Vampire fans to sail off Alaska coast next year

ANCHORAGE, Alaska Fri Sep 2, 2011 10:44am EDT

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - Hundreds of vampire enthusiasts will sail Alaska's fabled Inside Passage in a summer 2012 cruise tailored to their interests that combines gazing at glaciers with a late-night costume ball, organizers said on Thursday.

The "Vamps at Sea" cruise is scheduled for late June, which is a time of near-constant daylight in the far north.

"They've got curtains and they can block everything out -- so it can be as dark as we want it," said organizer Linda Wolf, president of Los Angeles-based agency Cruises Cruises Cruises Inc, who is herself a fan of the vampire genre.

Cruise groups have been organized around myriad interests, with everyone from bird lovers to marathon runners getting their own boat trips.

Still, the Vamps at Sea cruise promises to be special, said Buckwheat Donahue, executive director of the convention and visitors bureau in Skagway, a historic gold rush town that is on most cruise itineraries.

"This is going to be fun," Donahue said. "I can't imagine what people are going to be dressed like coming off the boat."

The group will sail on a Holland America ship, the Zuiderdam, and will hit the usual ports of call such as Juneau, Glacier Bay and Ketchikan.

But there will be other special features, including a late-night costume ball, a scavenger hunt and a vampire talent show, Wolf said. There is also a literary angle to the cruise, with vampire-genre authors scheduled to speak, including a relative of the late "Dracula" writer Bram Stoker, according to the cruise website.

Themed cruises and organized cruise groups are becoming increasingly popular, Donahue said.

(Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Cynthia Johnston)

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