Small Expedition Ships In Alaska
Another option in Alaska: small expedition ships that might not have all the dining and entertainment options of the big ships, yet more than make up for that with wildlife and nature-intensive cruises.
Be warned: small expedition ships can carry price tags just as high as the luxury and premium cruises. But in many ways, you get so much more when you choose one of these all-inclusive options — a real close-up view of Alaska that’s hard to duplicate otherwise.
These cruises often stop in smaller ports such as Wrangell, Petersburg, or the native village of Kake, and moor in remote natural areas such as Misty Fjords or the remote shores of Baranof Island. You also get better and more personal in-depth programming from the onboard naturalists, expedition guides and cultural interpreters.
American Queen Voyages has its first expedition ship, the 186-passenger Ocean Victory, in Alaska in 2022. The ship is almost entirely all-inclusive, with unlimited beverages a hotel night before the cruise Wi-Fi ground transfers use of hiking sticks and at least one included excursion per port. The ship also has a luxury feel to it, with an onboard infinity pool and small spa.
Why Cruise To Alaska
The staggering natural beauty of Alaska is impossible to ignore. Its hard to believe so many unique cruise ports are contained in a single state, but a voyage to Alaska by ship unfolds rugged mountainscapes peppered with wildlife and tiny, eclectic towns founded by gold prospectors.
Alaska cruises blend a mix of port calls with spectacular scenic sailing through Glacier Bay National Park or through other routes that also hold calving glaciers and potential whale sightings. The experience of watching the scenery from your cruise ship is just as rich as the stops it makes along the way.
In fact, many sites in Alaska including its capital, Juneau are only accessible by air or sea, making a cruise one of the best ways to explore the Last Frontier.
To make sure visitors by cruise ship don’t miss the sprawling interior of the state, nearly every cruise line offers a variety of tours that can be added before or after your cruise. The most popular extensions include a visit to Denali National Park & Preserve.
On some Alaska itineraries, American citizens might not even need a passport .
Booking Airfare Through Cruise Lines
In some cases, you won’t find bundled cruises and airfare packages like the aforementioned examples, but some cruise lines offer the ability to book your airfare in conjunction with your cruise. This is often at a discounted rate and can be bundled in one payment with the cruise line directly. Most require you call an 800 number to book your airfare, but Princess Cruises lets you compare airfare online when you’re deciding on specific cruises.
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Where Do Alaska Cruises Depart From
Roundtrip Alaska sailings typically depart from Seattle or Vancouver, but also California cities like San Francisco. These sailings typically follow an Inside Passage itinerary.
Cruises also regularly depart from either Seward or Whittier, both Alaska ports accessible a short drive from Anchorage. These one-way sailings usually follow the Gulf of Alaska, also known as a cross-gulf cruise. These cruises might call on some Inside Passage stops, but also ports farther north.
Most cruisetours will begin or end in Anchorage, where the primary and central airport is.
Top Cruises From Seattle To Alaska
In search of your next adventure? How would you feel about embarking on an Alaska cruise leaving from Seattle?
Joining an Alaskan cruise enables you to experience the dynamic energy of the Emerald City before boarding and heading into the wild, natural beauty of Americans Last Frontier.
If youre looking for the best Alaska cruises from Seattle, continue reading for AAAs top suggestions or contact us to speak directly with one of our knowledgeable travel agents about your upcoming trip.
Whether youre looking for short Alaska cruises from Seattle or ones that are over a week long, AAA has numerous cruise options for you to choose from each one capable of delivering memories that will last a lifetime.
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Explore The Last Frontier On An Alaska Cruise In 2022
Visit the great outdoors with us in 2022, where once again well have three award-winning ships dedicated to bringing you all of Alaskas wild wondersCelebrity Eclipse®, Celebrity Solstice®, and Celebrity Millennium®. Were starting our cruise season in Alaska even earlier in 2022, so there will be even more opportunities to visit the wide-open spaces of The Last Frontier.
In our 2022 cruises in Alaska, well once again visit spectacular Homer, Alaska, on the Kenai Peninsula. Nestled on the farthest reaches of Alaskas dramatic Kenai Peninsula, Homer is widely known as the place the locals go to play. We also visit Icy Strait Pointrecently named Seatrades Port of the Year. Theres nothing more iconic in Alaska than the majestic glaciers and unique seaways, and on every Alaska itinerary, youll sail the breathtaking Inside Passage and get up close and personal with active glaciers.
In Alaska, youll have three stunning ships to choose for your vacation, and each one will make sure your vacation in unspoiled Alaska is anything but rugged. Celebrity Eclipse will sail round-trip from Vancouver offering 7-night itineraries to Hubbard Glacier. Vancouver is a city that perfectly blends urban sophistication with the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, and its the ideal launching point for your Alaska vacation.
Wherever you go in Alaska with us, youll be sure to experience an unforgettable luxury vacation in one of the most majestic destinations in the world.
Best Small Ship: Oceania Cruises
Oceania cruises introduce Alaska to guests by offering local experiences in partnership with native tribes for a more meaningful connection to the area beyond sightseeing.
Two specialty restaurants , WiFi, and free and unlimited soft drinks replenished daily in refrigerated mini bar
Onboard menus feature local Alaskan delicacies, such as Halibut, King Crab, and Alaskan blueberry pancakes
Impressive guest-to-staff ratio: maximum of 656 guests served by 400+ officers and crew
4 open-seating restaurants, 8 lounges and bars, and a casino
Not all staterooms feature private verandas
Built in 1998 but fully refurbished in 2019, Oceania Cruises Regatta dazzles guests with bejeweled chandeliers in the Grand Dining Room, fresh color palettes, and new furnishings in the public spaces, plus new everything in the suites and staterooms. Between the gentle rocking of the ship and the Ultra Tranquility Bed, youre sure to sleep like a baby.
When youre not off exploring Alaskas many wonders, keep busy at the casino, take in an after-dinner production of Tuxedo or Gatsbys or chill out and choose a book from the English-style library with 2,000 options. Book a spa treatment or work out in the Aquamar Spa + Vitality Center, play nine holes of golf on the putting greens, shop the three boutiques, and unwind, help yourself to afternoon tea with all the accouterments at 4 p.m. daily.
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Adventures And Shore Excursions
Experts recommend budgeting an extra $1,000 $1,500 per person for excursions. This will allow you to experience an unforgettable vacation and exceptional itinerary from the time you board to the time you depart.
This is ideal for a seven-day cruise. It will allow you to experience whale watching in Juneau or Icy Strait, dog sled rides in Skagway, helicopter rides, train tours, or flightseeing tours in Ketchikan. There are always different excursions available at various ports. Dont forget to plan for these.
When trying to plan for excursions, remember there is flexibility in costs. Budgets range depending on the type of excursion. For example, city tours in most ports may cost approximately $75. In contrast, you can spend $600 to participate in an extended helicopter ride or dog sledding tour.
To give you an idea of the cost of excursions, we checked Holland America Lines top choices as the cruise line is popular in the region. Its excursion costs are listed as follows:
- Wilderness Sea Kayaking Adventure Starts at $179.95, appx 3 hours long, meals included
- Best Of Sitka: Otters, Raptors & Bears Starts at $189.95, appx 5 hours long, meals included
- White Pass Summit Scenic Railroad Starts at $139.95, appx 2:45 hours long, no meals
- Mendenhall Glacier & Juneau Tram Starts at $89.95, aprx 4 hours long, no meals
- Dog Sledding & Glacier Adventure By Helicopter Starts at 659.95, 3:15 hours long, no meals
All Inclusive Cruises Vs Traditional All Inclusive Vacations
Sail to the destination of your dreams from the departure port that works best for you. Enjoy cruise perks all for one affordable price. Similar to a traditional all inclusive vacation, food and entertainment on board is included in your cruise fare. Most cruise lines also offer a special and affordable drink package for your trip. Different from an all inclusive resort, you wake up at a new port throughout your vacation rather than the same scenery.
Cruise Critic is not a booking agent and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners who list cruise pricing on Cruise Critic are required to provide prices for cruise only, per person, double occupancy, and are based on specific cabin types and sailing dates, and may not be available for all cabin types/sailings. Taxes, fees and port expenses not included. Rates are in USD and valid for US and Canadian residents only. Fuel supplement may apply. When you book with one of our partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees as required by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
For any cruises listed, Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates or prices. In addition, average cruise prices are updated nightly.
Furthermore, Cruise Critic makes no guarantees for availability of prices advertised on our site. Listed prices may have blackout dates, qualifications or restrictions.
Cruise Critic is not responsible for content on external web sites.
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Best Overall Cruise: Windstar Cruises
Because of their small, yacht-like size, Windstar Cruises ships grant unparalleled access to Alaskas glaciers and fjords other ships cant squeeze into some of these special places.
All-inclusive option includes WiFi, unlimited drinks, Signature Expeditions program offers expert guides who give lectures and take guests on intimate excursions
Only 312 passengers
Each cabin is a suite there are no interior cabins
Ship was reimagined in 2021, with additional dining experiences, a new World Spa, and infinity pool
Fewer entertainment options than on larger ships
When it comes to experiencing the splendor of Alaska, your cruise is only as good as the direct access it offers to this regions beautyand Windstar Cruises delivers access like no other. Because of its dainty size, guests are treated to unique experiences, like anchoring right in Misty Fjords and Kenai Fjords, which is something youd have to do on a shore excursion if you were on a larger ship with another cruise line. For an even closer look at Mother Natures impressive work, from icebergs to whales, book a kayak or Zodiac Signature Expedition with their incredibly knowledgeable guides.
Pros And Cons Of Cruise Packages
There are lengthy discussions on sites like Cruise Critic about the pros and cons of booking air/sea packages. In some cases, you don’t fly with major carriers, and benefits and customer service can be minimal. You also give up flexibility in some cases as the cruise line/airline chooses the route, which could mean connecting through two to three cities rather than a direct flight or flights with only one layover. The other risk is if you are booking close to the cruise departure time, you may not have an actual assigned seat and find yourself bumped off the plane in favor of a paying customer who booked earlier.
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Relax On Decadent Alaska Cruises From Seattle By Oceania Cruises
Alaskan cruises offered by Oceania Cruises are premium experiences. Aboard one of Oceania Cruises ships, you will be staying in luxurious suites and rooms that are furnished in the neoclassical style.
Besides having some of the finest accommodations, Oceania Cruises Alaska cruises feature lounges, bars, casinos, spa centers, stylish restaurants, and more. Not to mention exciting shore excursions and wildlife viewing.
Oceania Cruises offers both 7 and 10-night cruises from Seattle to Alaska.
The 7-night Alaska cruise includes highlights such as:
Small Ship Alaska Cruises From Seattle
At this time, AAA does not offer 3-day Alaska cruises from Seattle, small boutique cruises from Seattle to Alaska, or cruises from Seattle to Alaska one way.
Please contact one of our travel agents with any questions you may have about our Alaska cruises leaving from Seattle.
We hope to see you soon on one of our cruises!
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What Are Popular Ports In Alaska
Glacier Bay is not a physical port, but due to its stunning scenery it’s one of the highest-rated destinations in Alaska. The U.S. National Park contains glaciers, lush forests and is part of one of the largest protected biosphere preserves in the world, as well as a U.N. World Heritage Site.
Most sailings to Alaska follow the Inside Passage, or the southeastern “panhandle” around Alaska. Popular ports along this route include Skagway, Ketchikan, Juneau and sometimes Sitka . From Vancouver or Seattle, you will also typically call on the Canadian port of Victoria in British Columbia.
What Are Popular Activities In Alaska
The variety of shoreside tours in Alaska is second to none. Whether you take a helicopter tour to a dogsledding camp, learn about indigenous cultures or go salmon fishing like the local bears, excursions in Alaska are an unforgettable experience.
Active types will thrive with plenty of opportunities to hop in a kayak, hike and even ice climb. Passive activities can be just as thrilling, like the White Pass Summit scenic rail of Skagway or a whale-watching boat tour in Juneau. Alaska caters to all ages and activity levels meaning you don’t have to break a sweat to see some truly awesome sights here, and to learn about their history in the process.
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When Is A Good Time To Cruise To Alaska
Alaska is a seasonal destination, meaning cruise ships only visit for a few months out of the year due to harsh, long winters and ice blocking the waterways. The standard Alaska cruise season coincides with summer, beginning in May and ending in September. Some small adventure-style cruise lines run special voyages that depart as early as March and continue into late September.
The most popular time to cruise to Alaska is smack in the middle of July and August. The midnight sun shines in many parts of the state during the summer, meaning nearly endless sunny days. For savings on your cruise, consider a sailing at the beginning or end of the season.
The weather here can be unpredictable no matter the month be sure to pack lots of light, waterproof layers. Days can get surprisingly warm, especially considering your activity level, while wind and rain on an outdoor tour can have you reaching for a hat and gloves.
Misty Fjords National Monument
isty Fjords National Monument encompasses more than 2 million acres/810,000 hectares of old-growth forest, granite mountains, waterfalls, islands, lakes, rivers and coastal habitat. Boats and cruise ships thread their way through extremely narrow channels to provide access to these remote areas, which begin about 20 mi/32 km southeast of Ketchikan.
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Alaska Cruise Lines On Alaskacruisescom
How would you like to cruise? Click below for a more information about the different styles of cruising.
- American Cruise Lines
Fla. Seller of Travel Reg. No. ST42496CST No. 2100614-50
WMPH Vacations and AlaskaCruises.com are located in Delray Beach, Florida. You may book online or contact us directly. Our business hours and toll-free phone numbers from the following countries are listed below:
Please note that all prices on our website are in US dollars, and travel purchases must be completed with a major credit card.Unless you are considering one of our custom cruise itineraries, certain cruise lines prohibit US-based travel agencies from selling to non-US residents.
All passengers regardless of their home country, citizenship or country of residency are responsible for obtaining the proper documentation for travel. This includes passports and visas for any country they may visit during their trip.
Pricing Terms and Conditions
Best Ship Renovation: Celebrity Cruises
The Celebrity Millennium, launched in 2000, has recently undergone complete modernization, which includes luxury staterooms, enhanced technology, and renovated restaurants and lounges.
Immersive dining at Le Petit Chef, where augmented reality intersects with luxury cuisine, private verandas, complimentary fitness classes, plus unlimited access to the Persian Garden and complimentary dining at Blu
Autism-friendly cruising, including sensory-friendly films and toys, and dietary options
Accessible staterooms with grab bars, roll-in showers, and wider doors
2,218 passengers put this squarely in the mid-size ship category
You wont find the over-the-top party-like activities of larger ships
If youre passionate about the finer things in life, Celebrity Cruises may very well speak to your soul. The Sky Suite in the Retreat, for instance, includes a long list of curated amenities , endless views, a Personal Retreat Host, private dining, and exclusive spaces, like the Retreat Lounge and Sundeck. And onboard experiences range from Macallan and Jack Daniels tastings to Riedel crystal workshops that show how different shapes and qualities of a Riedel glass change the taste of wine.
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