Are you aware of the multiple choices of cruising opportunities in Alaska? Here at Storyline Travel, we share our expertise to help you design the journey you want. We want to ensure that your next cruise to the magnificent Alaskan waters won’t just be another trip, but an unforgettable memory tailored specifically to your wishes!
The Alaska cruise options can be summarized into 3 categories:
Option 1: The Round Trip Cruise.
Round trip cruises to Alaska will sail from either Seattle, Washington or Vancouver, British Columbia. Keep in mind that most of the round trip cruise options begin in Vancouver.
PRO-TIP: Not all Seattle cruises actually depart from Seattle. Some cruises will transport you by motorcoach to Vancouver, BC for you to board the ship. Verify your embarkation port if you would prefer not to have this transfer.
The round trip cruise begins along the inside passage, offering several port stops to enjoy excursions and explore these quaint Alaskan towns. You will have the chance to see a glacier, but keep in mind that the glacier stop is not a port where you can disembark.
There are sometimes excursions offered that allow you to step onto a smaller boat or kayak and get closer to the glacier for amazing views and photos. This is typically a less expensive overall vacation for a couple of reasons. Airfare is usually less expensive when you fly round trip from the same airport. There are not as many port stops as some of the other cruise options, and you most likely will only visit one Glacier.
Option 2: The One-Way Northbound Cruise
The one-way Northbound cruise also starts either in Vancouver, BC or Seattle and heads North along the inside passage of Alaska.
PRO-TIP: Select your suite on the starboard side of the ship for more views of the Alaska coastline.
This cruise is also 7 days but without the return trip, there are more port stops allowing you to visit more Alaska towns and enjoy more excursions.
There will be more glacier sightings, sometimes including a stop in Glacier National Park where you can view up to 5 beautiful glaciers. There are often Alaskan experts who will narrate during your glacier stop giving you interesting facts about Alaska and the glaciers.
This cruise will usually end in Whittier or Seward, Alaska where you will disembark and travel to Anchorage. Anchorage is not far and here you will catch your flight home.
Option 3: The One-Way Southbound Cruise
As you can probably guess, the Southbound cruise is the opposite of the Northbound cruise. Since your ship is headed south, select a suite on the port side of the ship. Beginning in either Whittier or Seward, the cruise heads south along the coast and has a stop at the glaciers. Then continues along the beautiful inside passage, allowing for exploration and excursions in the quaint Alaska towns.
This cruise concludes in Vancouver, BC or Seattle for disembarkation. If your final stop is Seattle, the cruise will often include a port stop in Vancouver, BC.
Bonus Tips: The Best time to cruise Alaska!
Once again, the best time to cruise Alaska is when you can do the activities and adventures you want to experience. The typical cruise season is May-September. The spring and summer months are drier, sunnier and more active with animals coming out of hibernation. As August approaches, the weather gets more rainy, gray and cold. The nights start to get darker and around August 23, you might be able to see the northern light also called the Arora Borealis.
There are a couple of extra months of travel called the ‘shoulder season’. Shoulder season is April and October. The cruises offered during these months might be a little less expensive, but the cost savings comes with compromise. April will be the very beginnings of spring and you may not see much animal activity yet. October can be colder, wetter (or snowy!) and darker. While this can be good for seeing the Northern Lights, other activities may be limited.
This does not cover all the ways you can cruise Alaska! There are many options that can allow you to include all your wishes into one amazing journey.
Storyline Travel would love to turn your dream vacation into a reality, creating a carefully designed Alaskan experience that’s everything you’ve envisioned and more.