Cruise Better in Alaska

Information about cruising better in Alaska. Find out where to go, when to go, and much more.

Cruise Alaska

Information for cruise visitors going to Alaska 

For some people, cruising means Alaska. And I am not just saying that because of the famous dessert Baked Alaska, that was once a mainstay on formal night on most cruise lines back in the day. The first time I went to Alaska, I was immediately in awe of the natural beauty, plentiful resources, friendly people, and the enormity of the place.

For cruise travelers planning to take a cruise in Alaska, there are many choices to be made.

Where to cruise in Alaska? When is the best time to take a cruise in Alaska? What is the best cruise line to sail on in Alaska?

These questions are top of mind for most cruise travelers planning a vacation in the cruise line should you take are all excellent questions for those headed to the Land of the Midnight Sun.

I have cruised to Alaska on large ships, and I can compare the experience to what sailing in The Last Frontier on a small expedition boat is all about.

When it comes to cruising better in Alaska, it’s all about the destination and floating around on a ship is a great way to explore.

If it’s more time off the beaten path (Ketchikan, Juneau, and Sitka can get overrun by boat loads of cruise travelers during peak season) then take a small expedition boat like I did on Alaskan Dream Crusies

However, if you are looking for bells and whistles commonly found on larger cruise ships, then you will have to forego longer stays in port and be willing to go with the flow and join the herd because the logistics of wrangling thousands of cruise ship passengers take a toll on independence.

Dock space is at a premium, and the ports know how to turn the space to accommodate the most amount of people.

One suggestion that I have is to plan extra time on a cruise tour, offered by the cruise line or make up your own. I never regret going to Denali as a pre-cruise tour before a 7-day Princess Cruises trip. Full disclosure, I was a guest of the cruise line with other travel influencers and did not have much choice in the matter, but it made me realize how varied the Alaska cruise experience can be. When I got home from that trip, I told all my customers going to Alaska about how excellent a land tour was and that it should be a serious consideration for anyone with time and vacations dollars to spend on this experience.

When is the best time to take a cruise in Alaska?

The Alaska cruise season begins in May and ends in September.  Generally speaking, the height of the season is late June through July.  The shoulder seasons tend to be colder and wetter, but that is not a guarantee that rain and snow are not likely in the summer months.

Where do ships sail from?

  • One way: Southbound Anchorage (Whittier or Seward) to Vancouver (better for getting flights home and combining a land tour).
  • One-way Northbound: Vancouver to Anchorage (Whittier or Seward)
  • Roundtrip Vancouver
  • Rountrip Seattle 

Popular ports and destinations in Alaska

Visit Travel Alaska to learn more about each port.

If you have cruise questions about Alaska, feel free to leave a comment and share your answers and let us know what you love about cruising in Alaska.  And if you are looking for cruise inspiration click on these links to read about my Alaska cruises.

What Cruise Line Should You Pick for an Alaska Cruise Vacation?

So many ships, so little time to figure it all out!

There is plenty of cruise product to meet the varied needs of cruise guests: luxury visitors, families, and those looking to explore the Last Frontier will find a shipboard experience catering to their specific needs.  Tip: cruise visitors should look at the year a cruise ship was built and refurbished to make sure that their cruise line has the features they want: specialty restaurants, water slides, and stateroom amenities vary by ship within each fleet.

Links to More Port Guides on the Web

Click here to access our Blogger-at-Large series.

Below are more resources that I use to find information about cruise ports.

  • Toms Port Guides – as a hobby Tom Sheridan writes port guides. He has done a great job capturing the details that cruise visitors need to know.
  • WhatsInPort – a down-and-dirty list of 1200 port of call click here. 
  • CruisePortWiki, which offers guides to major cruise ports around the world. They feature concise travel guides targeted towards cruise ship passengers.

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