Port Excursions On A Budget
Alaska port towns are small, and virtually everything is within walking distance. Forget the car rental and save money by walking everywhere. Download your maps online before your vacation and plan your port days before embarkation day.
If youre looking for affordable Alaska tours, skip the cruise line excursions. Instead, do your homework to find some Alaska budget tours. Many of the same trips are purchasable from the port vendors for approximately half the price in port.
Remember, visitors can save on tours by negotiating with the vendors in port. There are a few exceptions to the rule, like dog sledding or a Tracy Arm excursion, but these tours are not for the budget-conscious cruiser.If youre looking for some free or cheap things to do, every port has various options.
Budgeting For Shore Excursions And Adventures
For an excellent itinerary and a vacation you will never forget, we recommend budgeting $1,000 – $1,500 for shore excursions per person for a 7-day cruise. This would get you a whale watching tour in Juneau or;Icy Strait, helicopter;dog sled tour in Juneau or Skagway, a train tour in Skagway, a float plane flightseeing tour in Ketchikan, and then a different excursion in a different port.
Of course, theres plenty of room for flexibility. A shore excursion budget can range from low to high depending on what type of excursions you are interested in. You can buy city tours in almost every port for less $75 or spend as much as $600 for an extended helicopter dog sledding tour.
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.
Recommended Reading: How Much Is Mediterranean Cruise
Pre Or Post Cruise Hotel Stays
Dont forget to budget for a hotel stay before your cruise, or even after. It can cost about $200 a night or more for a one night hotel stay in a major city, so this adds to the cost of your cruise.;
To reduce the cost of hotels, consider using hotel aggregator or discount websites like Priceline and Hotwire. For longer stays, consider an AirBnb for great values.
How Much Are Alaskan Cruises Putting It All Together
To recap, Alaskan cruise costs vary greatly depending on the cruise line you choose, the cabin type you pick, the time of year you sail, and the onboard purchases and upgrades you opt for during your cruise. The shore excursion prices can almost double the cost of your trip depending on what you want to experience, and flights to Alaska could be higher than anticipated depending on your start and end points of the cruise.
But, cruising to Alaska is well worth the costs! This was truly an unforgettable trip, so for us, it was;a worthy investment.
Read Also: What Cruise Ships Sail Out Of Mobile Alabama
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.
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.
Follow New York Times Travel on , and . And to receive expert tips on traveling smarter and inspiration for your next vacation.
Read Also: What Ships Cruise Out Of New Orleans
Which Alaska Cruise Should You Choose
Ultimately, the decision on which ship and itinerary to pick comes down to price, dates, and ships.
If you are cruising to Alaska for the first time, many will defer to the Quantum Class ships from Seattle for the convenient travel options to Seattle, ship accommodations, and the fact it is roundtrip.
If you want to see the most authentic and exotic views of Alaska, an open jaw sailing from Anchorage or Vancouver is what you want. You will see much more of the “real” Alaska on these itineraries.
Ultimately, there are no bad choices for which cruise to choose for Alaska. You will find stunning views and really fun explorations in any of the ports. Understanding the differences between the ships and itineraries will ensure you make the right choice for your family.
Skip The Most Expensive Excursions
Based on the above advice, you will probably find that some high-ticket excursions are worth the money but dont fit your budget. Thats an unfortunate reality; some tours in Alaska are really great and really just cost a lot.
If you want to save while visiting Alaska, you may just need to set a limit on how much youre willing to pay per-person for excursions. Maybe thats $500 per person; maybe its only $250 depending on your budget. Its easiest to make that decision before you do too much research so you already have that in mind when you come across something above your limit and can come up with a more budget-friendly alternative.
You May Like: What Do You Do On An Alaskan Cruise
Alaska Travel Guide: Cruise Alaska 2021 Without A Big Cruise Ship
Is it possible to cruise Alaska 2021 without a big cruise ship? Absolutely yes!
The truth is, I came up with this idea because when I was looking for Alaska Cruise in march, there was none available. Since Canada has banned cruise ships with more than 100 passengers from cruising to Alaska through Canadian waters until February 2022, all cruise lines canceled Alaska Cruises in 2021. I was disappointed at first. Then I realized that it was a great opportunity to visit Alaska in the summer without crowds!
So in this article, I will show you how to cruise Alaskas Inside Passage in a unique way. Not only will it be cheaper, but also get you better experiences.
How Much Should You Pay For An Alaskan Cruise
Just like airfare, it can sometimes by a major headaches to know if youre getting a good deal on your cruise fare or not. With seven different cruise lines sailing from Seattle on Alaskan adventures, prices range from a few hundred bucks to several thousand. Add in promotions and specials that run at various times, and the fact that fares can change at any moment, and you have a recipe for anxiety.
Thats why weve put together the chart below. We looked at every 7-day Alaskan cruise sailing from Seattle from every cruise line.
Prices shown are per person and dont include taxes and fees.
As you can see, prices can vary dramatically, depending on the cruise line and your accommodation level. If you are looking for a budget cruise, then expect to pay $700-800 per person for an interior room for a 7-day cruise. Keep in mind that that taxes and port fees will add to that total. If you prefer to cruise in a balcony room, then the best price you will see is $1,100-1,300 per person.
Any rates below these prices should be considered a fantastic deal.
You May Like: What Cruise Lines Depart From Savannah Ga
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
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.
Read Also: How Much Is Norwegian Cruise Line
Are You A First
- 71;pages packed with money saving tips and insider tricks
- Discover the best time of year to cruise, how to; get free onboard credit, how to maximize credit card bonuses, and much more.
- This must-have book is great for first-timers as well as long-time cruisers.
For many, cruising Alaska seems like an unobtainable vacation of a lifetime. Indeed, Alaska cruises rarely come with bargain prices, but there are ways of sailing to Alaska on a budget. While some might consider cruising for the rich, there are numerous ways to see Alaska without breaking the bank. Sailing an Alaskan cruise might not be the cheapest way to get to Alaska, but it certainly wins in the itinerary department.
Alaska has quickly sky-rocketed to become the number one cruise destination in the world, and its easy to see why. An Alaska cruise offers jaw-dropping glacial views, an abundance of Alaskan wildlife, and panoramic mountainous scenery that goes on forever. Each year, cruise companies add more ships and expanded itineraries, but the prices are forever rising. So how do you cruise to Alaska on a budget?
It takes some planning, and careful comparisons of online information, Alaskan cruise lines, and reading Alaska cruise reviews. Here are some valuable tips to help score a fantastic cruise deal and prevent you from making some common Alaska cruise mistakes.
Get The Alaska Airlines Credit Card
If you already have a travel credit card that you love then this tip might not make sense for you. If youre considering a travel credit card and especially if you live on the West Coast or think you might travel to Alaska again in the future, this is a great option to consider.
I have had the this credit card for 20 years and it has saved me tons of money! The biggest benefit is the annual companion fare. The companion fare lets you take another person with you on the same itinerary and you just pay the taxes and fees for them . Theres a $75 annual fee, so basically if youre going to spend more than $225 on a ticket for a second person, its worth it to have the card.
There are other benefits too, such as earning miles on everything you purchase, discounts on day passes to the Alaska lounge, and a discount on onboard purchases.
Alaska Airlines has an excellent mileage plan program with miles that never expire, and Bank of America has been very helpful anytime Ive needed customer service .
Recommended Reading: What Cruise Lines Go To Alaska
Meals And Drinks In Port And Pre/post Cruise
While your meals and snacks are included on your cruise, you arent able to bring food off the ship.
Its a good idea to keep some cash with you for a light meal or snack, while youre in a cruise port. You may want to budget $20 to $50 a person depending on the port and your tastes and preferences.
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.
Best Cruise Lines For An Alaska Cruise
Alaska is one of the top cruise destinations with over a million cruisers travelling here each year. With that said, more and more cruise lines and ships are sailing to the region every year.
From family-friendly cruise lines, to luxurious, all-inclusive experiences, to small ship adventure cruises, there is truly no single best cruise line for an Alaskan cruise. Truthfully, it all depends on what your travel party wants out of their cruise vacation.
Brands like Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean offer more diversity for multi-generational families. With some of the newest and most innovative ships in the fleet cruising this region, like Norwegian Encore, Norwegian Bliss, Ovation of the Seas, and Quantum of the Seas, there are onboard amenities for the whole family to enjoy. These ships also have some of the best entertainment at sea.
Brands like;Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line,;and;Princess Cruises;offer a bit more luxury for the sophisticated traveler with fewer kid-friendly options. This is not to say that these brands necessarily appeal to an older clientele though.
In 2021, Holland America Line plans to go all in on Alaska offering cruises on six different ships with itineraries sailing from Seattle, Vancouver, and Whittier. Princess Cruises, known for having a big presence in the region, is planning to offer cruises on seven ships in 2021. Of course, this is subject to change based on re-deployments due to the global pandemic.
Find Alaska Cruise Deals Now
You can see the port from your balcony. Has it really been 2 weeks already? Between the chef-prepared meals, endless entertainment, and sliding down a pitch black water slide the time flew by.
But theres no denying you had the time of your life. The shows, food, and excursions were all well worth the time and money.
Youve spent months, maybe even years saving for this trip. But that doesnt mean you have to blow the whole budget by paying the sticker price.
You can put the money well save you towards extra activities and dining. So why spend more than you have to? Head to our;deals page now;and find Alaska cruise deals now!