When you think of cruise destinations, a vision of sandy beaches with swaying palms out in the shimmering Caribbean or Mediterranean sea may come to mind. However, Alaska is one of the world's most popular cruise destinations. Alaska has spectacular scenery as seen from out at sea. Many larger cruise ships have cabins with their own private verandas. Visitors can enjoy magnificent mountain views, fascinating wildlife like whales and sea lions and picturesque bays.
Voyages to Alaska offer a variety of options. You won't have to "rough it" while on these Alaskan adventures. Mid-sized and larger ships often feature amenities such as observation decks and heated pools.These cruises are just as luxurious as a tropical ones. Some lines offer tours on the land around the ports-of-call. Although they may take longer, these tours are well worth the time. Liners typically run from May through November. Demand is higher during the summer so it is advisable to book early. Here are five popular operators that currently have offerings in Alaska.
Princess Cruises runs seven ships with four itinerary options during the season.The Island Princess, Coral Princess, and Crown Princess operate seven-day vacations through the beautiful Gulf of Alaska between Vancouver and Whittier. The Pacific Princess sails for seven days round trip from Vancouver to the Inside Passage. The Star Princess departs from San Francisco on an 11-day journey. The Grand Princess and the Golden Princess set sail for seven days of the Inside Passage from Seattle. Princess lines also offer land and sea combination tours.
- Regent Seven Seas
Regent Seven Seas Navigator currently offers all-inclusive cruises to Alaska. The seven day tours primarily run between Vancouver and Seward. The Navigator is a luxury ship with a popular itinerary and excursions.
- Royal Caribbean
Royal Caribbean has two ships that offer excursions to Alaska. Departures are from Vancouver, Seattle, and Seward. Rhapsody of the Seas runs on a seven-night round trip Passage Voyage and then returns to Seattle. Radiance of the Seas takes guests on an itinerary with seven nights between Vancouver and Seward. Royal Caribbean offers cruise tour options that work well with the Radiance of the Sea's itinerary.
Norwegian Lines sends three ships to Alaska. The Norwegian Pearl operates seven-day Glacier Bay round trip options that depart from Seattle. The Norwegian Jewel sets sail round-trip from Seattle for seven-day Sawyer Glacier tours. The Norwegian Sun sails on seven-day cruises from Vancouver to Whittier near Anchorage. Itineraries for both include sailing through the Inside Passage, stops at all the best ports-of-call, and scenic views around Hubbard and Sawyer Glaciers as well as through Glacier Bay. Norwegian also has great land ecursions.
Although Disney caters mostly to families, adults enjoy the activities and shore excursions offered by Disney cruises. Disney currently sails seven-day packages with round trip voyages from Vancouver beginning in May and ending in September.