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Why are Alaska cruises so expensive?


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On 3/21/2019 at 5:50 AM, elliair said:

We didn't see it in the outback on fishing expeditions.  Ever been on one Thrak?  You don't see poverty in Alaska like we see it in the Caribbean.

 

No. We did a 7 week camping trip with several of those weeks in Alaska. We went through some small "towns" that were pretty poor. Fortunately the people there share within the community. When one gets a moose they feed everybody. When one scores big fishing they share with everybody. They were definitely not folks with money. We didn't even make it into the actual poor areas. There is poverty in Alaska but there is actually a bit of a silver lining in that every man, woman, and child receives a share of oil money every year. It's not enough to live on - I think it was around $1,600 per person last year - but it helps.

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55 minutes ago, Thrak said:

 

No. We did a 7 week camping trip with several of those weeks in Alaska. We went through some small "towns" that were pretty poor. Fortunately the people there share within the community. When one gets a moose they feed everybody. When one scores big fishing they share with everybody. They were definitely not folks with money. We didn't even make it into the actual poor areas. There is poverty in Alaska but there is actually a bit of a silver lining in that every man, woman, and child receives a share of oil money every year. It's not enough to live on - I think it was around $1,600 per person last year - but it helps.

 

The governor of AK is raising the oil share money to $3000 this year by looting the treasury of the state.  The reason that he did this is that oil production is way down because the oil fields are getting depleted and there is not enough money from oil to give the people the money that they are used to getting.  He has severely cut social services, health benefits and has cut the budget of the state university by 40% just so that the state residents can get their oil money.  Check out this article for example - https://www.reuters.com/article/us-alaska-politics/deep-budget-cuts-put-university-of-alaska-in-crisis-mode-grappling-with-survival-idUSKCN1UH2H0.  The cutsin social services to pay the Oil Dividend will devistate many rural communitiers in AK.

 

DON

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On 3/20/2019 at 6:21 PM, elliair said:

Alaska IMHO is more beautiful than the Caribbean.  You don't see poverty in Alaska, only serene landscapes and clean cities.  There's plenty to see and do in Alaska, and we will pay the price to see Alaska.  It's one of our favorite cruises.  I hope to book a cruise to Alaska this season.  Health issues are keeping us home for the time being.

I have lived in Alaska for over 20 years and there is plenty of poverty here - you just have to know where to look. The larger cities have historically done a pretty good job of hiding the homeless and criminal elements during summer months but recent budget cuts are shutting down shelters and reducing assistance to the poor so they may soon be more visible.

That being said - We are about to take our 3rd inside passage cruise (it's the best way to go visit friends and relatives down in Southeast) and agree that it is an expensive itinerary but worth it!

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On 3/19/2019 at 1:56 PM, tourismtessy said:

Hubby and I are booked on a 14 day Caribbean cruise the end of the month and are also booked on a 7 day Alaska cruise in May 2020.  The Alaska cruise costs the same as the 2 week Caribbean cruise.  We are booked in the same balcony type on both cruises.  Can anyone tell me why Alaska is so much more costly?

Hi

We cruise both HAL and Princess.  Checked this one out for this year leaving Vancouver August 11th to August 25th.  Alaska is oversold this year.  I live right in Vancouver prices are good in early May I have never seen prices lately in years like this which go in the summer.  I have seen 7 day one way for $399.00 this summer.  I was just on this ship for 28 days last fall, it is in great shape, was drydocked in 2017.  Anyhow if you can’t go this summer watch the pricing on your cruise in 2020 and hopefully will come down.  Also I know that just due to population as U.S. is 10 times larger than Canada that I approximate 10 times more Americans on this site than Canadians.  I know Americans like to take Alaska out of Seattle port as air flights are much more economical.  Having said all that and I am not saying this because I live in Vancouver, the route to Alaska out of Vancouver is more scenic. Anyhow just throwing it out there.  Also usually Alaska is all sold for the summer by now.  Next year I know HAL is bringing up the Koningsdam for Alaska, pinnacle class 2,900 passengers, I was already thinking before I saw the cheap prices for this year, if the cruise lines are bringing larger, more passenger capacity ships into the Alaska run, us passengers might be able to score some good fare deals these next couple of years.  

14-Day Alaska Roundtrip Collectors' Voyage

SHIP WESTERDAM
 
FROM$849PER PERSON
INSIDE

Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses are additional up to $405. View Pricing Terms.

 
 
- 14-DAY ALASKA ROUNDTRIP COLLECTORS' VOYAGE
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40 minutes ago, Lido deck main said:

Hi

We cruise both HAL and Princess.  Checked this one out for this year leaving Vancouver August 11th to August 25th.  Alaska is oversold this year.  I live right in Vancouver prices are good in early May I have never seen prices lately in years like this which go in the summer.  I have seen 7 day one way for $399.00 this summer.  I was just on this ship for 28 days last fall, it is in great shape, was drydocked in 2017.  Anyhow if you can’t go this summer watch the pricing on your cruise in 2020 and hopefully will come down.  Also I know that just due to population as U.S. is 10 times larger than Canada that I approximate 10 times more Americans on this site than Canadians.  I know Americans like to take Alaska out of Seattle port as air flights are much more economical.  Having said all that and I am not saying this because I live in Vancouver, the route to Alaska out of Vancouver is more scenic. Anyhow just throwing it out there.  Also usually Alaska is all sold for the summer by now.  Next year I know HAL is bringing up the Koningsdam for Alaska, pinnacle class 2,900 passengers, I was already thinking before I saw the cheap prices for this year, if the cruise lines are bringing larger, more passenger capacity ships into the Alaska run, us passengers might be able to score some good fare deals these next couple of years.  

14-Day Alaska Roundtrip Collectors' Voyage

 

SHIP WESTERDAM
 
FROM$849PER PERSON
INSIDE

Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses are additional up to $405. View Pricing Terms.

 
 
- 14-DAY ALASKA ROUNDTRIP COLLECTORS' VOYAGE

This one is out of Seattle return Seattle for this August 2019

14-Day Great Alaskan Explorer

SHIP AMSTERDAM
 
FROM$799PER PERSON
INSIDE

Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses are additional up to $440. View Pricing Terms.

 
 
- 14-DAY GREAT ALASKAN EXPLORER
 
crazy good pricing for summer.
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  • 6 months later...

I feel your pain OP.  We are considering an Alaskan cruise too, but when adding up all the costs, I am not sure.  Not only is the cruise itself expensive, but so are airfares for us even to the closer places like Seattle and Vancouver for a round trip fare.  Fares aren't too bad off season, but cruise season around cruising (day before) and afternoon after (sky high).  Also, excursions are pricey too -- If you are there, do what you'd want to do, but that whale watching trek, dog sledding, and then especially high that cool float plane excursion will set you back another $900 pp).  If I do Alaska prime season in July, get a balcony cabin, pick a line with Glacier Bay which I'd like lol to go to Alaska is more expensive that my longer spring trip in Europe to (Paris and Belfast  - even including the premium economy flights upgrade).  Say what?

 

Recent summer trips that we've done last summer - South Dakota, summer before Colorado -- (hitting some great State, National Parks, etc.) for the same length are less than half the cost of doing the Alaska cruise (when I crunched the numbers), and that's flying there, renting a minivan, and staying in nice hotels/lodges/condos.

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We paid less for a 16-day Tokyo to Vancouver cruise, with full Alaska itinerary, than was being demanded for 10-day Alaska LA return. And we got 4 Japan stops as well, my second favorite cruise destination to Alaska. Wonderful cruise. Always search alternative ways, never know what you may find.

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I checked out three cruises to the Caribbean during the time frame of my Alaska cruise(07/2020) and both are on the B.S.E. sale so are comparable.  My Alaska cruise is $2347pp and a Caribbean cruise at the same time period  in comparable cabin(midship CC Mini) is on one cruise $2336pp, $2455 on another, and $2217 for the third;   I guess  I got a good price for our Alaskan cruise!

 

Pooh

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On 3/19/2019 at 6:55 PM, oskidunker said:

Mexico 10 day Balcony around $1500.00. Norway Iceland 14 day. Balcony 5k. Only 1 cruise this year to that itinary. Very expensive. 

 

Cheapest are crossings but but you don’t go anywhere. Few ports, rough weather possible. Not for me. My sister loves it. 

My final price mini suite upsell for 3 from SF rt south to Ensenada turns out to be less than following week's balcony upsell for 1 SF rt north to Victoria. Both include Platinum insurance 

 

3/22-3/29/2020 = 3040.92 for 3 in MB

3/29-4/5/2020 = 3210.32 for 1 in BD

 

Supply and demand.  Very few Pacific Northwest Coast itineraries 

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On 3/23/2019 at 8:04 AM, flamomo said:

 

And even crossings aren't "cheap" any more! When I did my first TA, the fare, even as a solo, was a real deal. I was able to get an inside cabin for a little over $100/day.  Nowadays, with the  rise of increased popularity of TAs, they are far from cheap, and I would not even consider doing one as a solo cruiser in an inside cabin because those fares have at least doubled.

Looking at land vaca 's these days just getting to expensive for us!

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54 minutes ago, Reader0108598 said:

Looking at land vaca 's these days just getting to expensive for us!

I do land vacations too. Something nice about planting myself in Dublin then Edinburgh. By the time I book a week in 1 hotel transfer to a 2nd city and a week there it's almost the same price but entertainment / meals not included. That's where cruising becomes more affordable (yes I'm a solo)

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58 minutes ago, Ombud said:

I do land vacations too. Something nice about planting myself in Dublin then Edinburgh. By the time I book a week in 1 hotel transfer to a 2nd city and a week there it's almost the same price but entertainment / meals not included. That's where cruising becomes more affordable (yes I'm a solo)

I hear you but at least on land a bottle of water does not cost an arm and a leg...lol We love to cruise but need to watch our money now! Oh well almost 30 cruises was a good run 🙂

 

Edited by Reader0108598
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On 3/19/2019 at 9:55 PM, oskidunker said:

Mexico 10 day Balcony around $1500.00. Norway Iceland 14 day. Balcony 5k. Only 1 cruise this year to that itinary. Very expensive. 

 

Cheapest are crossings but but you don’t go anywhere. Few ports, rough weather possible. Not for me. My sister loves it. 

Everything in Norway and Iceland is expensive.  In the latter case, they have to import practically everything because there's little industry there.  Not sure why Norway is so expensive, but I visited a McD's in Oslo there and its prices were quite high [sorry I don't remember the details}.

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9 hours ago, kathy884 said:

. . .

Recent summer trips that we've done last summer - South Dakota, summer before Colorado -- (hitting some great State, National Parks, etc.) for the same length are less than half the cost of doing the Alaska cruise (when I crunched the numbers), and that's flying there, renting a minivan, and staying in nice hotels/lodges/condos.

As I said in another post today, everything is more expensive in Alaska because so much has to be imported.  It's a very "out of the way" place 😉  We did quite a number of auto trips from Michigan to the Rockies, including those in Canada (DH has relatives is Saskatchewan) starting when our kids were in middle/jr hi school.  Also drove out to Maine, etc.  Have always flown to FL for winter/spring trips--that's just too far to drive IMHO altho lots of fellow Michiganders do so.  We've done 3 cruises to or from Alaska and one where we flew there and did a RT cruise and flew home.

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Hubby and I had never done an Alaskan, we wanted to, but the prices!  

 

Last year, I was offered a casino rate on a 7 day Alaskan roundtrip from Seattle.  We jumped on it, did our "dream" vacation and will probably never go back.  

 

For me, 7 days is not long enough.  There's that and I've been disappointed going north.  We were on the first northern CA coastal and for us, ehhh. 

 

I'm a business owner and you can bet that if I had 3000 people coming into town, I'd have extra help, open early and do everything I possibly could to get those tourist dollars into my hands.  The shops had "cute" little signs saying "we're open when we're open" type.  
 

Passengers were let off the ship at 7 AM, most shops didn't open until 10-11.  Sure, I could have headed over to walmart, but I can go to walmart anywhere.  I wanted the cute shops, the ecliptic, something that said NORTH.  Disappointed, we headed back to the ship in every port and saved our money.  I don't think we spent more than the cost of transportation in any port on that entire trip.   

 

We normally leave from SanFran, 4ish hour drive (hubby does NOT fly), so do the same itinerary multiple times.  And we don't mind.

 

Alaska was almost the same as the NorCal trip.  We wandered the towns, enjoyed the scenery and didn't spend more than the cost of a couple of cups of coffee.  The BIG tourist stores were open, well staffed and completely boring.   

 

So, we've done Alaska.  

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2 hours ago, BarbinMich said:

Everything in Norway and Iceland is expensive.  In the latter case, they have to import practically everything because there's little industry there.  Not sure why Norway is so expensive, but I visited a McD's in Oslo there and its prices were quite high [sorry I don't remember the details}.

 

In Norway - not in a tourist place - we paid $28 for 2 pints of beer. (20 oz. Imperial pints.) Good beer but expensive.

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Norway is more expensive than Alaska, and Antarctica is more expensive than Norway.

 

2017 - 18 nights to Norway on the Pacfic Princess in an Owner's suite was $28,130 or $1562 per day.

 

2018 - 10 nights to Alaska on the Grand Princess in a Penthouse suite was $9,411 or $941 per day.

 

2018 - 15 nights to Antarctica on Silversea Cloud in a Veranda suite (equivalent to a mini on Princess) was $39,570 or $2638 per day.

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I managed to go to Alaska last year on the cheap. I did back-to-back cruises from Vancouver to Whittier and back. I was solo since DH had to stay home and work. I went in very few shops, so I did not care if they weren't open at 7 when the ship first docked. I enjoyed walking around the sights, biking in Skagway, going to Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, and a spectacular 26-glacier cruise on the turnaround day in Whittier.

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1 hour ago, cflutist said:

Norway is more expensive than Alaska, and Antarctica is more expensive than Norway.

 

2017 - 18 nights to Norway on the Pacfic Princess in an Owner's suite was $28,130 or $1562 per day.

 

2018 - 10 nights to Alaska on the Grand Princess in a Penthouse suite was $9,411 or $941 per day.

 

2018 - 15 nights to Antarctica on Silversea Cloud in a Veranda suite (equivalent to a mini on Princess) was $39,570 or $2638 per day.

While I haven't done Antarctica, I completely agree with Norway. It was an expensive trip - great, but expensive. No regrets.

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15 hours ago, cflutist said:

Norway is more expensive than Alaska, and Antarctica is more expensive than Norway.

 

2017 - 18 nights to Norway on the Pacfic Princess in an Owner's suite was $28,130 or $1562 per day.

 

2018 - 10 nights to Alaska on the Grand Princess in a Penthouse suite was $9,411 or $941 per day.

 

2018 - 15 nights to Antarctica on Silversea Cloud in a Veranda suite (equivalent to a mini on Princess) was $39,570 or $2638 per day.

We have visited Norway several times on TAs---they're the best bargain on per day cost, assuming you like sea days, which we do.  All Pacific Princess cruises are more expensive per day because it's a small ship and one doesn't get the "volume" discount one would on the big ships.  We have cruise friends who recently did a cruise to Antartica, probably on the Coral Princess, and the price for the same cruise next Jan. is $2,979 for an inside ($187/nt).  That's generally more than we were willing to pay as we used to do 3 cruises a year (after retirement).

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16 hours ago, cflutist said:

Norway is more expensive than Alaska, and Antarctica is more expensive than Norway.

 

2017 - 18 nights to Norway on the Pacfic Princess in an Owner's suite was $28,130 or $1562 per day.

 

2018 - 10 nights to Alaska on the Grand Princess in a Penthouse suite was $9,411 or $941 per day.

 

2018 - 15 nights to Antarctica on Silversea Cloud in a Veranda suite (equivalent to a mini on Princess) was $39,570 or $2638 per day.

Even tho you're comparing suties, you're comparing apples and oranges with those three ships:  Grand P is a mass market line (and thus less expensive), Pacific P is very small so prices are higher, and Silversea is a luxury line.

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