Comparing Cruise Lines

Let us tell you a little secret.....there is really a cruise line for everyone!

 

While there are two options for cruising Alaska (large or mid-sized cruise ship of 500 to 3000 passengers or on a small ship of less than 500 passengers), we’ll cover just the cruise lines offering the large/midsize option here.  

 

There are 24 ships in this category so you’re sure to find the perfect cruise line.

 

For 2017, we’ll again see some “giant” cruise ships returning.  Royal Caribbean brings back the 137,308-ton, 15-deck-high, 1,020-footlong, Explorer of the Seas to Alaska - the largest ship cruising Alaska.  2016 was the first time a ship of its size had been deployed to Alaska.  With almost 4,000 passengers, it carries hundreds more than the next largest, Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice and Princess’ Ruby Princess and Crown Princess.

 

While mega-size cruise ships as big as 225,000 tons have appeared in the Caribbean and Europe in recent years, nearly all of the cruise vessels operating in Alaska still measure under 100,000 tons.

Here’s a look at who’s in Alaska in 2020.

cruise line HIGHLIGHTS

CARNIVAL LEGEND 
 
  • (7) Day inside passage from Seattle

  • Includes evening port of call in Victoria, BC

  • (5) Sailings substitute Tracy Arm Fjord cruising for Glacier Bay

CRYSTAL SERENITY

 

  • (7) Day inside passage

  • (7) and (10) day voyage of the Glaciers from Vancouver, BC

  • (10) Day itineraries also include call at the Tlingit community of Hoonah

  • Adds unusual extras like Queen Charlotte Sound and visits to Prince Rupert or Nanaimo, BC

CELEBRITY ECLIPSE
  • In 2019, Celebrity Cruises will debut its Eclipse cruise liner in Alaska, embarking on roundtrip sailings from Vancouver through the Inside Passage, visiting Ketchikan, Juneau, Hubbard Glacier, and more.
  • The popular luxury brand has also added more visits of over 12 hours to its ports of call, giving guests more time to explore these destinations to their fullest.
  • Named a Gold Star winner by Travel Weekly for “Best Overall Premium Ship”, Celebrity’s adults-only policy and amenities like it’s Canyon Ranch SpaClub® showcase the tranquility that this ship boasts. And with a maximum occupancy of just over 2,800 guests, it’s Alaska itineraries aim to offer an intimate setting with a focus on on-shore cultural immersion.
 
CELEBRITY SOLSTICE

 

  • (7) Day inside passage from Seattle, WA

  • (12-13) Night Canadian Rockies Cruise Tours available

 
CELEBRITY INFINITY 

 

  • (7) Day inside passage from Vancouver, BC

  • (12-13) Night Canadian Rockies cruise tours available

 
CELEBRITY MILLENNIUM

 

  • (7) Day One-Way Voyage of the Glaciers to/from Vancouver, BC - Seward, AK (for Anchorage)

  • (9-13) Night Alaska Cruise Tours available

  • Family Tour Challenge Excursions - specifically targeted to families with 12-17 year olds. In Alaska: Island Rainforest Geocaching Adventure in Ketchikan - a high-tech treasure hunt in Tongass National Park and The Big Nugget in Skagway,  competitive event with gold panning, dog-sled mushing tactics and a tour of a gold dredge.

DISNEY WONDER

 

  • (7) Day inside passage from Vancouver, BC

  • Mickey and Minnie Mouse show up for photos in Alaskan attire

  • Cruising Tracy Arm segment, Disney's Base Camp is set up for kids to play and participate in arts and crafts -- a setup unique only to this ship and its Alaskan voyage

NIEUW AMSTERDAM AND VOLENDAM

 

  • (7) Day inside passage from Vancouver, BC

  • Add Sitka and evening port of call in Victoria, BC instead of Skagway, AK

  • (11-16) Day cruise tours available - some including (3) nights at Denali National Park

EURODAM AND AMSTERDAM 

 

  • 7 Day Inside Passage from Seattle

  • Add Sitka and evening call at Victoria instead of Skagway

  • Amersterdam only - Four 14 Day Great Alaskan Explorer Cruises - (14) Day cruises from Seattle, WA - Visits Ketchikan, Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Anchorage, Homer, Kodiak, Hubbard Glacier, Sitka, Victoria and cruises Vancouver Island, Tracy Arm and Hubbard Glacier

NOORDAM AND ZAANDAM 

 

  • (7) Day one-way voyage of the Glaciers to/from Vancouver, BC - Seward, AK (for Anchorage)

  • (12-20) Day cruise tours available - some including (3) nights at Denali National Park

  • “Base Camp” is at the entrance to Alaska’s Denali National Park. Serves as a new gathering area to relax, shop, and dine with an amphitheater, saloon, shops, artist in residence, special excursions and more.

NORWEGIAN PEARL AND NORWEGIAN JEWEL 

 

  • (7) Day inside passage from Seattle, WA

  • One 10 Day Ultimate Alaska Cruise September 23, 2017 on Norwegian Jewel

NORWEGIAN SUN 

 

  • (7) Day one-way voyage of the Glaciers to/from Vancouver, BC - Seward, AK (for Anchorage)

  • One 14 Day Ultimate Alaska Cruise May 15, 2017

  • Additional port of call - Icy Strait Point

  • (12-15) Day cruise tours with Norwegian Sun only

NORWEGIAN JOY 

  • Beginning in April 2019, the Norwegian Joy will join her sister ship, the Norwegian Bliss, to cruise from the West Coast up to Alaska.

  • Built in 2017 with a guest capacity of 3,802, the Joy will offer a variety of (7) day itineraries departing from Seattle with stops in popular ports including Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, Holkham Bay and Icy Strait Point.

  • Prior to her arrival in Seattle, the Joy will undergo upgrades to the tune of $50 million that include a Starbucks, enhanced restaurant and bar venues, and new entertainment such as thrilling simulator rides and interactive video walls. Not to mention, the Joy was the first cruise ship to offer a race track at sea! Guests will find no shortage of adventure both off and on this vessel in Alaska this summer.

In 2019, Princess is celebrating 50 years of adventure and innovation in Alaska. 

Princess has won “BEST CRUISE LINE IN ALASKA” in the Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards, 14 out of the last 15 years. New this year is Alaska Onboard, where new, authentic Alaska experiences are brought onboard Princess cruise ships. Themed Alaska menus, special Alaska seafood menus in specialty restaurants, dishes based on local eateries, guest speakers from Discovery’s Deadliest Catch, and other shows, a Klondike gold rush festival and more are part of this new feature.

RUBY PRINCESS AND EMERALD PRINCESS

 

  • (7) Day inside passage from Seattle, WA

  • Adds evening port of call in Victoria, BC

 
GRAND PRINCESS

 

  • (14) Day inside passage from San Francisco, CA

  • Adds daylight port of call in Victoria, BC from 7am to 2pm

 
 
STAR PRINCESS, ISLAND PRINCESS AND CORAL PRINCESS
 
  • (7) Day one-way voyage of the Glaciers to/from Vancouver, BC - Seward, AK (for Anchorage)

  • Northbound sailings add College Fjord

  • (10-15) Night cruise tours available - at least (2) nights in Denali on all programs
    (except Canada Rail)

  • (4) types of Cruise Tours - Escorted Connoisseur, Off the Beaten Path, Denali Explore, and On Your Own

 

REGENT SEVEN SEAS MARINER
 
  • (7) Day one-way voyage of the Glaciers to/from Vancouver, BC - Seward, AK (for Anchorage)

  • Additional port of call - Wrangell

  • Three (10-11) Voyage of the Glaciers Vancouver, BC to San Francisco, CA or reverse - additional port of call Astoria

  • Free shore excursions 

EXPLORER OF THE SEAS
 
  • (7) Day inside passage from Seattle, WA

  • Only ship with a full day in Victoria, BC

OVATION OF THE SEAS

  • The biggest ship ever to sail Alaska, boasting a capacity of more than 4,100 passengers

  • Both (6) and (7) Day cruises explore the glaciers of Alaska’s Inside Passage, with stops in Juneau, Skagway, Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier, as well as British Columbia favorites Victoria and Vancouver.

  • Onboard, guests will find new experiences such as North Star®, a unique jewel-shaped capsule with breathtaking 365-degree views at 300 feet above sea level, FlowRider®, the ship’s 40-foot long surf simulator, and iFLY®, a gravity-defying skydiving simulator.

RADIANCE OF THE SEAS

 

  • (7) Day one-way voyage of the Glaciers to/from Vancouver, BC - Seward, AK (for Anchorage)

  • Additional port - Icy Strait Point

  • (10-13) Night escorted cruise tours available