Where Do Alaska Cruises Depart From
Roundtrip Alaska sailings typically depart from Seattle or Vancouver, but also California cities like San Francisco. These sailings typically follow an Inside Passage itinerary.
Cruises also regularly depart from either Seward or Whittier, both Alaska ports accessible a short drive from Anchorage. These one-way sailings usually follow the Gulf of Alaska, also known as a cross-gulf cruise. These cruises might call on some Inside Passage stops, but also ports farther north.
Most cruisetours will begin or end in Anchorage, where the primary and central airport is.
When Is The Best Time To Cruise To Alaska To See Whales
Watching a humpback or an orca arc gracefully out of Alaskas blue-green water is a sight youll never forget.
On an Alaska whale-watching cruise, youll have the chance to see some of the states eight magnificent species of whales that frequent its icy waters. As luck would have it, the entire Alaska cruise season is also prime whale-watching season.
Depending on which itinerary you sail and when you choose to cruise, you can increase your chances of seeing certain species, including humpbacks, orcas, and Minke whales. Dont forget to throw in a good pair of binoculars when planning your Alaska cruise packing list.
You can spot whales on Alaska shore excursions like a safari vessel whale-sighting tour in Stephens Passage, Juneau, to evening whale-quest cocktail cruises where sighting a whale is guaranteed.
You may even catch a glimpse of a whale swimming alongside your cruise ship as you sip morning coffee on your stateroom veranda its just one of the joys of cruising to Alaska.
Humpback whales start making their journey from the warm waters of Mexico and Hawaii in March and April, and by June and July theyre happily feeding in the waters of Alaskas Inside Passage.
Seeing a single whale, as they prefer to travel, or in small pods, as they like to feed, is highly likely. If humpbacks are your favorite, book an Inside Passage cruise during late June, July, or August.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Alaska To Avoid Crowds
Shoulder season is also the best time to go on an Alaska cruise if you prefer fewer crowds while exploring the historical and cultural aspects of Alaskan cities and towns.
Shore excursions are easier to book, so take full advantage of roomier whale-watching cruises and less crowded restaurants.
Schools are still in session in May and September, so fewer families are traveling. Also, many cruise passengers prefer to travel to Alaska in the warmer weather, so crowds on both sea and land tend to thin out.
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First Alaska Revenue Cruise Departs From Seattle
PublishedJul 20, 2021 3:24 PM by The Maritime Executive
The first, large foreign-flag cruise ship departed yesterday, July 19, for Alaska signaling the return of the cruise industry to the Port of Seattle and Alaska. Royal Caribbean Internationals cruise ship the Serenade of the Seas kicked off the abbreviated Alaska cruise season with the first departure by a large cruise ship to Alaska since September 2019.
“Cruising in Alaska is finally back, and we are excited to be the first to return, said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. Alaska is one of the most popular destinations among our guests. We are grateful for the support of our partners, senators. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, and other government and health authorities. This is a return that is significantly felt by many, including those whose communities rely on cruise tourism.”
While smaller, American cruise ships had resumed the Alaska cruise season in May, the return of the large, foreign-flag ships required a special act of the U.S. Congress to waive American cabotage laws. Initially thought to be a long shot, the legislation passed due to the critical nature of tourism to Alaskas economy and the prospects of businesses having to forgo the second season of tourism after Canada announced its ports would be closed to cruise ships during the 2021 season.
Featured July Cruises To Alaska
Choose a longer vacation that lets you soak up the warmer weather that July is known for in Alaska. The Grand Heartland Adventure Cruisetour combines a 7-night Alaska cruise with seven days of touring the inland area of Alaska through Denali National Park and up into Fairbanks. You can also choose tours tailored to your interests during your .
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Skagway Waves Goodbye To The Last Cruise Ship Of 2021
Skagways last cruise ship of 2021 Ovation of the Seas departing on October 12. Photo by Mike Swasey.
The last ship of the shortened cruise season visited Skagway on Tuesday. KHNS Mike Swasey wandered through downtown to get reactions from local businesses and cruise passengers on a rainy, cold October day.
I live less than a block away from Skagway Spirits Distillery and was surprised to see the open sign lit up for the tasting room on Tuesday, so I made that my first stop.
It hadnt been open much this year. Its several blocks away from the downtown shopping district and the owners didnt expect many tourists to make the trek to Alaska Street this summer. But they said they got a call from Lynn and Matt, a couple from Florida, and decided to open their doors and start pouring.
Red Onion Saloon Closed for Season. Photo by Mike Swasey.
I love the weather here despite being from Florida might sound weird but yeah being cold and wet instead of the hot and sweaty is, Ill take that, said Matt, dressed in his shorts and a long sleeve shirt. His partner Lynn was dressed more for the Skagway weather.
The scenery is just so beautiful. And its just nice to be out and about and in some fresh air, said Lynn.
Instead of getting nothing its better to open and get something so Im happy, said Aribamongbi.
When Is The Best Time To Cruise Alaska
When is the best time to cruise to Alaska? Nine out of 10 people you ask will tell you the summer. But the reality is a bit more nuanced than that.
The best month for an Alaskan cruise really depends on what your priorities are.
Princess Cruises sails into Glacier Bay National Park, a highlight of Alaska.
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Alaska Cruises From San Francisco
While Alaska cruises departing from San Francisco are not as readily available as other closer ports, Celebrity and Princess do offer some extended cruises that allow you to sample Alaska and the beautiful Pacific Coast.
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WMPH Vacations and AlaskaCruises.com are located in Delray Beach, Florida. You may book online or contact us directly. Our business hours and toll-free phone numbers from the following countries are listed below:
Please note that all prices on our website are in US dollars, and travel purchases must be completed with a major credit card.Unless you are considering one of our custom cruise itineraries, certain cruise lines prohibit US-based travel agencies from selling to non-US residents.
All passengers regardless of their home country, citizenship or country of residency are responsible for obtaining the proper documentation for travel. This includes passports and visas for any country they may visit during their trip.
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Best Cruise Deals And Discounts Sorted By Your Dream Destination
Sometimes it’s all about the destination and that is certainly true of cruise destinations. The cruise port you depart from and the amazing cruise ports you visit define your experience as much as what cruise line or cruise ship you sail on. At CruiseExperts.com we understand that and have sorted these cruises by the places you’ll visit on your cruise vacation. So whether it’s a cruise to Alaska, a Caribbean cruise, cruises to Hawaii, a cruise to the Bahamas or Bermuda or a cruise to Mexico you’ll find it easily with the help of our destination wizard. Maybe you’re looking for a cruise vacation that’s just a little different like a Panama Canal cruise, a Transatlantic cruise, cruises to Europe, a Tahiti cruise with a tour of the South Pacific, a down under adventure with an Australia / New Zealand cruise or even a fall foliage cruise through Canada and New England. Whatever floats your boat get started by selecting your dream destination on our cruise search page.
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When Is The Best Time To Explore Alaskas Cities And Towns
Theres no question that the best time for most cruisers to go to Alaska is during peak season, and alternately in shoulder season.
In addition to the spectacular scenery and rich native wildlife, youll also find the ports of call on your Alaska cruise to be welcoming and full of interesting things to see and do.
Feel Free To Let The Moment In
Our smaller ships Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Spirit and Norwegian Sun are ideal for those seeking a more intimate cruising experience in The Last Frontier. Embark on a longer cruise itinerary set to a slower pace, allowing you more time to be immersed in authentic Alaska experiences.
Want to hang with adorable pups at a dog sled camp? You got it. Daydreaming of the Inside Passages extraordinary vistas and wildlife? Bring your camera! Care to explore some of Glacier Bays legendary terrain? Lace up those hiking boots and bring the wonder of the surrounding nature back on board with you.
Refresh and recharge in the Thermal Spa Suite where your worries will melt away as mountainous vistas fill the floor-to-ceiling windows. Count the nearby glaciers from the comfort of a hot tub. Watch a whale splash in the sea before you take a dip in the top-deck pool. Take walking or jogging to new heights on the top-deck jogging/walking track where The Last Frontier provides an unforgettable backdrop for your workout. Then toast incredible panoramic views from the vibrant Spinnaker Lounge.
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Featured June Cruises To Alaska
Experience the wonders of Endicott Arm Fjord and Dawes Glacier on the gorgeous Celebrity Solstice on a to Alaska. This popular itinerary sails roundtrip from Seattle, Washington.
Along the way, youll stop in the Alaskan port towns of Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway, as well as Victoria, British Columbia. As you sail through Endicott Arm to Dawes Glacier, relax on your private veranda and admire the stunning landscapes.
When Is The Best Time To Cruise To Alaska For Salmon Fishing
Salmon fishing isnt just a popular pastime in Alaska. Its one of the states most lucrative industries, and many cruisers cant wait to try their hand at it.
One of the best ways to experience salmon fishing is by booking a shore excursion. Any of the fishing tour companies offer services that package up your catch and ship it back to your home packed in dry ice so you can have a feast, and bragging rights, when you return home.
Youll find salmon throughout the Alaska cruise season, but if its the in-demand King Salmon that youre after, the best time to visit Alaska is between May and mid-July when King Salmon are doing their runs through the coastal waters of Alaska.
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Alaska Cruise Ship Passengers
Here are highlights over the past few years:
Alaska closed the books on its best cruise season ever in 2019 when it greeted 1.33 million cruise visitors, a 14% increase over the prior year.
The state expects to welcome 1.4 million cruise visitors in 2020, an estimated 6% increase over 2019. With the addition of a second dock, Icy Straits Point is scheduled to receive 383,834 guests, a 50.6% increase while scheduling changes will most impact Haines and Kodiak.
In early 2009, it was announced that Alaska would lose three cruise ships and approximately 142,000 passengers in the 2010 season a 17% decline in cruise business after 30 years of growth. That loss equated to:
- $165 million/year in lost revenues, cruise line purchases, passenger spending, jobs and payroll
- 51,000 fewer crew visits to Alaska ports
- 1,800 fewer full-time jobs for Alaskans
In April 2010, the Alaska State Legislature passed SB 312, paving the way to a comeback for the states cruise businesses. The bill adjusted the cruise passenger excise tax from $46 to $34.50, with a credit for head taxes charged by other ports.
Reducing operating costs through adopting a more competitive tax structure has been key to putting Alaska back on a path for growth, and SB 312 had a swift, positive effect on Alaskas visitor industry.
Final Cruise Ship Of 2021 Leaves Juneau
A season that almost didnt start, ends
The final cruise ship sailed out of Juneau on Wednesday, marking the end of a tourism season that almost didnt happen.
The last ship of the year, Norwegian Cruise Lines Norwegian Encore, brought 2,238 visitors to Juneau Wednesday, according to Carl Uchytil, port director for the City and Borough of Juneau Docks and Harbors Department.
There were fits and starts, we didnt really know until June, Uchytil said. We struggled to find people on short notice to maintain the facilities. It certainly was not a normal year by any metric.
The COVID-19 pandemic shut down cruise ship sailing entirely in 2020, and this year, the industry pushed back against regulations imposed on cruise ships by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But even once ships were able to sail again, Alaskas cruise ship season faced another hurdle when the Canadian government announced its borders would remain closed to cruises.
That created a problem for the larger ships, most of which are flagged from Caribbean nations, and U.S. law that places certain requirements on foreign ships. Cruise ships were previously able to fulfill those requirements by stopping in Vancouver, British Columbia, but with that option closed, Alaskas congressional delegation had to work quickly to allow ships to sail to Alaska.
Stephen Rector said this was the couples first visit to Alaska and they had always wanted to come.
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Public Health And Public Safety
The Alaska State Troopers are Alaska’s statewide police force. They have a long and storied history, but were not an official organization until 1941. Before the force was officially organized, law enforcement in Alaska was handled by various federal agencies. Larger towns usually have their own local police and some villages rely on “Public Safety Officers” who have police training but do not carry firearms. In much of the state, the troopers serve as the only police force available. In addition to enforcing traffic and criminal law, wildlife Troopers enforce hunting and fishing regulations. Due to the varied terrain and wide scope of the Troopers’ duties, they employ a wide variety of land, air, and water patrol vehicles.
Many rural communities in Alaska are considered “dry”, having outlawed the importation of alcoholic beverages. Suicide rates for rural residents are higher than urban.
Domestic abuse and other violent crimes are also at high levels in the state this is in part linked to alcohol abuse. Alaska has the highest rate of sexual assault in the nation, especially in rural areas. The average age of sexually assaulted victims is 16 years old. In four out of five cases, the suspects were relatives, friends or acquaintances.
Here Are The Mainstream Cruise Ships Set To Sail In Alaska
, the mainstream cruise industry is now back in the market after two years.
Through August, seven cruise lines and eight modern vessels are set to resume service at the Last Frontier, offering a total 83 voyages.
Here are the ships sailing in Alaska:
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean International Ship: Serenade of the SeasCapacity : 2,100 Built: 2003Homeport: Seattle Itinerary: Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and Icy Strait Point scenic cruising in Endicott Arm fjord and Dawes GlacierLength: 7 nights
Capacity : 2,038Built: 2000Itinerary: Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway scenic cruising in Endicott Arm and Dawes GlacierLength: 7 nightsFirst Cruise: July 23, 2021Cruise Line: Holland America Line Ship: Nieuw Amsterdam Capacity : 2,100Built: 2010Homeport: Seattle Itinerary: Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Sitka and Ketchikan scenic cruising in Glacier Bay and Stephens PassageLength: 7 nightsFirst Cruise: July 24, 2021
Cruise Line: Princess CruisesCapacity : 3,600Built: 2017Itinerary: Glacier Bay National Park, Juneau, Skagway and KetchikanLength: 7 nights First Cruise: July 25, 2021
Cruise Line: Carnival Cruise Line Ship: Carnival Miracle Capacity : 2,100Built: 2004Itinerary: Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan scenic cruising in Tracy Arm Fjord Length: 7 nightsFirst Cruise: July 27, 2021
In addition, a number of small operators with U.S.-flagged ships are operating in Alaska, including Lindblad Expeditions, American Cruise Lines, UnCruise and Alaskan Dream Cruises.
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Your Adventure Is Only A Click Away
“Recently retired and this was our first real trip, what a way to start. An exceptional operation, the best staff ever and the spark has ignited for travel. Uncruise will be in our future! “ – Mary L., UT
“This is our 3rd Uncruise, we love the small boat cruise because of their access to nature & personal service. Bears, humpback whales, eagles, stellar sea lions, otters, dalls purposes, puffins, mountain goats,,,,,,, and Glaciers! The Uncruise guides are highly educated & love nature, they are excited to tell you about everything. Yoga, photo tips, kayak training, gear,,,, they had it all for us!” – Martha V., CA
– Linda B., Tasmania, Australia
Tips For Alaska Communities
The Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center in Fairbanks, which is open year-round, introduces visitors to the areas Athabaskan culture.
What can communities do to assist with transportation and visitor experiences?
Service the same niche markets cruise industries are catering to, members of a special panel on the cruise sector told members attending the Alaska Travel Industry Associations annual conference.
The fastest growing segment is multi-generational family groups so offer an experience that accommodates a range of ages. Cruise ships, for example, have responded to the multi-generational market with three-bedroom suites and have designed ships with a range of mobility issues in mind. A land tour experience needs to accommodate the same.
Royal Caribbeans Russel Benford suggested that there is growing interest is cultural experiences and his company is looking to stay ahead of the trend. He hoped that communities and operators would see value in changing their mix of products to accommodate this growing area of demand.
He went on to say that the big mega ships are packed with thousands of visitors who are looking for unique, custom experiences. Small group tour options can be packaged as intimate and private, even when they sell at a premium, he said. Successful cruise destinations need fresh product to keep the destination fresh.
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