Regent Seven Seas Mariner
Fresh from a refurbishment, the 700-passenger Regent Seven Seas Mariner offers a luxurious base from which to experience the Alaskan wilderness. The ship has a clubby elegance with updated traditional decor in neutral beiges and soothing blues along with seven restaurants and evening entertainment that includes five lounges, a theater, and a casino. From $6,399 per person for seven-night itineraries from Vancouver and Anchorage.
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.
Caribbean And The Bahamas
You usually wont find a single Princess ship in the Caribbean and the Bahamas over the summer, when the line turns its focus to sailings in Europe and Alaska. But come winter, itll reposition quite a few of its vessels to the Caribbean and Bahamas sailings.
For the coming winter, for instance, it currently has six of its 14 vessels scheduled to sail in the regions including its two newest and biggest ships, the 3,660-passenger Sky Princess and 3,660-passenger Enchanted Princess.
Princess offers a broad range of Caribbean and Bahamas itineraries from two main home ports Fort Lauderdales Port Everglades and New York City.
If youre looking for something short, the line has you covered in the form of quick, four- and five-night trips to the Bahamas or Mexico. But its best known for longer sailings. These include lots of seven-night itineraries to the Eastern Caribbean and Western Caribbean but also a large number of even longer, 10- to 14-nights Caribbean voyages.
The latter trips offer the chance to see a broader mix of Caribbean islands than is typical on Caribbean sailings.
A 14-day Circle Caribbean itinerary out of Port Everglades, for instance, brings calls at the islands of St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Martinique, St. Vincent, Barbados, Trinidad, Grenada, and Aruba.
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Our Experiences On The First Sailing To Alaska With Princess Cruises
It is true, We Are Back! Princess Cruises is delivering a memorable Alaska cruise experience. We are happy to report that cruising with Princess Cruises has not changed much since the pandemic. With a few extra health and safety protocols, that mainly go unnoticed, the cruise line is able to offer the same great cruise experience.
While this is our first Princess Cruises sailing, we can see why the cruise line has become so popular, especially in regions like Alaska. Providing a contemporary cruise atmosphere, with plenty of enrichment and onboard fun, travelers have the flexibility to customize their voyage.
With everyone fully vaccinated, in addition to some enhanced health and safety measures, we feel completely safe on this cruise. Like other cruise lines, all staff members are required to wear masks in all public areas. When compared to our other sailing from the U.S., we have noticed more fellow passengers also wearing masks during this trip even though they are not required.
If you are looking to cruise to Alaska, now might be the perfect time to do so!
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The Great Land Awaits
Denali Explorer Fairbanks to Vancouver on the Majestic Princess. So incredibly beautiful, youll think you stepped into a painting. This is Alaska as seen from the panoramic perspective of your dazzling Princess cruise ship. Monumental glaciers are natures draw and Alaskas waterways reveal more of these thrilling Ice Age giants than anywhere else on earth. Alaskas Inside Passage is one of the most scenic sea-lanes in the world, home to bald eagles, whales, sea lions, otters, brown bears, mountain goats and flocks of seabirds. Plus youll visit a variety of flavorful ports of call full of rich history and native culture.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
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Best Modern Cruise: Celebrity
- Ship Name: Celebrity Solstice
- Itinerary: Seattle, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Alaska Inside Passage, Victoria
For an upscale Alaska cruise without the luxury price tag, Celebrity is a fantastic option. The award-winning, Celebrity Solstice is a dignified ship that focuses on modern well-being. Activities include culinary classes, silent discos, and educational lectures. Theres also a half-acre of fresh grass with hot glass demonstrations, private cabanas, and outdoor movies. The ship also has a fabulous fitness center and programs, and the Canyon Ranch Spa situated right next to the Aqua Class cabins. These cabins include access to a health-conscious restaurant as well as the relaxation room and other spa perks. This voyage includes a full day cruising Endicott Arm for fabulous views before concluding in Victoria.
White Pass And Yukon Route Railroad In Skagway Alaska
Skagway is another popular cruise ship port of call when you head way up north to Alaska. This historic town was made famous by the 1898 gold rush, which lead to the discovery of about $30 million worth of gold. Now, Skagway is largely supported by tourism. Much of its population is seasonal.
Given the towns rich history and magnificent landscapes, a ride on the White Pass Railway is routinely rated as the most popular excursion in Alaska. The 28-mile ride on this narrow gauge railway between Skagway, Alaska and Fraser, B.C. is sure to provide you with a historical narrative, scenic views, and breathtaking photo opportunities. You will get to see portions of the original Trail of 98, among other notable sites.
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Best Overall: Norwegian Cruise Line
Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line
- Ship Name: Norwegian Bliss
- Itinerary: Seattle, Ketchikan, Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Victoria
Norwegian boasts that it has the youngest fleet cruising to Alaska,” and the Norwegian Bliss is NCLs newest ship . Bliss has buzzworthy features like laser tag, a race track on the top deck, and thrilling waterslides that overhang the sides of the ship. The ship has accommodations for every type of cruiser, including solo staterooms and elegant suites in the Haven, a luxurious enclave. Another perk of this cruise is that is sails round-trip from Seattle, so guests can drive or fly into the same port for departure and arrival . Bliss also has a beautiful observation lounge ideal when sailing the Inside Passage.
Best Large Cruise: Royal Caribbean
Courtesy of Royal Caribbean
- Ship: Ovation of the Seas
- Duration: 7 nights
- Itinerary: Alaska Inside Passage, Juneau, Skagway, Victoria
If youre looking for a cruise to Alaska with all the theme-park-like attractions, then the Ovation of the Seas will not disappoint. Built in 2016, Ovation is currently ranked as one of the 10 largest cruise ships in the world with onboard features like a skydiving simulator, a cocktail bar tended by robots, aerial performances in the theater, and the North Star, a moving observation pod with surreal views. The first two days of the voyage are spent at sea so theres plenty of time to explore the ship and try different activities. Or, dine at specialty restaurants like Chops Grille, Royal Caribbeans iconic steakhouse Wonderland, an eclectic array of dishes, or Giovannis table, a favorite Italian restaurant.
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Vancouver: Vancouver Highlights Tour
- Who Offers This Excursion? You can book this Vancouver cruise excursion with Celebrity, Holland America, Princess, Royal Caribbean, or Oceania.
- Find 5 other excursion options on my guide to the best Vancouver cruise excursions.
Like Seattle, Vancouver is a cruise terminal youll visit at the beginning or end of your Alaska cruise. If you only have a few hours in Vancouver, the Vancouver Highlights Tour covers the must-see attractions in the citys downtown core.
This excursion offers an experience that hits key Vancouver sights via bus in a 2-3 hour tour. You will drive through the heart of Vancouver including the historic Gastown neighborhood with its narrow cobbled streets and the unique Chinatown area, which is over 150 years old. The standout experience is a stop in spectacular Stanley Park, one of the largest urban parks in North America. Be sure to pack your camera for photo ops with the First Nations Totem poles.
The 7 Best Ships Cruising Alaska This Summer
Its June, and youre still thinking about booking a cruise to Alaska this summer. No problemthere are cabins available. Your dilemma? You cant decide which ship is right for your family, your cruise style, or your budget.
The good news is there are terrific ships sailing the Inside Passage and beyond through Septemberincluding a brand-new megaship with cool onboard activities, several recently refurbished ships that offer good value, and a few small- and mid-size options that provide a more luxurious experience. Here are the best ships cruising to Alaska this summer.
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Princess Cruise Ships In Alaska
Princess’ magnificently decorated ships have all the bells and whistles of a five-star hotel, with the added bonus of being able to bring you to each new destination in style. The cafes, restaurants, pool decks and even nightclubs are all whimsically decorated, with nods to the sea in many of the details. With between 2,200 and 3,000 passengers, these ships are quite large, but have plenty of public spaces and dining options to cater to all guests comfortably. Several Princess ships sail to Alaska, including the Coral Princess, Emerald Princess, Golden Princess, and Ruby Princess. On each ship you’ll find a spa, wellness center, casino, library, theater, many dining venues and bars, and of course, spacious, comfortable accommodations.
A hallmark of the Princess experience is its attentive and friendly staff, who are experts in making guests feel at home while also creating an escape from the ordinary. Your stewards will know you by name, and be sure to keep you feeling pampered and comfortable throughout your journey.
The Best Alaska Cruises For Families
Nothing is as easy as finding cruise vacations that suit the needs of your family. Even so, you can never go wrong with an Alaskan cruise. Taking a family cruise to the state is something that youve undoubtedly considered.
Alaska is breathtakingly beautiful but also radiates the calmness of nature, which your whole family will love.
If youre planning a leisurely cruise to Alaska, here are 13 of the best cruises to consider.
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Tips From A Princess Cruisetour In Alaska
If youre thinking about traveling to Alaska, a cruisetour is a comprehensive albeit fast-paced way to cover a ton of ground . Im back from an 11-night Princess cruisetour of the 49th state, and its different than any other trip Ive taken in my life. Living on the East Coast, everything I saw seemed to be turned up a couple notches: the sheer size of the mountain ranges the dumbfounding expanse of glaciers, tundras and rainforest the diversity and intensity of the wildlife the free spirit of the indigenous cultures and year-round inhabitants and being able to touch upon each one of those earth-shattering elements with tours and excursions.
The following are 11 tips from my Princess cruisetour experience.
Which Ship Is Right For Your Alaska Cruise
Update: Royal Caribbean is committed to delivering vacations that are as safe as they are memorable. We are thrilled to welcome our guests to experience the memorable vacations we are known for once again, starting summer 2021. As you plan your next trip with your loved ones, well be here with inspiration in all forms whenever you need it.
Royal Caribbean visits top spots in Alaska each summer, including the Inside Passage, Juneau, Icy Strait Point and Skagway.
There is a lot of ground to cover when visiting Alaska, from its vast, rugged terrain to the many animals that call it home. Planning a vacation to the 49th state may seem like a daunting task. But with two Royal Caribbean ships sailing to the Last Frontier in 2021 and departing from convenient cities in the Pacific Northwestthis must-see destination has never been more within reach. Your big decision is choosing which ship is right for you!
Whether youre in it for the views, activities, destinations or an extended experience, every ship offers a bit of everything, but each has its perks:
Quantum of the Seas is packed with family adventures for the young and young at heart.
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What To Pack For An Alaska Cruise
Your packing list for an Alaska cruise will look very different from your Caribbean one. Youll want to include the following items, as well as all the typical cruise essentials:
- Rain jacket and other rain gear
- Warm layers, hats, and gloves for chilly days and glacier viewing
- Binoculars for wildlife spotting
- Bug spray for those pesky mosquitos
- Hiking boots if you plan on getting out into nature
- Swimsuit and sunscreen because sometimes its warm and sunny
- Camera with wide angle and telephoto lenses
- Day pack for carrying extra layers, souvenirs, etc.
- Waterproof bags for kayaking or rafting trips
White Pass Scenic Railway
This is a must-do tour, especially on a clear day. Take a round trip ride on the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad, a historic narrow gauge railway built into amazingly rugged and beautiful terrain some 120 years ago. It follows the same Trail of 98 route taken in the late-19th century by a steady stream of gold prospectors looking for Yukon gold â¦ except they did it on foot and often, in wet, muddy conditions or frigid temperatures.
You travel in the comfort of old-fashioned rail cars, and the route takes you up the 2,865-foot summit of the White Pass, through tunnels and over sky-high trestles, past remote valleys and such sights as Bridal Veil Falls, Inspiration Point and Dead Horse Gulch so named because so many miners lost their horses there.
For those seeking a more active way to see the White Pass, we highly recommend you book the White Pass Train & Bike Tour. You take the train up the Pass and then get off at Fraser for an additional 15-minute van ride to the White Pass summit. Youll then bike 15 miles down the Klondike Highway on a guided summit-to-sea tour back to Skagway and we mean down, down, down. Your hands will likely hurt from hitting the handbrakes so much. Along the way, you stop at waterfalls and other spectacular overlooks.
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Entertainment And Onboard Activities
With three sea days , there was plenty of time to fill up onboard Majestic Princess. As avid trivia players, we tried not to miss any trivia sessions. But we made it to only one theater show, which was a guest comedian. We skipped all the song-and-dance revue style shows.
Insider Tip: Got a hot game of bridge going in a lounge and dont want to have to leave to get food? Youre in luck! Order food via the Ocean Medallion and it will be delivered to you almost anywhere on the shipin your room, by the pool, or hanging out in a lounge. Choices are varied, with free and for-fee options.
We also went to a few of the game show-style events put on by the entertainment team. They were mostly amusing though it often felt like the entertainment team was in on a joke that left the audience out of it.
To be fair, as only the fourth sailing since the COVID-19 pause, many of the crew members were still enthusiastically catching up with friends and enjoying life at sea again. The result was that sometimes it felt like the passengers were an afterthought.
LOTUS SPA I also spent more than my fair share of time in the spa. Unfortunately, Steiner, the operator of the spas on Princess cruise ships, no longer offers the 10/20/30 sail, where you get progressively better discounts if you book three services at once.
Activities On Princess Alaska Cruises
While sailing to and through Alaska, you’ll find plenty of onboard entertainment to keep you busy and inform you of what to expect in your next destination. Princess incorporates the local community into cruises in many exciting ways, like “Puppies in the Piazza,” an Alaska-exclusive program that brings Skagway’s adorable new sled dogs onboard. Dog handlers will explain what it’s like to train these pups for dog mushing, while you snuggle with the puppies.
“Tales From the Deadliest Catch” is also a local highlight, with Captain David Lethin and his shipmates from the popular Discovery Channel TV show share stories about their adventures at sea. Other interactive experiences include an onboard presentation with a real-life lumberjack, who hosts an axe-throwing competition.
Beyond the Alaska-specific entertainment, Princess offers all the luxuries you’d expect from a premium ship: a spa, fitness center, library, card room, and casino. Complimentary gaming lessons are available for guests looking to sharpen their skills or learn a new game. If you’re looking to be pampered, several treatments are available in the Lotus Spa, including facials, body wraps, massages and hot-aroma stone therapy. At the gym, work out on your own or take a group class, like Zumba, yoga or tai chi.
Princess Cruises Children’s Programs
Princess Past Guests
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Princess Cruises Relationship With Alaska
One of the reasons I chose Princess Cruises for an Alaska itinerary is their relationship with Alaska. For more than fifty years, Princess Cruises ships have sailed to Alaska, and now cruisers can extend their stay in one of their wilderness lodges and enjoy the impressive views of the towering Denali during the midnight sun. Their Voyage of the Glaciers cruises experience unique ports and cruise glacier-fed fjords with jaw-dropping scenery.
While I didnt book a Princess cruise and land tour, my 14-day back-to-back Alaska itinerary had different glacier viewings each way, which made the vacation doubly magical. Also, because I live in Vancouver, Canada, sailing back was cheaper than flying. Hard to believe, right? But, if you snag an Alaskan cruise deal as I did, the 7-day Alaska return cruise was less expensive than the cost of a one-way flight. Additionally, I could extend my vacation by seven days .
When sailing out of Vancouver, Coral Princess, Royal Princess, and Grand Princess offer 14-day or seven-day back-to-back itineraries. . When considered a 14-day or back-to-back itinerary, compare the prices of the two options. Sometimes, its cheaper to book two one-week cruises than one 14-day vacation. Especially when there are perks such s free onboard credit, youll double your credit by choosing two cruises instead of one.
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