It may not have appeared on your radar before but now is the time to consider Alaska as your cruise holiday in 2019 - whatever the weather this will be the hottest cruise destination of 2019 and now is the time to book!
WHY CRUISE TO ALASKA?
As we all know the world is changing and Alaska is no different, glaciers are melting, wildlife is affected and even though we love the arrival of so many amazing ships this can lead to commercialisation. Now is the time to see it in all its glory... breath-taking scenery, incredible wildlife such as Bears, whales, moose, eagles, puffins, reindeer, otters and more, stunning glacier to glacier views, towering mountains...maybe even the Northern Lights if you time it right not forgetting all the activities that these bring...kayaking, dog sledding, floatplanes and helicopter rides, river cruises, whale watching, walking trails, fishing, rafting and much much more. This is bucket list, this is once in a lifetime, this is not boring beach pictures, this is unforgettable, this is Alaska.
MORE SHIPS THAN EVER BEFORE!
Never before has there been so many high profile ships in Alaska; high capacity ships, new ships, ships there for the 1st time so there's never been a better choice of ship on which to cruise Alaska. Regardless of your cruise tastes there is now a ship there to suit you.
Norwegian Cruise Line have completely revamped their Alaska offering with the new and absolutely stunning Norwegian Bliss in the region. If thats not enough her sister Norwegian Joy, originally built for the Chinese market is being refreshed and moved to Alaska after a little over a year in Asia. So thats not 1 but 2 huge ships deployed to the region by Norwegian. Complete with amazing floor to ceiling observation lounges, or dine out on the Waterfront, these ships are made for the region but the fact that both are going to be in Alaska in 2019 is a huge but welcome surprise.
Royal Caribbean will also be moving into Alaska and have decided to deploy the first ever Quantum Class ship into the region; Ovation of the Seas will join alongside Radiance of the Seas. Again, we can see the logic. Radiance is a smaller glass filled ship while Ovation comes complete with the North Star, the viewing pod that will leave you 300ft above sea level with the most incredible views of the glaciers, forests and wildlife around you.
More? Princess cruises are known for Alaska more than any other region and in 2019 they will celebrate 50 years in the area. To mark the occasion Princess will have no fewer than 7...yes...count em....7 ships making appearances over the season including ships such as the star of the TV show 'The Cruise', the Royal Princess, a 3560 passenger beauty. In addition to the wonderfully immersive experience that Princess bring to an Alaskan cruise with features such as Puppies in the Piazza (you read right) you can also avail of a land option staying in exclusive to Princess wilderness lodges and / or a trip on the glass domed Princess train.
Cunard also make a long announced and special return to the area after an absence of more than 20 years. At the end of May Queen Elizabeth will cruise into the region for the very first time and spend the month of June cruising in and out of Vancouver so now you can cruise Alaska in 5 star White Star luxury.
It goes on...Celebrity Cruises Eclipse, Millennium and Solstice will all visit; Azamara Quest and Carnival Legend will complete a season, Holland America will have an amazing 8 ships visiting at some point, Silverseas stunning flagship Silver Muse and the Seabourn Sojourn will be regulars...even Disney Cruise Lines Disney Wonder will be there over the course of 4 months...! See! Alaska is for everyone...
COMBINE WITH A STAY?
Alaska is an amazing part of the world to cruise but there are also many options to consider if you want to add a pre or post cruise stay. Many cruises start or finish (or both) in Vancouver, Canada where you can take in the beaches, trails and family friendly attractions of Stanley Park or if you're brave enough cross the Capilano Suspension Bridge 70 metres above the river with beautiful views. You could also stay in San Francisco where another bridge awaits you - the famous Golden Gate Bridge of course or visit Alcatraz. Other options start or finish in LA or Seattle. You'll often find that the start and end ports are different allowing you to do both pre and post cruise stays.
Or you can try a land tour and Princess and Holland America Line in particular lead the way here. With Princess for example you can stay in their own exclusive Wilderness Lodges in the most amazing National Parks in Alaska the size of small countries including Denali. With all transfers including a trip on their own glass domed train, accommodation and the service & quality you've come to expect it's easy to sit back and have Princess take care of you while you explore the parks, take a floatplane or a helicopter, go dog sledding, take a kayak or walk the miles and miles of trails before settling back in the evening toasting marshmallows over an open fire.... perfect!
Of course, the Rocky Mountaineer is another popular way to see this part of the world, with many taking a Rocky Mountaineer tour for any number of nights. Choosing this option will see you go deeper into Alaska with some time spent on the famous glass domed train as well as stays in the top hotels overnight. Not cheap but definitely one for the bucket list.
THE ALASKA SEASON - WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The Alaska season starts mainly in May and runs through until September and is already on sale. Celebrity and Princess Cruises are currently running promotions - Princess have doubled their onboard credit offer which means that the minimum OBC you'll receive per stateroom is $400 (interior) and builds from there; this runs until the 10th August 18. Celebrity Cruises current promotion ends today, 1st August 18 - this brings you $200 OBC as well as some potential upgrades and potential flight reductions. You'll find the best value in May & September, the beginning and end of the season but you're not missing out on anything; in fact, May & early June tends to be the best time to see all the wildlife in Denali National Park.
Weather? Well, as we know thats one thing we can never be sure of...look at Ireland with snow storms and droughts in the same year. Alaska is not the place to go if you're looking for a sun tan and laying on the beach but in the summer months it's not all jumpers, blankets and hot water bottles with average temperatures in Fairbanks above 20 in June and July. Best to expect mid-teens and pack accordingly but don't be surprised to have it slightly warmer if going mid-season. You can also expect long days and short nights with the sun peaking above the horizon for anything up to 21 hours a day in certain parts.
Need help plotting an Alaska cruise, want more information or to get an idea of cost? If you have an agent you trust then get in touch and see what they know, what they can offer regarding the region. If not then get in touch with us and we can guide you through the entire process saving you all the time and effort. Think of us as your personal assistant / cruise price comparison service - and it's all free!
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