With a breathtaking coastline of towering mountains, Artic tundra, and diverse wildlife, the appeal an Alaska cruise is clear. The cruise season begins in early May and ends in September, and the ‘best time to go’ is debatable. High season is typically June to August, with these months offering warmer temperatures but wetter conditions. In contrast, early season is relatively quieter and cheaper, but holds a greater chance of shore excursion cancellations due to adverse weather conditions and choppy waters.
Depending on your preferred itinerary and your budget, different routes will be more suitable:
For a seven-day cruise through the Inside Passage departing from Seward to Vancouver on the Norwegian Sun, prices start from around $399 with Norwegian Cruise Liners. This cruise calls at Juneau, other prominent Alaskan cities, and Hubbard & Sawyer Glaciers. For ultimate sightseeing, you can upgrade to an ocean view or balcony cabin for between $499 and $999 respectively, and this cruise package is available throughout the season. Norwegian Cruise Liners also offer the trip reversed, meaning you will depart from Vancouver and terminate in Seward: prices are identical for this reversed cruise route. Or, if you’d prefer to head to Glacier Bay too, Holland America Line offer a similar trip at a price of around $499. You’ll travel on the Ms. Zaandam; this cruise is available throughout the season, and you can upgrade to a cabin with an ocean view for $879.
To see more on your voyage, Holland America Line offer a cruise package which takes you from Vancouver into the jaw-dropping Tracy Arm fjord, whilst also taking you through the Inside Passage, Glacier Bay, and three major Alaskan cities – and back. The cost for this seven-day cruise starts from $549 for an ocean view cabin aboard the Ms. Noordam. Alternatively, Princess Cruises offer a N./S. Bound package from Whittier to Vancouver via Yakutat Bay, Glacier Bay, Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan, departing in June from around $599. You’ll be onboard the Island Princess, and the price includes a cabin with an ocean view. Princess Cruises also offer a Vancouver to Whittier cruise for a similar price: ocean view cabins start from $549, and you can go from May to September on the Star Princess. Or Celebrity Cruises leave from Seward to Vancouver throughout the season, visiting Hubbard Glacier, the Icy Strait, and a collection of Alaskan cities from around $499 for an inside cabin (or $649 for an ocean view) on the Celebrity Millenium, from May to August.
To depart from San Francisco, Norwegian Cruise Line offers an eight-day voyage through the Inside Passage via Astoria, Sitka, the Icy Strait, Ketchikan and finally Vancouver for $599. This is early in the season, though, departing in May on the Norwegian Sun – but the price includes an ocean view cabin, meaning you can enjoy the sights tucked away from potentially choppy waves and stormy conditions.
If you’re looking for a more thorough Alaska cruise which allows you to explore for longer and travel even further, a cruise spanning over ten days or more is ideal. To leave from Vancouver, Norwegian Cruise Line offers a ten-day voyage on the Norwegian Pearl. This cruise terminates at Seattle, traversing the Inside Passage and calling at an array of popular locations (including British Columbia and Glacier Bay) for a price of $599 – or $699 for an ocean view cabin.
You can also cruise from Anchorage to Vancouver on the Ms. Zaandam with Holland America Line. This in-depth ten-day journey will take you through the Denali National Park, Glacier Bay, the Inside Passage, and cities such as Fairbanks and Juneau. Available from May through to September, prices start from $1153 for an inside cabin; you can get an ocean view cabin for around $1254. Alternatively, you can take the Ms. Noordam (Holland America Line) from Fairbanks to Vancouver on a similar cruise costing $1349 for an ocean view cabin – or $1199 for one without a view. Princess Cruises offer a cruise which also leaves from Fairbanks to Vancouver: this takes you on the Island Princess via the Denali Princess Lodge, Mount McKinley Princess Lodge, Whittier, Yakutat Bay, Glacier Bay, and an array of cities for as little as $1044 for an ocean view cabin.
A ten-day round trip from San Francisco, departing between May and Septemeber, will cost from $1144 with Princess Cruises. Boarding the Grand Princess, you’ll get to explore Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan and Victoria as you sail the Inside Passage. Upgrade to an ocean view cabin for $1244 if you want to make the most of the sights. Or if you want to push it to eleven days, they offer a cruise on the Star Princess from Anchorage to Vancouver via the likes of the Mount McKinley Princess Lodge, Denali National Park, Whitter, Hubbard Glacier, Glacier Bay and an assortment of Alaskan cities for as little as $1050. This cruise is also available for $1206 if you prefer an ocean view cabin, and it departs throughout the season.
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