Alaska Cruises–1938 Season

This little brochure advertises, without too many details, cruises to “strange Alaska.” After a steamship ride from Seattle, tours were apparently offered on at least seven routes. “Golden Belt Line Tours” went from Seward to Fairbanks to Cordova. “Yukon River Circle Tours” went from Seward to Fairbanks, then up the Yukon River to Whitehorse, followed by the White Pass train to Skagway.

Click image to download a 4.4-MB PDF of this brochure.

The tours all relied on “all-American steamers” operated by the Alaska Steamship Company. As Wikipedia notes, thanks to the 1920 Jones Act, this company had a near-monopoly on steamship service to Alaska.

Including a berth and meals, round-trip fares from Seattle started at $95 (around $1,300 today) to Skagway and $130 (about $1,700 today) to Seward. (For comparison, one-way adult fares today on the Alaska ferry are $363 from Bellingham to Skagway, exclusive of a berth or meals.) Fares mentioned in the brochure for complete tours don’t include most meals or lodging other than that aboard the ships, so are somewhat meaningless today.

This brochure opens up to about 9″x24″, the equivalent of six 8″x9″ pages. Only three pages, plus a half-page map, are about Alaska. Another page advertises “stop-off tours” of Glacier Park. The other half of the map page advertises the Empire Builder. Finally, the half of the cover not shown above lists fares to Seattle from various points on the GN and Burlington Route.

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