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What Is The Best Alaskan Cruise For Families

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Best Alaskan Cruises For Teenagers

See the Best of Alaska on a Cruise Vacation | Princess Cruises

Any recent comments on what is the best cruise line for Alaskan cruises with teenagers? We will be going in June 2013 for 7 days sailing out of Seattle and returning to Seattle.

Hi Shannon…………there is an excellent cruise forum here……check in with them, very busy forum which knows the ins and outs of all the cruise lines…..

Cruise Forum as follow :

LOL thanks.. I thought I had posted in the “cruise forum”.. where are my teenagers when I need computer brains

No problem Shannon…….hope you find your answers!

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Research The Ports In Advance

Mount Roberts Tramway, Juneau

The more you know, the better you can plan. It pays to read up on the ports of call youll be visiting and share highlights with the kidsyou might include maps and online photos in the discussion.

Once on the ship, seminars by destination experts will highlight port opportunities for sightseeing, activities, dining, and shopping. Destination experts will answer your questions.

Book A Longer Luxury Cruise That Travels To Alaska

Another option is to book a long cruise that crosses the Pacific beginning or ending in Vancouver and ending or beginning in Hong Kong, Singapore or other Asian ports. These itineraries offer the best of Alaska cruising combined with off-the-beaten-path ports like Dutch Harbor and beyond into Asia.

When Alan and I cruised from Vancouver to Singapore on a fall crossing aboard Regent Seven Seas Mariner, the itinerary included typical Alaskan ports combined with Kodiak Island, Sitka and Dutch Harbor. In spring 2018, we cruised on Seabourn Sojourn from Hong Kong to Alaska where we visited Kodiak Island again.

Also Check: Best Months To Cruise Alaska

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Encourage The Kids To Make New Friends

GoPro Game on Celebrity

On your Alaska cruise with kids, keep in mind that among the most memorable experiences for them may be making new BFFs from other states and even other countries.

Onboard Camp at Sea and Teen Club programs encourage bonding while doing such fun activities as Xbox tournaments and scavenger hunts.

Best Time To Cruise To Alaska

The Best Alaska Cruise Excursion For Families Cruising ...

The Alaska cruise season is short, running mainly from May to September, with a few lines offering sailings in April and October. The best time to cruise varies based on what you prioritize most.

The best Alaska cruise weather is typically found in June, when the summer rains havent ramped up, but the air temperatures are rising. This is the time when the sun barely sets and its light nearly all day long. July and August are the rainiest months in Alaska and see the most mosquitos September is starting to get chilly, with rougher waters and shorter days.

May is the best month to see waterfalls and wildflowers. June is when the salmon start to run, and the different species will appear and disappear throughout the cruise season. Denali lodges and the park road open in June, so your best bet for visiting the national park is in July and August for full accessibility and wildlife activity. However, if you want to see baby animals, plan your Alaska visit for May or June.

The best prices are found in the shoulder seasons: April-May and September-October. The biggest crowds and highest cruise fares come mid-June through mid-August.

Travelers who want the best shot at viewing the Northern Lights should book a cruise at the very end of the season, and tack on a cruise tour up to Denali and Fairbanks for the greatest potential.

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When Is The Best Time To See Alaskas Glaciers

Alaskas glaciers are spectacular. The deep blue ice that forms the glaciers is a sight you wont forget.

The peak season for Alaskan cruises is the best time to see Alaskas glaciers. During peak season, temperatures are at their warmest, allowing the winter ice to melt, allowing for smooth sailing through the Inner Passage and the Fjords.

Captains will often turn the cruise ship so that passengers on both sides of the vessel can take in the extraordinary sight. Alaskan cruises are one of the few places we recommend booking a balcony cabin. One of our favorite things to do on an Alaskan cruise is the ability to wake up and enjoy the views of the inner passage, fjords, and glaciers from our balcony.

All Your Questions About Taking A Child On An Alaska Cruise Answered

As the third most popular cruise destination, Alaska is on a lot of families’ travel wish lists. I toyed with the idea of bringing my son on one, because the data was so convincing: According to the recent cruise travel trends report by the Cruise Line International Association , the worlds largest cruise trade association, families that cruised with kids under the age of 18 reported a 9 out of 10 satisfaction rate, and travel agents are reporting an increase in requests for adventure travel cruises. But the question remains: Does the reality match the data?

When it came time to pick a ship, I had to decide between big and small. Most of the smaller ships are quite active and while that appeals to me, I knew my son Matthew, who is eight, was more into the bells and whistleshe’d want lots of options for excursions, a good kid’s club, endless ice cream and pizza, and many pools and hot tubs. Bigger ships, simply due to their size, also have the greater chance of having more kids on board, and I knew that would make him happy.

We opted for a seven-day Alaska sailing with Princess Cruises, on the Ruby Princess, making stops in Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan. Princess is known for being family-friendlyand once on-board, it showed in their activities, kid-friendly services, and array of shore excursions. But I didn’t know that before the trip. Like many parents, I had some reservations. Here’s what they wereand how everything turned out.

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Set Aside Time To Talk

Sushi on Five

Theres no shortage of Alaskan adventures and activities for you and the kids. You will want to hear about the whole familys experiences. Mealtime, especially dinner, is the perfect occasion to discuss the day and whats coming up.

At breakfast, you might review your ships chock-full activities roster and make plans for evening entertainment.

Best Alaska Cruises For Families 2020


Not only is a cruise to Alaska at the top of many families bucket lists, but its also a convenient way to sample The Last Frontier.

The standard Alaska cruise used to feature a week-long itinerary departing from either Seattle, Washington, or Vancouver, British Columbia, and traveling to Seward or Whittier . Now, in addition to those one-way cruises to Alaska, families can find round-trip cruises through the Inside Passage, longer cruises to and from California, and smaller ships that maneuver inside fjords .

Here, we highlight 10 Alaska cruises that are especially good for families, including what the ships have to offer onboard, as well as family-friendly port excursions.

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What Cruise Ships Sail Into Glacier Bay National Park

A highlight of Alaskan itineraries, sailing into Glacier Bay National Park offers views of the Fairweather Mountains along with up-close views of tidewater glaciers.

Since the National Park Service regulations the number of large cruise ships this is a factor for would-be Alaskan cruisers. For environmental factors, only seven cruise lines have the NPS contract.

First, the NPS park rangers board the ship for interpretive programming for adults and kids. Cruising Glacier Bay takes at least 8 hours and remember the binoculars for up-close wildlife viewing.

Read More: How to Earn a Junior Ranger Badge on an Alaskan Cruise

Best Alaska Cruise For You

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Nearly every major cruise line offers seasonal Alaskan cruises. With departures as early as May and as late as September, theres never been more options to find an Alaskan cruise for your traveling style and budget.

Most cruise lines offer similar itineraries, like popular one-way formats with departures from either Vancouver, British Columbia or Seward, Alaska . And lots of cruise lines offer pre-cruise or post-cruise tours or trips.

Find opportunities to explore the rugged wilderness of the national parks in Canada and the U.S. Additionally, some cruise lines offer scenic train rides. Find bucket list add-on excursions like dogsledding, flightseeing and helicopter glacier tours.

The typical ports of call include cruising the Inside Passage, Ketchikan, Sitka, Skagway, Juneau, and cruising the Hubbard Glacier. Additional ports of call include Icy Strait Point and Tracy Arm Fjord or the Endicott Arm.

And for first-time cruisers, the waters of the Inside Passage are relatively calm. Of course, its always smart to pack remedies for seasickness for your cruise. And, dont forget to learn the unique cruise vocabulary youll need onboard.

Read More: Planning A Family Cruise

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Scenic Cruise Destinations In Alaska

Glaciers are a must-see in Alaska, and every cruise itinerary features at least one day of scenic cruising. Glacier Bay National Park is the top pick for glacier-viewing because of its multiple glaciers and generally passable channel. However, so many cruise lines wish to visit that the national park issues a limited-number of day-use spots each year.

Other scenic cruising sites along the Inside Passage include Tracy Arm with its Sawyer Glacier andEndicott Arm with Dawes Glacier. One-way Alaska cruises that travel to/from Seward and Whittier may also visit the spectacular Hubbard Glacier.

Typically, the big ships will open up all the outer decks for passengers to crowd the railings to watch the glaciers calve and scan the area for wildlife. If you want to get out on a kayak or small boat to get closer to the glacier or the marine life, youll need to book an expedition cruise.

Compare the options in our guide to scenic cruising in Alaska.

When Is The Best Time To Cruise To Alaska For Salmon Fishing

Alaskan Cruises

Salmon fishing is a popular activity and one of the states most lucrative industries. Many cruisers simply cant wait for the opportunity to try and catch a salmon.

One of the best ways to experience salmon fishing is by booking a shore excursion with one of the fishing tour companies. These companies offer services to package up your catch and ship it back home in dry ice so you can enjoy your catch when you return home.

Luckily, any Alaskan cruise season month is a good time for salmon fishing. But, if its King Salmon youre after, the best time to visit is between May and mid-July when they are running through coastal waters.

Here is a quick guide to help you time your trip to match when your favorite salmon is running:

  • King salmon: May-July
  • Silver salmon: Mid July-late August
  • Chum salmon: July-August

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Popular Ports Of Call On An Alaskan Cruise

For kids, the top ports-of-calls are Skagway for the train and Ketchikan. Each offers an Alaskan gold rush feel. And both offer free activities for kids at the National Park Service sites. Juneaus Mendenhall Glacier is another must-see although to see the glacier requires a bus ride from the city center .

Here Are The Best Alaskan Cruises For Families This Year

So youve decided to sail an Alaskan itinerary, but what cruise line and cruise ship would be best for your family? To help you decide, we have compiled a list of the best Alaskan cruises for families. Our focus is on the best family-friendly cruise lines that have ships that are particularly good for families sailing with kids.

We reviewed the 18 different cruise lines that offer Alaskan sailings with an array of dozens of different ships from which to choose. We have narrowed the field down to nine different ships that we think offer the best Alaskan cruises for families. This list includes megaships, large ships, luxury ships, and one recommendation from the small ship category. Read on to figure out which one will be just right for you.

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The Disney Wonder Is Small

At just under 1,000 feet long, the Disney Wonder is one of Disneys smaller ships, and one of the smaller ships from the big-name cruise lines. This means it can travel to places the bigger ships cant like the beautiful Endicott Arm. Believe us when we say, Wow. The ships small size means it holds fewer people, about 1,300 guests less than on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, so there will be fewer people to contend with, meaning shorter lines to see characters, fewer people to wrestle seats for the evening shows, fewer people on the viewing decks, fewer people in the pool and on the water slideyou get the picture.

Best Time Of Year To See Bears In Alaska

ten tips for an alaskan cruise

Grizzly bears are one of the most sought-after wildlife sightings for Alaskan cruise passengers. Your best chance of spotting a bear is during June or July. During the summer, brown bears gather along the Katmai coast to feed, mate, and socialize.

As July progresses, you might see bears fishing for razor clams along the beaches at low tide and start to engage in mating behavior. The beginning of the salmon run later in summer offers a chance to spot these animals as they fish along Alaskas many rivers and streams. Its one of the states most spectacular wildlife-watching opportunities.

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Multigenerational Alaska Family Cruises

We are often asked if it is appropriate to cruise with three generations: kids, parents and grandparents. We emphatically answer yes! The best Alaska cruise for families is one where everyone can come along. Small Alaska cruise itineraries offer a lot of flexibility with activities suitable for travelers of all ages, mobility and ability levels. Imagine spending the morning on an easy walk together. The group splits up so avid hikers can enjoy a more challenging trail while others are picked up in the Zodiac for a wildlife excursion. In the afternoon, active kayakers paddle among icebergs while a Zodiac cruises nearby with grandparents taking photos of family members while they paddle. Choose as much or as little activity as your multigenerational family wishes.

Is Cruising Good For Picky Eaters

Not only do the traditional dining venues have ample choices , plus a childrens menu, but theres also about a dozen places on board to eat. Theres the buffetfruit, vegetables, breads, sweets, hot food, and cold cutsat the Horizon Court on deck 15. The Slice Pizzeria, located next to the pool, was a huge hit the Glacier Bay pizzawhich had four different cheeseswas especially popular. Then theres the ice cream station, which was always bustling. Add to that specialty restaurants, and there were plenty of dining options.

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Best On A Budget: Norwegian Sun Vancouver To Whittier

Being on a fixed budget shouldnt stop you from cruising Alaska. Norwegian Cruise Lines 2,002-passenger Norwegian Sun is sailing from Vancouver to Whittier and back all spring and summer with per person rates ranging from $399 to $679. There are plenty of cruises in the mid-$400 range. While Norwegian Sun is one of the lines newest ships , its in good shape and the itinerary includes all the highlights like Glacier Bay, Hubbard Glacier, Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway. Norwegian offers complimentary childrens programs for kids ages 317 so this ship is a popular choice for families. The cruise line also offers a variety of affordable add-on land tours to Denali , which are led by local Alaskan guides.

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Let The Kids Help Choose Shore Excursions

How to Pack for an Alaskan Cruise

Dog-sledding in Alaska

On a cruise to Alaska, exciting adventures and once-in-a-lifetime experiences abound. To get the kids excited before your cruise, consider letting them help choose what your family will do and see. Being part of the planning will help the kids feel invested in your vacation.

Just dont be surprised if your older kids choose something extreme. You might, for instance, find yourself boarding a helicopter, landing on the top of a glacier, and riding on a dog sled pulled by a pack of huskies. Or you may be heading into the wilderness on 4x4s.

Once your family agrees on your must-do experiences, youre best off booking the tours in advance of your cruise. You want to avoid the disappointment of finding a popular experience has sold out.

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How To Pick The Best Alaska Cruises

My journey to Alaska began in Vancouver British Columbia, where we boarded Holland America for a cruise through the inside passage. When choosing a cruise for your next trip, here are some things to consider. What is the budget? Where do you want to go? What kind of experience would be best? Do you have any favorite destinations? Or ports of call that should be included in your itinerary? And excursions on land, in addition to tours onboard, do they look interesting? Make sure theyre offered by the cruise line .

Alaskan sailing trips can vary greatly depending upon which route or region you choose. For example, a luxury yacht might give passengers access to more intimate views but wont often allow them onto land. . In contrast, smaller vessels may provide an even closer view of glaciers than their bigger counterparts but may have fewer onboard amenities like hot tubs.

Many cruise lines offer a wide range of itineraries in Alaska, so its important to do your homework before making any decisions. The most popular routes are from Vancouver up to Skagway and then back down again , with occasional sailings around the state. Though shorter versions are available, but these typically last seven nights.

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