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How To Choose The Best Alaska Cruise

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Alaska Cruise Itineraries From Seward

How to choose the right Alaska cruise

Seward, Alaska

Alaska cruises from Seward sail south and end in Vancouver, British Columbia. Visit the Alaska SeaLife Center and Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, where youll interact with wildlife and learn more about the regions unique habitat.

Southbound cruises from Seward visit a number of exciting Alaskan ports, including the historic mining town of Skagway Icy Strait Point, where you can sign up for fun outdoor adventures and Ketchikan, where youll see one of the worlds largest collections of indigenous totem poles.

Extend your vacation with one of our Alaska cruisetours, which last from 9 to 13 nights and combine a 7-night cruise with a few days on land in destinations including Anchorage, Talkeetna, and Denali.

Visit the cosmopolitan city of Anchorage, then stop in the picturesque town of Talkeetna, where youll be surrounded by Denali, the tallest peak in North America. Experience hiking in Alaska up the trails of the Denali National Park or go on a river rafting adventure down the Nenana River.

Best For Families With Younger Kids

Carnival, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian, Princess and Royal Caribbean all have extensive kids clubs aboard their ships. Disney kicks that up a notch with meet-and-greets with its beloved characters on board. You can hang with Dr. Seuss characters when sailing with Carnival and there are DreamWorks personas aboard Royal Caribbean ships.

Best Cruises To Alaska For Seniors

Alaska is the ideal vacation destination for senior cruisers who either want to relax and enjoy the scenery or engage in some outdoor fun.

From the comfort of a veranda stateroom or one of the ships outdoor decks, see stunning close-up views of towering glaciers while sipping a mug of hot chocolate, or spot whales in their natural habitat as an onboard naturalist shares interesting facts.

There is a wealth of excursions to choose from in each port of call you stop in. Go on a wine and distillery tour in Victoria, British Columbia, one of the most picturesque cities in North America and a popular destination in our Alaska itineraries.

Board a small boat in Icy Strait Point and explore the pristine waters of Port Frederick, where youll search for sea otters, whales, and puffins.

Or soar high above Glacier Bay National Park during a flightseeing tour and spot hemlock forests, waterfalls, and glaciers from a fixed-wing plane.

Watch: The Alaska Railroad

If you have an extra few days, you can venture further inland with a cruisetour. Stay in authentic lodges and marvel at the incredible interior landscapes aboard a luxurious train.

See Alaska cruisetour itineraries

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Skagway Best Shore Excursion

Skagway is a tiny town with a very busy cruise port! This is as far north as cruise ships go in the Inside Passage . Skagway was put on the map by the Klondike Gold Rush in 1898 and has a colorful history. In fact, the entire downtown is a national park!

The White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad was built during the Gold Rush and remains today as a tour for visitors and I will tell you that in my opinion this is the best shore excursion available in Southeast Alaska! There are several options for the train: you can take a round trip summit excursion right from the cruise ship dock, or you can go one way by train and one by bus giving you additional views of this stunning location. You can also do a hike from the train getting dropped off at Denver or Laughton Glacier as part of a tour.

The White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad gives you the unique opportunity in Southeast Alaska to get up into the mountains and inland and see a completely different climate. There are good chances to see bears and goats on this trip too! Overall I highly recommend this if you only do one shore excursionmake it this one!

Skagway also has lots of great history to explore and several excellent hikes that leave from downtown and you can easily walk to.

Why Cruise To Alaska

The Best Alaska Cruise Ports and Choosing the Right ...

The 49th U.S. state is home to a beautiful mountainous landscape and an abundance of wildlife, from bald eagles to bears and moose. It possesses a unique Gold Rush history and a vibrant mix of native Alaskan cultures. You wont find this blend of scenery, outdoor pursuits, history, and culture in any other cruise itinerary.

Plus, many of the Inside Passage ports are tricky to visit by land. For example, Ketchikan is only accessible by air or sea. You cannot visit the breathtaking glaciers of Glacier Bay by car. If you want to explore this region of Alaska, youll need a ship to get there.

Unlike other cruise destinations, Alaskan ports arent separated by vast swaths of ocean. When you cruise the Inside Passage, the ship is constantly within site of land. Most sea days offer something to see, even if not an official scenic cruising day. Its a different kind of cruise experience, and one many travelers are eager to pursue.

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The Most Popular Cruise Lines In Alaska

There are many cruise companies that strive to provide the best experiences of cruising the Pacific Ocean amid utmost comfort and world class services. However, there are only a handful of cruise lines that fulfill those promises. Listed below are some of the most renowned cruise lines that you can pick while browsing ideal Alaska cruise packages for the best of journey and memories.

  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Silversea Cruises

Best Time To Cruise Alaska

The cruises tours of Alaska are operational only from the month of May to September when the weather is at its most favourable. In the other months, the location turns too cold for people to be able to enjoy a cruise ride.

When picking the suitable time for a cruise ride to Alaska, one has to keep several points in mind. To avoid rains, one should visit anytime except the warm months from June and August. To avoid snow on the ground, one can visit anytime but April and May . To be able to spot wildlife, visit during the peak summer months of June and July. To see the Northern Lights, book the September Alaska cruises. So, essentially, your choice of the time to set sail on this cruise depends entirely on what experiences you wish to indulge in, and what in particular is drawing you to Alaska!

If your priority here revolves more around finding the best and budget deals and not around experiences and attractions, then you should book around the shoulder periods of the cruise season in Alaska, that is, in either May or September. Though the weather in these months is colder than the other suitable cruise months, they will provide you with the most affordable Alaska cruise itinerary.

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How To Choose The Best Time To Cruise To Alaska

Alaska. The land of adventure. The land of rugged beauty. The combination of majestic glaciers, wilderness, mountains and wildlife make it a once-in-a-lifetime vacation of discovery for many.

Although visitors travel to Alaska year-round the Alaska cruise season begins in May and ends in September – creating limited availability. Learn more about when to book your Alaska cruise, and how to choose the best time to visit the 49th state of wonder.

How To Choose The Perfect Alaskan Cruise

How To Choose An Alaska Cruise | Princess Cruises

Dont get overwhelmed with all the options. There is a perfect Alaskan cruise itinerary for everyone. Ill walk you through all of the considerations when booking your cruise to make sure you have the cruise of a lifetime and can enjoy Alaska to its fullest.

When sorting through all the different Alaskan cruise itineraries, here are six decisions to consider:

  • Choose a cruise line
  • Choose your favorite ports of call
  • Choose where you want to do scenic cruising
  • Choose a time of year to visit
  • Now, lets break each of these steps down:

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    Best Alaska Cruise For Families

    If youre cruising with grandkids, a luxury cruise is definitely going to strain the budget. Based upon recommendations from friends and family, Princess or Holland America are good choices for multigenerational Alaska cruises.

    Disney has also started sailing in Alaska, which makes an excellent option if youre cruising with very small children. Of course active teens will appreciate the adventure of an UnCruise experience.

    Remotest Alaska: Venturing Beyond To The Russian Far East

    In a Nutshell: This expedition voyage is meant for true explorers who want to touch on Alaskas most exotic places including the Bering Strait, where wildlife, landscapes, and Aleut culture that still bind the Russian Far East and Alaska.

    What Youll See: One unusual option for an amazing Alaskan adventure straddles the shoulders of the Bering Strait, a region of the world thats visited by just a few hardy travelers and even fewer cruise ships. This one-off, 18-day itinerary is ideal for those wanting to go deeper, into the westernmost lands of America and to easternmost Russia, a coastline that since 2012 has been closed to visitors without permits by the Russian military. The Chukotka Peninsula is almost exclusively inhabited by the Chukchi and Eskimo peoples, with walrus rookeries and herds of reindeer leading the list of wildlife.

    Silver Wind is designed for just such a journey. Refurbished in 2021, the ship has been strengthened with an ice-class hull for explorations of the polar regions, and with sea and land tours lead by the ships Expeditions Team aboard a fleet of sturdy Zodiac boats.

    Unalaska is the hub of the Aleutian Islands, the string of remote outposts that, along with Pearl Harbor, was bombed during WWII. Silver Wind will call on Dutch Harbor, one of the worlds richest fishing ports, thanks to the huge haul of cod, pollock, and king crab the small town is the star of the TV show Deadliest Catch.

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    Ideal Duration Of Alaska Cruise Tours

    The ideal duration of a cruise tour of Alaska is 7 nights 8 days. Most of the popular attractions of Alaska can be covered at ease in this given duration. Travelers can add more days to their itinerary if they wish to explore the fascinating cities of Vancouver and Seattle before departing on their cruise tour. Both these cities are equally popular for their tourist attractions and experiences and one can explore them within a day or two by extending their Alaska cruise itinerary.

    Best Alaska Cruise Itinerary To See Wildlife

    Best Alaskan Cruise, Types Of Cruises, How To Pick The ...

    One of the biggest draws of taking a cruise to Alaska is the opportunity to spot abundant wildlife in their natural habitat.

    Brown bears in Alaska

    An Alaska cruise route that stops in Icy Strait Point is sure to appeal to animal lovers. There, you can trek along the famous Trail of the Bears in Spasski River Valley, where youll find brown bears, black-tailed deer, and regal bald eagles.

    Victoria in British Columbia is considered one of the best places to spot whales in the wild. Climb aboard an eco-friendly zodiac boat and search for migrating orcas, humpback whales, seals, sea lions, and marine birds.

    Ketchikan, Alaska

    In Sitka, double up and take a guided boat tour through the Sitka Sound, where youll see a number of marine wildlife including porpoises and harbor seals, and later visit the Alaska Raptor Center, a facility where injured eagles and other birds of prey are rehabilitated and then released back into the wild.

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    Whens The Best Time To See The Northern Lights On An Alaska Cruise

    Seeing the northern lights from the cruise ship is a rare occurrence, but if youd like to catch a glimpse of the aurora borealis from the balcony on your stateroom, then you need to book a trip in late September or early October.

    To maximize your chance of witnessing the northern lights, get off the boat and join a land excursion to Fairbanks. The aurora season in Fairbanks lasts from the end of August to April and the lights can be seen 4 out of 5 nights .

    Alaska Cruise From Seattle Washington

    Suggested Read:Southern Lights: Have You Heard Of The Aurora Australis?

    The Seattle Port is located 150 miles south of the city of Seattle and graced with some of the most picture-perfect sights of the Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands in the Pacific. Getting to the two port terminals of Seattle Pier 66 and Pier 91 is also easy thanks to the SeaTac Airport located in the heart of this beautiful city. Though this port is equally scenic as Vancouver, there are certain things that make it unique:

    • Cruises departing on a sunny day allow travelers to indulge in mesmerizing sights of the major tourist attractions of Seattle, like Pike Place Market and Space Needle.
    • If the weather is hazy and misty, travelers can still bank upon the brooding splendor of the Pacific Northwest. The gorgeous attractions of Puget Sound, Juan de Fuca Strait, as well as the vast Pacific Ocean are on full display at this time as one sails through them.

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    How To Choose The Best Alaska Cruise Route

    How to Choose the Best Alaska Cruise Routes

    From the natural wonders of Glacier Bay National Park to the historic charm of each port, our best Alaska cruises have a lot to offer. Every turn awards unparalleled views of Alaskas monumental glaciers, majestic wildlife and picturesque scenery. Thats why we carefully crafted our Inside Passage round trip and single cruise itineraries so you can experience just that. Round trip voyages include one glacier viewing with four ports of call. Single itineraries offer two glacier viewings and three ports of call. With more balconies than any other Alaska cruise line, all of our ships allow you to relish in the beauty of the great land from almost anywhere on board. Between exclusive shore excursions and plentiful on-board activities, your time spent cruising Alaska will be nothing short of memorable. Here are our best Alaska cruise routes.

    7-Day Round trip Alaska Cruise from Seattle

    10-Day Round trip Alaska Cruise from San Francisco

    14-Day Round trip Alaska Cruise from Los Angeles

    7-Day Single Alaska Cruise

    Theres a reason why were a 15-time winner of Best Cruise Line in Alaska by Travel Weekly. With so many opportunities to choose from, any of our Alaska cruises will ignite your love of adventure and leave you coming back for more.

    Skagway: Best Of Skagway

    Alaska Cruise : 6 Things You Need To Get Right

    In my opinion, there is just too much to choose from in Skagway. Thats why I consider a city tour to be the best Skagway cruise excursion, like the top Alaska cruise excursion that I recommended in Seattle.

    The Best of Skagway tour shows you the best parts of this small Alaskan community. Its offered by many of the cruise companies that make port stops in Skagway. On this 6.5-hour tour, youll have three incredible experiences and three that are totally unique to Skagway .

    First, youll board and ride the White Pass and Yukon Route, a narrow-gauge railroad that ascends the White Pass for epic views and scenery. Next, most tours disembark at the Liarsville Gold Rush Trail Camp and Salmon Bake for a bawdy historic reenactment about Skagways history and a meal of fresh Alaska salmon. Finally, some tours add on a saloon stop at Red Onion Saloon you can raise a glass in camaraderie with the legions of intrepid gold miners who passed through Skagway over the centuries.

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    Whats Fresh On The Alaskan Cruise Scene

    If you have cruised to Alaska, there is a different experience awaiting you. Thats because Alaska is now the tale of two ships small ones and big ones. Sure, your typical 3,000-passenger cruise ship is still dominating the seas. But youll also find an influx of smaller ships, from cruise lines such as top-rated Seabourn and Azamara, which are increasingly popular because they can get up close and personal to glaciers and also slip into smaller ports such as Ketchikan and Sitka. 3

    On the other end of the spectrum, Alaska is also welcoming its first mega cruise ships. This includes Norwegian Cruise Lines 4,000-passenger Norwegian Bliss and Royal Caribbeans 5,000-passenger Ovation of the Seas. Those are floating villages. Be sure to get on the list for karaoke early and good luck winning the bingo game. 4

    Size isnt the only change greeting repeat cruisers. Itineraries and the ships themselves are becoming more eco-friendly, and mainland Alaska is building fresh attractions to both elevate shore excursions and give freelancing passengers a few fresh options to check out on their own.5 These include everything from wilderness lodges and ecology themed-attractions to craft beer hotspots, including Skagway Brewing and Klondike Brewing6.

    When Is The Best Time To Take An Alaskan Cruise

    We prefer cruising to Alaska in the fall toward the end of the season. Youll escape insects and crowds on an autumn visit, but shoppers may find that boutiques and gift stores are either closed already or offering limited merchandise.

    Spring is another good time for an Alaskan cruise, with the promise of drier weather and fewer crowds . In both fall or springknown as shoulder seasondiscounted fares are a possibility.

    Of course if youre traveling on a multi-generation Alaskan cruise, with work and school schedules to accommodate, summer may be your only choice. This is when an UnCruise adventure makes especially good sense for those traveling with tweens and above, since the line skips typical ports in favor of helping you experience wild Alaska.

    No matter which line you choose, expect rainier weather on a summer Alaska cruise, especially in July and August.

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