Alaska has long been one of the most popular cruise destinations, and for good reasons. There are thousands of miles of stunning coastline, from acres of northern rainforest to massive calving glaciers, set against majestic mountain peaks. Alaska has a rich history and pockets of diverse cultural interest, including the native Tlingit traditions of Ketchikan and the Gold Rush stories of Skagway.
For example, Celebrity Cruises has announced that it will expand its Alaska cruise fleet in 2023, when the Millennium will join the Eclipse and Solstice in the Inside Passage, sometimes sailing as far north as Seward. Princess Cruises will have six ships in Alaska for 2023, including the new Discovery Princess, with a variety of cruise-only or cruise-plus-land-tour options.
Many Alaska cruises are seven or eight days, traveling north or south through the Inside Passage between Seattle or Vancouver and Hubbard Glacier. Some longer itineraries venture into the Gulf of Alaska to visit College Fjord, the Kenai Peninsula, and Anchorage.
Because so many cruise lines sail in Alaska, you can choose your experience; whether you’re looking for luxury, rugged adventure, or family-oriented activities, your professional travel advisor can help you find what you seek.
There is one unknown that may influence some future Alaskan itineraries: U.S. cabotage regulations, which require cruise ships that sail between U.S. ports to call on at least one foreign port, were waived for large cruise ships sailing Alaska during 2021. We don’t know yet if this waiver will continue; if it does, it may mean that more Alaska itineraries will skip Canadian ports like Vancouver and Victoria, giving you more time in Alaska itself.
Whatever cruise you choose, know that Alaskan weather is rarely predictable. Pack layers of clothing that you can adapt easily for warmer and cooler days. Rain is always possible, so a waterproof jacket and shoes are helpful.
The scenery and the wildlife – whales, seals, eagles, seabirds, moose, mountain goats, and bears – are the greatest attractions of an Alaskan cruise. To enjoy them fully reserve an outside cabin if your budget allows; when you wake each morning to another stunning vista, you’ll be glad you did.
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