Thursday, May 23, 2024

Which Alaska Cruise Line Is Best For Families

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Bring A Deck Of Cards


Celebrity Cruises Stateroom

Encourage the kids with good old-fashioned pleasures. In between exploring the ports of call, there will be downtime at sea, and this is a great time to finally teach the kids to play hearts, euchre, or even bridge. Your ship will also have chess and other board games available.

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.

Alaska Cruise With Children

Thinking of cruising from Vancouver next May. We will have four adults and a nine and six year old with us. Any tips on which cruise line , ship please?

Many thanks

cruise lines who do Alaska also have good kids club facilities.

Not all go out of Vancouver.

Princess is one of them. You already know about Disney. There’s also Carnival and Royal Caribbean and maybe Norwegian.

Check prices and dates.

You firstly need to decide if you want to do a round trip cruise from Vancouver or a one-way cruise to the Anchorage region. That will determine what ships are available. Round trips also run from Seattle but they are inferior to Vancouver cruises due to several factors, some being further to sail so they cut time is ports, most sailing is done in open waters compared to protected waters from Vancouver, they have a compulsory Canada docking under US law which they make at Victoria in almost useless hours.

One-way cruises are good if you have a few days to also spend on the ground in south central Alaska.

Good information can be found here:

Ignore the caution because 95% of the advice is still current.

That said, Princess is supposed to be the best for Alaska, in general. Just an older crowd from what we heard. 🙂 Good luck and have fun. It’s gorgeous.

Lol, both Holland America Line and Princess are the pioneering lines in Alaska. They get the best berths in port, and have permits to enter Glacier Bay National Park.

Very few permits go to any other line.

Edited: 3 years ago

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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.

Best For Intellects: Lindblad Expeditions National Geographic Sea Lion Sea Bird Juneau To Sitka

10 Reasons Disney Offers the Best Alaska Cruise for ...

Lindblad Expeditions, in partnership with National Geographic, has two 62-passenger vesselsSea Lion and Sea Birdsailing its Exploring Alaskas Coastal Wilderness itinerary. Youll start off in Juneau to visit Mendenhall Glacier before moving on to Tracy or Endicott Arm, Sawyer Glacier, and Dawes Glazier. Day three calls upon the small town of Petersburg on Mitkof Island, the surrounding waters of which are idea for humpback whale sightings. Next is Frederick Sound and Chatham Strait, Point Adolphus, and Inian Pass. A unique aspect of this itinerary is a full day spent inside Glacier Bay National Park where theres a good chance youll see calving glaciers. Lindblad naturalists and National Geographic photographers lead daily explorations as well as informative lectures onboard the ship in the evenings. Youll learn as much as you can about the history of Alaska, its native Indians, topography, and wildlife.

Andrea M. Rotondo is a freelance writer based in New York City. She covers cruise news and luxury travel trends for and writes for a variety of outlets, including her website Luxury Travel Mavens. Follow her on Twitter: .

Photo credit: Photo of ms Oosterdam and Hubbard Glacier courtesy of Holland America Line. Photo of skiff and iceberg courtesy of Un-Cruise Adventures. Photo of Silver Shadow Owners Suite courtesy of Silversea

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So What Is The Best Alaska Cruise For Families

The best Alaskan cruise for families is aboard a small ship or yacht. Experience authentic Alaska with your family this summer. Let AdventureSmith Explorations show you more about Alaska travel with kids and families. Our Alaska travel experts have extensive experience in this region and can match your family with the perfect vacation for your interests, abilities and budget. Learn more about small ship Alaska cruise options and family cruises to destinations worldwide.

Alaska Family Cruise Deals

You can often find a bargain for the family in Alaska. While small ship cruise prices may not look as initially low as youll find aboard the big ships, youll find that the additional inclusions and authentic, intimate experience more than makes up for any difference. Think more intimate encounters with nature and wildlife and less casinos, waterslides and midnight buffets. Learn more about small ship vs big ship cruises.

To find Alaska family cruise deals and added value for kids, browse our Alaska small ship cruise deals. You can also look to the Families & Children section of each AdventureSmith trip itinerarys Inclusions, Terms & Notes details for family deals that never expire. This section also explains if any special kid-friendly programming is offered aboard. Ultimately, contact us to speak with our crew who can personalize recommendations for you so that you can have the best kid friendly Alaskan cruise at the lowest price.

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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.

Ride The Alaska Marine Highway

Alaska’s New Best Cruise Ship: Ovation Of The Seas

And if youre really looking for off-the-beaten-path Alaska cruisingand dont mind bare bones accommodationsthe Alaska Marine Highway ferry offers a plethora of routes. We combined a 5-night cruise from Haines, Alaska, to Bellingham, Washington, with an Alaska Highway road trip. But you dont have to be driving to enjoy this journey.

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Best For Nature Enthusiasts: Un

The popular Inner Reaches Eastern Coves itinerary from Juneau to Ketchikan is available in two flavors: luxury and adventure . Onboard naturalists shepherd you to the Tracy Arm fjord, the twin Sawyer Glaciers, Thomas Bay, Patterson Glacier, Wrangell Narrows, Kiksetti Totem Park, Behm Canal and the surrounding Tongass National Forest, and Misty Fjords National Monument. With just 36 to 86 guests, Un-Cruise Adventures makes it easy to get close to the wildlife. Youll explore via skiff and kayak and do your fair share of hiking on land. Get ready to see brown and black bears, mink, deer, wolves, harbor seals, otters, eagles, arctic terns, pigeon guillemots, humpbacks, orca, Steller sea lions, porpoise, and so much more.

Glacier Bay National Park

One of the biggest highlights of Uncruises Exploring Muirs Wilderness Itinerary is the day the ship spends in Glacier Bay National Park. Most cruise ships include a visit to Glacier Bay on their itineraries but it is no surprise that Uncruise does things differently. As with all cruise ships entering the park, a National Park Ranger boards to serve as guide. Since the Safari Endeavor is a small ship, each passenger had the opportunity to interact with the ranger and ask plenty of questions.

We arrived bright and early at Margerie Glacier, a particularly pretty tidewater glacier sitting near the US-Canadian border in the far reaches of the park. The weather was remarkable. Glacier Bay has a reputation for being a cloudy place it is in a rain forest after all but that day the weather gods must have been celebrating the National Park Services 100th birthday with us. After admiring the glacier and watching her calve with a hot coffee in my hand, we headed down to the dining room for another tasty breakfast. The ship headed south through Glacier Bay, cruising through a place that was filled with 4000 feet of ice when Thomas Jefferson was signing the Declaration of Independence.

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Longer Sailings From The West Coast

Finally, youll find some San Francisco round-trip itineraries usually 10 nights long as well as longer sailings between San Francisco and Vancouver. These cruises are best suited to travelers who love days at sea. Youll have four sea days plus a day of scenic cruising at a spot like Tracy Arm , Endicott Arm, Hubbard Glacier or Glacier Bay National Park. The waters before you enter the Inside Passage can be calm, rough or anything in between, depending on when you go and luck of the draw.

Ports on these longer sailings may include Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point and Victoria, British Columbia.

Will There Be Enough To Entertain Both Parent And Child

Alaska Cruises Travel Guide

The big trend in cruising is having enough to do for kids and parents separately, as well as together. There were family activities such as backstage tours to see how production shows are created aboard the ship. There was also a sports court for basketball, and a nine-hole miniature putting course and a golf simulator. Between the excursions, the onboard activities, the kids camp, and playing cards on the balcony, we weren’t wanting for entertainment. But of course, there was plenty more available: The Discovery at Sea program, for example, was a nice way for Matthew and I to learn about about the stars during the the stargazing program, and we also got to meet Alaskan puppies in the atrium when we attended the Iditarod-themed meet-and-greet. Movies Under the Stars happened each night and even though the weather could be a bit cold, Matthew and I huddled under a blanket . Or, we jumped in the hot tub and watched from there.

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Best For Retirees: Holland America Oosterdam Seattle Round

Holland America is a strong leader when it comes to Alaskan voyages geared toward retirees. The Seattle round-trip aboard the 1,916-passenger ms Oosterdam offers gorgeous views of the waterways from Puget Sound to Southeast Alaska with visits to Tracy Arm, Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Victoria, British Columbia. The ship focuses on exemplary service, fine dining, a Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine, accessible shore excursions, and onboard activities geared toward mature adults.

The Best Alaska Itineraries

My first visit to Alaska started in Anchorage, where we took the Alaska Railroad to Whittier to board Regent Seven Seas Mariner to explore Prince William Sound, Kodiak and the remote Dutch Harbor before heading to Russias Kamchatka Peninsula and the northern islands of Japan.

What I saw in Alaska took my breath away, and weve returned several times since. While that particular cruise was aboard a pricey luxury line, there are ships in all price ranges sailing a variety of itineraries, so dont let budget stop you from visiting.

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Alaska Cruises From Seattle Vancouver And More

If you’ve ever dreamed of visiting Alaska, there’s no better way to explore the state than on a cruise. Norwegian Cruise Line has been cruising to Alaska for decades and offers some of the best itineraries available. Our lineup of 2022 Alaska cruises includes varying trip lengths and a wide selection of shore excursions. With our enhanced flexible booking policy and partnership in the Healthy Sail Panel, we are excited to welcome you back on your next Norwegian cruise.

For 2022, Norwegian has five different ships cruising Alaska, so you can choose the onboard experience that’s perfect for you. You can even choose to book a Cruisetour, which is a combination of a Norwegian Alaska cruise and a few days of land travel. To get your Alaska cruise planning started, here’s a look at what you need to know about Norwegian’s selection of 2022 Alaska cruises.

Ready to start planning? Explore all 2022 Alaska cruises.

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.

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Uncruise Alaska Whale Watching

Expect to see plenty of whales aboard an Uncruise Alaska cruise. Sometimes you will see them from the windows of the dining room as they casually feed of the plankton-rich waters surrounding the ship. Other times you might simply hear a humpback exhale, your view blinded by pea soup fog enveloping the boat. Then suddenly he breaches, close enough to give you a true perspective on just how massive these marvelous beasts are.

One evening as the sun was setting, we cruised right into a glistening bowl of whale soup. Whales, too numerous to count, let their presence be known as they flipped their tails and sent whooshes of spout spray into the air. In that moment it felt like the world was only occupied by my shipmates, the whales, and the setting sun. It was an experience one can only get on a small ship Alaska cruise.

The 8 Best Alaska Cruises Of 2021

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“Airport transfers, shore excursions, meals, wine and spirits, and park admission is bundled into the price.”

Best for Adventure: Alaskan Dream Cruises See Rates

“Excursions focus on local culture such as totem carvings, folk dances, and other Tlingit cultural presentations.”

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Alaska With Kids: Best Alaska Cruises For Families

Browse our handpicked selection of options to cruise Alaska with kids. If done right, an Alaska family cruise can be a transformative adventure where families share wondrous experiences together. Imagine kayaking in front of a tidewater glacier or watching whales at water level from a small skiff Introduce your kids and yourself to the incredible nature and culture of Alaska aboard a family small ship cruise. Small ships offer the best Alaskan cruise for families with comfortable accommodations, professional guides, a variety of activities, kid-friendly dining options and educational programs. Dont just visit Alaska, explore it.

Disney Cruise Linesdisney Wonder

Holland America Wins âTop Alaska Cruise Lineâ

If kids were in charge of the cruise planning, theyd choose a Disney Cruise. And Disney Cruise Line caters to families, especially Disney-loving families.

Find interior staterooms, ocean view staterooms, staterooms with balconies along with concierge suites. The 7-night round trip cruises depart from Vancouver. Ports of call include Dawes Glacier, Skagway, and Ketchikan.

Disney Cruise Line sails the Wonder to Alaska. Onboard, youll find Disney characters, Disney stage shows, kids clubs, tweens club and teens club. Three pool areas, including a splash area for babies and toddlers, a double-looping water slide and an adults-only area, help keep everybody cool. Hungry? There are three main dining areas, and three casual dining areas along with character meals.

Port excursions and extras are not included, like Signature dining experiences , bottled water, alcohol, and specialty drinks and gratuities.

Easy-to-use website, especially for those whove planned a Disney Parks vacation before. Find the best price for this cruise here.

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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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