Alaska cruises

There are a number of different options when you are choosing a cruise to Alaska, with the cruise line, duration, departure ports, ports of calls and extensions all making a big difference to your Alaska holiday. Take in the must-see places in Alaska on your cruise such as Juneau, the state's capital plus Glacier Bay National Park, Skagway and Ketchikan where you can see the colourful totem poles.

You can also visit other lesser-known ports such as Sitka, the Hubbard Glacier and Tracy Arm. You can choose where you board your ship, too. Cruises to Alaska from Vancouver are popular departure ports for Cunard, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises or you may choose to start your Alaskan cruise from Seattle with Norwegian Cruise Line or Royal Caribbean. You can even cruise to Alaska from the UK with Cunard.

Alaska is served by a good number of cruise lines offering different experiences. If you want a luxury cruise to Alaska you may choose to travel with Seabourn or Aurora Expeditions or perhaps cruise with Princess Cruises or Cunard for a more affordable premium cruise. For a bigger ship experience then a cruise to Alaska with Royal Caribbean or Norwegian Cruise Line may suit you. Alternatively, there's Holland America Line which has been cruising to Alaska for over 75 years.

Alaska is such a vast state and you have the opportunity to make your holiday to Alaska complete by adding something extra. You could choose to travel across the Rockies on The Rocky Mountaineer railway, join a trip to witness the Calgary Stampede or maybe enjoy some of the cruise lines' private accommodation such as McKinley Chalet Resort in Denali with Holland America Line.

Cruises to Alaska - Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best cruise lines to Alaska?

Ultra-luxury cruises to Alaska

Luxury and premium cruise lines to Alaska

  • Celebrity Cruises - offering a range of departure ports including from Southampton.
  • Princess Cruises - award-winning cruise line with larger ships and excellent onboard technology and dining.
  • Holland America Line - the experts in cruising to Alaska with over 75 years' experience.

Other cruise lines sailing to Alaska

What is the best cruise ship for Alaska?

An Alaskan cruise is a special experience and with that in mind, we'd suggest cruising with the experts. Holland America Line boasts its own private lodge in Denali and the brand's voyages are expertly planned to ensure you have the best experience. Alternatively, Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises have regular departures and offer a premium experience. Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines also offer Alaskan Cruises. For a luxury cruise to Alaska, select Seabourn or Regent Seven Seas Cruises or join Aurora Expeditions for a more expedition cruise experience.

When is the best time to cruise to Alaska?

The cruising season to Alaska is from mid-April through to mid-October and it's a beautiful state to visit in any month. However, the best time to cruise to Alaska is between late May and early September. There is very little snowfall in Juneau, the capital, during those months and the weather should be at its best. In April and October, the weather can be cold, especially in the evenings and early mornings. May into June is the driest time in Alaska and we'd recommend late May through into June for the ideal time to visit as attractions will be open and school holidays won't have started so there should be fewer children around.

In July the weather is at its warmest up to mid 60's Fahrenheit although it will start to get rainy. August will see a high chance of rain at around 50 percent throughout the month then the season starts to draw to a close in September as temperatures start to drop and rainfall remains high with 14 days of rain on average. As well as the weather you should also consider festivals which are at their height in summer, wildlife viewings and other activities. Bears can be seen in the summer months and the main salmon run takes place in July through mid-August and whales can be seen most of the season.

What are the must-see places to visit on an Alaskan cruise?

You're sure of an amazing experience in Alaska. Make sure you visit these places.

  • Ketchikan - famous for its colourful totem poles and steep streets.
  • Juneau - the state capital of Alaska.
  • Glacier Bay - over 3.3 million acres of coastal mountains and ancient glaciers.
  • Skagway - set on the inside passage and home to many buildings and structures from the gold rush.
  • Hubbard Glacier - 76 miles long and 1,200 feet deep situated off the coast of Yakutat.
  • Kenai Fjords - American national park with glaciers, coastal fjords and islands
  • Icy Strait Point - cruise ship port famous for salmon
  • Sitka - Alaskan city known for its fishing and previously part of Russia until 1867

What should I wear on an Alaskan cruise?

The weather in Alaska can be changeable across a week period irrespective of the time of year. If you're travelling early season in April or May you should bring warm clothing and be prepared for cold evenings. In June and July, the longer daylight hours contribute to the warmer feeling and you might see temperatures to 65 degrees Fahrenheit and although June tends to be fairly dry July can get wet with 12 inches of rainfall in the month quite commonplace.

Bring long trousers and some shorts if you're feeling braver. Water and wind-proof jackets which can be easily carried if out and about are necessary. There may still be some snow on the ground into June so be prepared with appropriate footwear if you're going walking. If you're travelling in August you'll need waterproof jackets and as the weather will start to cool down bring sweaters and jackets too. September will see the weather getting cooler still and may still be wet so heavier jumpers and outer clothing will be important as the cruising season ends.

You should take insect repellent at all times of the year but especially in May and June, and good quality sunglasses to protect from the snow glare and sunshine. Remember you'll get close to 20 hours of sunlight in the height of summer.

How much is a cruise to Alaska?

The answer really depends on the type of cruise you want and when you choose to travel. If you're looking at an expedition cruise with Aurora Expeditions you could pay in excess of £10,000 for a two-week cruise. However, you can also be smart and travel in quieter periods. Choose late May and early June or early September to avoid the crowds and the peak season. Choose to travel with cruise lines such as Holland America Line or Princess Cruises and take advantage of their drinks and excursion packages to get the best value. You can find an excellent cruise for one week in early June for about £1,000 per person.

The best cruise lines to Alaska

Guides to the best cruise lines for your Alaskan cruise.

Alaska Cruise Guide

Read our guide to cruising in Alaska, what to do and what to see.

Best ports to visit in Alaska

Read our Alaska cruise port guides, what to do and what to see.