The Best Months For An Alaska Cruise For Low Prices
Alaska is not a cheap cruise, but if you want to save money on your cruise fare, then your best bet is May or September.
For the same reasons May and September feature lower crowds, these months see most often the lowest prices for a cruise because of the combination of colder temperatures and the school calendar.
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Top Things To Do And See In Glacier Bay National Park
Cruises to Glacier Bay National Park combine nature and wildlife, dramatic landscapes, adventure activities, relaxation, and the chance to explore remote villages and see the local way of life. Cruise itineraries generally combine a variety of experiences so that you can enjoy the very best of Glacier Bay National Park. Top things to enjoy on cruises around Glacier Bay include:
Glaciers Stunning glaciers that are surrounded by snow-capped peaks and verdant forests are sure to take your breath away. Admire these huge natural wonders, and watch as the landscapes gradually change, with huge blocks of ice calving away and crashing into the waters. The is a particularly exceptional spot for witnessing the majesty of nature. John Hopkins Glacier is incredibly photogenic, whilst McBride Glacier is a terrific place for kayaking.
Wildlife An abundance of wildlife calls Glacier Bay National Park home, and small ship cruises let you get even closer to an array of fascinating creatures. Watch as whales and seals glide through the icy waters whilst sea lions and sea otters frolic nearby, look to the skies and observe eagles soaring above, and see bears, deer, wolves, and moose roaming on dry land. Other animals that populate the area include squirrels, weasels, foxes, ermines, marmots, and minks.
Top Tips for visiting Glacier Bay National Park
Alaska Cruise Weather In June
Most of the month of June in Alaska is either cold or pleasantly cool with very cold temperatures being less frequent than in May. The lows can be as low as forty-three degrees Fahrenheit, and the highs can get up to the sixties on average.
Cloud cover and precipitation conditions from May persist throughout June and July, and wind speeds remain low as well. Layers are essential for this type of fluctuating weather, and travelers should be sure to pack waterproof jackets and shoes for rainy moments, cardigans or light sweaters, and other warm clothes like jeans, long skirts, and tights.
Summer Cruises To Hawaii
Norwegian offers the only cruise that sails to four Hawaiian islands in seven days all year long. Our Hawaii cruise has been voted the best Hawaii itinerary for 15 years by Porthole Cruise Magazine. When you book a Hawaii cruise on Norwegian, youll start in Honolulu and sail to Kahului in Maui, Hilo and Kona on the big island of Hawaii, and Nawiliwili in Kauai before returning to Honolulu.
On Maui, explore the renowned town of Lahaina, check out the beautiful beaches, or play a round of golf at one of the worlds most stunning golf courses. Check out Kilauea, an active volcano, when you dock in Hilo. Kona is ideal for water sports, including kayaking, diving, deep-sea fishing, and surfing. When you reach Kauai, hike the rainforests of Haena or the dramatic mountains of Kokee.
Cruise Lines Navigate Complex Rules As Alaska Sailings Resume From Seattle
Its a sight Seattle hasnt seen in a while: lines of vacationers at Pier 91, many dressed in Hawaiian shirts, bucket hats and sunglasses, with suitcases and smiles. The Majestic Princess floats on their left, the Serenade of Seas to the right.
Under sunny skies, the first Alaska cruise of the season and the first since the onset of the pandemic weighed anchor Monday as Royal Caribbeans Serenade of the Seas set off on a seven-night voyage.
The long anticipated return of cruising in Seattle continues this month as six other cruise lines resume sailing, among them Seattle-based Holland America Line and Princess Cruises. Starting Friday, ships will leave Seattle almost daily for the rest of the month. In August, some days will see two departures.
Weve been waiting two years now to go to Alaska, said Peter Dorney, 52, one of the first people in line with his wife, Kathy, 51, waiting to board the Serenade on Monday morning. The Massachusetts couple is celebrating their 25th anniversary this year and Dorney said they have been on more than 20 cruises. Were frequent cruisers.
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But You Can Take A Cruise This Summer
And even though big ships are resuming their itineraries, you might consider a small-ship cruise instead. Operators will sail this summer out of Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and even Seattle. These ships, carrying 10 to 100 passengers, do not offer the bells and whistles of a big-ship cruise. But youll visit smaller coves and communities, with the focus on wildlife viewing and beach landings in small skiffs, kayaking, hiking and photography.
Best For Megaresort Fans
Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean both sail some of their largest ships in Alaska. They are floating megaresorts, carrying thousands, and big on amenities, glitz and a certain amount of glamor think flashy casinos, Broadway shows, lavish spas. Dining and drinking venues number in the dozens, while amusement park features thrill the kids and adrenaline-seekers.
On Norwegians Breakaway-Plus-class ships, you can race along a go-kart racetrack, complete in outdoor laser tag and zoom down slides at the water park. On Royal Caribbeans Quantum-class ships, you can order a drink from a robotic bartender, try simulated sky diving or surfing experiences and take a ride in a glass capsule that travels high above your ship on a mechanical arm a weird and wonderful way to see the Alaska scenery.
These supersized ships stick to tried-and-true weeklong itineraries, sailing round trip from Seattle to such ports as Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, Sitka, Icy Strait Point and Victoria, B.C. Many Norwegian sailings spend time in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. Ships that dont visit the national park, regardless of cruise line, will call at other exciting tidewater glaciers.
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Day : Arrival At Juneau And Disembarkation
We arrived in Juneau well before dawn on the last day of our cruise. I was awakened by dozens of text messages and notifications on my phone as we re-entered an inhabited area! Uggh, I thought. Back to civilization.
We had to have our luggage outside of our door by 7:30, just before breakfast. I loved the fact that we didnt need to put our bags out the night before, as you do on larger cruise lines.
Having heard so many stories of people packing all of their shoes in their luggage and having no access to them when they disembark, Im always super-worried that Ill accidentally put something I really need in my suitcase. It was really nice to be able to keep our bags until the morning!
After our final breakfast and goodbyes to the crew, we disembarked and headed across the street to Juneaus Centennial Hall to pick up our luggage. We were sad to leave the ship and our new friends, but excited to explore a new city!
Alaska Cruise Reading List
Alaska has inspired many literary works over the last century, from fictional tales set against the backdrop of real events to captivating travel memoirs, and where better to read them than in the great land itself? Passage to Juneau by Johnathan Raban, Travels in Alaska by John Muir, and Coming Into the Country by John McPhee, are just three books you may wish to pack for your Alaska cruise.
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Two Princess Cruise Ships Delayed
The Carnival-owned cruise lines return to service had been going smoothly with multiple ships already back in service. However, the much-anticipated restarts for Island Princess from Fort Lauderdale in Florida and Crown Princess from Los Angeles in California are delayed.
Princess Cruises did not go into the specific reason for the delayed restart for the two ships. The only reason was to enable a further staggered return to service. This could be related to getting enough vaccinated crew to the ships and more time to prepare.
Princess Cruises said in the update,After careful consideration, we have found it necessary to delay the restart of Island Princess and Crown Princess to Spring 2022 to enable further staggering of our broader return to service plans. Island Princess will now return to service on April 27 with her published 14-day Panama Canal cruise and Crown Princess will restart on her published May 7 seven-day cruise to Alaska. As a result of these changes, the following cruises have been cancelled.
Island Princess cruises are now cancelled through April 17, 2022. The ship will finally restart operations on April 27, 2022, from Fort Lauderdale on a 14-day Panama Canal voyage. Crown Princess cruises are now cancelled through April 29, 2022. The ship will return from Los Angeles on May 7, 2022, on a seven-day voyage to Alaska.
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Where Did We Go On Our Alaska Uncruise
Our Northern Passages and Glacier Bay cruise began in Sitka and ended in Juneau . Our sailing was the last of the season, the last week of September.
Unlike a traditional cruise that stops at ports to let passengers off, an Alaska UnCruises itinerary includes secluded bays and marine parks. Instead of pulling up to a wharf and offloading thousands of cruisers, these small ships drop anchor and ferry up to ten passengers at a time to shore via semi-rigid skiffs.
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Helpful Tips Before You Go
- Be aware of the unusual length of days and nights in these northern latitudes. In May or June, the sun doesnt set until after 11pm giving you more time to see more of Alaska.
- In Alaska, some of the best tasting water comes right out of the tap. Thats because its glacial watercrisp, clean and clear.
- Much of Alaska is covered by a rainforest, so pack water-resistant clothing.
- Temperatures can vary based on what you are doing . Wearing layers can help keep you comfortable throughout the day no matter what the activity.
- Book Flights by Celebrity® to be protected in case there is any cancellation.
- Research the shore excursions and book them in advance, pre-cruise. The popular shore excursions get sold out fast.
- All destinations in Alaska take U.S. dollars and most take credit cards but be sure to check before your purchase.
A Guide To The Best Alaskan Cruise Vacation
Alaska is a beautiful and wild destination, popular with travelers looking for an extraordinary experience in the United States. With a coastline thats longer than all the other U.S. states coastlines combined, a multi-day Alaskan cruise is an elegant and relaxing way to see the massive states stunning landscape. Sailing past the icy beauty of some of the worlds most impressive glaciers while enjoying a wide range of services and relaxing options is an experience unique to cruising. On land, Alaska cruise passengers have a variety of tour options in port cities, ranging from rail excursions to zip-line tours to wildlife viewing to sportfishing.
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Royal Caribbean Alaska Cruises Overview
On the “Nation of Why Not,” you’ll get to experience many vacations in one. First, there’s the experience of being on the ship itself, with many dining and bar venues, pools and spas, rock-climbing walls, shopping promenades and so much more. Then, there’s the magnificent natural beauty you’ll experience once arriving in Alaska, and the adventurous and exciting opportunities that await you on land. Royal Caribbean offers 7- and 9-night itineraries to the Last Frontier out of Vancouver, Seattle and Seward, plus many cruisetour options if you’d like even more time on land.
Do The Math On Balconies Versus Interior
If you can afford it, its preferable to sail on a balcony versus and interior cabin. But there is a lot of demand for these rooms and the prices can be significantly higher than an interior cabin. While a balcony is nice, its not like there arent places around the ship to take in the scenery. In other words, if the price difference it outrageous, book the interior cabin, save the cash, and still get to experience 95% of what passengers with a balcony get to see.
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Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships In Alaska
With over two dozen vessels at sea, Royal Caribbean just keeps on growing. Four of their vessels including two Quantum Class ships currently travel to Alaska ? Quantum of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas. Carrying between 2,100 and 5,000 guests, these ships are some of the largest at sea. As such, they’re equipped with tons of dining and entertainment options, a large, friendly crew, and a variety of staterooms to suit every traveler and group size. Enjoy plenty of specialty dining options, shopping areas, adults-only retreats, and so much more.
Children’s Programs On Royal Caribbean Alaska Cruises
Royal Caribbean specializes in creating both events and activities for kids to enjoy on their own, and for the whole family to enjoy together. The line’s complimentary Adventure Ocean Youth Program is led by staff members who all have four-year degrees in education or a related field, so parents can rest easy knowing their children are in good hands. There are three age groups: babies and tots , kids , and teens , each of which has their own interactive, multi-room spaces to hang out in. Kids of all ages will love the ship-wide scavenger hunts, science experiments, arcade games, dance parties and movies nights planned just for them.
Around the ship, there are plenty of family-friendly experiences offered, from rock-climbing to ice-skating, carousels to zip-lining, karaoke nights, and more. My Family Time Dining is offered for the first seating time in the main dining room for kids age three to 11. Kids will eat within 40 minutes of seating, then head off to the evening Adventure Ocean activities, while parents can stay and enjoy another glass of wine or dessert.
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Best For Land And Sea Adventures
Youve traveled far to get to Alaska and it would be a shame to miss inland sights such as Denali National Park and Preserve and the sight of Denali, North Americas largest peak so big its often shrouded in clouds caused by its own weather system.
Market leaders Holland America Line and Princess Cruises both send a half-dozen ships to Alaska each year, and they have 75 and 55 years in the market, respectively. They top the list in terms of cruises, as well as cruisetours, which combine time sailing with overnight stays on land. The companies operate their own lodges, railcars and motorcoaches for exploration of Alaskas interior and beyond. Many of the ships have permission to sail in Glacier Bay.
Standard one-week to 14-night cruise itineraries take you to the same ports as the megaships, such as Skagway, Ketchikan, Juneau and sometimes Sitka from Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco or Whittier, Alaska. On 10- to 17-night land tours, you might add an overnight in Anchorage, a visit to Denali park and time up north in Fairbanks, the gateway to Arctic Alaska.
Holland America Line also offers cruisetours that head into the Canadian Yukon, following the route of the Klondike Gold Rush from Alaska to northwestern Canada. Princess Cruises offers a cruisetour where you visit four national parks: Glacier Bay, Denali, the Kenai Fjords and, Americas largest national park, Wrangell-St. Elias.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Seven Seas Mariner returns to Alaska each summer, providing anexcellent combination of comfortable spacious suite living withexcellent dining choices and a whole selection of excursionsincluded in the fare, unusual for a classic cruise ship. This isone destination where you’re going to want to take loads oforganised trips, so with up to 43 excursions on offer on a 7-dayitinerary, you can really get your money’s worth. There will alsobe guest lecturers and a great family programme.
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When Is The Best Time For Families To Visit Alaska
Summer break, which is peak cruising season, is an ideal time for families to go on an Alaska cruise. Depending on your familys interests, youll want to decide whether to book earlier or later in the season, since there can be a difference in weather and activities between the end of June and mid-August.
Some of the shore excursions you can experience when going on an Alaska cruise with kids include hiking the Tongass forest, whale-watching tours, kayaking, and learning about Tlingit culture.
Aim for the week right after school ends or the week before school begins if youd like to get there just ahead of the most crowded part of peak season. A cruise to Alaska is an unforgettable summer family vacation experience your kids will cherish forever.
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Insider Tips For Alaska Cruises
Transfer day is a sightseeing day The trip between Whittier or Seward and Anchorage travels one of the most scenic stretches of road in the state. Youll cross the mountains and follow the coast of Turnagain Arm. Transfers are typically by motorcoach, private shuttle or train, but this is far more than getting from A to B. Keep your camera at the ready, and dont be surprised if you spot wildlife and incredible natural landscapes along the way.
Day cruises get even closer to glaciers Its worth adding a day cruise either in Prince William Sound or Resurrection Bay/Kenai Fjords. These nimble vessels are able to slip into smaller spaces than the big ships, better navigate to sea lion haulouts, bird nesting areas and whale watching hot spots in the moment, and get closer to glaciers and then linger in silence. These incredible sights also makes day cruises a great option for independent travelers as well. If spending nights aboard a ship doesnt appeal to you, day cruises are a great way to sample the marine ecosystem and keep the start of each day on solid ground.
Anchorage as flightseeing capital Anchorage isnt just the spot to catch the flight into or out of Alaska. With a huge concentration of pilots and small aircraft, its also a prime spot for sightseeing tours by air. Flights from Merrill Field or Lake Hood in Anchorage take off for glaciers in the nearby Chugach Mountains, the waters of Prince William Sound, or even circle Denali by air.
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