What Is An Alaska Inside Passage Cruise
An Alaska Inside Passage cruise is a popular route that sticks to the southeastern Alaskan panhandle area. The Inside Passage is a network of waterways that connect Puget Sound in Washington, the Pacific coast of British Columbia, and the waters of the Alaska panhandle. It provides views of the Tongass National Forest, many islands, and plenty of mining towns used by prospectors in the Klondike Gold Rush.
The Crew Is Not Eating The Same Food As You
Even for crew members, theres no shortage of food on a cruise ship! Staff meals are prepared by dedicated crew cooks in a separate galley. These include regional dishes from the crew members home countries, fast food such as burgers and healthy options.
And in case youre wondering: No. Crew never eat paying passengers leftovers. As cruise ship vessels are manned around the clock, crew members have access to food and drink 24/7. The terms of their contracts specify break and meal times, so even the busiest crew members will always have set rest breaks when they have time for a snack or main meal.
How To Find The Cheapest Alaskan Cruise Deals
Sail Early in the SeasonThe Alaskan cruising season is short usually only five months long. Running from May through September, your opportunities to sail are limited, although there are a number of ships sailing at any given time.
If you want to save the most, look for cruises that sail in May. These trips early in the season are before the busier summer travel season. That means the pool of available passengers is smaller. In order to fill the ships, cruise lines slash prices. A cruise departing in May can be hundreds of dollars less than the same trip leaving in July.
Sail Late in the SeasonDidnt we just say to sail early in the season to save? Well, the same logic applies to sailing late. If you can wait until September, cruise fares to Alaska are much cheaper. With school back in session, the summer season largely over, and the bulk of the sailing season already past, you can find deals that are hundreds of dollars less than sailing just a few weeks earlier.
Sail One-Way or from Different PortsMost cruises sail round-trip, departing ports like Vancouver or Seattle. But if you look around, you can find one-way trips or that that depart from one port and let passengers off in another . Since these cruises are less convenient for most passengers, they tend to be cheaper.
Sites like AvoyaTravel.com or Orbitz allow you to search by cruise lines, destination, dates, and more to find the trip that matches your schedule and budget.
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Why Are Msc Cruises So Cheap
MSC Cruises are cheaper than others because they have a lower space-to-guest ration and a lower crew-to-guest ratio. Plus, MSC Cruises charges extra for things that other cruise lines include for free.
Before you consider booking a cheap MSC cruise, I recommend that you read my full guide to why MSC Cruises are so cheap.
How Much Does A Cruise Cost
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How much do cruises really cost? To work out the real cost of a cruise you should consider not just your cruise ship ticket price, but anything else youll need such as flights to the port, shore excursions, drinks and gratuities.
This article looks at the cost of various cruises and what you actually get for your money.
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The Same Experience For Less Expense
If you want a luxury cruise experience without paying the first-class price, the experts offer this tip: select a small cabinet on an inside corridor. This will be considerably less expensive than larger rooms that feature scenic views. You can also alter your departure time to get the best buy, since the very beginning, or very end, of the season, can be more reasonably priced.
Accessibility On American Cruise Lines Alaska Cruises
American Cruise Lines welcomes guests with disabilities on board and seeks to make travel as comfortable as possible for all guests. All ships are equipped with handicap-accessible rooms, and most of the lounges, sun decks, and dining rooms on board are wheelchair-accessible. Every ship offers elevator service to all decks. If you have any questions regarding accessibility, feel free to contact your Cruise Specialist.
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How Much Are Alaskan Cruises Gratuities
Except for luxury cruise lines, your fare will not include onboard gratuities. These typically run $13-$18 a person, per day, depending on your cabin category. Also referred to as service charges, these additional daily costs go to your room attendant, dining staff, and other crew members who work hard to make your cruise a special vacation.
Many cruise lines now give you the option to pre-pay these charges before cruising so you can budget accordingly. If you do not get that option or chose not to pre-pay, expect $200 in general gratuities to be added to your bill at the end of the cruise.
Just As With The Ocean Cruise Lines There Is A Strata Among Brands
In the popular European market, according to industry observers, Uniworld is the luxury line, followed closely in that top tier by Tauck, Scenic and AmaWaterways. Avalon Waterways and Viking River Cruises are considered contemporary mass-market, and Grand Circle, known for its high-quality program directors and older ships, has a reputation for being the most affordable.
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Remember That Drinks Add Up
Expect to pay big-city prices for drinks. –
If youre a drinker, beer, cocktails, and wine can quickly increase the cost of your cruise. Expect to pay $5 to $12 per drink, depending on your beverage of choice. A can of soda or a small bottle of water costs approximately $2 to $4. Most lines sell drink packages for alcohol, unlimited fountain sodas, or packages of bottled water these make sense if you tend to drink a lot throughout the day. Deal or no deal, buying these packages makes it easier to figure out your budget for the week.
Estimated Cost: $50 – $350 per person
Timing & Seasonality Influence The Cost Of A Private Cruise
The timing of when you charter a yacht will affect the price. Holidays and high season will cost the most, while off-season and shoulder season will offer the most affordable prices. Of course, this will depend on the destination. For instance, a private Alaska yacht charter cruise in Glacier Bay National Park aboard the historic Catalyst & Westward costs about $525 per person per day in the shoulder season vs. $655 per person per day in the high season.
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Why Is Alaska So Expensive
Alaska is a Bucket List destination. Glaciers and mountains, whales and Grizzly bears. If you love nature, youre going to LOVE Alaska. Its the wildest and probably prettiest of all US states. Having traveled in 45 US states , I can also vouch for the following statement:
Alaska is expensive.
Very expensive. Theres no getting around that fact. Its expensive to live in and its even more expensive to travel in. Before I explain how to reduce the costs of your trip to Alaska, I want to talk about why its so expensive. Understanding the reasons will help you reduce the costs.
Read Your Cruise Contract
Heres one section from Carnival Cruise Lines cruise contract:
Cruise Fare does not include Cruise Taxes, Fees, and Port Expenses. may include any and all fees, charges, tolls and taxes imposed on Carnival, by governmental or quasi-governmental authorities, as well as third party fees and charges arising from a vessels presence in a harbor or port.
Cruise Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses may include U.S. Customs fees, head taxes, Panama Canal tolls, dockage fees, wharfage fees, inspection fees, pilotage, immigration and naturalization fees, and Internal Revenue Service fees, environmental fees, as well as fees associated with navigation, berthing, stevedoring, baggage handling/storage, and security services.
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Cruise Taxes, Fees, and Port Expenses may be assessed per passenger, per berth, per ton or per vessel. Assessments calculated on a per ton or per vessel basis will be spread over the number of passengers on the Vessel. Subject to applicable laws, Cruise Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses are subject to change and Carnival reserves the right to collect any increases in effect at the time of sailing even if the fare has already been paid in full.
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How Much Are Alaskan Cruises Shore Excursions
If all of these costs are making you feel a little stressed out, then the pricing of shore excursions might just put you over the edge. Unlike Caribbean cruises, which can include some relaxing beach breaks or island tours, Alaska offers so many unique and amazing experiences. With choices like zip lining through the national forest, bear watching and whale watching expeditions, Glacier treks, dog sledding camps, and more, you may feel compelled to try them all.
Helicopter Flight and Glacier Trek was Amazing but a Bit Costly
Sure, there are plenty of reasonably priced tours that give you the authentic Alaskan experience, or you can even explore some of the small Alaskan towns on your own. But, if you are looking for adventure and once in a lifetime experiences, then you have to be willing to pay up. Walking on glaciers, touring the Misty Fjords via sea plane, taking a ride on the White Pass and Yukon Railway, and many other uniquely Alaskan shore excursions are quite costly.
Ride on the White Pass and Yukon Route Railway
For our cruise, stopping at four ports, we averaged a total of $175, per person per port for our shore excursion costs. We splurged on the helicopter ride and glacier trek in Juneau but opted for other less expensive tours in other ports, saving a float plane ride for another time. That said, know that your total shore excursions could easily cost you $600-$1000 a person depending on your picks.
Be Aware Of Extra Fees When Considering The Cost Of A Private Charter
As mentioned earlier, the price of a private cruise istypically quoted as per week or per day. However, this doesnt always tell thewhole story when considering a full-boat private charter cruise. The advertisedprices of many charters start at a base price and do not include the costs offood, drinks, fuel, local taxes and park fees, etc. These costs can sometimesaccount for up to 30% of the overall cost.
In the Wild West of internet shopping for yacht charters, be aware of this sometimes-deceptive practice.
Other costs that most charter researchers dont consider are the cost of getting to your destination, travel insurance and crew gratuities. Travel insurance is especially important because charter terms can be more strict than standard cruise bookings. Crew gratuities can average 10-20% of the overall cost to charter a yacht. All private cruises chartered through AdventureSmith Explorations are inclusive with food, fuel, taxes and crew included in the price. But in the Wild West of internet shopping for yacht charters, buyers should be aware of this sometimes-deceptive practice.
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Whats Included In A Cruise
Cruise tickets generally include accommodation, meals, some drinks and entertainment. Youll pay extra for speciality dining, alcoholic drinks, gratuities, spa services, casino, wifi, flights, transfers and excursions.
Whats included in your cruise varies for each cruise line. Some cruise lines include gratuities in the ticket price. You may also get a drinks package included at no extra cost. Sometimes, cruises come with free onboard credit, which you can spend on the ship.
If you plan your cruise carefully, its perfectly possible to not spend anything extra on top of the price of your cruise ticket.
Complimentary Drinks On Royal Caribbean
Guests who are Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club Crown and Anchor Society members also receive vouchers for complimentary drinks on each day.
Three drink vouchers per day will be applied to each eligible Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club members corresponding SeasPass card to be used to get a free drink at bars on the ship that can be used between 4:30pm and 8:00pm.
Royal Caribbean provides free drinks to guests that have access to the Diamond Club and/or Concierge club lounges. These lounges are specifically for guests that have attained at least Diamond level status in Crown and Anchor Society or guests staying in a suite onboard the ship.
Each cruise, Royal Caribbean will hold “welcome back” parties for its Crown and Anchor members.
At each event, complimentary alcoholic beverages are served and it can be a great way to enjoy free drinks while hearing about what is new and exciting about Royal Caribbean.
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How Much Does An Alaskan Cruise Vacation Cost Prices
Ballpark Estimate: $500 to $6,000+
If youve always wanted to explore Alaska, this summer just might be the perfect time to put your plan into action. Today it is easy to find a wealth of cruises that offer a chance to experience all the culture, beauty and natural habitat Alaska has to offer, while creating memories that will last for a lifetime. Imagine viewing humpback whales, glaciers, mountains and exotic wildlife. These are just a few of the many exciting things you will find if you venture to this part of the country. Just keep in mind that such a trip generally comes with a high price tag. However, some cruise lines are currently advertising reduced rates, making such an extravagant journey much more affordable at least for the immediate future, anyway.
Should You Prepay Automatic Gratuities
Unlike with the deals you can get for prepaying for drink packages and some other add-ons, you wont get a discount for prepaying your automatic gratuities. But many cruisers choose to prepay to avoid a big charge at the end of the cruise.
I like knowing that my bill is all set before I sail! The only charges that should appear on my final tab are any extras I decided to add on during the voyage.
But if you dont want to prepay, thats fine too. The cruise line will assess your fee each day, then theyll charge your credit card on file at the end of the cruise.
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How Much Are Alaskan Cruises Cruise Fare
Besides cruise line and time of year, the cruise cabins themselves are also highly variable in costs. For those new to cruising, understanding the costs of a cabin can be frustrating. In general, all ships have different cabin categories, with the cheapest being inside rooms on lower decks.
Typical cabin categories include Inside, Outside, Balcony , and Mini-Suites/Suites. Some cruise lines may offer more categories, especially on the upper end like Norwegian Cruise Lines Haven Suites or Celebrity Cruise Lines Concierge Class. With additional features and amenities comes extra costs. Reviewing prices for most Contemporary and Premium Cruise Lines, below are price ranges for the most popular cabin categories.
Price Ranges for Alaskan Cruise Fares
- Inside Cabins $650-$1200 a person
- Ocean Views $800-$2000 a person
- Balconies $1300-$2500 a person
- Mini Suites/Suites $1800-$3500 a person
While not an exact science, looking at the costs of upgrading across brands, we find that costs tend to increase by 50% by moving up one category. So, it is not uncommon to see pricing for an Inside room starting at $800 and a balcony on the same ship for the same date going for $1800-$2000.
For Many a Balcony is a Must on an Alaskan Cruise
On our Alaskan cruise, we opted to get a balcony and scored a shoulder season deal with the cabin costing us $1400pp. But, during peak season, a balcony on the same ship would have cost close to $2000 a person.
How Much Does It Cost To Visit Alaska The Chart
Heres the visual breakdown. Estimates are for a one-week trip for two with airfare from the continental U.S. to Alaska. Even the cheapskates will need to spend nearly $1,000 each.
We ended up paying $3,829, which breaks down to $1,914.50 each. It wasnt the cheapest vacation Ive ever taken, but it might have been the most memorable.
Keep in mind these totals are for two people for a seven-day vacation in Alaska. This breakdown should give you a ballpark idea of what you might be paying when you visit there. Most categories should be accurate, though youll have to adjust your own projections based on where youre flying from.
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How Much Does It Cost To Fly To My Alaska Cruise Homeport
If you live driving distance from the Seattle cruise port, you can pay $0 for airfare, and your transportation costs will mainly consist of gas and parking or taxi and Uber fares. If you live in New York and are taking a one-way cruise from Seward to Vancouver, you might pay $500 to $1,000 per person for one-way flights into Anchorage and out of Vancouver.
Cruises that sail roundtrip from Seattle or Vancouver will typically cost less in airfare than one-way cruises that travel between Alaska and Canada. If you want to save money on your total cruise booking, consider how your itinerary can impact your airfare.
Dont forget that you can use frequent flyer miles or credit card points to book your flights, saving you money on that total Alaska cruise cost.