauer, Snorkel Alaska
Rob Holston, Lighthouse Excursions
Jill Gates, The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show
Glacier Discovery by Helicopter, TEMSCO Helicopters
Golden Glassblowing Experience at Jewell Gardens, Jewell Gardens
Heli-Hike & Rail Adventure, Packer Expeditions
Matt Hall, Alaska Icefield Expeditions / TEMSCO Helicopters
Matt Hayashida, Gold Rush Sled Dogs / Klondike Gold Fields
Julie Martin, White Pass & Yukon Route
City Sights & Capilano Canyon Walk, Rockwood Adventures
City Highlights & High Tea at the Empress Hotel, TMS Gateway Tours
Kayaking in Prince William Sound, Alaska Sea Kayakers
Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company’s website at www.princess.com.
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