Royal Celebrity Tours 1001
Notes: The combined efforts of cruise lines Royal Carribean and Celebrity Cruises created Royal Celebrity Tours, the company which handles all of the Alaskan shore excursions for both companies. As a part of that mission, Royal Celebrity Tours introduced two ultradome-type cars in 2001 for their Wilderness Express service. The cars were designed to be completely self contained, and feature a small observation platform, a kitchen, dining room, and of course the requesite top level seating.
Royal Celebrity sought to distinguish itself by creating the tallest domes that had been built to that date. Whereas previous domes for rival Princess Tours stood 17 feet, six inches tall, the Wilderness Express cars are 18 feet, one inch tall, with the difference split between the two floors. Following their construction, the cars were sent on a barnstorming tour of the North American continent before being shipped to Alaska. (Your webmaster made a two hour drive to Portland, OR just to see the cars, only to find out that the schedule he had been provided was incorrect, and the cars had been there the day before and now were in Seattle, another four hours away. Though my wife in her patience was game to the trip, I ruled it out for some reason or another...)
The Wilderness Express cars are also luxuriously appointed with plush rotatable seating, and individual sound systems. Under their operating agreement with the Alaska Railroad, the Wilderness Express cars are the first cars behind the regular revenue cars on the ARR's train between Anchorage and Fairbanks. Trains typically feature one or two cars.
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