The 49th state is becoming an increasingly popular choice for cruise enthusiasts from all over the world. Cruise season in Alaska, which typically runs from May to September each year, attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors and numbers are poised to grow as more tourists from Asia and especially China begin to explore destinations further and further away from home.
Alaska’s popularity as a cruise destination is due to several reasons; spectacular glaciers, majestic mountains and an unspoiled wilderness offer breathtaking views from the deck of your ship, you have the opportunity to sample some of the best salmon in the world, you can experience and be dazzled by the magnificent northern lights and have the chance to view and photograph Alaska’s famous animals such as moose, black or brown bears, beluga whales and walrus.
If you are thinking of taking a trip up to the frozen north, the following are a few cruises that will take you through the quintessential Alaskan experience while providing big bang for your bucks.
- Regent Seven Seas Navigator
The Seven Seas Navigator is a 490 passenger luxury cruise ship that cruises on the Inside Passage, Hubbard Glacier, Tracy Arm, Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and several other destinations. This ship, which was first launched in 1999, features all suite accommodation, on deck spa, in-house restaurants as well as casino, bars and several lounges where guests can mix and mingle.
Service is exemplary, with a 1to1 crew to passenger ratio. As one of the smaller cruises in Alaska, the Regent Seven Seas Navigator experience is ideal for people looking for a more intimate and relaxed option and has proved extremely popular with couples, young families and solo travelers.
- Island Princess
The Island Princess is a 1974 passenger, 900 crew, 16 deck mid-sized ship that offers a more affordable option for people wanting to explore Alaska by sea/ocean. The seven day tour features a leisurely cruise along Glacier Bay, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan.
There are plenty of onboard entertainment options such as cooking classes, outdoor movie theatre and poolside lounging, several interesting on shore excursions and varied dining experiences in the ships two banqueting halls and five casual eateries.
- Celebrity Solstice
The Celebrity Solstice was launched in 2008 and offers one of the more glamorous cruises in Alaska with features like a half acre on ship lawn club, hot glass show, spa treatments, fine dining in over 10 restaurants which include the Grand Epernay Dining room which has a two storey wine bar. The cruise destinations include: Ketchikan, Tracy Arm for Twin Sawyer Glaciers, Inside Passage, Skagway, Juneau and Victoria, British Columbia.
- Uncruise Adventures – Inner Reaches Western Cove
Uncruise adventures is another provider of smaller cruises for people who prefer quieter, more intimate tours without the distraction that comes from sharing a ship with thousands of people. The trip takes place along the icy waters of Tracy Arm, features whaling and wildlife watching on Fredrick Sound, includes visits to Kiksetti Totem Park and Chief Shakes Tribal House and ends with a disembark at Ketchikan.
- Norwegian Jewel
The Norwegian Jewel is a 2376 passenger ship that is one of the larger cruise vessels available on the Alaskan route. It is one of the more luxurious cruise ships, offering passengers access to myriad facilities such as 10 restaurants, 13 bars and nightclubs, a bakery, full service spa and casino. The Alaskan tour offers more than 120 excursions in 6 ports of call including Denali, Anchorage and Glacier Bay.
- Holland America Volendam
This medium size ship carrying 1805 passengers specializes in trips to Glacier National Park and includes cruises along the Inside Passage, Juneau, Skagway and ends at Ketchikan.
Whether you are looking for a small, medium or large luxurious cruise to Alaska, there is something available for your preferences and budget. With a little research you should be able to discover the best option for you and make your cruise in the land of Klondike one that you will enjoy and remember for years to come.