Best Alaskan Cruises: Top 5 Vacations By Sea Most Recommended By Travel Experts

Best Alaskan Cruises: Top 5 Vacations By Sea Most Recommended By Travel Experts

Have you been on an Alaskan cruise? It’s an incredible, breathtaking experience where you’ll constantly find yourself saying to your travel buddy, “Look at that!” The stunning white-and-blue glaciers, the wildlife moose, bears, crabs and more along with crisp, cool summertime air make up a unique experience you can’t duplicate anywhere else in the U.S. And for many, an Alaska vacation is high on their bucket lists. Many cruise lovers agree that Alaskan cruises are the very best in the business.

While we can’t think of any downsides to seeing the beauty that is Alaska, there are some cons to cruising. First, the emissions. Not only is cruising not very environmentally friendly, but secondly, it’s also pretty costly to your wallet. According to Cruise Critic, the Alaska cruise season runs from late April through early October, with the costliest cruises falling in June and August. The price in the high season? Up to $8,000 per person!

Money is a big factor holding people back from dream vacations like a cruise around Alaska, or any trips at all. Amidst inflation, travel plans are being put on hold. And in a recent survey, over half of the 2,000 participants (56 percent) don’t believe they could go through with vacation plans in 2022 because of rising costs. Unfortunately, inflation looks like it’ll be sticking around in 2023, too.

But that said, it’s not even Alaska cruise season yet! So, you’ve got a bit more time to look for the best cruise for you and your budget. Booking your trip, of course, can be complicated as there are many ships to choose from. To help curious could-be cruisers navigate this voyage, we searched 10 expert websites for the very best Alaskan cruises you can take according to popular reviews! See the top five most-recommended cruises by expert travel guides below.

Alaskan cruises are considered one of the best to take for travelers
Alaskan cruises are considered one of the best to take for travelers because of the spectacular views of snowy mountains and picturesque landscapes.. (Photo by Heather Shevlin on Unsplash)

The List: Best Alaska Cruises, Recommended By Experts

1. Regent Seven Seas Explorer

Regent’s highest priority is making you their top priority — even all specialty dining and all excursions are included with the cruise!

U.S. News writes, “The ship makes service a top priority … Travelers were even more impressed by the all-suite accommodations, which are some of the largest offered among ocean liners. Another high point: the cuisine. As part of ‘Regent Experience,’ all specialty dining is included in the cruise fare. The best perk, according to recent passengers? All shore excursions are included.” 

The Points Guy recommends this as one of the best ships for luxurious cruising around Alaska: “Regent’s 750-passenger Seven Seas Explorer is an all-suite ship offering guests in Alaska multiple gourmet onboard restaurants, all-inclusive beverages, free airfare and included gratuities. Many shore excursions are complimentary. Enjoy little luxuries, like an afternoon in the thermal suite of the two-story spa-and-fitness center, or really splurge out by booking the Regent Suite, the most lavish suite you’ll find at sea.”

2. Windstar Cruises

Goldilocks would probably choose this cruise line because it’s just right. The right size, that is. 

According to Trip Savvy, “When it comes to experiencing the splendor of Alaska, your cruise is only as good as the direct access it offers to this region’s beauty — and Windstar Cruises delivers access like no other. Because of its dainty size, guests are treated to unique experiences, like anchoring right in Misty Fjords and Kenai Fjords, which is something you’d have to do on a shore excursion if you were on a larger ship with another cruise line.” 

Afar recommends the Islands & Inlets of the Inside Passage voyage, which departs from Vancouver, Canada: “What’s appealing about this Windstar Cruises itinerary is that it’s a good mix of Alaska’s natural landscapes and coastal cityscapes. Visits to bustling port towns like Juneau and Ketchikan are balanced with days spent entirely in the wilderness of Endicott Arm and Misty fjords.”

3. Holland America

This cruise line knows how to leverage its relationships. After all, its been cruising in Alaska for a long time! 

“Holland America Line has nearly 75 years of Alaska expertise, on land and sea. The cruise line has established relationships with local communities and has hotels and vacation services at the entrance to Denali National Park. With this in place, it’s easy to enjoy the most unique and memorable Alaska and Yukon adventures offered by a cruise line.” Cruise Maven writes.

And Best of the Northwest says, “Holland America has been named among the best for Alaskan voyages geared for retirees. It offers round trip cruises from Seattle to Southeast Alaska, with stops in Tracy Arm, Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Victoria, British Columbia. The focus is on fine dining, a Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine, shore excursions that are easily accessible, onboard activities geared toward more mature adults and exceptional service.” 

4. Viking Cruises

Touring Alaska and taking guided tours are way different! According to Travel Awaits, Viking Cruises’ guided tours draw in many travelers. One shore excursion is included in each port of call during the trip (excluding embarkation and disembarkation ports). These guided tours take you inside some of the best parts of Alaska.” 

If having a travel guide to show you around sounds like your thing, Viking is a really great choice.

“Viking’s focus on destinations and expanding one’s knowledge goes hand-in-hand with a cruise in Alaska, as this region is known for its pristine natural beauty and wildlife. Those that desire a relaxed, intimate experience onboard while also learning in-depth about the region they’re visiting will find a perfect fit on Viking Orion — the ship that sails there,” says.

5. Celebrity Cruises

You don’t have to be a celebrity to book with this cruise line, but there’s a good chance you might feel like one while you’re all aboard. 

When looking for the best cruises to Alaska, chances are that a Celebrity itinerary will pop up. Offering a variety of voyages that last 5, 6 or 7 nights, Celebrity Cruises is a main player in the Alaska cruise market. They have dedicated no fewer than three ships to their Alaska itineraries: Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Eclipse and Celebrity Millennium. Additionally, Celebrity’s Alaska cruisetours are amazing trips that combine a 7-night cruise and a land-based tour to remote inland lodges and parks,” Cruise Travel Outlet writes.

Travelness describes the experience onboard the Eclipse, writing, “Your Alaskan adventure will start in Vancouver when you board the Celebrity Eclipse — one of Celebrity’s ships that have been gliding through the seas since 2010. Full to the brim with activities and luxurious touches, the Eclipse can accommodate 2,852 people.”

Been on an Alaska cruise? What excursions do you recommend? Let us know in the comments below!


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