Over 1.3 million people will sail to Alaska in 2019. If you are thinking about visiting the state by boat, here are a few of the best Alaska cruise deals for any traveler, from Holland America to Princess Cruises to Celebrity Cruises.
With its breathtaking scenery, abundant wildlife and fascinating history, Alaska is one the most popular tourist destination in the U.S. Since much of the state is inaccessible by car, cruising is one of the best ways to explore it. With so many new ships and options available, here are a few of the best 7-day Alaska Cruises deals, no matter what type of experience you are looking for.
Good Overall Value & First Time Cruiser – Princess Cruise Line – Ruby Princess
If you are new to cruising or looking for a good value, consider the Ruby Princess. Princess offers a 7-night Inside Passage Alaska cruise departing from Seattle and visiting the top ports of Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay National Park, Ketchikan and Victoria. As a mid-range ship that holds 3080 passengers, the Ruby Princess offers a variety of different dining options typically found on larger boats such as Chocolate Journey’s™ for those wanting to indulge their sweet tooth or the “Vines” wine bar. In addition to shipboard sightings of bald eagles, grizzly bears and whales; excursions include dog sledding with professional mushers, viewing the renowned Medenhall Glacier, visiting the historic Gold Rush town of Skagway and exploring an Alaskan Rainforest Sanctuary. Spend “at sea” days watching “Movies under the Stars” in a 300 square foot poolside movie theatre, getting your groove on at the “Love Boat Disco Party,” taking in a lecture by a shipboard naturalist or relaxing in “The Sanctuary” – an adult only deck featuring plush lounge furniture and open air massages in your own private cabana. Interior rooms start at $859 per person for 2020 but there are 2019 cabins still available for as little as $499 per person.
Quiet & Elegant at an Affordable Price – Celebrity Cruises – Celebrity Solstice™
Ranked among “the Top 20 Large Cruise Ships” in the Conde Nast Traveler reader’s poll, Celebrity’s Solstice™ offers 7 and 8-night Alaska cruises departing from Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. While the itineraries include the standard ports of Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, the Inside Passage and Victoria, there are also visits to Icy Strait Point, Endicott Arm and the Dawes Glacier. But it is the excursions where Celebrity shines. Solstice™ passengers can explore the wilderness of Chichagof Island in a Jeep or ATV, experience a wildlife safari and paddle with a beach bonfire, take a canoe and nature trail through a rain forest followed by a crab feast or ride a vintage train along the route that 1898 gold miners took. And, of course, there’s Victoria’s Butchart Gardens and tea at the Empress Hotel. Voted “Best Onboard Dining” seven consecutive years by TravelWest magazine, the Solstice™ offers the Grand Epernay with a two-story glass wine tower and chandeliers, intimate dining with creative cuisine at Blu Specialty Restaurant and the Sky Observation Lounge where you can sip on a drink and gaze at the stars. While the Solstice™ offers a variety of “suite classes” (which determines restaurant access), inside rooms are available for as little as $959 per person.
Excursion & Smaller Ship Lovers – Holland America Cruises – Nieuw Amsterdam
If you want a more intimate feel than the larger ships without sacrificing amenities and excursion variety, take a look at the 2100 passenger Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam. The Nieuw Amsterdam offers 7 and 14-day cruises, which can also be combined with land packages. While a bit more formal (no jeans or T-shirts after 6 in public areas) than other cruise lines – think chamber music performances rather than limbo contests on the Lido Deck – Holland America certainly isn’t stuffy when it comes to shipboard excursions. Passengers can explore Mendenhall Glacier in a water-jet powered catamaran or kayak, hike up Mt. Roberts to view bald eagles; bike, hike and sample local brews in Haines or zip line in Skagway. Fishing enthusiasts can enjoy a salmon fishing expedition complete with a campfire dinner of that day’s catch grilled by the camp cook. While onboard, Nieuw Amsterdam passengers can enjoy the B.B. King’s Blues Club, nature concerts and films or a digital photography workshop where you can learn to edit, display and share your vacation photos and videos. Inside rooms start at $799 per person from Vancouver with a few “deals” available for remaining 2019 departures.
Great Deals & Onboard Amenities – Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Jewel
If you are looking for the lively “big ship experience” with lots of onboard amenities, check out Norwegian Cruise Line’s Jewel and its sister ship, the Bliss. With an over 4000 passenger capacity, the Bliss is the biggest Alaska cruise ship but the smaller Jewell offers a similar experience with 16 dining options (including a Sushi café and Brazilian Steakhouse), 15 bars, an outdoor sport complex with basketball and volleyball courts, covered hot tubs, numerous yoga and Zumba classes, a spa and the list goes on. Passengers can enjoy Le Cirque Bijou or dance the night away at the Jewell’s “White Party.” And, if you decide to leave the ship to explore ports, you can spot whales or pan for gold and experience a real Alaska salmon bake in Juneau, view Davidson Glacier (America’s deepest fjord) from a 26-passenger boat or watch fisherman catch crab aboard the same ship used in “The Deadliest Catch.” But deals is where Norwegian Cruise Lines has the advantage – whether you are cruising solo, with a large group or for the second, third or fourth time, Norwegian has a discount for you. A few 2019 dates are left starting at $549 per person for an inside room.
This is just a sampling of the Alaska cruise ships and deals available. Pricing is subject to change. For more ship options or to book your trip, visit your travel site.