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Rockamillion01

Which cruise line to use for Alaska ? Any pointers are appreciated

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Planning on cruising to Alaska in 2020...no idea on which ship, cruise line, land and sea packages, time of year, etc...  Any assistance is greatly appreciated..Thank you .

Edited by Rockamillion01

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There are a number of decent books on AK cruises.   I would suggest that you go to your public library and do a bit of your own research and then come back when you have some specific questions.

 

DON

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Chooose the ship thsat goes where you want, and pay attention to how long you are in port.

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Princess and Holland America have done Alaska the longest of all the cruise lines.  They both also offer the best land portion tours.

 

If you want to do a land tour for a few days, do it first and then a cruise.  The land tours are long days and you get to rest up on the ship before heading home.

 

Also check the length of you are in each port.

 

And you want to choose a cruise that includes Glacier Bay or Hubbard Glacier.

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Princess has a wonderful off-ship excursion in Tracy Arm where you are on a smaller vessel for a couple of hours and get up close and personal to the scenery, the animal life and the glacier. We highly recommend that. 

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Most cruises of the same length go the same places. You will constantly see the other ships in port. I would base the choice on price and which ship gives the services you desire.

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Your Budget first , then cruise itinerary or cruise/tour , then dats , then cruise line , then ship.

Alaska is the highlight here , onboard experience secondary .

No one here can narrow the choices for you , a Good Cruise Specialist TA can ask you the right questions to chose what meets your expectations.

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Have done HAL 7-day northbound out of Vancouver (BEFORE our self-drive land trip, the better to be relaxed and in vacation mode). HAL 7-day roundtrip Vancouver. And HAL 14-day roundtrip Seattle. First two in June because I love the long sunlit hours, the last in August in the hope of seeing salmon (and bears eating salmon). Unfortunately the hope went unfulfilled, as the salmon run last year was disappointing everywhere we went, except for some chum in a small stream near Sitka. But it was a great trip none-the-less of course. 

 

Now we are booked for Princess next June -- it is also a 14-day, but that's because it is roundtrip LOS ANGELES which happens to be our home port so *no flying* (be still my heart)! As you see, we're back to June -- I chose the likelihood of the whales being more active against the uncertainty of the salmon run.

 

So my advice for a first cruise: Princess or Holland America, out of Vancouver so you sail between Vancouver Island and British Columbia. Northbound if you are going to do a land tour, because you'll start slow and get "more Alaskan" as you go. See the totems in Ketchikan, a whale spotting boatride in Juneau (with Mendenhall Glacier if offered), and the train in Skagway. Be prepared for rain whatever time you go; it is a rainforest! 

 

Keep asking questions on Cruise Critic, we're here for you!

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