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Which cruise line for Alaska?

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I'm sure this has been asked before.....but....hub and I are planning our first (and probably only) Alaska cruise for 2020.  We have been on close to 30 cruises, all in Caribbean/Panama/South America.  We are Diamond status with Royal Caribbean, but have also sailed Celebrity, Holland America and NCL.  We are in our mid-fifties, and will be traveling with just the two of us.


All of these lines (and Princess) offer the cruise tours we are interested in.  Would like a couple of days at Denali, and would like a stop at Talkeenta.  Anyone recommend one cruise line/ship over another?  Best observations decks?  Best balconies?  Best excursions (or all they all the same?)?   Would like minimum 10 days, and I see Holland has a number of 18 night trips.   Any advice is appreciated!  Would like to book soon, as rooms are filling up!




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We are Princess loyals,  however when we did Alaska it was on Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas.  This class of ship has so much glass,  even an elevator that's glass runs up the side of the ship, so the ship was a great fit to see Alaska.  The only other thing I'd add is to deffinately spend the money and get a balcony.....this is what they are for.  Also we did the helicopter glacier landing.....all excursions are expensive in Alaska but if you're there then just do it.  

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On 9/16/2019 at 10:12 AM, lktomkies said:

planning our first (and probably only) Alaska cruise for 2020


  • only AK trip?... make sure it includes a Glacier Bay sea day
  • Vancouver sailings includes the South Inside Passage that offers calmer waters compared to Seattle
  • which month?  late-May is dry and cheap (my fav time to go), June has daylight, July for warmth, August has wildlife chasing the returning salmon (bears and whales), September is wet, cheap, and dark with the limited sunlight.

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Hi! Princess and Holland-America-Line are the two big players for Alaska cruises, although my trip with Celebrity was really lovely, too. All cruise line focus on Mother Nature during their cruises. Land and sea, mountains, wildlife, glyciers and icebergs, volcanism, earthquakes, tectonic plates and there is always a naturalist on board holding interesting talks. A grand focus and nature is what makes Alaska cruises special.


Much more important, I think, than the name of a vessel is the routing, how many nights and if it is going from/to Vancouver or Seattle or all the way up to Seward, Whittier or Anchorage. The typical 7nts round trip from Vancouver / Seattle only allows you a tiny taste of Alaska, and squeezing yourself through the souvenir shops of Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway is not what I call "Alaska Experience". My suggestion: disembark in Seward or Whittier and discover Alaska by rental car or RV. See Denali, Fairbanks, Valdez, take whale watching tours, ride a tour boat towards the glaciers near Valdez.

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Princess and Holland do an exceptional job in Alaska and as noted include naturalists that can really enhance the trip.  They also have itineraries that include Glacier Bay.


Since you’re experienced cruisers you may want to consider a small ship cruise.  UnCruise & Alaskan Dream takes the Alaska experience to a new level. They also have itineraries that not only visit Glacier Bay but overnight there. It’s nothing short of cool to be anchored in front of a glacier for the evening.

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