Alaska is one of the most beautiful holiday destinations in the world. The mix of incredible natural scenery, the fascinating history of the gold rush era, and the sheer wealth of majestic wildlife that call the region home make it an extremely popular destination for cruise travellers.
That’s why so many cruise lines offer Alaska itineraries – but which is best? There’s no singular answer, as it all depends on you – what you’re most interested in from your cruise, and who you’re travelling with.
There’s plenty of options available when you choose your cruise line and ship, so we’re here to help you narrow it down – and if you’re still not sure, give our Cruise Concierge a call on 0808 1234 118, and we’ll be able to make personal recommendations for you.
Which cruise lines sail to Alaska?
Alaska is not one of the absolute top cruise destinations in the world, so not every cruise line offers sailings in the region. Due to the nature of the ports, it’s not ideally suited to the largest ships in the world, that are more designed for action-packed fun cruises for families in more tropical climates. Few people are going to Alaska to enjoy a water park!
That’s not to say that you’re short of choice. Many varied cruise lines do offer Alaska itineraries, on-board some of the newest ships in the world too. Whether you’re a family who wishes to enjoy the innovative features of Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line or Princess Cruises, or a couple who want to relax with Holland America Line, Celebrity Cruises or Cunard, you won’t be limited in your options. Guests looking for luxury cruises won’t be disappointed either with Azamara, Crystal, Oceania and Silversea cruises available.
How to choose a cruise line for an Alaska cruise
On an Alaska cruise, the focus is always the destination. You aren’t likely to travel to Alaska purely because of the ship sailing in the area. So it’s reassuring to know that itineraries don’t vary much between cruise line. Some of the smaller ships on more luxury lines may be able to get you a little closer to wildlife, but generally, the same major ports are included, so itinerary isn’t a major consideration.
The ports aren’t too far apart either, which means you won’t spend many days at sea. You’ll likely spend most of your days ashore, and so the on-board leisure facilities may not be as important to you as they would be in other destinations where more time is spent sailing.
Ultimately your choice of cruise line will likely come down to your preferences for evening entertainment and dining, along with the accommodation and service standards on board.
If you’re taking the family away, you’ll want a cruise line that offers plenty for the kids to enjoy at night, whether that’s movie theatres, video game arcades or live shows tailored to a family audience.
Meanwhile, if you’re travelling solo or as a couple, you might want to look for the variety of dining options, the public spaces where you can unwind and again the entertainment programme – are you more interested in epic musicals, live comedy or just the relaxed atmosphere of a piano bar?
With Alaska being such a superb destination, take a look at the on-board lecture programmes that can help you delve deep into the history and nature of the region, bringing each port to life even before you’ve arrived.
In terms of your time on land, you don’t need to worry too much about excursions offered by the cruise line, as there are always reliable third-party options ensuring you can experience the best that Alaska has to offer. Your Cruise Concierge can tell you more.
Our most popular cruise lines for Alaska
Of the cruise lines that operate sailings in Alaska, there are some that are more popular than others with our customers.
Holland America Line
The first of these is Holland America Line, which may be because it is one of the most prominent cruise lines in the region.
There are a wealth of itineraries to choose from across many ships in the Holland America fleet in Alaska, so you’ll always find a date to suit you. In terms of the on-board experience, expect a traditional cruise feel with modern touches – ships are elegant yet understated with wonderful art collections, dining options are varied, and the ambience is very relaxed. There are a handful of interesting features on-board Holland America ships, including excellent cookery classes, ideal for relaxing after a day ashore.
For customers looking for a more premium cruise experience, many choose a voyage with Celebrity Cruises. This beautiful luxury fleet offers true contemporary cruising, with light, modern public spaces and a host of innovative features, including the Lawn Club – why not grab a picnic and sit on the real grass turf as you sail past the glaciers of the region?
Plus with exciting dining venues and bars, you can easily unwind after an exhilarating day in port. While Celebrity ships can cater to families, they are definitely better suited to couples or solo travellers due to their relaxed, stylish vibe.
Princess Cruises is another of the more popular cruise lines with Alaska sailings. Its fleet is well equipped with modern, innovative features designed for the whole family, making it possibly the cruise line of choice for any families who wish to travel in this region.
Features such as Movies under the Stars are perfect for an evening, where you can snuggle under a blanket on deck and relax with a movie as you gently sail along the beautiful coastline. The cruise line’s Anytime Dining also means you can enjoy restaurant seating at a time to suit you, perfect for making your shore excursions work around you.
Book an Alaska cruise
Whichever cruise line you ultimately choose, you’re sure to delight in the wonders of Alaska. Consider which cruise line best fits your tastes and travelling party, and you’ll find a cruise experience that is hard to rival no matter where in the world you travel.
Take a look at our latest Alaska cruise deals by clicking the button below and call our Cruise Concierge on 0808 1234 118 for expert advice on sailing to Alaska and award-winning customer advice with your booking.
Written by Ian Lewis