Passports For American Citizens On An Alaskan Cruise
The rules surrounding identification and border crossings can be hairy. Fortunately, for American citizens traveling on a cruise, there is a loophole designed to make it easier for people to travel without a passport.
Its called the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative and the rule has a section for closed-loop cruises. These are cruises that begin and end at the same port. So if you sail from Seattle, head to Alaska and Canada, and then return to Seattle, you are on a closed-loop cruise.
U.S. citizens traveling on these cruises only have to show government-issued ID and a birth certificate to re-enter the country.
Heres what the Customs and Border Patrol says on the topic:
U.S. citizens who board a cruise ship at a port within the United States, travel only within the Western Hemisphere, and return to the same U.S. port on the same ship , may present a government issued photo identification, along with proof of citizenship .
Please be aware that you may still be required to present a passport to enter the countries your cruise ship is visiting. Check with your cruise line to ensure you have the appropriate documents.
There are a couple of important points on this. First, if you look at any Alaskan cruise, youll notice that there is almost always a stop in Canada.
Thats because laws state that foreign-flagged ships cant usually take passengers from one U.S. port to another without making a stop somewhere along the way in another country.
Positioning Cruises To/from Seattle
Looking to embark or disembark in Seattle? If your dream itinerary includes Seattle, this definitely makes how to choose an Alaska cruise easier as there are fewer overall options. Why? In the summer, small ships are busy exploring up in Alaska. But each spring youll find them repositioning from Seattle to Alaska, and each fall they return from Alaska to Seattle.
These positioning cruises offer a longer expedition covering the entire Inside Passage as well as British Columbia and often the San Juan Islands. These Alaska small ship cruises range from 14 to 15 days and often represent a significant value. For two options, see Treasures of the Inside Passage aboard National Geographic vessels and Inside Passage & Glacier Bay Wilderness Cruise.
How Much Are Alaskan Cruises Onboard Purchases
If you cruise on a Contemporary or Premium cruise line, your base fare will not include additional onboard purchases . Besides the typical souvenirs and gambling money for the casino, other things you will want to factor in when creating your Alaskan cruise budget are alcoholic beverages and specialty dining.
Many cruise lines now offer beverage packages and specialty dining packages, so you do not have to worry about paying a la carte prices. If you cruise on a luxury line, those will most likely be included in that already steep cruise fare price.
Drink packages run between $45-$90 a day, per person, depending on the category and cruise line. Each line has slightly different packages and inclusions, but if you do like to enjoy a few cocktails while on vacation, investigating these packages could save you money in the long term. Some cruise lines offer package deals that include drink packages for certain room categories. So, upgrading your room could pay for itself if you get one of these free perks.
Norwegian Cruise Line Offers Many Specialty Restaurants on Their Ships
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Cruise From Vancouver To Alaska Via Small Ship
For those looking to cruise Vancouver to Alaska by small ship, a select few Alaska small ship cruise routes exist. See the Alaska Odyssey aboard an activities-focused expedition ship, for departures either embarking or disembarking in Vancouver, Canada. Routes that reach Vancouver mean time exploring Canadas Inside Passage, with protected waters, incredible mountains, varied wildlife and strong cultures.
Ask An Expert Or Past Traveler
This is the final step we recommend for those seeking how to choose an Alaskan cruise, but it could also easily be your first! What are Alaskan cruises like? To truly find honest answers and your own best small ship Alaska cruise, it often involves talking with a trusted resource.
Contacting small ship Alaska cruise lines directly does not always answer critical questions about how much activity there is, what the cabins are like compared to other operators and so on. There are also now countless travel review websites on the internet. Many offer honest advice, but many need to be taken with a grain of salt. Use online reviews as a tool, but dont rush to judgment when you read a poor review. Often this is a result of a mismatch between the style of the traveler and the type of cruise they were on.
Thus, the best type of Alaska cruise review is a personal referral. Ask your booking agent to put you in touch with a past client that has traveled to Alaska on a comparable trip. Reputable Alaska small ship cruise agencies will gladly refer their past clients.
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Alaska Trip Cost Calculator
|$1200 – $3000 for Lodging, Transportation & Meals||$500 – $800|
Price varies based on:
- Number of days: More days cost more. We recommend 10 days or more.
- Peak vs. Shoulder Season: Hotel and transportation rates can be lower in May and September, resulting in savings of 10-18% on land tours.
- Lodging: The standard Alaska hotel room costs about $275 per night in summer. Economy hotels run about $100 less and premium/luxury hotels about $100 more.
- Cruise Pricing: Cruise rates fluctuate. Shoulder season tends to be cheaper, but when you book and what type of cabin you choose matters more. Early booking discounts can be significant as well as last minute deals. Oceanview and balcony staterooms can cost twice what inside cabins cost.
- Transportation: Renting a car is more expensive than traveling by train/motorcoach if youre traveling alone, but less expensive if there are 3 or more in your party.
- Number and Type of Excursions: Prices vary from $25 for a museum visit to $60-90 for half-day guided hiking to $150-175 for a day cruise to $275-350 for a flightseeing tour to $500-600 for a fly-in bear viewing, guided fishing, or heli-hiking adventure.
Want To Learn More About Alaskas Climate
Please note: The primary ship operating the mentioned itinerary can change from year to year, so the ship this guest cruised on may no longer be sailing this exact route.
Best vacation ever! The cruise staff are fun, flexible and eager to please. The dramatic scenery in Alaska is incredible. It was definitely “unrushed, uncrowded, unbelievable” as their logo suggests. The whole week was perfect. Every day was a new adventure. The captain of the ship was quick to change course if an interesting opportunity came up. The rain sometimes found it’s way through “waterproof” jackets and rain-skirts on all day kayak trips, etc. – COLD!!!!! I will upgrade my rain-gear for my next trip. I have always wanted to cruise the inside passage of Alaska but did not want to go on a large ship and could not afford the National Geographic cruises. I was also attracted by the ready access to kayaks, paddle boards, etc. on the ship.
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What Can You Do On An Alaska Cruise
You can go see North Americas highest peak, visit charming pioneer towns, hike through Denali National Park, or go rafting. It also gives you an opportunity to check out Alaskas big cities, like Anchorage and Fairbanks. Turning your cruise into a cruisetour really gives you the best of both worldsland and sea.
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
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How To Choose An Alaskan Cruise Tour
How to Choose an Alaskan Cruise Plan the cruise as a family. A trip to Alaska shouldnt be planned by just one person, it should involve the whole family. What itinerary do you want? This is one that requires the most thought and it depends on what you want to see. Pick an Embarkation Port. Research Activities. Port Times Check each itinerary and what times youll be in each port.
How Much Does A Cruise Cost For A Family Of Four
The price of a cruise for a family of four depends very much on what discounts are available for children. The price for a family could be double the price for a couple, or it could be very little extra.
Many cruise lines dont offer any discounts for children. This is usually the case on ships which have a lot of activities made for children like kids clubs, water slides and splash parks.
However, it is possible to get cheap kids prices, by either choosing a cruise line that doesnt charge full price for children or by looking out for special offers and booking at the right time.
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Go Off The Beaten Path
Alaska may be a bucket-list destination for many. But heres a radical approach: Dont try to do it all. Travel less ambitiously and spend more time in a more remote town like Homer or Valdez, places with plenty of outdoor appeal and relative affordability.
Valdez is an indie traveler Mecca, said Colleen Stephens, the president of Stan Stephens Glacier & Wildlife Cruises in Valdez. The influx of independent travelers this year is somewhat curtailed by the border closing with Canada Valdez is a popular R.V. destination that requires driving through Canada from the lower 48 states but, she added, at least this year were able to open the doors and operate.
Cruises on ships up to 90 feet with ample open-viewing decks cost $140 for a six-hour itinerary and $170 for an eight-hour tour, both cruises visiting area glaciers and looking for sea otters, whales and puffins en route.
Among affordable lodging options in Valdez, Eagles Rest RV Park has cabins from $145 and, new this summer, glamping tents from $85.
Airbnb can be a good alternative for saving money in some communities, but some listings may be dry or without running water, in which case, Ms. Maloney said, youll be using an outhouse, which is a part of the quintessential Alaska experience.
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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.
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A Note About Your Travel Days
Take note when making your small Alaskan cruise comparison that there are a variety of ports where cruises begin and end including Juneau, Ketchikan, Petersburg, Sitka and Anchorage. And some will require more time to arrive and depart. Flights to Juneau and Anchorage are common, while the smaller ports of call used by many Southeast Alaska small ship cruises may require a bit more padding on your travel days in and out. A pre-cruise overnight is always recommended in case of delays. Travelers east of the Rockies will certainly require one in order to safely embark their ship on time.
How Much Does It Cost To Vacation In Alaska
It might surprise you to learn that an Alaska vacation is within the financial reach of all travelers, regardless of their budget. But be aware that the cost of traveling in Alaska does vary considerably, depending on the time of year you want to travel, the mode of transportation you choose, the type of accommodations you select, and what activities you choose.
Estimate rates for Alaska Trips.
Alaska Bargains in the Winter Season
The least expensive time to visit Alaska is during the winter. We recommend the months of December March. Winter in Alaskais a great value where you can go skiing, dog sledding, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing through Alaskas pristine wilderness very affordably. These months are also the best time to view the Northern Lights. If you stay in a moderate Alaska hotel and take a few local tours, you should estimate about $200 per person/per day, based on double occupancy. If, however, you choose to take a scenic helicopter or flightseeing private plane flight or stay at an all-inclusive remote lodge, you would probably need to increase your budget to about $500 $800 per person per day.
Traveling during the shoulder seasons in Alaska , reduces the price of an Alaska tour by about 10% versus peak summer prices.
Summer Prime Time Alaska Vacations
The summer time in Alaska is the most expensive season but of course, also the most popular time to visit.
Please contact us to get a price quote on your Alaska vacation
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Explore The Exotic Natural Setting
How about spending your days taking part in a safari in Anchorage, then touring Denali Nature Park where the mountains meet the sky in the most dramatic style? You can also wander down the paths of remote villages that have been untouched by time. These and a variety of other tours can be booked either through the cruise line or through your travel agent directly. While such excursions are usually an added expenses, they are usually well worth the investment so you can see the region in its natural setting.
How Much A Cruise Costs In 2022
Wondering how much youll spend to take a cruise? We have specific estimates below.
Before we get too far, however, you should know that just like buying a car, you can spend as much or as little as you want for your vacation.
For instance, are you happy with the lowest-cost interior cabin or would you rather spend more for a balcony or a suite?
Or are you the sort of person who can only sail during the summer months , or can you sail during the off-season and save hundreds of dollars?
That means tracking down the specific cost of a cruise for each person is hard. But we can give you an idea of what a typical trip will cost based on averages and help you get an idea of what you can plan to spend.
We get into all the details of how much a cruise costs and exactly where youll spend money below.
In This Article…
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How Much Do Viking River Cruises Cost
The beauty of Viking River Cruises is that you can sail right into the very heart of your destination, even if its located far inland. If theres a major river running through or near it, youll be able to get there. Viking Longships are essentially floating luxury hotels, offering the same amenities as stationary accommodation but with the obvious perk of bringing you to your next destinations. Its brilliant.
Prices vary according to the cruise duration and destinations, but typically, they fall within the $1,699-$4,999 range. Note that there are many Viking River Cruises in Europe that fall under the $2,000 price point, which makes them surprisingly affordable. Their Asia, Egypt and Russia cruises are generally a bit pricier, starting from $3,224.
Of course, the longer the cruise, the higher the price. Its a pretty straightforward setup, making basically every cruise with Viking worth every penny. Check out this page for a detailed overview of all available Viking River Cruises.
So, now that you know how much Viking Cruises cost, you can decide which one suits your budget best. Whichever concept you go for, rest assured that it will be a trip to remember.
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How Much Does It Cost To Go To Alaska
How much does it cost to go to Alaska? Youve come to the right place to find out.
Budgeting is extremely important when planning a trip to the 49th state, because you can easily drop a few grand in a hurry if youre not careful. Even a budget itinerary can cost a couple of thousand dollars.
In this post, I break down exactly how much it costs to visit Alaska based on the amount of money my friend and I spent during our week there. I also present a detailed list for how much you can expect to pay for each aspect of an Alaska vacation, including food, lodging, rental car, tours, Denali National Park expenses, and miscellaneous spending.
My trip was a few years ago, but most prices havent changed much since then. Lodging and food costs are slightly up, but flight prices have actually gone down quite a bit. So overall, the estimates are still pretty accurate for planning an Alaska trip in 2021.
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This article assumes the following: A two-person, seven-day summer vacation with round-trip airfare from the continental U.S. into Anchorage. Adjust your costs accordingly if youre coming with a larger group, for a different length of time, during a different season or into a different city like Juneau or Fairbanks.
For each category, Im presenting the expected costs based on what type of traveler you are: Cheapskate , Average Joe , or Moneybags
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