GalaxSea Cruises & Tours of San Diego

Alaska Cruises


Alaska is one of our favorite destinations. We've been many times and we're ready to go again anytime. The scenery is spectacular and the inside passage temperatures are wonderful (typically 60s & 70s for highs). Book early for Alaska for best selection - particularly cruisetours and cabins that hold 3 or 4 people because they sell out quickly and some cruise lines like Princess have very few of these! Peak season is June, July and August, with May & September offering lower rates. See our On-line Alaska Cruise Brochure for an overview of Alaska ports-of-call and cruise tours options.

Most cruises to Alaska visit Ketchikan, Juneau, and either Skagway or Sitka, the old Russian capital. In Ketchikan you can visit the historic Creek Street; formerly the gold rush area, shall we say, of 24 hour delights, this is now a great place to browse the shops, watch salmon in the creek, or maybe do a bit of fishing. This is the spot to get your smoked and canned salmon! In Juneau visit the local history museum, charter a fishing boat, take a helicopter flight and land on a Glacier, take a sled-dog ride across a glacier, or catch a performance by local dancers. Skagway is the home of the famous White Pass Railroad - a ride through some gorgeous scenery! Take a flightseeing trip over Glacier Bay, join a park ranger for a tour of the town, or learn how Soapy Smith met his end - this is the Captain and First Mate's favorite port because of the many things to see.


You can take a wildlife cruise in several ports. You may get to see otters, seals, eagles, or maybe a whale up close.

Isn't Alaska too cold for a vacation? It isn't like the Caribbean but it is very pleasant with an average high in Juneau/Ketchikan/Skagway of 54 in May, 60 in June, 64 in July, 62 in August and 56 in Sept. Anchorage is the same. Fairbanks/Denali is about 10 degrees warmer.


Most Alaska cruises are 7-days roundtrip from Vancouver/Seattle or one-way between Vancouver and Anchorage (Seward). There is no huge difference between either itinerary except roundtrip Vancouver or Seattle is usually less expensive because airfare is less. Crystal and Princess also offer 10 to 12-day cruises roundtrip from San Francisco which add several days of cruising at sea to your trip so the costs are much higher for these. Most cruises include beautiful Vancouver shown here, one of the most picturesque settings for a city anywhere in the world. Roundtrip Seattle cruises have further to cruise and usually do not include visits to Hubbard Glacier or Glacier Bay.



You will see lots of Glaciers on an Alaska cruise. This one is just the right hand edge of Hubbard Glacier, the largest glacier in North America at over 76 miles long and over 6 miles wide and 300 feet high where it meets the sea. Your ship will get right up next to these giants. We've seen 30-story building size blocks of ice like this fall into the sea(called "calving"). Instead of Hubbard Glacier, some cruises sail into Glacier Bay National Park where you will see several smaller glaciers, more wildlife, and will have a park ranger on board narrating your visit. Both are great, but personally, Hubbard Glacier is by far the most impressive because of its giant size and high activity.



Alaska interior land tours are very popular additions to your cruise and cost about $1000 to $1500 per person over and above the cruise cost. They frequently sell out well in advance so book these as early as you can. Most land tours are 4 to 7 days long and start from Anchorage or Fairbanks so they are added to one of the one-way cruises. The most popular land tours include a day in Anchorage, 1 or 2 days in Denali National Park where you are sure to see lots of bears and Mt. McKinley (the Indians call it Denali or "great one", which is the tallest mountain in North America), plus a night or two in Fairbanks. Most also include a scenic train ride on a domed railcar like the top rated Wilderness Express (Royal Caribbean/Celebrity), Midnight Sun Express (Princess) or the McKinley Explorer (Holland America). This is one of the most scenic train rides in the world. You can also take a longer tour and visit Prudhoe Bay, Kodiak Island, the Yukon, or the gorgeous Kenai Peninsula. The options are numerous, and the scenery is outstanding! To really see Alaska you want to take one of the land tour add-ons at least once in your life.


The Captain's Favorite Ships to Alaska

 

Celebrity: Solstice, Century & Millennium (top rated in premium class)
Royal Caribbean: Radiance of the Seas (best for families)

Regent Navigator ( luxury class tops overall)


Please Note: Alaska Price estimates are for cruise-only rates per person based on double occupancy for the stated category and they include port charges and taxes. Other categories may be higher. Airfare is extra and available through the cruise line or can be purchased by guests directly from the air carrier. Land tours cost about $500 to $1000 more per person. For example, a typical cruisetour with a verandah cabin including airfare from New York would cost about $3000 to $3500 per person. Always check with us for specials that could save you a large amount of money.


Third and fourth passengers per cabin cruise for much less, but triple and quad cabins are the first to sell out. You need to reserve early for these cabins - particularly Princess which has very few of these cabins. By booking early you get the best selection, and if prices go down we will adjust your price down. Deposits are fully refundable up until final payment. Please don't wait until the last minute and be disappointed when your choice is no longer available.

For the latest Alaska and other destination specials see our

Top Picks or Best Specials


Alaska Cruise Options


Celebrity's Millennium, Infinity and Century are the top premium class ships to Alaska. We rate Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Sea a notch below Celebrity for adults and a better choice for families. The only ships we rate above Celebrity are luxury class ships like Regent Seven Seas Navigator which is outstanding but typically costs about 2 to 3 times as much, so you can see the great value that Celebrity ships offers to most people. If you want the best regardless of price then go with Regent Seven Seas.

 

Celebrity

Celebrity has the top rated premium class ships Infinity and Millennium in Alaska. Millennium does 7-night cruises back & forth between Vancouver,B.C. and Seward, Alaska with Northbound cruises calling on the Inside Passage(cruising), Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway,Icy Strait Point, and Hubbard Glacier (the largest tidewater glacier and the most active in Alaska). Southbound cruises do the reverse. Infinity does roundtrip Seattle sailings with an itinerary that includes the Inside Passage(cruising), Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Tracy Arm & Sawyer Glacier, and gorgeous Victoria, B.C.(Butchart Gardens). The Century does roundtrip Vancouver sailing with calls on the Inside Passage(cruising), Juneau, Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, and Hubbard Glacier.

Millennium offers one-way cruises between Vancouver and Seward so people can take land tours into the interior of Alaska. Celebrity Millennium is our top rated ship overall for Alaska Crusietours.

Celebrity's Infinity & Millennium

These 91,000 ton beauties started sailing in 2001. They are identical twins of the Summit and Constellation. They all hold 1950 people (double occupancy) and have about the same high space ratio per person as some luxury lines like Crystal. These four "Millennium Class" ships were rated #1 to #4 in a recent Conde Nast Traveler reader's survey of large cruise ships.

 

Royal Caribbean and Celebrity offer their own cruise and land tour combinations and we rate them ahead of Princess and Holland America to offer the best overall Alaska cruisetours. Their tours feature the new ultra-domed Wilderness Express rail cars (outstanding!) built exclusively for Royal Caribbean & Celebrity guests. Prices are usually about the same price as Princess and less than Holland America for the newest Alaska tour product - a great value to Alaska. Royal Caribbean and Celebrity are now our top rated choice for cruisetours to Alaska as well. We highly recommend them and our clients have come back with great praise for these outstanding escorted cruise tours.

Alaska Cruisetour Pricing

12 to 18-Day Cruisetours include a 7-day cruise and a 5 to 11-day land tour before or after the cruise for a total of 12 to 18-days. Prices are typically $900 to $1500 more than a cruise alone. We recommend 12 or 13-night cruisetours for most people as this gives you enough time to see Denali National Park, Anchorage, Talkeetna, and Fairbanks and have some free time to explore those areas and really enjoy them. 10-night cruisetours are too short to see much and make many compromises.

Cruisetours prices vary depending on departure date and length of the cruisetour but typically cruisetours run about:

Almost all cruisetours include spectacular Denali National Park - the most popular destination and the highlight of most Alaska Cruisetour. Be sure you get a cruisetour that takes the 7-hour tour into Denali and not the 3-hour tour that barely gets into the park and that misses all of the best areas - including the best areas for viewing wildlife like the bears and for viewing Mt. McKinley. We've been and can explain the differences that many agents don't know about. See our On-line Alaska Cruise Brochure for more detail on Alaska ports-of-call and cruise tours options. We can also customize some cruisetours with other pre and post options, just ask. The following prices are typical prices for Alaska Cruisetours. Actual prices may be signicantly different because of special pricing we may have obtained or because the tour is almost sold out.

 

 

Royal Caribbean


The outstanding Radiance of the Seas (a personal favorite) is a fabulous Royal Caribbean ship. She is clearly the top ship from Royal Caribbean in Alaska and close to the ratings for Celebrity's ship's. Radiance of the Seas is our top rated ships to Alaska for families to Alaska. There are no ships at any price that is better for families. Radiance does one-way cruises between Vancouver and Seward. The older Rhapsody of the Seas sails roundtrip from Vancouver.

Royal Caribbean ships are wonderful for Alaska, with over acres of glass windows. We especially like the Viking Crown lounge with 360-degree views and the Windjammer restaurant in the front of the ship, which provides incredible 180-degree views while dining. The covered warm Solarium/Pool is also very nice for Alaska. Royal Caribbean is also the best choice to Alaska for families. Their ships have the largest number of cabins that hold 3 or 4 guests, and they have the best children's program, and the most impressive facilities dedicated just for children as well as a separate center for teens. Our clients love these ships and satisfaction levels are extremely high.

As you can see we really like both Royal Caribbean and Celebrity's ships to Alaska. It turns out we aren't alone. The top 10 ships in Conde Nast Travelers 2006 Readers Survey of large cruise ships are all Celebrity (6 of the 10) and Royal Caribbean Ships (4 or the 10). It is hard to do much better.

 

See our On-line brochure for Radiance of the Seas for a detailed view of this great ship

Prices are usually lower on Royal Caribbean & Celebrity compared to other premium class ships on any given date and offer the best value to Alaska.

Examples of the lowest prices (May & September sailings) follow. June is about $100 to $200 more with much better weather. Peak season (July) is only $200 to $500 per person higher.


Regent Seven Seas Cruises

The Seven Seas Navigator is our top rated luxury ship to Alaska. She is a 5+ star ship.

You will be glad you did.

Click here to see our on-line brochure for the Radisson Navigator.

 

Holland America


The Ryndam, Volendam, Oosterdam, Westerdam, Veendam, Zaandam and Statendam are all beautiful sister ships. All are about 55,000 to 60,000 tons and hold about 1600 to 2000 passengers. We love these gorgeous mid-sized ships with outstanding service, a refined atmosphere with beautiful works of art. Prepare to be pampered! Holland America typically costs more than Princess or Celebrity but less than Regent. Holland has a children's program but does not usually get very many children on board compared to Royal Caribbean or Princess. The average age will be much higher than on other premium lines.




See our On-line Alaska Cruise Brochure for more detail on Alaska ports-of-call and cruise tours options.

 

Princess

Princess' ships are not very family friendly since very few cabins hold 3 or 4 people. If you need this type cabin you need to book early. We also dislike the fact that Princess ships don't have observation lounges for viewing the incredible Alaska scenery. This is a huge shortcoming on these itineraries. Food and service are also rated belowe Celebrity & Royal Caribbean so we rate Princess below Celebrity and Royal Caribbean and do not recommend Princess.

 

Disney Cruise Lines - starting in 2011 the Disney Wonder will offer 7-nt Alaska cruises roundtrip from Vancouver. The cruises leave and return on Tuesday each week which could be an ackward day of the week for some. The cruise itienrary does not visits only Tracy Arm/Sawyer Glacier and neither Hihubbard Glacier or Glacier Bay. For Disney fans or people with children or grandchildren that love Disney characters, this is a great new Alaska option. The Disney Wonder is a very nice ship but don't expect bargain prices. A more economical family option with a great kids program is Royal Caribbean's offferings. RCCL also has better itinearies, better food & better service. They do have less pixie dust and no Disney character's on board.

 

For the latest Alaska and other destination specials see our

Top Picks or Best Specials



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