Watch CBS News

Minnesotans Flocking To Alaska For Summer Vacations

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - The motor coach industry is starting to roll again after the pandemic forced drivers to pump the brakes.

One tourist destination is growing in popularity as travelers make their summer plans.

Minnesotans are finding solace in Alaska, and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is accommodating the growing demand.

After nearly four decades in business based in Lake City, Minnesota, John Hall's Alaska Tours and Cruises is looking forward to a summer closer to normal.

"It's really been an unknown but trying to navigate an unknown," Chief Operating Officer, Elizabeth Hall said.

They were once sitting idle, but now the motor coaches will run at a 50% capacity.

"There's a lot of movement this direction," she added.

Hall believes the draw to the long haul destination is from typical international travelers now booking domestic trips.

To keep up with demand, Alaska Airlines is adding a direct flight from MSP to Anchorage in June.

The airport reports passenger levels climbing 30% from 2019 to the Last Frontier.

Monique Delph is an A-1 Travel Consultant.

"It doesn't require the additional testing that Hawaii is requiring so we have a lot of interest in people going there," Delph said.

Delph is planning Alaskan vacations for months down the line.

A new law allows cruise ships to sail to Alaska without stopping in Canada where ongoing COVID-19 restrictions have kept ships at bay.

A-1 Travel says if people are interested in booking an Alaskan vacation this summer, options are running out so you may have to be flexible. Rental cars are nearly non-existent after many companies sold off inventory to stay afloat during the pandemic.

John Hall's Alaska Tours and Cruises will be running back at 100% capacity to mark 40 years in business in 2022.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.