If an Alaskan Cruise is not on your bucket list, what have you been thinking? It better be!
Alaskan cruises offer many ships and ports itineraries ranging from different onshore trips to wildlife encounters and zip lining through the forests.
Alaska is the northernmost and westernmost state in the U.S.A. and has the most easterly longitude in the United States. It is the only non-contiguous U.S. state in continental North America.
This 49th state of the U.S.A. is one of the world’s most popular cruise destinations and best-known for its majestic scenery stretching along its icy coastline and other offshore side trips it offers.
Average Cost of Alaskan Cruise
The average cost of a seven-day Alaska round trip ranges from $580 to $1,200 per person for an interior cabin, double occupancy. Upgrading to a stateroom with balcony ranges from $775 to $1,710 while using suite room costs around $1,350 to $1,900.
The average cost of the Alaskan cruise for a 10-14 day round trip ranges from $1,100 to $2,300 per person for an interior cabin, double occupancy. Cabins with ocean view cost around $1,800 to $2,200 while balcony rooms range from $1,800 to 4,400. Suite rooms cost around $4,500 to $6,200.
These figures do not include onshore lodging and will depend on the dates of the cruise and the choice of cruise line.
Price Per Cruise Line
How much does Alaskan cruise cost per different cruise lines? Below are examples of the cheapest advertised fare for lowest level cabins that you can find online:
- Contemporary Cruise Lines
- Carnival Cruise Lines – starting at $619 a person
- Royal Caribbean – starting at $671 a person
- Norwegian Cruise – starting at $649 a person
- Princess Cruises – starting at $699 a person
- Premium Cruise Lines
- Celebrity Cruises – starting at $799 a person
- Holland America – starting at $799 a person
- Disney Cruise Line – starting at $1299 a person
- Luxury Cruise Lines
- Oceania Cruises – starting at $1799 a person
- Silversea Cruises – starting at $2799 a person
- Crystal Cruises – starting at $3000 a person
- One-way airfare to get to Alaska depends on where you are located. Typical cost is $475 to $650 if you are coming from Seattle, $600 to $750 from Los Angeles, or $375 to $650 from New York. These, of course, depend on your choice of airline and travel date.
- Expect to spend around $13 to $16 per person on onboard gratuities based on your cabin category, unless you are on a luxury cruise line. Otherwise, include roughly $200 in total in your budget.
- Onboard purchases like alcoholic beverage are not included in your base fare unless received as part of a promotion. Drink packages cost around $45-$90 per day if you want a few cocktails, beers or wines to be part of your cruise experience.
- There are a lot of attractions that Alaska can offer so expect to spend an average of $175 per person during port stops. And there are usually four port stops in an average cruise. During these onshore excursions, you may want to try zip lining through the national forest, bear and whale watching, glacier treks, dog sledding camps, among others. If this is a once in a lifetime experience for you, better make the most out of it.
Where to Book?
There are a lot of online sites that maintain a listing of cruise ships and destinations at your preferred trip dates and point of origin like The Cruise Lines International Association. You may also find some help from Expedia.
- Bring a good camera to document all your experience.
- Book well in advance to save more. The ideal would be ten months or more before the actual tour.
- Cruise season is from May to September, where the Alaskan cruise prices are at the lowest regardless of the cruise line. So be sure to book for these months if you want to save more.
- Peak season would be July as this has the warmest weather throughout the year. You get added attraction during this month as wildlife might just show up. But expect heftier cost during this season as well.
Factors Affecting Cost of Alaskan Cruise
- Cruise ship/line – Different cruise ships offer different Alaskan cruise prices. Be sure to compare rates to get the best deal.
- Season – Around July through August is the peak season for the Alaskan cruise. Avoid booking for during this period if you want to save a lot on your trip.
- Type of Cabin – Cabin categories have different rates. Comfort has a price.
- Number of persons traveling – traveling in groups can be cheaper than being alone as solo traveler tends to get the same rate room rate intended for two. Also, educational trips sometimes get a special rate.
Ten Must-See Sites on Alaskan Cruise
EscapeHere.com lists down the ten must-see tourist attractions during your Alaskan Cruise.
This park is the sixth most visited national park in Alaska. It includes the Harding Ice Field, the largest icefield entirely contained inside the United States, as well as four active volcanoes. Due to the plate tectonics that shaped the coastline, a mixture of rock can be seen among the fjords.
Named in honor of William H. Seward, who served under Abraham Lincoln as Secretary of State, this is a dazzling sight along the coast. The town of approximately 3000 people is the starting point of the famed Iditarod Trail.
This glacier is considered as North America’s largest tidewater glacier. The massive mountain of ice, named after the first president of the National Geographic Society, Gardiner Hubbard, is one of the few Alaskan glaciers currently advancing rather than retreating. It is moving at a rate of about 80 feet per year.
Glacier Bay National Park
This park is one of the best places in the world to witness calving or when large chunks of glacial ice break off and fall into the ocean to form icebergs. Several tidewater glaciers are found in the area along with some of the finest whale watching in the world.
The capital of Alaska is one of the state’s most popular coastal attractions. Home of the Alaska State Museum, it even has its own glacier, the Mendenhall Glacier that is easily accessible within the city limits.
Skagway is a compact city in southeast Alaska. It’s home to gold-rush-era buildings, now preserved as part of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. Skagway is a popular stop for cruise ships, allowing visitors to experience an authentic Alaskan mining town.
Icy Strait Point
Icy Strait Point is a privately-owned tourist destination just outside the small village of Hoonah, Alaska. Only one cruise ship is allowed to dock at Icy Strait Point at a time, allowing the visitors to immerse themselves in Tlingit culture and the area’s abundant wildlife.
It is located among the forested islands and mountains of Alaska’s beautiful Inside Passage on the northern tip of Mitkof Island. It’s a small, vibrant town with about 3,100 permanent residents, located in the heart of the Tongass National Forest. The Borough of Petersburg is known as “Alaska’s Little Norway” and is one of the state’s most important fishing communities.
Referred to as the “Salmon Capital of the World,” Ketchikan is an Alaskan city facing the Inside Passage, a popular cruise route along the state’s southeastern coast. It’s known for its many Native American totem poles, on display throughout town. In addition to the abundant salmon population, wildlife in the area includes deer, whales, mountain goats, Grizzly Bears and Black Bears.
It is one of the most beautiful areas not only in Alaska but all the world. It is a coastal route for oceangoing vessels along a network of passages which weave through the islands on the Pacific coast of North America. In the summer months, gorgeous wildflowers bloom while the fall brings an explosion of color to the foliage. Native culture and plentiful wildlife, including bald eagles and migrating whales, make the Inside Passage a real natural wonder.