Adventure In A Class Of Its Own
In Summer 2021, Quantum of the Seas® joins sister ship Ovation of the Seas in Seattle for our biggest, boldest Alaska season ever. The two largest ships in the region brim with ways to maximize your time under the Midnight Sun. Scope out calving glaciers from the North Star®, the tallest viewing deck on a cruise ship. Fill each sea day with activities designed for any weather. And bring awe-inspiring wilderness views into every room even Interior staterooms with Virtual Balconies. All while you sail to iconic northern destinations like postcard-pretty Juneau, majestic Endicott Arm, and Alaskas dazzling Inside Passage.
Ketchikan Overall Runner Up And Best For Shopping And Totem Poles
Ketchikan is a very close second for me for the top spot as the best Alaska cruise port! Juneau gets a slight edge from me as I mentioned above for the number of hiking trails that are easy to get to from the cruise ship dock. Like Juneau, Ketchikan is relatively easy to get around on your own and has a bus system that takes you to most places.
Ketchikan also has excellent shore excursions, particularly to Misty Fjords National Monument, and its a great place for fishing trips.
One of the best things about Ketchikan is its impressive number of totem poles. There are several you can see downtown, including at the entrance to Creek Street, the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center and the Totem Heritage Center. To see and learn even more, take an excursion offered by your ship to either Totem Bight National Historical Park or Saxman Totem Park.
This is the best Alaska cruise port for shopping, with delightful Creek Street and the streets surrounding it offering up more local art and gifts than many other ports . Make sure to visit Crazy Wolf Studio, which is Alaska Native owned and features Native art from across the northwest coast. In addition, I highly recommend the Captains Lady, with lots of locally made items as well as Ray Trolls studio.
What Is The Dirtiest Cruise Ship
Top 6 Dirtiest Cruise Ships-CDC Publishes Its List Oceania Insignia. Oceania Cruises Insignia is one of the ships that received a failing score, 80 out of 100, due to issues with maintaining proper pH and halogen levels in its drinking water. Silver Wind. Silver Spirit. Safari Endeavor. Norwegian Breakaway. Le Boreal.
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Forward Vs Aft Stateroom
There are a large number of long-time cruisers who love the aft cruise ship staterooms. Why? Because the aft cruise ship cabins have the largest balconies, some that wrap around the side of the ship. There is something to be said for the calming feeling of watching the wake from the back of a cruise ship. However, if youre sensitive to motion or vibrations, consider choosing something mid-ship instead. It should also be noted that sometimes, passengers can sometimes smell exhaust from the ships funnels on their aft balconies.
While this is not true of all cruise ships, some ships have a sloping aft. As a result, people on the higher decks can see down into the lower deck balconies. If privacy is of concern to you, you might want to reconsider an aft stateroom.
A forward cabin for an Alaska cruise gives the first views of where you are sailing. This is especially nice when leaving or arriving at a port. While both the forward and aft cabins can feel a higher degree of motion in rough seas, the forward provides a little less movement.
How Far In Advance Should You Book An Alaskan Cruise
For Alaska cruises, we strongly recommend booking at least six to 12 months out, as the cruise season runs only from May to September, says DeLaCruz. And staterooms with balconies are highly desirable for Alaska cruising, so its important to book early to be assured a balcony cabin in your preferred location.
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Big Ship Or Small Ship
One of the first things youll need to decide when looking at itineraries and best Alaska cruise ports is whether you are going to travel on a big ship or a small ship. This question is worth considering because they are very different experiences. Your budget is an important first consideration as small ship cruises are generally about triple the cost of big ship cruising. This varies based on the length of the trip and the choices you make as well as the specific cruise company you plan to travel with.
Port Vs Starboard: Whats The Difference
As youre facing forward on a ship, toward the bow, the port side of the ship will be on your left and starboard will be on your right.
The term starboard comes from the Old English steorbord, meaning the side on which the ship is steered. Before ships had central rudders, a steering oar was mounted on the right side of the stern because most people are right-handed.
With the steering oar on the right side of the ship, it made more sense to tie up at the port on the left side. So the left side of the ship became known as the port side.
But with todays modern ships, why do we still use these old terms? Why cant we just use left and right to refer to the sides of a ship?
When we think of left and right, its usually from our own perspective. If you turn around 180°, suddenly what was on your right is now on your left!
When navigating a ship, its important that all of the crew are on the same page with which side of the ship is which. Port and starboard never change, regardless of which direction youre facing.
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How To Pick The Best Alaska Cruise For You
Youll see from our chart below that dozens of ships are sailing Alaska in 2020. And this just includes the mass-market and luxury ships. There are even more if you count all of the small ship and expedition vessels. Thats a lot of information to parse as you determine which ship is right for you, so consider a cruise line that caters to your specific needs or interests. Consult this list, and then check the chart to find a vessel that might fit your own preferences, from ships with the fewest passengers to those with the least expensive cruise fares to the ones offering exactly the itinerary you want.
Why Do Ships Use Port And Starboard And Not Left Or Right
As port and starboard never change, they are unambiguous references that are independent of a mariners orientation, and, as a result, mariners use these nautical terms instead of left and right to avoid confusion.
Have you ever wondered why sailors use the terms port and starboard, instead of left and right side on ships?
In the past, ships used to have rudders on their centre line and they were controlled using a steering oar. As it is the case today, back then as well the majority of the people were right handed.
Thus, as most of the sailors were right handed, the steering oar used to control the ship was located over or through the right side of the stern.
For this reason, most of the seafarers were calling the right side as the steering side, which later was known as starboard.
The word starboard is the combination of two old words: stéor and bord .
The left side is called port because ships with steerboards or star boards would dock at ports on the opposite side of the steerboard or star.
As the right side was the steerboard side or star board side, the left side was the port side. This was decide so that the dock would not interfere with operating the steerboard or star.
Another reason why the left side is port is because it sounds different from starboard. Originally, sailors were calling the left side larboard, which was easily confused with starboard,
This is why ships are using the terms port and starboard,
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Which Side Of The Ship Is Best For Cruises To Alaska
When sailing round trip to Alaska from Seattle or Vancouver, youll see different parts of the coast at different times, so either starboard or port side is just fine. When scenic cruising in Glacier Bay, Endicott Arm or Dawes Glacier, the Captain will turn the ship around slowly, so you wont miss a thing.
However, if youre going on a Northbound or Southbound Alaska cruise, youll be on one side of the cruise ship the whole time. On Northbound Alaska cruises, many people prefer the Starboard side of the ship, where youll see the rugged coastline.
For Southbound cruises, you may want to have a Port side cabin. The view on the opposite side is the Gulf of Alaska, also peaceful and beautiful.
Something to note is that on Northbound sailings, youll get sunrises and morning sun on the starboard side and sunsets on the port side. On Southbound sailings youll get sunrises and morning sun on the port side and sunsets on the port side. While neither is better, this information may help you to decide what you prefer.
Is Portside Better Than Starboard
Which side of a cruise ship is better? Theres nothing inherently better about either the port side or the starboard side of a cruise ship. But if youre sailing in a balcony or veranda stateroom, you might want to choose to stay on a specific side of the ship based on the direction of your itinerary.
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Interior Cabins For An Alaska Cruise
If youre cruising to Alaska on a strict budget or like complete darkness to sleep, the interior cabins are best. I was on a tight budget on my first cruise to Alaska. While I could afford the balcony stateroom, I chose to take an inside instead. I used the money I saved to splurge on an expensive dog sledding tour on Herbert Glacier. Looking back, was it the right decision? Absolutely, because the dog sledding excursion was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will cherish forever.
If youre traveling alone and on a tight budget, deciding on a cruise line for Alaska is a tough decision. I suggest you look for cruise ships with single cabins. Choosing a single cabin prevents you from paying the pesky single supplement price. Although, inside cabins are popular with solo cruisers due to the single supplement being lower priced than a costlier outside or balcony stateroom.
The Alaska season is short May to September and during the summer solstice, the sun sets very late and rises ridiculously early. In fact, some areas experience 20 plus hours of daylight. If youre sensitive to sunlight, a balcony or outside stateroom might not be suitable.
Should I Book A Port Or Starboard Cabin
21 Oct 2015
Theres was once a rumour that derived from the 1930s that sailing between the UK and India, certain passengers would request port out, starboard home, or POSH a way to protect themselves from the high heats of the sun and take advantage of the cool breezes. This has, of course, been debunked numerous times over the years , yet this mantra has stuck around. So which is best? Port or starboard cabin? Well, it all depends on the itinerary.
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Is The Water Rough On An Alaskan Cruise
Rough Waters: The majority of sailing on an Alaska cruise is done in the protected waters of the Inside Passage, but ships sailing to Seward, Whittier or Anchorage must cross the Gulf of Alaska, which is much rougher. Cruise staffers say the gulf gets especially bad after Labor Day, in the shoulder season.
Sitka Best Alaska Cruise Port To Explore On Your Own
If you like to explore on your own, Sitka is the port for you! Sitka has far fewer ships than many other ports so its fun for an independent minded traveler to explore. Most likely your ship will dock a few miles outside of town, but theres a free shuttle downtown that goes every 15 minutes while a ship is important and its easy to zip around. You can also link up with Sitkas bus system to get to trailheads and other areas.
Sitkas beautiful setting on Baranof Island combined with an intriguing history of Tlingit history and modern culture with Russian and American rule make it an interesting place to visit.
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Whats The Difference Between Port And Starboard
Simply put, port is the left side of the ship and starboard is the right side of the ship.
This lingo emerged around the 16th century, as colonization of the New World boomed. Port and starboard were adapted from Old English, specifically in the maritime trading industry.
While terms like left and right can change based on your own personal perspective, port side and starboard side remain constant, even if your perceived orientation changes. This minimizes confusion for anyone navigating any kind of vessel, including a cruise ship.
Read: Forward vs. Aft of a Ship
Haines Best Weather And Kayaking
Haines doesnt have a lot of cruise ships that call in its port, but it does have some. You can also visit Haines by taking a shore excursion when your ship calls in nearby Skagway. However you get there, Haines is worth a visit for plenty of reasons.
In addition to the scenery that every Alaska town has on offer, Haines is positioned to have the best weather in Southeast Alaska, making it ideal for outdoor activities like kayaking! When I say best weather I mean less rain than most other ports but it doesnt have the wind that Skagway has. In any part of Southeast Alaska you need to be ready for rain, any day, all year, but Haines gives you a better chance of a dry day than most.
Kayaking is unique in Haines because you can take a tour for sea kayaking or you can kayak in Chilkoot Lake, giving options for every preference and every skill level in a kayak. This is a wonderful place to try kayaking for the first time!
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Which Side Of An Alaskan Cruise Ship Is Best
- Post author:Drew S.
An Alaskan cruise trip is a fun-filled adventure full of spectacular views. Being able to capture all the fascinating scenes on camera is worth your time and money. The question many want to know before booking an Alaskan cruise is which side of it is best?
Which side of an Alaskan cruise ship is best? Contrary to some beliefs that one side is better than the other, both sides are actually best for an Alaskan cruise ship. The reason is that Alaskan cruise ships move in slow circles in scenic points to provide a good view of both sides from the comfort of your balcony.
Additionally, there is a forward-viewing deck thats open to the public. Anyone interested in seeing the view from both sides of the ship, together with the forward views, can take advantage of the view deck.
Most people may prefer the viewing deck rather than watching from their balconies, as they can witness the whole scene without interruption. Also, in the forward viewing deck, you can move from one place to another to focus on one scene that you want to immortalize. You can explore and shoot all angles of a scenic landscape from any vantage point of the viewing deck.
One of the frequently asked questions about Alaskan cruises is whether its worth it to book a stateroom with a balcony or a veranda. Read on to learn more about which side of an Alaskan Cruise Ship is best and which cabins are the best.
Can You Feel The Ship Move On A Cruise
You may feel the ship move when on a cruise. Most passengers describe the feeling as a vibration instead of defined movements. The degree of movement felt does increase if the cruise ship is traveling through bad weather and you may be able to feel when the cruise ship is docking or pulling away from the port.
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Which Is Better A Southbound Cruise Or A Northbound Cruise
A northbound is far better in May, if you are going to Denali Park, and better after the first few days of Sept, since the Inside passage weather and daylight drop off significantly compared to interior Alaska. My preferences are southbound, due to my intense interest in sailing Vancouver Island in day light.
What Can You Do On A Cruise To Alaska
You are sailing to Alaska and you have a balcony. What more could you want?? You are correct, SB port is preferred. Betters views as you pull into cities. While viewing glaciers, they do 360s so everyone can enjoy. Have fun! When you sail along the Inside Passage, there is land all around you, and it is relatively close.
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What Sights Should I Hold Out For
Most of the top scenic attractions on cruises are capacity limited. Glacier Bay National Park, the banner destination for scenic glacier cruising, cannot accommodate all the large cruise ships each season. So, if Glacier Bay is a must, be sure to select a cruise that features it.
That said, the limited number of Glacier Bay entrance passes means that cruise lines have started calling at Hubbard Glacier and Tracy Arm for scenic cruising, and port calls at gems like Sitka are growing in popularity after years of downturn.
Denali National Park is a major draw for many visitors, but its also worth exploring alternative options such as the Kenai Peninsula, Copper River Center or Katmai National Park .