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Alaska Cruises from Vancouver

Take in the scenic inside passage on a roundtrip alaska cruise from vancouver.

Uncover treasures in the Great Land on an Alaska cruise from Vancouver. Relive Gold Rush history, experience Native Alaskan culture and come face-to-face with some of Mother Nature’s greatest masterpieces. On a roundtrip Inside Passage cruise, enjoy quicker access to Alaska while also exploring the friendly ports of British Columbia.

Itinerary Ports

When you cruise to Alaska from Vancouver, encounter unique ports of call that are rich in history, culture and natural beauty.

  • Endicott Arm
  • Glacier Bay National Park
  • Hubbard Glacier
  • Icy Strait Point

Endicott Arm is a jewel in Alaska’s crown. This 30-mile waterway is surrounded by cliffs, valleys and dozens of waterfalls. Icebergs and harbor seals decorate the water below while Dawes Glacier soars into the sky above. Revel in the beauty of Mother Nature’s masterpiece and listen closely as the scenery whispers secrets of times long ago during your cruise to Alaska.

When you cruise to Alaska with Princess, sail through one of the most iconic locations in the Great Land — Glacier Bay National Park. Listen to Margerie Glacier’s signature crack and boom rumble across the waves. Bring binoculars and scan both the shore and the waves for wildlife like brown bears and migrating whales while Park Rangers teach you the history and geology of the park.

The largest tidewater glacier in North America, Hubbard Glacier has been moving its mass towards the ocean at a rate faster than most of its kind. Towering above the water over 30 stories, the glacier often calves 100-foot chunks of ice into the ocean. What lies beneath the waves is almost as impressive, where ice plunges 1,200 feet beneath the surface. See it for yourself on an Alaska cruise with Princess.

Icy Strait Point is home to the remote Tlingit village of Hoonah, home to fewer than 800 people and a deep Native history. The nearby Spasski River Valley holds one of the world’s largest populations of brown bears, who are often found hunting for salmon in the rivers. Zipline over the wilderness, watch a tribal dance or kayak in coastal waters to see the wildlife up close during your Alaska cruise vacation.

Juneau is unlike any other city in the United States. With no roads connecting it to the rest of Alaska or North America, it is truly a protected destination. Founded as a gold mining town and now the state’s capital, Juneau has one foot in history and one in the future. Embark on a whale watching tour, or sail past Mendenhall Glacier on an Alaska cruise.

Known for its timber, Ketchikan hosts the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show, where athletes throw, race and chop their way to victory. Explore one of the world’s oldest collection of totem poles at the Totem Pole Heritage Center, or stroll along Creek Street. As the salmon capital of the world, Ketchikan’s waters make for incredible fishing. Cast your rod into a sea of opportunity on a cruise to Alaska.

On an Alaska cruise, take your pick of attractions in the port of Sitka. See how bald eagles and local bird populations receive first-class treatment at the Alaska Raptor Center. Encounter wildlife in their natural habitat at the Fortress of the Bear. Or experience the culture of Russian Alaska on a visit to St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Church, and relive Native history at the Sheldon Jackson Museum.

Once the gateway to Alaska's Gold Rush, Skagway strikes a dramatic image nestled between the water's edge and mountains. Follow in the footsteps of miners with a ride on a scenic train along the famous White Pass route through coastal mountains. During your Alaska cruise, explore the Yukon's pristine wilderness, pan for gold with professionals or meet sled dog puppies in training.

Canada's third largest city feels like a North American metropolis mixed with a small European town. Explore the rainforest within Vancouver, B.C. — Stanley Park — and visit the continent's second largest Chinatown during your Alaska cruise vacation. Soar above the city's lush natural environment in a sky gondola for panoramic views, or get up close to the local sea life at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Why Choose This Itinerary?

Discover the top reasons to cruise to Alaska from Vancouver.

  • Glacier Viewing  — Alaska’s glaciers were meant to be admired. That’s why every Alaska cruise from Vancouver includes at least one glacier viewing experience to either Glacier Bay National Park or Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier.
  • Three Historic Ports of Call  — Fish for salmon in Ketchikan, pan for gold in Skagway or fly over snow-capped mountains in Juneau. Relive Alaska’s greatest tales in these spirited ports of call on an Inside Passage cruise.
  • Convenient Roundtrip Air Travel  — On a roundtrip cruise to Alaska from Vancouver, enjoy easier travels to and from your cruise vacation with the opportunity for even more adventure before you set sail or after your trip ends.
  • A Visit to Vancouver  — From Chinatown to Stanley Park, uncover old-world history amidst new-age living in Vancouver before or after your Alaska cruise.

Ships on this Itinerary

Our Princess fleet includes ships that range from our smaller vessels to large ships. From a balcony stateroom, marvel at the glaciers passing by before enjoying local seafood in one of our many eateries during your Alaska cruise.

Caribbean Princess®

Coral Princess®

Grand Princess®

Ruby Princess®

Sapphire Princess®

Alaska Cruise Experience

We have a 50-year legacy of sharing the best places and experiences with our guests. On an Alaska cruise, unpack once and explore glaciers, wildlife and national parks.

Alaska Glaciers

One of the biggest reasons people visit

Glaciers feel alive. They groan, creak and shudder on their march to the sea, punctuated by the booms and crashes of "white thunder" — a sound that echoes across the water when ice calves into the ocean below. On an Alaska cruise, let us show you Glacier Bay National Park — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier, College Fjord or Hubbard Glacier.

Alaska Wildlife

Untamed, just like Alaska

Alaska is home to a rich array of wildlife, from the famous Big Five animals that live in Denali National Park — grizzly bears, wolves, moose, Dall sheep and caribou — to bald eagles and humpback whales that migrate through the Inside Passage. On a cruise to Alaska, live a nature lover's dream in the land where guests can catch postcard-worthy sights.

Alaska Mountains & National Parks

National treasures

With national parks and four of North America’s tallest mountains, Alaska’s wilderness has been preserved for generations. Denali National Park is larger than Vermont and home to the highest peak on the continent. Meanwhile, Glacier Bay National Park has over 2,000 square miles of glacial coverage. Along with Wrangell-St. Elias and Kenai Fjords, a world of natural wonders awaits on an Alaska cruise or cruisetour.

Alaska excursions

Don't just visit this famous land, live it on Alaska excursions. Rush across the snow on a dog sled with a professional musher, fly fish for salmon in fresh rivers and soar over miles of glacial tundra in a helicopter. Watch migrating humpback whales from the deck of a catamaran or Native craftsman carve a traditional totem pole, and expand your Alaska cruise experience.

Alaska Cruise Onboard Experience

Our award-winning North to Alaska program brings local personalities, culture and cuisine on board and ashore to immerse you in all things Alaska during your cruise to the Great Land.

Alaska Seafood

Fresh and bountiful, like Alaska itself

Alaska's seafood is famous, and we bring the best to you with locally inspired dishes from the state’s best eateries. With Cook My Catch excursions, catch your own salmon or halibut with the help of a local expert, and in the evening our talented chefs will prepare your haul for your dinner — a Princess exclusive. From ship to shore, the best is at your fingertips on our Alaska cruises.

Meet Local Alaskans

Real Alaska from local Alaskans

Alaskans are inviting people who love to share what makes their state unique. Watch lumberjacks in action, learn from Glacier Bay National Park rangers and craft with a Native totem pole carver. Or listen to harrowing Tales from the Deadliest Catch fishermen and climbers who have summited Denali during your Alaska cruise.

Unique Alaska Cruise Experiences

Great experiences from the great land

Travel back in time and pan for gold like a prospector during the Gold Rush. Snuggle sled dog puppies in the ship's Piazza, or see the Northern Lights in the planetarium. At the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, explore our treehouse and enjoy unmatched views of Denali. Or savor tree-inspired bites at our very own Sappy Hour. Dive deeper into what makes the Great Land special on your cruise to Alaska.

Alaska Cruise Articles and Videos

Read about Alaska’s must-see attractions, signature cuisine, and how to prepare for a wild adventure into the heart of The Great Land.

Discover Alaska with Princess in 2024-2025

The best cruise line in Alaska just keeps getting better! From top-rated cruises that visit Glacier Bay National Park to scenic rail travel and exclusive Princess lodges, you will find a seamless Alaska experience with Princess.

Best Dishes to Try on Your Alaska Cruise

No one does seafood quite like Alaska—which is why we brought the best of the Great Land on board, so you can experience it all with Princess.

Top Alaska Cruise Destinations

From exploring Denali National Park to fishing for salmon in Anchorage, discover the top Alaska destinations on a Princess cruise.

Inside Passage Alaska Cruise

From exploring historic gold mines to venturing in the footsteps of early explorers, learn about Alaska’s Inside Passage and discover the wonders awaiting you.

Alaska Ports of Call

From the sweeping mountains of Juneau to the fish-bearing seas of Ketchikan, discover our Alaska cruise ports and set sail into the adventures that await you.

What to Pack for an Alaska Cruise

Check out our helpful checklist so that you know exactly what to pack for an Alaska cruise with Princess.

Travel, Airfare, & Hotels: Let Princess Get You There

Princess EZair® Flights

Stress-free airfare

Remove the hassle from air travel and give yourself the gift of flexibility, time and a thicker wallet with Princess EZair flights. We negotiate lower rates with the airlines, allow you to modify your flight up to 45 days prior with no penalty and protect you if your flight is late or canceled.

EZair flight quotes are available on our cruise search result details pages.

Airplane to Ship Transfer

We get you where you need to go

Let Princess pick you up from the airport and take you directly to your ship or hotel when you arrive, even if you didn't book your airfare through us. A uniformed Princess representative meets you at the airport after you've retrieved your luggage and transports you directly to your ship or hotel without you having to worry about the logistics of navigating a new city.

Cruise Plus Hotel Packages

Stay longer and relax

Extend your cruise vacation, and simplify your travel plans with a hotel stay at the beginning or end of your cruise. With a Cruise Plus Hotel Package, a Princess representative meets you at the airport and pier, transporting you to and from your hotel. The package includes the cost of your hotel stay, transportation, luggage handling and the services of the representative.

Need help planning?

Princess Cruise Vacation Planners are a dedicated resource to help you every step of the way through the planning process of your cruise vacation. And the best part is, they are absolutely FREE!

Cruise deals & promotions

Find our top sales, deals, partnerships and promotions for our destinations all in one place. We run promotions throughout the year and sometimes run sweepstakes where you could win prizes!

#PrincessCruises Alaska Connection

See Alaska through our guests' eyes.

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  • SOUTH DAKOTA

Vancouver to Anchorage cruise + things to do (My Princess one-way northbound 7-day cruise on the Majestic Princess + things to do) 🏔 Alaska cruise travel blog

I did an Alaska cruise in May on the Majestic Princess cruise ship.

This is to give you an idea of what an Alaska cruise can be like!

Your experience will vary!

vancouver to anchorage cruise to whittier. alaska cruise things to do: glacier tour

Map of one-way Alaska cruise route

alaska cruise itinerary vancouver to anchorage whittier roundtrip map

My one-way Alaska cruise itinerary (7-day Alaska cruise from Vancouver to Anchorage)

  • Day 1 | May 13: Vancouver, Canada
  • Day 2 | May 14: sea day
  • Day 3 | May 15: Ketchikan (6:30am to 3pm)
  • Day 4 | May 16: Juneau (8am to 9:15pm)
  • Day 5 | May 17: Skagway (6am to 8:30pm)
  • Day 6 | May 18: Glacier Bay National Park scenic cruising sea day
  • Day 7 | May 19: College Fjord scenic cruising sea day
  • Day 8 | May 20: Whittier

alaska cruise ports time in port for one-way alaska cruise from vancouver to anchorage whittier

Day 1: Vancouver embarkation day

alaska cruise itinerary for vancouver to anchorage. time in vancouver cruise port itinerary

Be out on the open deck as the cruise ship is sailing away from Vancouver cruise port!

The cruise ship will sail right under the iconic Lion’s Gate Bridge of Vancouver !

vancouver to anchorage cruise. vancouver cruise port

If you have time before your cruise boarding time , you might be able to go to Granley Square to see your cruise ship!

The Princess cruise ship I was boarding could be seen from here, but not all cruise ships will dock in this spot which means not all cruise ships can be seen from Granley Square.

vancouver to anchorage cruise. vancouver cruise port

I walked from Granley Square to the cruise port and saw another angle of the cruise ship.

vancouver to anchorage cruise. vancouver cruise port

Day 2: sea day (May 14)

vancouver to anchorage cruise. sea day

Day 3: Ketchikan cruise port (May 15: 6:30am to 3pm)

alaska cruise itinerary for vancouver to anchorage. time in ketchikan cruise port itinerary

My plan for Ketchikan cruise port:

  • morning: Snorkel Alaska tour
  • after tour: Saxman Park totem poles on my own

Snorkeling in Alaska?!?!?!

I was VERY nervous about this, and even upon booking the tour, I was immediately having regrets!

But to reassure myself, I read all the reviews (again), and basically everyone who mentions the water temperature says that you will not be cold because you’ll be wearing a wetsuit and other cold water swimming gear!

And, even as someone that gets cold easily, I must agree!! 

For most of the time in the water, the water temperature didn’t even occur to me!

It was a water temperature of 50 degrees.

I was excited about seeing tons of small little clear jellyfish. And I saw a couple of red ones too.

I was also excited about seeing so many starfish.

Plus, I got the experience of cold water swimming and snorkeling in Alaska!

vancouver to anchorage cruise with ketchikan. alaska cruise things to do: ketchikan snorkeling

After the snorkeling tour, Saxman Park was on the way back to the cruise port, so I got dropped off there.

Saxman Park is one of the places in Ketchikan to see totem poles.

vancouver to anchorage cruise with ketchikan. alaska cruise things to do: saxman park totem poles

Then I took a bus back to the cruise port.

If you have time, I liked Totem Bight State Historical Park better, possibly because it felt like you were surrounded by nature more.

I went to Totem Bight State Historical Park by bus on my previous cruise ship arrival to Ketchikan.

vancouver to anchorage cruise with ketchikan.

My plan for my previous cruise to Ketchikan:

  • morning: Totem Bight State Historical Park on my own ( Ketchikan bus )
  • afternoon: Misty Fjords National Monument seaplane tour with Island Wings
  • late afternoon:  Creek Street on my own

Read about Ketchikan:

  • Things to do in Ketchikan
  • Best Ketchikan excursions
  • Best cruise ports to see totem poles in Alaska

Day 4: Juneau cruise port (May 16: 8am to 9:15pm)

alaska cruise itinerary for vancouver to anchorage. time in juneau cruise port itinerary

My plan for Juneau cruise port:

  • morning: Juneau whale watching tour (Princess excursion)
  • afternoon: Mendenhall Glacier tour by canoe + hike with Liquid Alaska

Juneau is known as one of the best Alaska cruise ports for whale watching , so if you want to go whale watching, Juneau can be it!

There are different types of boat tours, and I chose a whale watching tour that had less people.

There were around 20 people on the boat.

With a cruise port pick-up, we took a shuttle to Auke Bay to get on a boat to go see whales.

You know the pictures you see in all the whale watching advertisements?!

Well, it’s actually quite rare to see whales like that.

Still, I was happy with what I saw.

Especially since I got a picture of a whale with its mouth open!

We also saw sea lions on a buoy.

I talked to someone who went on a different whale watching tour and their boat went past a whole bunch of harbor seals. I saw the picture and it looked really cool. I wish our boat had gone by it!

The thing about wildlife watching tours is that wildlife sightings are not guaranteed! At least, the variety that you will see.

Most whale watching tours in Juneau do seem to have a guarantee that you will see at least one whale. Although this doesn’t mean that you are guaranteed to get a GREAT sighting. 🤪

But this is just how it goes with wildlife viewing! Patience is required. And that’s also what makes it so exciting when you do see wildlife, whether it’s in the water or on land!

vancouver to anchorage cruise with juneau. alaska cruise things to do: juneau driving tour

The Mendenhall Glacier is one of the most popular things to do in Juneau.

Most people will go to the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center to get a distant view of the glacier.

This glacier is retreating which means that it continues to get further and further away year after year.

I did a canoe tour across the lake to get a closer look at the glacier.

You can’t actually walk on the glacier (it seems you used to be able to), but I thought this experience was so great.

We paddled the canoe to shore near the Mendenhall Glacier which means that we got closer to the glacier than the vast majority of people do.

We also got to see blue ice.

There was another tour group who was there about an hour earlier than us, and they were able to witness a big chunk of ice fall off the Mendenhall Glacier into the water!

Our tour guide was in touch with another tour guide and showed us the video.

This process of ice falling off a glacier is called calving, and calving is one of the best Alaska glacier experiences you can see!

Your best chance to see calving on a cruise from Vancouver to Anchorage is at Margerie Glacier in Glacier Bay National Park! You might also see this at Harvard Glacier in College Fjord.

You can do a Mendenhall Lake canoe tour without a shore landing, but I think it’s better if you had the short walkaround!

This was one of my favorite tours that I did during my 2 Alaska cruises.

vancouver to anchorage cruise with juneau. alaska cruise things to do: mendenhall glacier canoe tour

My plan for my previous cruise to Juneau:

  • morning + lunch: Taku Lodge Feast & 5-Glacier Seaplane Discovery with Taku Lodge Wings Airways (Princess shore excursion)
  • afternoon + evening: Mendenhall Glacier and Nugget Falls on my own (Juneau bus)

Read more about Juneau:

  • Things to do in Juneau
  • Best Juneau excursions
  • Best cruise ports for whale watching in Alaska

Day 5: Skagway cruise port (May 17: 6am to 8:30pm)

alaska cruise itinerary for vancouver to anchorage. time in skagway cruise port itinerary

My plan for Skagway cruise port:

  • morning: Skagway dog sledding on a glacier + helicopter tour with Temsco Helicopters (Princess excursion)
  • afternoon: Yakutania point hike on my own
  • see more: Things to do in Skagway

This is the only day that didn’t go according to plan because a delayed water shuttle in Skagway caused me to miss the morning excursion. That excursion was moved to the late afternoon, so I did the hike before the excursion.

The absolutely most popular thing to do in Skagway cruise port is the White Pass train.

There are different types of combination tours that you can do that includes the White Pass railway.

Skagway is one of the best cruise ports for a helicopter tour.

If you’re thinking about doing a helicopter tour, I recommend doing one that includes some sort of landing. It makes the experience that much more special!

Like… dog sledding! You can make it a helicopter tour with dog sledding on a glacier!

Skagway is also one of the best cruise ports for dog sledding in Alaska .

There are also hikes in Skagway that you can do on your own for free.

vancouver to anchorage cruise with skagway. alaska cruise things to do on your own: skagway hikes

My plan for my previous cruise to Skagway:

  • morning: White Pass Rail & Klondike Highway (Princess shore excursion)
  • afternoon: Glacier Discovery by Helicopter with Temsco Helicopters (Princess shore excursion)

Read more about Skagway:

  • Things to do in Skagway
  • Best Skagway excursions
  • Best cruise ports for dog sledding in Alaska

Day 6: Glacier Bay National Park scenic cruising sea day (May 18: 6:15am to 3:15pm)

alaska cruise itinerary for vancouver to anchorage. time in glacier bay national park cruise port itinerary

My plan for Glacier Bay National Park cruise day:

  • be outside as much as possible!

If you aren’t going to be doing any excursions during your Alaska cruise, then you must make sure that you choose an Alaska cruise itinerary that includes Glacier Bay National Park!

On Glacier Bay National Park day, national park rangers will board the cruise ship by arriving on a small boat.

Then they will be on the cruise ship the entire time that you are in Glacier Bay National Park.

Sailing into Glacier Bay, one of the most anticipated spots is Margerie Glacier where the cruise ship will be spending some time at.

The hope is that you will get to witness the calving of an Alaska glacier!

That is, you might get a chance to see huge chunks of ice fall off the glacier to make a big splash into the water!

vancouver to anchorage cruise with glacier bay national park

Since I didn’t bring binoculars with me, the thing that was nice about the Majestic Princess that my previous ship didn’t have (Sapphire Princess) was the binoculars.

I saw a couple of people try to take pictures of what they were seeing through the binoculars.

Does that work?!

Yes, yes it does. 🤣

As we were leaving Glacier Bay, Mark the naturalist onboard said to be on the lookout for a glacier as we are sailing into the Gulf of Alaska.

So, I was on the lookout and took pictures through the binoculars of the glacier!

vancouver to anchorage cruise with glacier bay national park. glacier bay to gulf of alaska, pacific ocean

And then we were back sailing out on the open water of the Pacific Ocean!

Or, more accurately, the Gulf of Alaska.

vancouver to anchorage cruise with glacier bay national park. glacier bay to gulf of alaska, pacific ocean

Day 7: Sea day with evening of College Fjord scenic cruising (May 19: 6pm to 8:30pm)

alaska cruise itinerary for vancouver to anchorage. time in college fjord cruise port itinerary

College Fjord was the first rainy day of the cruise.

Welcome to Alaska!

vancouver to anchorage cruise with college fjord

Day 8: Whittier disembarkation day (May 20)

alaska cruise itinerary for vancouver to anchorage. time in anchorage whittier cruise port itinerary

My plan for Whittier disembarkation day:

  • get off the cruise ship as late as possible (9:30am)
  • 26 glacier boat tour during the day
  • evening train from whittier to anchorage

I wanted to take the train from Whittier to Anchorage, so this meant that I needed an overnight in Anchorage.

Whittier doesn’t seem to really have much to do, so the best thing to do to “pass time” seemed to be the 26 glacier cruise.

Well, it did more than pass time!

Even though it went to College Fjord, same as the cruise ship, seeing College Fjord from a smaller boat was a completely different experience!

It also did go to a couple other places the cruise ship didn’t go to.

vancouver to anchorage cruise to whittier. alaska cruise things to do: glacier tour

The tour company for the 26 glacier tour coordinates their timings to match the train and cruise ships.

I got on the train to Anchorage right after the tour.

vancouver to anchorage cruise to whittier. alaska cruise things to do: train from whittier to anchorage

Read more about Whittier:

  • 26 glacier cruise
  • Whittier to Anchorage train

How much does a cheap Alaska cruise from Vancouver to Anchorage cost?

This Alaska cruise that I did was early in the Alaska cruise season, so it was on the “cheaper” side.

That said, when looking at Alaska cruises, you don’t just want to look at the base rate that’s displayed on the website!

Along with the port fees and taxes, the cheapest Alaska cruises will be an inside cabin.

It’s often said that if you’re going to splurge on a balcony on a cruise, then it’s for an Alaska cruise.

But of course, it depends on your priorities, and it’s how you want to spend your cruise.

For example, if you are seriously considering getting a balcony, then maybe instead of spending that money on a balcony, you’d rather spend it on an epic Alaska cruise excursion… like a dog sledding tour in Alaska !

You also may want to budget extra money separately for the best Alaska excursions.

But, just to give you an idea, I took screenshots of what the cost of my Alaska cruise was showing up as less than 3 weeks before departure.

The cruise started on May 13, and the cost of the Alaska cruise displayed below is for an inside cabin that you could book on April 23.

cost of last minute one-way alaska cruise from vancouver to anchorage, double occupancy price

And that’s a bit about my one-way northbound Alaska cruise!

alaska cruise vancouver to anchorage whittier one way map

HAPPY CRUISING FROM VANCOUVER TO ANCHORAGE!

  • Best whale watching in Alaska
  • Best dog sledding in Alaska (on a glacier, on snow, in summer!)
  • Snorkeling in Alaska 😂
  • Deadliest Catch tour (as seen on TV!)
  • Juneau icefield seaplane + Taku Glacier Lodge salmon bake
  • Nugget Falls in Tongass National Forest (Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area)
  • Helicopter + glacier walk to see blue ice
  • Klondike Highway to Fraser BC + White Pass summit train
  • What I did on another Skagway cruise ship arrival: Dog sledding and Yakutania Point
  • Totem Bight State Historical Park
  • Misty Fjords National Monument Wilderness seaplane + wilderness landing
  • Creek Street
  • Icy Strait Point to Hoonah
  • Sitka National Historical Park totem poles
  • Things to do in Sitka
  • What is it like: Glacier Bay National Park from a cruise ship
  • This was not available on my early season cruise: Hubbard Glacier excursion (yes, you can get off the ship on a sea day! available until early September... if it's not already sold out!)
  • Tips for first Princess cruise (getting familiar with Princess food + more!)
  • Ideas for your first Alaska cruise

Princess Cruises Royal Princess cruising in Alaska.

Princess Voyage of Glaciers NB Glacier Bay

Cruise Alaska’s most extraordinary waters, from the Inside Passage to Glacier Bay and beyond.

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Princess Cruises Voyage of the Glaciers from Vancouver

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The Voyage of Glaciers Alaskan cruise route explores more than 1,300 miles of coastline from the Inside Passage to Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve to Prince William Sound. Along the way, the itinerary makes port calls in three lively and quite unique towns: colorful Ketchikan, the capital city of Juneau, and historic Skagway. Conveniently combine the cruise with a land tour starting in Whittier for a truly spectacular Alaskan vacation. Princess Cruises, one of the longest-running cruise lines in Alaska, exclusively runs this route out of Vancouver.

Daily Itinerary & Sailing Dates

Below is a general itinerary for this cruise. Note that there are variations in the exact cruise itinerary between sailing dates. Ports of call, route, and details will vary. Be sure to request a cruise quote using the links below or with our cruise finder to see the most up to date information for the particular voyage you are interested in.

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Sometimes called "The City of Neighborhoods," Vancouver is a multicultural destination on the Pacific Rim with a distinctive west coast vibe. Passengers easily fill two or three days exploring those neighborhoods and the city's surrounding natural areas before embarking on their cruise.

Marine wildlife abounds in the protected waters of the Inside Passage, a labyrinth of fjords, channels, islands, and bays through which this route passes during the first full day at sea.

The route reaches Ketchikan for the first of three port calls on the itinerary. The colorful town is known for its abundant fishing and collection of authentic totem poles, but the surrounding area is also a haven for wildlife. Learn more about Southeast Alaska's 15,000 bald eagles at the Alaska Raptor Center, or head out into the wilderness on a whale or bear viewing excursion.

Along with glacier flightseeing and mining tours, while in port at Juneau, cruisers can also visit the surprising and stunning Glacier Gardens. The botanical garden is especially unique because of its location within the Tongass National Forest.

Step back in time to the Klondike Gold Rush days during this port call in Skagway. Hop on a bus or train and travel over the mountain pass into the Yukon Territory for an adventure both scenic and historic.

Abundant marine life resides within Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. On this full day cruising the park, it is possible to see humpback whales, puffins, sea otters, harbor seals, and even bears on the coastline.

Continuing north, the route passes into the fjords of northwestern Prince William Sound. The area's tidewater glaciers were all named after Ivy League colleges during the Harriman Expedition in 1899. College Fjord is considered one of the most scenic in the world.

The itinerary concludes in this tiny port town at the end of Passage Canal. Whittier offers the closest deep-water port to Anchorage, which is only 60 scenic miles away, and reachable by both train and motorcoach.

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  • Sapphire August 31st, 2024 Vancouver to Anchorage
  • From Vancouver ›

With Staterooms Priced At Only $727 You Don't Have to Put Off Your Vacation to Next Year

Join the Sapphire Princess and prepare for seven nights of leisurely travel across the sea from Vancouver to Anchorage!

Visiting uncommon ports such as Skagway, Ketchikan, and Juneau makes this cruise noteworthy. This is a typical route for the Sapphire.

This price includes all meals, entertainment, taxes, and fees. No surprises at checkout! Offered at under $105 a day, this deal is very strong.

The Sapphire Princess

The Sapphire Princess, based in Vancouver and refurbished just one year ago in 2023, is a top-rated Princess Grand class vessel that can carry comfortably over 2,600 passengers.

The Sapphire Princess delights guests with a spa, a minigolf course, a casino, a gym, an outdoor movie theater, and a jacuzzi.

Pricing Information

Since it was first listed on February 8th of last year, The price of this cruise has fluctuated between $636 and $1,078 for a room, including $259 in taxes and port fees. This graph shows the price over time for every type of cabin. At only $91 more than the all time low of $636 right now is a great time to lock in your room

Your Itinerary

This cruise spends three days in port and three days at sea. High points include visits to uncommon cities like Ketchikan in addition to long stops in Juneau and Skagway.

Alternate Sailings

The Sapphire sails this route thirty-six times this year as well as nine times next year. The Royal also sails a route with the same stops but a slightly different schedule. In the accompanying graphic you can see a visualization of when this ship sails as well as the relative price.

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Princess Cruises, Voyage of the Glaciers (Northbound) from Vancouver, 5 June, 2024

Princess Cruises Alaska 7-day route

Cruising from: Vancouver, British Columbia ;

Departure Date: 5 June, 2024 ;

Cruise Line: Princess Cruises ;

Cruise Ship: Grand Princess ;

Duration: 7 days ;

Ports of Call: Vancouver, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, College Fjord, Whittier ;

7-day Alaska cruise on board Grand Princess.

Day 0 vancouver, british columbia.

Vancouver is located in British Columbia, and is considered one of the most beautiful and livable cities in the world, with a thriving cultural scene, stunning natural surroundings, and a diverse and welcoming population....

Day 1 At Sea, At Sea

Wonderful day at Sea....

Day 2 Ketchikan, Alaska

An Alaskan cruise from Ketchikan is an unforgettable adventure that will take you through some of the most stunning natural landscapes in the world....

Day 3 Juneau, Alaska

Juneau is a popular cruise port for Alaska cruises, located on the Inside Passage of Alaska. It is the capital city of Alaska and the third largest city in the state. ...

Day 4 Skagway, Alaska

Skagway, located in the Upper Lynn Canal is a place in Alaska where the past lives on. The Port of Skagway is the northernmost ice-free, deep-water port in North America, and serves as a year-round transportation hub between Alaska, the Yukon Territory, Northern British Columbia, the Northwest...

Day 5 Glacier Bay, Alaska

Glacier Bay National Park is a pristine wilderness area in southeast Alaska that is famous for its stunning glaciers, towering mountains, and abundant wildlife. A cruise through Glacier Bay is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that offers visitors the chance to witness the raw beauty of this...

Day 6 College Fjord, Alaska

College Fjord is a pristine wilderness destination located in the Prince William Sound of Alaska, and is a cruise destination that offers visitors the chance to experience the natural beauty and incredible wildlife of the region. This stunning fjord is known for its pristine glaciers and...

Day 7 Whittier, Alaska

As a popular starting point for Alaskan cruises, Whittier offers visitors a chance to explore the region's rugged coastline, towering mountains, and pristine wilderness....

Experience wildlife, wilderness, and native culture on this Alaska cruise with Princess Cruises. Visit Vancouver, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, College Fjord, Whittier. Grand Princess leaving Vancouver, British Columbia, for 7 days from 5 June, 2024.

Alaska cruise from Vancouver June 2024

Please note that port orders, dates, and itinerary details, including content, are subject to change. Verify specific details for your chosen sailing date on the Princess Cruises website.

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7 Nights Vancouver to Anchorage Cruise on the Grand Princess Departing on the 28th August 2024

7 Nights Vancouver to Anchorage Cruise on the Grand Princess Departing on the 28th August 2024

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Alaska cruise better to sail from Anchorage or Vancouver

By rocklinmom , August 6, 2017 in Princess Cruises

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Cool Cruiser

I am looking at Alaska cruises for summer 2018 out of either Anchorage or Vancouver. Aside from the differences of distance to the cruise port (Anchorage is apparently a long drive from the port in Whittier), are there any advantages or disadvantages of sailing out of one or the other? The itinerary is the same, and prices are similar. Just wondering about the logistics of embarking vs. disembarking in Canada, the distance of Whittier/Anchorage port to the airport to fly home, etc. Any info appreciated.

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Not sure if it matters much if you're just doing the cruise. We decided to do a Princess cruisetour with a week ashore, and that was the deciding factor for us. Both directions offer train service directly from/to port in Alaska, but Northbound cruise disembarked at very inconvenient times (I recall 3am, but not certain) as compared to Southbound cruise, where you finish land portion and ride the train during the day to meet ship around 5-6p. We preferred that approach, so it made our decision for us.

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AF-1

I would guess do you want the longer drive at the beginning of your cruise or at the end. You airline to Anchorage and drive an hour south to get on ship. You airline to Vancouver and drive ten minutes to cruise port. Or you stay in hotel the day prior to your cruise; and then drive to cruise port.

Colo Cruiser

Colo Cruiser

We would rather do S/B so we don't have to deal with long flights from ANC.

In Vancouver you have the option of taking the Princess transfer after the cruise to Sea-Tac which gives you many more flight options.

4cats4me

We prefer the southbound cruise so have a shorter flight home.

Thanks all, can't afford the cruisetour with five of us so cruise only. I think we are leaning towards embarking in Vancouver and disembarking in Anchorage. We will be staying overnight in both ports.

LEtue

Then you may want to consider going SB from Anchorage so you get to both Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay ;)

Thanks Linda, true with the Vancouver departure we would be doing College Fjord instead of Hubbard Glacier. I do like the idea of the scenic cruising days being at the end of the cruise instead of at the beginning though.

We'd probably do the SB; flying into Anchorage is less tiring because it's the excitement at the beginning of the adventure (plus you'll hopefully fly in the day before), rather than the late-night flight home out of Anchorage at the end of the cruise which is our only option if we were NB: we love Hubbard Glacier, and also feel we also get to see more of the inside passage "close up" on the last day of cruising to Vancouver. However, if the ship or time you need is only NB I wouldn't hesitate to book it - Alaska is stellar!

When we did the cruise/tour we prefer to do the land portion first.

Wishing on a star

Wishing on a star

We chose SB from Whittier....

We enjoyed the itinerary!

Got to do an amazing tour of Prince Williams Sound and College Fjord before boarding. (HIGHLY recommend getting out there in a smaller boat, and not just the cruise ship!!!!)

Then we did get fairly close to Hubbard Glacier.

Plus Glacier Bay and all of the other obligatory cruise ship port stops.

We hopped on the railway and just relaxed on the ride over to the ship at Whittier.

Nothing difficult about it at all.

You can use Princess Transfers if you do not want to get their early to take a Prince Williams Sound (or other) boat tour. The train will get you there early.

We've been on four different itineraries to Alaska and by far the best was the southbound. Out of all the glaciers, we enjoyed Hubbard the most. The flight from SFO to ANC was around 5 hours plus a plane change in SEA, and only 2.5 hours home from YVR to SFO on United. RocklinMom, not sure if you are flying out of SFO, but it is really nice to get the longer travel day out of the way at the beginning of the cruise. [emoji4]

Also, we've enjoyed the Seattle round trip cruises that go to Glacier Bay. Easier for us to fly to SEA vs all the way to ANC ....

The only thing I don't like about Seattle cruises is the astronomical prices of the hotels up there, which in our case, almost cost as much as our inside cabin cruise fare $(499 pp)

And hotels were 300-450 per night when we last traveled in Aug/sept 2014. [emoji33][emoji33]

College Fjord is beautiful, but we really loved Hubbard.

Good luck with whatever you choose.

Also, not sure which month you'd be going, but recently there have been a lot of complaints from those who embark in Vancouver, with very, very long waits to get onto the ship at Canada Place. I can't recall whether I read about it on the Princess board or the Celebrity board, but it has been extremely problematic. This occurs every year at the beginning of the cruise season, it seems, at Canada Place, but this year is the first time I've read about it occurring during the height of the cruise season.

Something to consider.

We've sailed out of Vancouver before with no problems, but that was a long time ago.

Update: found the thread, and although the OP is non-US citizen,

US citizens have had long waits as well. I would direct your attention to posts 24 and 30.

US Immigration horrendous

https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?share_fid=24703&share_tid=2526477&url=http%3A%2F%2Fboards%2Ecruisecritic%2Ecom%2Fshowthread%2Ephp%3Ft%3D2526477&share_type=t

JimmyVWine

I prefer the NB option. Coming from the east coast the flights are long both ways so I don't let that factor in. The reason why I prefer the northern direction is purely optics and emotion. Each day of my vacation I keep going deeper and deeper into Alaska with Glacier Bay being in front of me, chronologically. The trip crescendos with each day being better than the one before instead of decrescendo-ing with the views and ports getting weaker as the trip progresses. Sort of like climbing a mountain if you are an avid climber. Given the choice, would you rather climb the mountain and have a helicopter fly you back down to the base, or have the helicopter fly you to the summit so that you could hike down the mountain? If all you care about is the view from the summit, you might choose the latter. But if you truly love climbing, you would choose the former. I enjoy the trip into Alaska and prefer to go deeper each day, feeling like I am "arriving". By starting in Whittier, I feel as if each day I am "leaving". As I said at the start, this is purely optics and emotion.

Absolutely go north - as pointed out, the scenery gets better day by day.

And if you want to avoid boarding delay at Vancouver, get Global Entry. It solves the security line and the CBP lines.

Beachiekeen

Beachiekeen

I wanted the SB to get the long flight to AK out of the way on the front end but was outvoted. My husband said Alaska was the destination and he wanted to end our trip there and also for the scenery that gets better as you cruise as mentioned above. Also the rougher seas are towards the end of the cruise when you have your sea legs and we were traveling with my ILs who had never cruised before.

Having done the cruise now, I can't say I disagree. We had a beautiful sail away from Vancouver and still had 3 nights in Alaska to look forward to at the end of the cruise, so the vacation wasn't over.

But it would also have been nice to do all of the hiking and activities we did in Alaska and then had a relaxing cruise to end the trip with. So I think there are good arguments for both itineraries so just pick what works best for you.

ETA: I had also read stories of long lines embarking at Canada Place but we had no problems. I believe those problems are more prevalent at the beginning of the season. We also only had two ships in port instead of three.

Oh that's good to know about possible delays embarking at Canada Place. Hopefully with elite status it will be less.

Yes we would fly from SFO because we'd rather do direct flights (out of Sacramento we would have a layover). Another factor was that there are multiple direct flight options from SFO to Vancouver but only one direct flight to Anchorage.

I would still recommend SB.

You get to see much more! Both Hubbard Glacier, and College Fjord if you do the boat tour, plus everything else.

Not only do you jump right into the spectacular scenery and glaciers... But, the views do not necessarily get better day-by-day when heading North... Just different. Glacier Bay is the thing to look forward to... And sailing back from your last port to Vancouver thru the gorgeous sound is a wonderful and relaxing way to bring the cruise to an end as you head back home.

Yes, different strokes for different folks...

But, for us, it really is no contest... Highly recommend SB.

Oh that's good to know about possible delays embarking at Canada Place. Hopefully with elite status it will be less. Yes we would fly from SFO because we'd rather do direct flights (out of Sacramento we would have a layover). Another factor was that there are multiple direct flight options from SFO to Vancouver but only one direct flight to Anchorage.     Sent from my iPhone using Forums

From my memory, Even those with priority boarding were forced to wait in one common line for hours, I think for metal detector or something, until they could even get to the priority check-in lines, unfortunately.

Hopefully the issues will be resolved by next cruise season.

Coral

I like Northbound for the longer day in Juneau (enough time for Adventure Bound excursion).

Vancouver hasn't fixed their issues in 15 years and isn't going to magically figure it out tomorrow. There isn't enough space or CBP agents to efficiently process 5000 passengers - the facility is best suited for about 1200. So long as Alaska remains part of the US and Vancouver remains part of Canada and they only use a dozen positions for CBP and five metal detectors for 5000 people, it's going to suck.

At least now you queue upstairs, seated. Before that innovation it was cruel. Now it's merely inconvenient and time consuming.

Elite status will not help you. What helps is Global Entry or NEXUS from CBP. If an hour or two of your vacation time means anything, it's worth it, and the fee also grants you five years of PreCheck from TSA.

I LOVE Vancouver; I'm up every month or two

throughout the year. They run an amazing airport and a great transit system, the food scene is exceptional, everyone's friendly. But Canada Place was never designed for more than 1500 passengers/day and the CBP facility is both inadequate and understaffed for the passenger loads. Leave it to us Americans to screw up Canada.

OMG, Coral, you are right about Adventure Bound... That is the one trade-off!!!

Would def. have booked that!

We booked an independent whale watching tour. It was amazing!

Liz Masterson

Liz Masterson

Thank you! I've gone NB but am interested in returning to do SB!

Also... wow had. It realized that about Juneau. We did NB this summer, our first ever cruise. We overdid Juneau. Enjoyed an extended helicopter tour to dog sleds and with a second landing where we got to walk around on Herbert Glacier. Then back to Princess Coral for a quick bite to eat and back out to find a small group whale watching tour.

But if we go again may try SB to mix things up.

20,000+ Club

Would prefer the SB. Would like to do the cruise tour before.

nanabananna

This past May we did the Southbound Whittier to Vancouver

I had friend that took the train from Anchorage to whittier. One could drive but the train is very nice.

You ask why SB verses NB

You get to board the ship earlier so your able to start the ad venture on enjoying all the fun on the ship early including eating , activities, etc.

i would not hesitate on the Whittier to Vancouver.

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7 Best Cruises to Alaska, According to Travel Experts

Book a once-in-a-lifetime trip to see glaciers, national parks and wildlife!

glacier bay national park and preserve, alaska

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While some travelers dream of lounging on a beach in the Caribbean, others might be itching to put on hiking shoes and explore the great outdoors. If glaciers, wildlife and picturesque coastline have long been on your bucket list, consider booking a cruise to Alaska. The northernmost American state offers an activity for everyone's interest and level of adventure. You can take a thrilling helicopter flight to explore a glacier on foot or observe miles of Alaska’s lush scenery and spy whales from a comfortable seat on a boat.

Princess Cruises

majestic princess in glacier bay alaska

A top choice for multi-generational families and larger groups seeking on-board experiences for a wide age range, Princess will sail seven ships to Alaska in 2024 — more than any other line. Princess also offers the most departure cities , potentially saving you money on airfare. Alaska sailings range from 4 to 22 days, though a week is the sweet spot. The line is also only one of seven permitted to enter the magnificent Glacier Bay National Park (shown); check out the tips at the end of the story for details.

Good Housekeeping Contributing Travel Editor Karen Cicero and her daughter recently sailed on Majestic Princess, a Family Travel Awards Winner , and raved about the ship's amenities, especially the Hollywood Pool Club. She described it as “an indoor space with a heated pool, plush loungers, and cabana-like spots that are free for all guests to use.” Cicero was also impressed with the entertainment and activities suitable for all ages, the excellent dining options and a supervised kids’ club for ages 3 to 12. "We saw grandparents and grandkids on the dance floor, at the shows, on the excursions — bonding moments were everywhere," Cicero said.

In 2024, Majestic Princess and Discovery Princess, the line's newest Alaska ship, will both sail roundtrip from Seattle. "You can't beat Princess if you're looking for an experience that will please all ages," said Cicero.

Departure Cities: Los Angeles; San Francisco; Seattle; Vancouver; Whittier, Alaska Cruise Ships: Crown Princess (2024 only); Grand Princess, Caribbean Princess (2025 only), Royal Princess, Sapphire Princess, Discovery Princess, Majestic Princess (2024 only), Crown Princess, Coral Princess (2025 only)

Norwegian Cruise Line

norwegian cruise line encore in alaska

Passengers are loyal to Norwegian for its beautiful ships, top-notch service and innovative amenities. The cruise line pioneered the concept of “freestyle cruising," which includes a flexible dining time. Flexible cruising continues to be a major selling point , according to our testers who recently sailed roundtrip from Seattle to Alaska on the Norwegian Encore (pictured). "We enjoyed not having to rush back to the ship after an excursion because we had a dinner reservation," said our tester who sailed with her spouse.

They also frequented the Encore’s Observation Lounge, where they were able to cozy up and spend hours searching for marine life from floor-to-ceiling windows. Activities and entertainment, like go-karting, slides and laser tag, are abundant. For a premium experience, consider booking a stateroom in The Haven. The Encore's most luxurious accommodations feature spacious rooms — the bathrooms are nearly double the size of those in standard staterooms — a private sundeck and a concierge.

The variety of sailings to Alaska is also another reason to choose Norwegian. "If Hawaii is also on your bucket list, Norwegian is one of the only cruise lines to offer a 16-day cruise departing from Honolulu that sails through both Hawaii and Alaska so you explore two dreamy destinations on one vacation," said Cicero. She added that Norwegian sails to Alaska until late October — about a month longer than most cruise lines.

Departure Cities: Honolulu; Seattle; Seward, Alaska; Vancouver; Whittier, Alaska (2025) Cruise Ships: Norwegian Encore, Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Jewel (only in 2024), Norwegian Spirit (only in May 2024), Norwegian Sun, Norwegian Jade (only in 2025), Norwegian Joy (only in 2025)

EXPLORE NOW

Disney Cruise Line

disney cruise ship docked in ketchikan, alaska

Disney lovers will have the time of their lives sailing roundtrip from Vancouver to Alaska aboard the Disney Wonder. "It was the best experience ever," said a mom of two young adults who sailed on the ship in May 2023. "We felt like it was a great combination of Disney and Alaska."

On-board experiences brilliantly align with the destination. For instance, Disney characters are dressed in special outfits for Alaska and are on deck during the days at sea. "We were able to get incredible photos with the glaciers behind the characters," said the mom, who also noted that you can order Mickey Mouse ice cream bars from room service. Cicero added, "Disney has the best kids' and teen clubs of any cruise line. They're enormous, filled with epic activities like superhero training and are a great place for kids and teens to make friends."

If you want an equal dose of Disney and Alaska, this is the cruise for your crew. Sailings range from five to nine nights. All routes head to Stikine Icecap so guests can observe stunning glaciers, cliffs, waterfalls and wildlife.

Departure City: Vancouver Cruise Ship: Disney Wonder

Royal Caribbean International

juneau, alaska, usa

Royal Caribbean doesn’t only sail to the Caribbean. This global cruise line whisks passengers to Alaska from popular ports such as Seattle and Vancouver. You can choose a classic seven-night itinerary or a 13-night land-and-sea getaway.

Cruise enthusiasts at the Good Housekeeping Institute are fans of Royal Caribbean for its state-of-the-art ships, exceptional service and high-quality entertainment. "Royal Caribbean had the first rock-climbing wall and ice-skating rink on a cruise ship," said Cicero. "Since then, they've brought so many other epic activities to sea." For instance, Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Class, which includes Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas, offers skydiving, a surf simulator and a robot bar. "This line is an especially good fit for families with tweens, teens and young adults ," said Cicero, who sailed on Royal Caribbean with her teen daughter.

Departure Cities: Seattle; Seward, Alaska; Vancouver Cruise Ships: Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas (only in 2024), Ovation of the Seas (only in 2024), Serenade of the Seas (only in 2025)

National Geographic Lindblad Expeditions

lindblad expeditions ship national geographic sea lion

For an incredible small-ship experience, look no further than the Lindblad Expeditions–National Geographic team-up. The largest of its ships that sail to Alaska can accommodate no more than 138 passengers — just a sliver of the 4,900 or so that Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas can hold. " Being on a smaller vessel means that you’ll be able to sail right up to less frequented glaciers, waterfalls and fjords, " said Cicero.

Of course, an intimate experience comes at a higher price tag — its eight-day Alaskan adventure starts at about $6,200 per person, though you won't need to pay extra for excursions. "Voyages tend to be themed and stress the educational component," said Cicero. For instance, one focuses on coastal wildlife while another explores native cultures. A Good Housekeeping staff member who sailed the line to the Galápagos Islands (a providence of Ecuador) raved, "The ship was beautiful! I was super impressed with the staff and the service felt above and beyond.”

Departure Cities: Juneau, Alaska; Ketchikan, Alaska; Seattle; Sitka, Alaska Cruise Ships: National Geographic Quest, National Geographic Venture, National Geographic Sea Bird, National Geographic Sea Lion, National Geographic Resolution

Holland America Line

holland america line cruise to alaska

Holland America has a well-earned reputation for bringing guests to new destinations for more than 150 years. Its ships tend to be mid-sized — larger than Lindblad's offerings but smaller than the Quantum ships from Royal Caribbean. While Holland attracts an older demographic, its Alaskan cruises are often filled with multi-generational families.

One of the cruise line’s most popular itineraries is the Seven-Day Inside Passage, which takes you through Glacier Bay National Park, the Inside Passage, Tracy Arm Inlet and several must-visit port towns. But for adventure seekers curious to see as much of Alaska as possible, you’ll find tons of extended itineraries including a robust 28-day voyage that crosses the Arctic Circle.

Holland America is the only cruise line permitted to serve glacier ice, using it for cocktails like the Blue Iceberg and Juneau Gin & Tonic. The line also launched a new Alaskan-themed brunch menu offered once per cruise.

Departure Cities: Anchorage, Alaska (for land-sea tours only); Fairbanks, Alaska; Seattle; Vancouver, Whittier, Alaska Cruise Ships: Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam, Zuiderdam, Zaandam

Celebrity Cruises

topshot france transport sea tourism

Celebrity is popular with adults and couples looking for a premium onboard experience, including delicious cuisine, luxurious staterooms and a high-end spa . We can’t imagine a better way to rest and relax after spending a day exploring the Alaskan wilderness. Our travel experts suggest choosing one of Celebrity's many Alaska itineraries that sail through the Inside Passage and up to Dawes Glacier or Hubbard Glacier, two of the state’s gems.

Of the three Celebrity ships that sail to Alaska, we recommend the Celebrity Edge for those new to cruising or seeking a more contemporary experience. Launched in 2018, the ship features standout innovations like Eden, a multi-level bar with panoramic views, and the Magic Carpet, a multi-purpose floating space suspended directly above the sea.

Departure Cities: Seattle; Seward, Alaska; Vancouver Cruise Ships: Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Summit, Celebrity Edge

Tips for booking your cruise to Alaska

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✔️ Check your itinerary. The itinerary you choose is key on an Alaskan cruise. If you have your heart set on visiting Glacier Bay National Park, make sure that your cruise line has it listed on the schedule. "Only seven lines were awarded the Glacier Bay contract by the National Park Service ," Cicero said. If you're not sure whether the cruise you have in mind will go through Glacier Bay, double-check with the cruise line or your travel agent.

✔️ Book shore excursions well in advance. Alaskan cruises generally sail from April to October. Because of the shorter season, your ship will likely be close to capacity and several ships may overlap in ports. Excursions will book up quickly. To secure your spot, book excursions well in advance or as soon as they're available.

✔️ Focus on family. Alaskan cruises are best for kids who are at least 5 years old. "Keep in mind that cruise lines don't allow kids who aren't potty-trained to be in pools, even if they're wearing a swim diaper," Cicero said. It's also worth noting that most cruise lines don't permit babies under 6 months or pregnant passengers who are 24 or more weeks along. Cicero advises families with school-age children to look for on-ship amenities, such as an indoor heated pool, a supervised kids' club and a variety of family-friendly nighttime entertainment. "Before you sail, you should also find out which non-alcoholic beverages are complimentary," Cicero said. "Many cruise lines charge extra for soft drinks, but milk and juice are usually included." Free room service is another big perk for families, she notes, so see if that's offered on the line you're considering.

✔️ Check your passport. Even if your cruise starts and stops in a U.S. port like Seattle, there's a high chance your ship will dock in Canada at some point throughout your trip. Also, " some of the excursions in Alaskan ports venture into Canada and will require a passport," explained Cicero. For instance, you may take the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway from Skagway into Yukon, a Canadian territory. Your passport will need to be valid for at least 6 months following the cruise.

✔️ Pack layers. This is especially crucial if you're traveling in Alaska's shoulder season — May and September. While May tends to be drier, temperatures remain relatively chilly. Likewise, September marks the end of the summer season and welcomes cooler temperatures and more rainfall. Because you'll be spending a lot of time outdoors, it's important to prepare for all weather scenarios, including windy conditions common to sailing cruise ships.

✔️ Book next summer's cruise soon. To get the best staterooms and excursions, start looking for a 2025 cruise in 2024, Cicero said, noting that many ships start to fill up at least 6 months in advance. And don't forget about major sale days. "Last year, cruise lines had fantastic Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals," she said.

Why trust Good Housekeeping?

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Good Housekeeping Institute Writer and Product Analyst Olivia Lipski covers everything from tech to travel, fitness, outdoor, home and more. Not only does she have years of product review experience under her belt, but she’s also a travel enthusiast who has been on more than 20 cruises (and counting)!

The former travel editor at Parents magazine, Karen Cicero specializes in travel, children's book, lifestyle and food coverage. She manages the experience portion of the Good Housekeeping Family Travel Awards. She has sailed on four cruise lines with her family and toured several others. She recently was a featured speaker at several travel industry conferences, including PRSA, Mid-Atlantic Tourism Alliance and the Family Travel Association.

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Even with a season that only runs from April through October, there are some 40 big ships and dozens of small ships cruising Alaska , making it one of the most popular cruise destinations in the world after the Caribbean and Europe. The best Alaska cruises range from off-the-beaten-path voyages on vessels carrying fewer than 100 passengers to weeklong jaunts through the Inside Passage aboard megaships that hold thousands.

The itinerary choices are numerous in Alaska. Some ships stick to tried-and-true ports, sailing through Southeast Alaska and into western Canada. Others wander deeper along the Alaska coastline to places such as the Kenai Peninsula, north to Nome and Barrow and even deep into the Bering Sea.

Some trips hit multiple national parks; others dive into Alaska culture, allowing guests to learn the stories told by totem poles or hear about “the big one” from a fisherman at a dive bar.

For cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG’s cruise newsletter .

It can be hard to figure out which ship will deliver your idea of a “bucket list” experience in The Last Frontier. A lot comes down to your travel style, preferences and budget. Some travelers demand luxury, while others don’t mind going less fancy if it means close encounters with bears and other creatures in the wilderness. Some look for romance, while others want to introduce the kids or grandkids to glaciers and eagles, gold panning and sled dogs.

The good news is there’s a ship in Alaska for you no matter your taste or style. Here’s a beginner’s guide to the best Alaska cruises to help you narrow down your choices.

Best for megaresort fans

Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean both sail some of their largest ships in Alaska. They are floating megaresorts, carrying thousands, and are big on amenities, glitz and a certain amount of glamor — think flashy casinos, Broadway shows, lavish spas. Dining and drinking venues number in the dozens, while amusement park features thrill the kids and adrenaline-seekers.

Norwegian Encore

On Norwegian Encore, you can race along a go-kart racetrack, compete in outdoor laser tag and zoom down slides at the water park while you traverse Alaska’s Inside Passage. The ship sails seven-night cruises from Seattle, visiting Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan in Alaska, as well as Victoria, British Columbia, and Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve .

Related: A beginner’s guide to picking a cruise line

Ovation of the Seas

On Royal Caribbean’s Quantum-class ships, you can order a drink from a robotic bartender, try simulated skydiving or surfing experiences and take a ride in a glass capsule that travels high above your ship on a mechanical arm — a weird and wonderful way to see the Alaska scenery.

Ovation of the Seas sails round-trip from Seattle on seven-night cruises, but the exact itinerary varies by week. The ship cruises Endicott Arm for scenic views of Dawes Glacier and typically visits three Alaska ports and Victoria.

Best for land and sea adventures

You’ve traveled far to get to Alaska, and it would be a shame to miss inland sights such as Denali National Park and Preserve and the sight of Denali, North America’s largest peak — so big it’s often shrouded in clouds caused by its own weather system.

Market leaders Holland America Line and Princess Cruises both send a half-dozen ships to Alaska each year, and they have 75 and 55 years in the market, respectively.

They top the list in terms of cruises, as well as cruise tours, which combine time sailing with overnight stays on land. The companies operate their own lodges, rail cars and motorcoaches for exploration of Alaska’s interior and beyond. Many of the ships have permission to sail in Glacier Bay.

Related: The coolest things to do on an Alaska cruise

Choose from 10- to 17-night land tours that combine a standard weeklong cruise (sometimes half a cruise) with time spent exploring Alaska’s interior by bus, train or even plane.

Holland America will base six ships in Alaska in 2024, with tour offerings to Denali, Fairbanks and Anchorage.

However, it also offers nine- to 14-night cruise tours on Koningsdam that head into the Canadian Yukon, following the route of the Klondike Gold Rush from Alaska to northwestern Canada. Disembark your cruise ship in Skagway, then travel to Whitehorse and Dawson City in the Yukon before continuing on to Fairbanks (the gateway to Arctic Alaska), Denali National Park and Anchorage.

Sapphire Princess

Princess Cruises offers a cruise tour where you visit four national parks: Glacier Bay, Denali, the Kenai Fjords and America’s largest national park, Wrangell-St. Elias. The 15- and 17-night trips combine a seven-night cruise on Sapphire Princess from Vancouver to Whittier, Alaska, with another week or more on land, ending in Fairbanks or Anchorage.

Best for travelers on a budget

Older ships in Norwegian and Royal Caribbean’s fleets tend to offer more reduced prices than you’ll find on the lines’ larger and newer ships, based on the fact the older ships don’t have as many bells and whistles.

Since they have so many ships in the market, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises also tend to offer frequent sales — especially on their older tonnage. These ships have a loyal following and tend to have fewer families on board, which some couples find particularly appealing.

Related: Best time to cruise Alaska

If you’re looking for other surefire ways to save, consider sailings in the area’s shoulder season. You’ll find better deals from April to early June and in September than you will in the height of summer.

Also, in Alaska, balcony cabins are highly desirable, with everyone seeking views of the wilderness, snow-capped peaks and glaciers. As those reserves get low, the prices tend to get higher. Bargain seekers should either book early for these accommodations or choose inside, outside or guarantee cabins (where you don’t pick your room location) to save more.

Radiance of the Seas

Royal Caribbean’s 20-year-old ship Radiance of the Seas mainly sails weeklong, one-way cruises between Vancouver and Seward, Alaska, with prices below $100 per person, per night, for inside and outside cabins on many departures.

However, its early-season May 2024 sailing from Seward to Vancouver is the cheapest Royal Caribbean Alaska cruise of the season. It starts at $368 per person for an inside cabin.

Grand Princess and Sapphire Princess

Princess Cruises has so many ships based in Alaska that you’re bound to find deals, especially on shoulder-season cruises. Both Grand and Sapphire Princess offer weeklong Alaska cruises in May 2024 starting from $548 per person for inside cabins. The itinerary starts in Vancouver and ends in Whittier, Alaska, with calls in Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway and scenic cruising in Glacier Bay and College Fjord.

Best for off-the-beaten-path travel

Want to see and deeply experience coastal Alaska, and don’t mind a mellower environment where lectures and impromptu guitar singalongs replace casinos and show productions? Consider lines such as UnCruise Adventures , Lindblad Expeditions and Alaskan Dream Cruises, all with ships that carry fewer than 100 passengers (and in the case of Alaskan Dream, even under 20 passengers).

On these small ships, captains have the flexibility to alter itineraries and linger if the naturalist onboard spots a pod of whales or bears digging for clams on a beach.

Small ships can go places bigger ships can’t, so itineraries stretch far beyond the traditional ports. You’ll visit more remote places such as Petersburg, a fishing town with strong Norwegian roots, and Wrangell, one of Alaska’s oldest communities. Some itineraries are conducted entirely in the wild, with no port calls at all.

UnCruise Adventures

UnCruise Adventures explores Southeast Alaska on seven-, 12- and 14-night itineraries. A day might start with a morning birding expedition, continue with a kayaking adventure and end with an evening campfire ashore. You might visit LeConte and Baird Glaciers (where the big ships don’t go), plus UnCruise has the only permits for hiking and biking adventures on Chichagof Island.

Lindblad Expeditions

Lindblad Expeditions frequents off-the-beaten-path destinations in both Alaska and British Columbia, with itineraries ranging from six to 15 nights.

Guests might explore the small fishing town of Petersburg or discover native petroglyphs on the beaches of Wrangell Island in Alaska, or search for grizzly bears in Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest. Lindblad has special permits to bring passengers into the wilderness of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve and the Tongass National Forest, beyond what the big ships can offer.

Alaskan Dream Cruises

Alaskan-owned Alaskan Dream Cruises’ ships carry 12 to 76 passengers to remote Native villages that rarely see visitors, with plenty of time for wildlife viewing far from the cruise ship crowds. Itineraries range from five to nine nights, from departure ports such as Sitka, Ketchikan and Juneau.

Best for families

If you’re traveling with your kids or grandkids in Alaska and want an activity- and entertainment-packed experience, target the newest and biggest ships of Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Carnival and especially Disney Cruise Line. All have excellent camp-like activity programs for kids, plus eye-popping amusement attractions.

Disney Wonder

On Disney ships, Goofy might make an appearance as you admire soaring eagles, blue icebergs and glaciers. The extensive children’s program, entertainment and such activities as water slides and play areas deliver what you would expect from the purveyor of dreams. Bonus: Cabins are designed with families in mind and include split bathrooms (one with a toilet and sink, the other with a shower/tub combo and sink).

Related: 5 best cruise lines for families

Discovery Princess

While lacking in whiz-bang attractions, Princess Cruises is another good choice, both for its children’s and teens program, complete with spacious facilities, and for such programming as bringing sled dogs on board, which is a hit with young passengers. The line’s newest ship, Discovery Princess, sails round trip from Seattle, a convenient U.S. home port for families to fly or drive to.

Carnival Spirit

Water slides, a partnership with Dr. Seuss and three hangouts for kids and teens make Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Spirit a great bet for families in Alaska.

The ship’s huge array of included quick eats — pizza, tacos, Guy Fieri’s burgers and unlimited soft serve ice cream — and casual atmosphere take the stress out of dining with the family. The ship sails round trip from Seattle on seven-night itineraries that call in Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan and Victoria, with scenic cruising in Tracy Arm Fjord.

Best for luxury lovers

If you envision sipping Champagne as you watch a glacier thunderously calve into the sea, consider booking one of the all-inclusive luxury cruise lines in Alaska: Seabourn , Regent Seven Seas Cruises or Silversea .

All these lines include ships that are experts at delivering gourmet cuisine and the other finer things in life in intimate, cushy floating environments. Additionally, all the lines are big on featuring lectures by experts, which provides passengers with a deeper insight into Alaska.

Itineraries tend to include the popular ports and beyond. You might, for instance, visit Wrangell and Prince Rupert, a port city in Canada, and linger in places such as the Misty Fjords and Prince William Sound. Seven- to 14-night sailings embark from ports such as Vancouver, Seward and Juneau.

Seven Seas Explorer

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.

Seabourn Odyssey

The 450-passenger Seabourn Odyssey boasts an onboard expedition team and does a posh version of expedition cruising in Alaska, using inflatable Zodiac craft and kayaks.

Seabourn calls its program Ventures by Seabourn. Experts onboard these sailings include naturalists, biologists and other scientists who are members of the expedition team. Once guests finish communing with nature, they can indulge in complimentary Champagne and caviar on board or relish a meal created by famed chef, Thomas Keller.

Related: The 4 best luxury cruise lines for elegance and exclusivity

Best for solo travelers

Solo travelers don’t always have to pay double to cruise Alaska on their own. Several ships feature cabins designed and priced for one. Single cruisers should also note that luxury lines Silversea and Seabourn, while not cheap, do a great job of taking care of single cruisers, hosting them at dinner and providing easy opportunities to meet and mingle with other travelers.

Norwegian Bliss

The ships in Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway and Getaway classes all have cozy studio cabins designed and priced for one person. Additionally, they’re located in a complex where a private lounge encourages mingling. Norwegian Bliss offers 82 solo rooms on its round-trip Seattle cruises that visit Dawes Glacier, Sitka and Icy Strait Point.

Quantum of the Seas

Royal Caribbean’s studio staterooms, on its Quantum-class ships in Alaska, give solo travelers the benefits of both decent space and balconies.

On Quantum of the Seas, choose a 101-square-foot inside cabin or a 119-square-foot ocean-view room with a 55-square-foot balcony. Either way, you get a full-size bed and plenty of space for one person. The ship sails a similar weeklong itinerary to sister ship Ovation of the Seas, round-trip from Seattle with scenic sailing along Endicott Arm.

Holland America offers ocean-view accommodations for one in Alaska only on Koningsdam. Measuring 127 to 172 square feet, these rooms come with a full-size bed and a picture window.

Koningsdam sails round trip from Vancouver to Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan, with scenic cruising in Tracy Arm and Glacier Bay. Its cruises can be combined into nine- to 14-night cruise tours to the Yukon and Denali.

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Additional reporting by Erica Silverstein.

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We are taking the Princess shuttle from Vancouver to Seattle in 2024. Would like to hear from anyone who has taken it in 2023. What was your experience? Appreciate suggestions and things to keep in mind.

2 replies to this topic

Will do. Thank you.

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Princess Cruises commemorates Alaska’s 65th statehood anniversary

admin 2024年4月7日

Culture & Travel , Culture & Travel - Beginner

princess cruise alaska vancouver to anchorage

Pre-reading questions:

  • Have you ever been on a cruise before?
  • Is cruising a popular vacation option in your country?

Vocabulary:

  • cruise /krooz/

[noun] – a trip on a ship for pleasure or vacation We are planning a cruise to the Caribbean next summer.

  • departure /dih-PAHR-cher/

[noun] – The act of leaving a place, especially at the start of a journey. Our departure is scheduled for 9 AM tomorrow.

  • promise /PROM-is /

[verb] – to tell someone that you will certainly do something If you promise to finish your homework, you can go out to play.

  • unforgettable /uhn-fer-GET-uh-buhl/

[adjective] – something that is impossible to forget; very memorable The concert was unforgettable, with amazing performances.

  • region /REE-juhn/

Article reading:

True or false:.

  • Princess Cruises is celebrating its 65th anniversary in Alaska.
  • The Ruby Princess will offer new seven-day Inside Passage routes departing from Vancouver in the 2024 season.
  • Princess Cruises is introducing three new Alaskan tours in 2024.
  • Prices for interior staterooms start at $299 per person.
  • The 2024 season promises ordinary itineraries for an Alaskan adventure.

Fill in the blanks:

  • The mountainous ______ attracts hikers and nature enthusiasts with its beautiful landscapes.
  • Our family enjoyed a luxurious ______ in the Mediterranean last summer.
  • The ______ of the flight was delayed due to bad weather.
  • She ______ to help me with my project after finishing her own.
  • Our trip to Paris was truly ______; we had a fantastic time exploring the city.

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