Alaska Cruise?

Question by Kalena: Alaska Cruise?
We are planning an Alaska cruise. When is the best months to go? Which cruise line? Should we go to the Denli while we are there?

Best answer:

Answer by proudmom
Oh, I love Alaska Cruise!

Each time we have gone, we used Holland American Cruise Line. They are very very nice!

Take a raincoat for the days of rain! Oh, be sure to go on the jeep safari! That was soooooooooooo awesome! My husband got to drive the jeep.

Have a fantastic time!!!

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8 Responses to Alaska Cruise?

  1. The Empty Carousel.com Lost Bags says:

    Hi my wife and children did this two years ago. We went on Princess Cruise Line (we had our own naturalist on the ship that Princess hired to point out the land and spot nature and give shipboard announcements day and night) A very nice touch, she also conducted talks and Alaska wildlife displays at different times during the trip and it was a vacation of a life time. We went in the last week of May and first week in June 7 day cruise from Vancouver B.C. to a little known town near Anchorage Alaska. where we got off our ship and took a bus to Anchorage and flew home after we stopped at the farmers and craft market downtown. We stopped in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay and more. A magical unbelievable experience the entire way.

    I read a lot of books from Fodors, Fromers etc. On Alaska cruises and early season cruises are your best deal usually for cost. Weather is almost always going to be wet. The books I read advised to have water proof shoes, jackets, hats and gloves etc. Temperatures are usually in the 60’s to low 70’s but you have to remember that much of Alaska is a natural rain forest in the summer time.

    We were lucky we had no rain and sunshine for 7 days and nights, I even got a sunburn on my face on Mt. Roberts in Juneau. We also did the totem, museum, salmon hatchery in Ketchikan, we did the mendenhal Glacier white water rapids rafting in Juneau (make sure you get the crab bisque at The Red Dog Saloon in Junuea!!!!!) We also took the old Yukon Rail road 26 miles up the gold rush trail into the mountains, breathtaking.

    We saw more whales than I can count, two pods of killer whales, black bear, grizzly bear, bald eagles galore, thousands of sea otters with babies resting on their bellies while mom or dad floated on their back, calving glaciers, stellar sea lions and so much more.

    The ship was incredible as was the food and service and nightlife for the children and adults. Be prepared to dress warm while cruising the inside passage as the water is cold and the air can be quite cold as well i.e. gloves, hats, ear muffs, just plan accordingly you can do it. We all packed with no more than 1 carry-on plus our coat over the handle of the outside of the bag this was per person and we traveled from Florida by air.

    YES by all means go to Denali, you can purchase package deals as the Princess Cruise line owns its own rail road and train that will take you directly to Denali right were you get of the cruise ship they also have their own resort in Denali. We were told by the expert Alaska Cruise folks we met that sea and land is the best thing you can do to see the real Alaska. We will do that the next time we travel but you can do it now becuase you know.

    I hope I helped you to plan your cruise of a life-time and it will be. Just plan for a good chance of having wet weather but do not let that dampen your plans to go to Alaska you will love it.

    Scott
    Author The Empty Carousel

  2. TINKERTOY ..... the 1 & only says:

    The best time to go on an Alaska cruise is when you can get the best price. The Alaska cruise season is from mid-May to mid-Sept ONLY. The best prices will be in May and Sept but you will see the same things as other times. The weather is generally warmer in June, July and Aug, but it can also be pleasant in May and Sept. I have been to Alaska twice, once by cruise ship and another for business and spent two weeks there. When we went a few years ago in May it was shirt sleeve weather (70’s) in Anchorage and Fairbanks. The odd thing was, it was cooler further south in Juneau and Skagway than it was up north. It was rainy and cloudy in both of those cities. It will be cold, like coat, hat and gloves weather, when you get close to the Glaciers. When you pack, think layering of your clothes. A couple long sleeve shirts/tops, a sweater/sweatshirt, a light jacket, maybe with a hood.

    If you are going to Alaska there are also a lot of options for slightly different itineraries. Some Alaska cruises start in Alaska, (Anchorage, Seward, or Fairbanks) and others start in Seattle or Vancouver. Cruises of the “inside passage” are generally 7 days but you can also do what is called a cruise-tour which may be 10, 12 to 14 days and involves touring by train and/or bus either before or after the ocean voyage. So you have to look very carefully at your options for an Alaska cruise. You should not just say to a travel agent I want an Alaska cruise. Pick one or more of the cruise lines and search for Alaska cruises and look at all of the options available to help you decide.

    The best Alaska cruise experience is the CRUISE-TOUR. We did the cruise tour on Princess a few years ago and I highly recommend it. Princess, Holland America, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity all run cruise tours which take you by train all the way to Fairbanks, Alaska. But Princess, Celebrity and RC have special domed train cars for this. Your best chance to see wild animals will be if you do a cruise-tour where you go further north before or after cruising the inside passage. The only animals you are likely to see in the inside passage is seals. If you get really lucky you may see a whale or a whale pod. On the cruise-tours you can arrange to stop for a night or two in Taketna, or Denali National Park. This will be your best opportunity to see moose, caribou, eagle, wolf, and bear. But you really need two days at Denali so that you have time to get one of the Park Service’s buses that go deep into the park. Regular tour buses , cars and campers can only go about 3 or 4 miles into the park. The Park Service runs buses about 17 miles into the park, but you must get to the visitor center very early to reserve a spot on one of their buses. The train stops going north and south do not get you to Denali in time or allow enough time for the deep back country buses. With Princess, Holland America, Celebrity and RC you can do the tour part first and then go to Seward or Whittier to get on ship for the inside passage part. I recommend doing the tour part first.

    Alaska cruises and tours are mostly scenic and cultural. The usual stops for the inside passage portion are Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and College Fjords. The scenic parts are the animals, mountains, glaciers, fjords, and waterfalls. The cultural parts are the Alaska Native, gold rush, fishing industry, and historical sites.

    Since you are in the middle of this year’s cruise season you may not find great prices or options. So my recommendation is plan now for next year. Look at the prices be charged right now for cruises and then also look at what the price will be if you go, for example, next May or early June. Pick the date with the best prices, cabins, and tour options. And I do recommend doing the Denali Park tour.

  3. lovely says:

    Alaska cruise only run May-September, and the best cruise line I suggest would be princess because they have really great cruise/tour package where you cruise for the 1st 7 days and then the land package part and it takes you to denli and there is different kind of tours and different amout of days added to them

  4. Time travler says:

    You can only cruise to Alaska from late May to early Sept. I went late May because I heard the mosquito’s are huge there and really come out in July. But with that said, there is not a bad time to go to Alaska on a cruise. We did a cruise/tour with Princess. We flew into Fairbanks, stayed overnight, then took the train into Denali where we spent 2 days. That was a wonderful experience in Denali. We went to a famous Mushers home and took a wildlife tour. Princess owns there own hotels in Denali and a few other places, so everything was perfect. We then took another train to the port and then started our cruise. I have been on 8 cruises with Princess and this was still my favorite. I plan to go again to Alaska, but on a different route.

  5. jake says:

    I have gone Holland America and was really bored. I was 15 at the time and I was the youngest person on the ship. Even my parents were considered really young. But the ship I was on is now retired. So I don’t know if it was the ship or the cruise line.

    But we went in early July and the weather was GORGEOUS!!! I actually got in my bikini and tanned on the top deck. The weather was so warm and just perfect!

  6. Connie in FL says:

    We are travel agents – so we book people all the time to Alaska… We just booked ourselves for August 3rd. We are excited. The cruising season is from May-September…. however the best prices are May and September. The higher prices are when school is out …June, July and August…. Flights can be included- or you can get them on your own. You can’t go wrong with ANY Alaska Cruise!

  7. Mango Addict says:

    we went last year in August. the weather was fantastic!
    i talked to some other people, they also went in August and had a great trip. it does depend somewhat on what you want to do. for example if you want to go salmon fishing, then August isn’t a good time to go.

    if you want to go to Denali, August is probably a good time to go, but keep in mind that Denali is a long and arduous trip. Denali Park entrance is like a 4.5 hour drive from Anchorage, and if you want to go deep into the park, that can be up to another 6 hours from the park entrance.

    if you do plan to go to Denali, either go with a tour or do your homework, and plan to spend time!

    also, book early (unless you can do last-minute) b/c these tend to be rather popular — especially if you book as a group (we went as a group of 23 and needed to book over a year in advance)

  8. Rebecca R says:

    Like the people above me said, May to September are when you can go. I went the last week of May with Holland America and it was fantastic. We had unusually good weather though : ). The ship was a lot of fun and good for all ages, and I totally recommend Holland America and their ship the ms Oosterdam. Hope you have fun!

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