An Alaska cruise is the only way to genuinely explore one of the world’s last great wilderness. Every cruise line offers a different experience but all assure an up-close view of America’s last frontier.
Towering glaciers, immense forests, and rugged mountains dot the majestic landscape of the Inside Passage. Meanwhile, the towns (such as Skagway) are the ideal calling point for a raft of exciting excursions.
The most suitable time to cruise in Alaska is from May to September. During these months, you may be fortunate enough to spot migrating whales and other marine life like dolphins and seals. Onshore, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for bears, caribou, eagles, and more as Alaska’s verdant environment is home to an astonishingly rich array of wildlife.
Most Alaska cruises navigate from Vancouver and Trailfinders can efficiently arrange a tailored Western Canada itinerary. You may wish to add on a fly-drive itinerary, a guided coach tour, or the famous Rocky Mountaineer train.
If you would fancy sailing to Alaska from Seattle, why not add on a city break or a fly-drive holiday of the stunning Pacific Northwest region? Expert cruise consultants can contribute their advice and tailor your Alaska cruise holiday to your specific requirements.
Alaska Holiday Cruise Tour
Alaska cruise and land packages often include an Alaska cruise holiday with a multi-night land tour into the heart of Alaska’s expansive interior, including Denali National Park.
You can encounter the absolute spectacle of America’s Last Great Frontier with an Alaska Cruise tour. Land tours are available before or after your Alaska cruise with journeys by deluxe motorcoach or train and cozy stays at the finest Alaska hotels and wilderness lodges.
To completely experience Alaska, explore its interior where communities remain personally connected to the land and where wild animals wander.
With a Celebrity Alaska Cruisetour, you’ll relish the best of Alaska. This is possible by consolidating a seven-night sailing along its southeastern coastline with a small-group tour into its sumptuous inland destinations. You can also stay in the daintiest available lodges and board on remote roads and railways in deluxe transportation.
All aspects of your journey have been meticulously curated for you to discover the Last Frontier – on your own terms.
Take a tour to Denali National Park on the posh McKinley Explorer, taking in the views through your glass-domed railcar.
Sojourn in Holland America’s elite McKinley Chalet Resort, with new Denali Square. Venture back to the jaunty days of the Klondike Gold Rush and into some of Earth’s most pristinely stunning wilderness on the ultimate Great Land holiday.
Land and Sea Journeys cover up to three days in Denali National Park, with a complete tour. Traverse this region’s wild terrain with Holland America.
Sail the ocean on the youngest and most modern fleet in Alaska. Take a tour into the wilderness on a dog sled ride in Juneau, see Misty Fjords aboard a jet-powered catamaran in Ketchikan, or catch it all in via the rails on the Skagway White Pass Scenic Railway.
Exclusive to Norwegian, all Cruisetours are managed by local Alaskan guides who carry along with their traditions and real-life experiences. Acquire a unique viewpoint of The Last Frontier through a one-of-a-kind Alaskan vacation.
All Princess Alaska cruise tours incorporate the state’s top two attractions: Pristine Glacier Bay National Park and scenic Denali National Park.
On land, you’ll stay at private Princess Wilderness Lodges near fabulous national parks. Most itineraries incorporate exclusive Princess Alaska rail service, providing you another way to view the wonders of the Great Land! No other cruise line allows direct-to-the-wilderness Alaska rail service.
Step right off your Princess ship onto a languishing rail car that will take you straight to your Princess Wilderness Lodge.
Big, bold, and utterly breathtaking. No adventure stays with you, mind and soul, like a voyage through Alaska. So why travel the distance and leave without witnessing the best of it?
From the coastline to the core of the frontier, a Royal Caribbean Alaska Cruisetour land and sea package presents all the must-see sights by ship, train, and multi-night land tour.
Small Ship Holiday Cruises in Alaska
If you’ve sailed by big ship cruise lines in the past, it’s time to skip everything you thought you understood about cruising. And if you’ve dodged cruising because you thought it would be like wandering in a floating mall, it’s time to think again. Small ships and adventure cruises are certainly something else altogether.
The Small Ship Advantage
A cruise on a small ship is not loaded with fancy distractions, sleek resorts, and packaged tours. Rather, small ships are excellent for a closer exploration of off-the-beaten-track waterways, narrow channels, and small ports that passengers on large ships will never witness.
When Lindblad Expeditions’ guests tour a small port in Alaska’s Inside Passage, they don’t surprise the local communities. Their largest ship carries just 62 guests.
Small ship guests would rather wait for whales in Frederick Sound than waste the afternoon in a casino. They stay outside on the deck as the Captain places its nose under a waterfall, rather than watch a video. On a small ship, the center is very frequently outside on what Nature has presented for entertainment, rather than on amusements fitted to occupy your attention on board.
Your time is used wisely, too. Rather than creating a beeline from port to port, small ship Captains have the versatility – and the capability – to linger when whales are placing on a show, a glacier is calving spectacularly, or to endeavor out sea otters when a nearby fisherman radios the word.
On a small ship cruise, you are not just a guest. You are a partaker. Whether kayaking next to a glacier, exploring in a rainforest in Alaska, or enjoying a magnificent spring garden in British Columbia, a small-ship cruise is an engaging adventure for all the senses.
Alaska Cruises Small Ships Versus Big Ships
Some people automatically assume that bigger is better. But it’s the case with small cruise lines.
They understand that closeness is better than far away, that individuality is better than mass-produced, and that a few like-minded companions are surely better than thousands of strangers.
No waiting in line. No striving to find a window seat. No crowds.
That’s why all of their vessels only carry around 100 guests, and why almost all of their cabins face outside with big windows or portholes. That’s why they serve delightful informal meals in cozy dining rooms where you can sit wherever and with whomever you like.
From its beginnings in 1996, UnCruise has endeavored to give enriching, adventurous travel activities. These provide guests a familiarity and gratitude for new cultures and the natural world.
The line started as American Safari Cruises and founded yacht cruising in Alaska. They’ve since turned their name to UnCruise, and as the name implies, grant unique cruises, unlike most others on the market.
Small, rugged, and environmentally mindful, UnCruise is for adventurers and thrill-seekers with an esteem for the finer things in life.
UnCruise’s small, modern yachts and excursion vessels are far more special than the mega-ships you may usually connect with cruising. On UnCruise, you’ll experience a vacation in which you get to appreciate most of your fellow travelers, whether you’re on a 22-person boutique yacht or the biggest ship, the S.S. Legacy, with 84 total passengers, as well as your crew and expedition guides.
Some of UnCruise’s vessels navigate to Alaska, such as the Legacy, Safari Endeavour and Explorer, and Wilderness Discoverer and Explorer. On these ships, you’ll discover various public decks, a large dining room, lounge, fitness area, salon, library, and view deck. The comfortable, warm ships are unwinding and spacious sanctuaries after long days of adventure.
Guests with limited mobility may be fit to sail with UnCruise, though the vessels do not meet all suitable ADA Accessibility Guidelines for buildings and facilities. Passengers with some mobility who take their collapsible wheelchair with them can typically be accommodated, though it is strongly reinforced that they travel with someone who can aid them throughout the cruise. The S.S. Legacy, which cruises to Alaska, has one elevator that unites the three public decks.
If you’re trying to get off the overwhelmed path and explore Alaska’s wilderness, Lindblad Expeditions should be at the peak of your list.
In the line’s 30-plus years cruising to Alaska, Lindblad has reached a point to seek out the most adventurous pursuits for nature-lovers to experience and has stocked its fleet with instruments made for exploration, like a hydrophone to listen to whales and an underwater HD video camera. Lindblad possesses some permits that enable guests to visit isolated parts of Tongass National Forest and Glacier Bay National Park, all while stopping close by the line’s beautiful and comfortable expedition ships.
Most of the destinations on an Alaska cruise with Lindblad are sites you may have never heard of, and with just 62 guests on each ship, you’re sure to be amongst like-minded, fearless travelers like yourself.
The excellence of Lindblad’s expedition ships is that they can efficiently reach places that large ships simply cannot. In Alaska, this indicates heading to fast-moving channels where you’re more likely to witness whales, moving through a series of locks in the Pacific Northwest and into shallow bays perfect for kayaking, or getting up close and personal with remarkable waterfalls.
The National Geographic Sea Bird and Sea Lion, both of which navigate to Alaska, carry 62 guests in 31 outward-facing cabins each. The ships are air-conditioned and heated throughout, and have lots of indoor and outdoor public areas to spend time in.
The National Geographic Sea Bird and National Geographic Sea Lion are not wheelchair-friendly and are not equipped with elevators on board. In addition, some docks require walking through shallow water that may be hard for those with mobility issues. Check with your Cruise Specialist before booking if you have any inquiries regarding accessibility needs.
Cruising America’s waterways since 1991, American Cruise Lines gives different, small ship cruises to Alaska, the Mississippi, and the East Coast equipped for interested yet laid-back travelers.
There are no meticulous dress codes or itineraries onboard an American Cruise Lines. Just relaxed, spacious ships cruising to some of the country’s most fascinating towns and cities.
The line’s all-American crew is courteous and kind and welcomes traveler’s onboard with open arms. Each guest can anticipate personalized attention and hospitality. With a focus on history, culture, and the vast outdoors, an American Cruise Line cruise to Alaska is both winning and revitalizing.
American has a fleet of eight ships, all manufactured in the United States. The fleet is one of the brand-new in the industry, with an average ship age of four years. These small, modern vessels can only carry 100 to 185 passengers and are created to feel both comfortably spacious and intimate.
The American Spirit cruises to Alaska and was designed to steer the state’s inland waterways. The Spirit carries 100 guests and highlights oversized staterooms, hotel-sized bathrooms, ship-wide wireless internet access, four decks, and a wide, glass-enclosed fine dining room. The top deck boasts sunshade areas, a putting green, and an exercise machine. There are diverse lounges throughout the second and third decks where guests can unwind, take in the landscape, and mingle with friends new and old.
On the Spirit, guests can decide to stay in one of six classes of suites, ranging from “A” to “Owner’s Suite.” All rooms are between 248 and 350 square feet, and always highlight an outside view, if not a full private balcony.
American Cruise Lines greets guests with disabilities on board and endeavors to make travel as comfortable as possible for all guests. All ships are outfitted with handicap-accessible rooms, and most of the lounges, sun decks, and dining rooms onboard are wheelchair-friendly.
Each ship offers elevator service to all decks. If you have any inquiries regarding accessibility, feel free to reach your Cruise Specialist.
Luxury Alaska Holiday Cruise
Each cruise line offers a sweeping experience to its passengers, but a genuine luxury cruise adventure is head and shoulders above the rest of the cruise enterprise. These cruises intrigue the traveler who requires the most exquisite quality available and luxury cruise ships offer services and amenities that challenge the best resorts worldwide.
Luxury cruises are distinguished by an elegant onboard atmosphere, an extensive variety of exotic destinations, spacious accommodations, and an immense level of personalized service. In other words, the best of everything. Luxury vessels have luxuriant public areas and offer wonderful art collections, gourmet cuisine, fine wine, fresh flowers, and attention to detail.
Although the style varies from traditional ships to yachts to sailing vessels, the common denominator is quality.
Crystal Cruises is distinguished for its excellent service, over-the-top performances, thoughtful itineraries, and world-class dining.
Cruising to Alaska on a Crystal Cruise connects all of these amenities with the journey of a lifetime, viewing animals and environmental wonders up close in all their natural beauty. Whether you’re going on a family holiday, celebrating an anniversary, or just want to cruise solo, Alaska is an impressive and remarkable place to visit.
The Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony cruise to Alaska regularly, and also happen to position as the top two best ships in the world according to Conde Nast Traveler readers. The two ships only carry 1,070 and 922 guests, respectively, and flaunt some of the highest space-to-guest ratios at sea. Plus, with hundreds of exquisite staterooms, that space is furnished with lots of activities to keep you entertained while at sea.
The ships are outfitted with a driving range and putting green, pools and Jacuzzis, a movie theater, a full-size paddle tennis court, a Resorts World at Sea casino, and a 360-degree Promenade Deck, ideal for unwinding with a book or taking a walk by the sea.
Crystal Cruises aims to give an enjoyable, relaxing cruising experience to all passengers. As such, several Crystal Cruises ships, as well as the Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, were built to be accessible for guests with physical challenges.
These boat ramps give way to most decks and public spaces, as well as wheelchair-friendly elevators. Regular wheelchairs, electric wheelchairs, and electric scooters are also permitted inside the vessels as long as they do not exceed 22-inches in width. Some staterooms with extra-wide doors are available, including wheelchair-accessible bathrooms and cabinets with low-hanging rods.
Some ships also provide services particularly geared toward those with hearing impairments, including closed-captioning programming and infrared hearing systems. Chat with a Cruise Specialist before booking provides all of the special needs you may have.
With a focus on culinary perfection, interesting destinations, and intimate yet comfortable ships, Oceania Cruises is a fine line for any guest looking for a travel experience that hits a balance between casual and elegant.
The midsize premium line was established in 2002 and cruises to ports in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas, and the South Pacific. Oceania cruises to Alaska with less than 700 guests, taking discerning tourists to Sitka, Skagway, Juneau, and the Icy Point Strait, as well as ports in Canada.
Space, style, and tranquility are the star of the game aboard an Oceania Cruise to Alaska. Both suites and staterooms accommodate a queen-size Prestige Tranquility Bed, also topped with a two-inch pillow-top cushion, covered with 1,000-thread-count linens, a plush down comforter, and hand-quilted throws. Every room also has a refrigerated mini-bar stocked with free and unlimited sodas and bottled water, supplied daily; Bulgari amenities, a full-sized bathtub. a flat-screen TV and DVD player, and Wireless Internet access.
Twice daily-maid service implies you’ll always feel spoiled and tidy, and signature Belgian chocolates presented with nightly turndown service serves as just another note of Oceania’s attention to detail. There are lots of suites and staterooms to choose from, including more economical alternatives like an Inside Stateroom or Ocean View Stateroom, all the way up to the extravagant Vista Suite or Owner’s Suite.
For passengers staying in a suite, amenities and services cover 24-hour butler service, course-by-course in-suite dining, priority shore excursion and restaurant reservations, free garment pressing and shoe service, and more.
Oceania strives to make the cruising experience relaxed and enjoyable for all its customers. As such, Oceania has made sure to produce ships that are available throughout, with highlights like corridors that provide for 180-degree wheelchair turns. The Regatta has many accessible staterooms and suites, which highlight wider doors at the entryway and bathrooms that support wheelchairs and have roll-in showers, grab bars, and an alert button.
Room kits emphasizing visual and tactile alert systems are available for passengers who are deaf or hard of hearing, and televisions render closed captioning on most channels. Though the entrances on decks are wooden, not automatic, the more than 400 staff members on board are always nearby to help with opening doors. These staff members can also help in carrying trays on buffet lines, getting drinks, and providing special needs as they arise.
Let your Cruise Specialist know of any particular needs at the time of booking and they will be glad to arrange the necessary preparations.
Regent Seven Seas brings travelers on journeys around the world, hitting more than 300 ports on six continents.
The luxury line, once known as Radisson Seven Seas, has been bestowed “Best Luxury Line,” “Best for Suites, Classic Luxury,” and “Cruise Line with the Highest Client Satisfaction” in later years by the U.S. News & World Report, travAlliancemedia and TravelAge West. This is thanks to its all-inclusive characteristics, luxe amenities, delightful onboard dining, and interesting destinations around the globe.
Regent’s small, intimate ships are ideal for couples, retirees, and social groups alike, as well as families who are trying to travel together in a refined setting.
Regent Seven Seas has a line of four ships, all labeled as small-ship luxury vessels. Both the Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Navigator cruise to Alaska, taking between 490 and 700 guests in a special, stylish setting.
Onboard these ships, guests can experience fine dining, lavish suites with panoramic ocean views, luxurious lounges, state-of-the-art fitness equipment, and top-notch spa services. The Navigator features 245 suites, all facing the ocean and some with private balconies. They also boast a guest-to-staff ratio of 1 to 1.42.
The Mariner is considered as the world’s first all-suite, all-balcony luxury liner, with 350 suites and more than 400 professional, courteous crew. Whether you are savoring a champagne toast in the main dining room or locating a wild moose from the Observation Lounge, you’ll be in the lap of indulgence aboard a Regent Cruise to Alaska.
All of Regent’s ships hold between four and six wheelchair-friendly staterooms. These rooms are furnished with roll-in showers, grab bars, a lowered washbasin, a fold-down shower stool, a handheld showerhead, and ramped doors. Public areas are wheelchair-accessible as well, with sufficient room to provide for 180-degree turns, automatic doors, entrances with gradual includes, convenient gaming tables and show seating and accessible seats in the main dining hall.
Guests with hearing impairments can ask for a portable room kit that informs guests of door knocking, phone ringing, and smoke. Rooms are outfitted with closed-captioned TV and TTY textphones. Passengers with vision impairments can ask for menus and itineraries in Braille; elevators and room numbers are written in Braille, too.
Inform your Cruise Specialist at least 90 days before cruising if you have any accessibility needs, and as far in advance as possible if you’d prefer to book a wheelchair-accessible room since space is limited.
Since its early days in the 1990s, Silversea has established itself to be among the cream of the crop in extravagance cruising. Starting with a flute of champagne upon boarding and lasting until you’ve returned home, Silversea prides itself on outstanding service, and overall high-quality product, and a wide-reaching list of destinations.
Cruise to Alaska with Silversea and tour cities like Juneau, Skagway, and Sitka, while viewing stunning sights like the Hubbard Glaciers and the Chugach Mountains.
Among Silversea’s fleet of special, boutique ships, both the Silver Explorer and Silver Shadow cruise to Alaska. The vessels were all refurbished in 2017, and take between 130 and 382 passengers, with a crew almost equal to the corresponding number of guests.
Onboard, guests can spend time in the Internet cafe, panorama lounge, card room, spa and salon, library, casino, pool deck, or entertainment lounge. There are lots of activities prepared to keep you busy, as well as calm areas to just lay back and relax. Silversea possesses one of the highest space-per-guest ratios among luxury lines, so whether you’re inside your suite or out on the deck, you can experience the luxuries of sea life sans crowds.
Silversea greatly encourages guests that are using wheelchairs to travel with someone who can assist them both onshore and onboard, and expects them to bring their collapsible wheelchair. Not all shore excursions are fit for guests with impaired mobility. Guests who need oxygen while onboard can be granted an oxygen concentrator if they alert Silversea before the voyage.
When Seabourn was established in 1986, the owners attempted to reinvent luxury cruising and provide guests a casual yet polished elegance once only available to owners of the world’s top yachts.
They’ve superseded in their vision, building a fleet of ships with all-suite, ocean-view conveniences. It’s an almost all-inclusive cruise fare full of world-class dining and premium complimentary drinks with an onboard staff approximately equal to the number of guests on every ship.
Sailing with Seabourn is an extravagant travel experience unlike any other. Cruise to Alaska aboard the Seabourn Sojourn, the second in the line’s new range of ships.
She debuted in 2010 in London and took just 450 passengers. The Sojourn possesses a high space-to-guest ratio, with lots of public areas to mingle and unwind, from the living-room-style Seabourn Square to the various open terraces on the ship’s seven decks.
Like all Seabourn’s vessels, the Sojourn has all-suite accommodations and has the biggest ultra-luxury ship spa at sea. On the Sojourn, you can spend your time playing mini-golf, dine in a sophisticated dining room or casual patio grill, relax in the spa, and enjoy a show in the Grand Salon, all in the highest peak of comfort and style.
As the Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality “Access to Freedom” declared Seabourn as the winner, it also has produced great efforts to improve travel opportunities for people with disabilities.
Seabourn is delighted to welcome guests with disabilities to every extent feasible. The line’s vessels have all been devised to include accessible suites, which have wider entry doors to provide wheelchair and scooter access, roll-in showers with grab bars, shower seats, and hand-held shower nozzles, and lowered cabinet and towel bars.
For ports that require passengers to be taken ashore on tenders, such as Juneau and Ketchikan, disembarkation may be challenging. Scooters and wheelchairs that are measuring more than 100 pounds (without the battery) are not permitted to be transferred from the ship to tender and/or from tender to shore.
Service animals are allowed on board, though they must be up to date with vaccinations. For hearing impaired guests, supported listening suite kits can be accommodated. If you need any special services while on board, let your Cruise Specialist know before booking.
Because of Alaska’s size which is as wide as the lower 48 states and bigger than Texas, California, and Montana combined, a cruise is by far the most reliable way to observe the most of this incomparable destination.
Whether you navigate northbound, southbound, or roundtrip, your cruise will visit bizarre ports and sights such as Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Glacier Bay National Park, Hubbard Glacier, College Fjord, and more. To experience even more of Alaska’s grand natural beauty and culture, a cruise tour will take you inward for excellent mountain views of Mount Denali, gold panning in Fairbanks, salmon fishing around Anchorage, and so much more!