- Associated Press - Saturday, April 19, 2014

KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) - Ketchikan will have about 30,000 fewer cruise ship passengers this summer after technical issues will prompt one line to cancel 15 port calls.

The Carnival Cruise Lines ship Miracle had 20 port calls scheduled this summer, the Ketchikan Daily News reported (https://is.gd/buHp3l). But the ship has a technical issue that will lower its top speed from 21 knots to anywhere between 18 to 20 knots.

The Miracle will make port calls in Ketchikan as originally planned on May 4, May 11, May 18, Sept. 7 and Sept. 16, according to the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau. But 15 other port calls between May 25-Aug. 31 have been canceled.

The Miracle carries 2,124 passengers, according to the visitors bureau, and was expected to bring 42,480 passengers to Ketchikan. That number has been cut to 10,620 with the 15 canceled port calls.

Officials have adjusted the total projected number of cruise visitors to Ketchikan this year to 850,377, down from 882,237.

The Miracle is Carnival’s lone ship in Alaska, according to Rick Erickson of Cruise Line Agencies of Alaska, which is the cruise companies’ on-shore representative.

“Ultimately, they decided to lengthen their port time in Juneau,” Erickson said.

Under the new plan, the Miracle will would depart Juneau, skip Ketchikan and arrive in Victoria, British Columbia, early.

Erickson said the Miracle is expected to make its calls in Tracy Arm, but it will arrive there later than scheduled.

“The big issue is trying to get out of Ketchikan on a Sunday and making Victoria the following day,” he said.

After the ship completes its Alaska and Hawaii schedules this year, it will report to drydock for repairs in early 2015.

Erickson said he didn’t know the nature of the ship’s problem, but said it wouldn’t affect any safety or hotel facilities.

“We can be thankful that they’re still on the market,” he said.

___

Information from: Ketchikan (Alaska) Daily News, https://www.ketchikandailynews.com


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