ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The last cruise ship to dock in Anchorage for the season leaves town Monday night. But Monday morning, while the ship was at the port of Anchorage, students from several high schools toured the liner to see if being a part of the cruise industry would be a career they would be interested in pursuing.
Most students walked from room-to-room, taking photos on their iPhones or Snapchatting their experiences. Most seemed impressed by a surprise visit from a chef trained by America's Test Kitchen.
East High senior Canyon Sparks said his favorite part of the tour was the elegance of the ship, especially the astrolabe. Sparks said while he's not sure what kind of job he wants in the future, he could picture himself working on a cruise ship.
"I might be in the medical field," said Sparks. "But if not, this seems like a good place to work with a lot of opportunities."
Former lawmaker and now vice president of external relations for Holland America Group, Ralph Samuels, led one of the tours. He touted the financial impacts the cruise industry has on the state, and he introduced students to people in the tourism industry.
According to Cruise Lines International Association Alaska, the financial impacts from cruises are huge.
This year, 33 ships visited the state on 498 voyages. And as a result, this is where more than half of Alaska's visitors spend $1 billion on taxable spending, from May 1 through Sept. 30. That's about $6.5 million every day, for 150 days.
Tonight, the Amsterdam and its passengers will depart Anchorage and head to Homer, next.