For the first time in many years, the port in Skagway, Alaska, is expecting an increase in smaller cruise ships.

"We have a new company called the Alaskan Dream," says Buckwheat Donahue, tourism director for the Municipality of Skagway. "They're bringing in three different ships, and all of them are very small ships from 50 capacity up to about 170."

BUCKWHEAT FOUNDER

Robert Carlin "Buckwheat" Donahue, tourism director for the Municipality of Skagway, Alaska, says smaller cruise ships are expected to dock at the community's port this year. (The Associated Press)

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American Cruise Lines is also bringing in a smaller ship, he says.

In all, those smaller vessels will make 17 ports of call.

"It's nice to see some of the smaller ships returning."

Overall, he says it's expected there will be a slight drop in the number of cruise visitors by about 4,000 to 5,000.