The 9 Best Alaska Cruises For Every Traveler [2024] - Trip Canvas (2024)


Updated: January 10, 2024

Written by

AAA Travel Editors

Table of Contents

  1. Holland America Line
  2. Cunard Line
  3. Princess Cruises
  4. Hurtigruten Expeditions
  5. Disney Cruise Line
  6. Celebrity Cruises
  7. Oceania Cruise Line
  8. Viking Ocean Cruises
  9. Regent Seven Seas Cruises
  10. Book Your Alaskan Cruise with AAA

Planning an upcoming trip to The Last Frontier? Visiting Alaska is sure to be an unforgettable experience filled with natural beauty and endless adventure. From viewing age-old glaciers to whale-watching, there’s so much to see in this great state.

One of the best ways to explore Alaska is via a cruise. During your expedition, you'll travel around to different cities, small towns and national parks, allowing you to see all that Alaska has to offer. Not to mention, cruise ships can access certain locations that are challenging to reach by car or air, so you'll have the opportunity to explore off-the-beaten landmarks.

With over 50 cruise ships sailing to Alaska, selecting the perfect Alaska cruise can seem overwhelming. In this article, we’ll go over the nine best Alaska cruises as well as dive into each ship’s unique features so you can make the right decision for you.

The 9 Best Alaska Cruises For Every Traveler [2024] - Trip Canvas (1)

1. Holland America Line

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Cruise At-a-Glance:

  • Best for: Overall experience
  • AAA member benefits: $50 onboard spending credit per person for first two guests in stateroom and $50 Denali Dollars per person for first two guests on Alaska Cruise tours Verandah staterooms and above.
  • Unique features: Regional cooking demonstrations and tastings, Global Fresh Fish Program, complimentary pickleball lessons and presentations by rangers and members of local tribes
  • Recommended Itinerary: Nieuw Amsterdam, 7-Day Alaska Inside Passage

Holland America Line has stood out as a top name in the world of cruising for over 150 years. One of the best Alaskan cruise lines, they are known for their exceptional service, award-winning dining and informative programming, this cruise line ensures a remarkable travel experience.

The line’s Alaska cruises depart out of either Vancouver or Seattle. Out of their fleet of 11 ships, six make the voyage to Alaska. The Nieuw Amsterdam was inspired by the rich history of New York City and was named “Best Cruise Ship Overall” at the Travvy Awards. Meanwhile, the elegant Koningsdam ship offers a blissful ambiance that combines modern sophistication and maritime influence.

Holland America Line offers a wide range of Alaska shore excursions. These include a crab fishermen tour aboard a ship featured on the hit TV show Deadliest Catch, a visit to a native village, and a dog-sledding and glacier-viewing adventure via helicopter. Whether your travel goals include learning about the local culture, immersing yourself in the Alaskan wilderness, or going on thrilling adventures, there are excursion options available for every type of traveler.

Book a Holland America Cruise

2. Cunard Line

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Cruise At-a-Glance:

  • Best for: Traditional luxury
  • AAA member benefits: Up to $300 per stateroom onboard spending credit based on category and length of sailing, during the following quarterly booking windows and a reduced cruise deposit of 50% off the standard deposit per stateroom.
  • Unique features: Gala evenings, afternoon tea, games deck, children’s activities, guest speakers and live music.
  • Recommended Itinerary: Alaska, 10 nights

Founded over 180 years ago, Cunard is one of the oldest and most iconic cruise lines, operating a fleet of ships named after queens. The voyages to Alaska take place aboard Queen Elizabeth which holds just over 2,000 guests. The interior of the ship exudes elegance with its art deco-inspired design, and there are numerous activities to partake in onboard including afternoon tea, crochet and even attending an upscale gala evening.

Cunard Line offers two main routes to choose from— the Inside Passage or the Gulf of Alaska—departing from Seattle or Vancouver. Cruising itineraries range from seven to 11 nights, and they also offer longer itineraries that combine Alaska and Japan. Cruise ports you can look forward to stopping at include Glacier Bay National Park, Haines, Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway and Sitka.

Book a Cunard Cruise

3. Princess Cruises

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Cruise At-a-Glance:

  • Best for: Romantic getaways
  • AAA member benefits: Reduced deposit (as low as $50 per person) along with a complimentary Princess Medallion clip (first two guests in the stateroom) during quarterly cruise sales
  • Unique features: North to Alaska program, Discovery at SEA program, specialty dining, Vegas-style casino, afternoon tea, sports court, art gallery, spa and an open-air amphitheater to watch movies.
  • Recommended Itinerary: Alaska Voyage of the Glaciers Cruise

Princess Cruises offers a wide variety of Alaska itineraries and this one in particular stands out as one of the best Alaska cruise lines for couples. The Alaska Voyage of the Glaciers Cruise is a one-way, 7-day itinerary from Vancouver to Anchorage that stops in a variety of ports along the way including Glacier Bay National Park, Hubbard Glacier, Juneau and Ketchikan. With this itinerary, you have the opportunity to view two glaciers, see Prince William Sound and visit three of Alaskan cities.Ships on this itinerary include Caribbean Princess, Coral Princess, Grand Princess, Royal Princess, and Sapphire Princess.

If you’re looking for a longer adventure, new itineraries for 2025 include a 16-day Inside Passage roundtrip from Los Angeles and a 22-day cruise roundtrip from San Francisco.

While Princess Cruises welcomes all passengers, it’s nicknamed “The Love Boat,” offering amenities and excursions geared toward couples. Popular Alaskan excursions for couples include two-person kayaking with scenic views of glaciers, dog sledding and whale watching on a yacht. On board, you can purchase honeymoon, wedding and anniversary packages to make your Alaskan adventure extra special.

Book a Princess Cruise

4. Hurtigruten Expeditions

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Cruise At-a-Glance:

  • Best for: Small-ship experience
  • AAA member benefits: 90 Euro per person onboard credit for all sailing dates
  • Unique features: Expedition Team, two-level indoor/outdoor observation deck, Science Center, three restaurants, sauna and spa, infinity pool and hot tubs
  • Recommended Itinerary: Alaska and British Columbia Wilderness, Glaciers and Culture

See all that Alaska has to offer with Hurtigruten Expeditions Alaskan cruises ranging from 14 to 19 days. Most of these voyages take place aboard the MS Roald Amundsen, a ship named after the first expedition to reach the South Pole. Added to the fleet in 2019, the vessel is specifically designed for travel in polar regions. With a capacity of 530 passengers, its smaller size allows the ship to reach places that larger ships can’t. What’s more, smaller expedition boats will take you even closer so you’re able to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Alaska and see wildlife up close.

During your trip, your Expedition Team will guide you as you explore ports and take you on included activities such as kayaking and hiking. These experts will also share their knowledge of the natural history and ecology of Alaska. On average, there are 11 guests per expedition guide, which grants you plenty of opportunity to learn about the 49th state and ask plenty of questions.

Book a Hurtigruten Cruise

5. Disney Cruise Line

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Cruise At-a-Glance:

  • Best for: Family-friendly fun
  • AAA member benefits: N/A
  • Unique features: Broadway-style performances, immersive dining experiences, adult-only spaces, kids clubs, fairytale-inspired beauty salon.
  • Recommended Itinerary: 7-Night Alaskan Cruise from Vancouver

Looking to sail to Alaska with the whole family? Look no further than the Disney Cruise Line, one of the best Alaksa cruise lines for families. Known for their one-of-a-kind experiences and above-and-beyond service, it should come as no surprise that it’s one of the best cruise lines for kids and families.For Alaskan adventures, itineraries range from five to nine nights and all depart from Vancouver.

The Alaskan cruises set sail on the Disney Wonder, which is known for its incredible dining and entertainment. On board, you can have dinner at Tiana’s Place—an eatery based on Disney’s Princess and the Frog followed by a performance of Frozen, A Musical Spectacular. The magic of both Disney and Alaska will make for memories that last a lifetime.

Book a Disney Cruise

6. Celebrity Cruises

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Cruise At-a-Glance:

  • Best for: Affordability
  • AAA member benefits: Onboard credit per stateroom based on category booked: $25 (outside), $50 (balcony), $75 (Concierge Class and above)
  • Unique features: Spa, fitness center, casino, children’s program, shows, shopping
  • Recommended Itinerary: Alaska Northbound Glacier

Celebrity Cruises offers trips to Alaska ranging from six to 13 nights at various price points. You can choose from itineraries that sail to Dawes Glacier, Hubbard Glacier, Denali National Park and Preserve and other areas of Alaska. No matter which itinerary you choose, you’ll be able to experience the scenery, wildlife and culture of the 49th state.

Celebrity boasts five ships that sail to Alaska including the Celebrity Summit, Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Solstice. Following days of exploration, you can unwind at the ship’s spa, whale watch from the deck or enjoy world-class dining.

Book a Celebrity Cruise

7. Oceania Cruise Line

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Cruise At-a-Glance:

  • Best for: Onboard dining
  • AAA member benefits: $100 per person onboard spending credit on select voyages.
  • Unique features: Talks from guest speakers, afternoon tea, library, shows, spa, running track, sports deck and a youth program
  • Recommended Itinerary: Vancouver To Seward, 7 Days

Sailing on an Alaskan cruise with Oceania Cruise Line is a one-of-a-kind experience. As a “culinary- and destination-focused cruise line,” Oceania aims to provide passengers with incredible adventures paired with exceptional dining experiences.

When voyaging to Alaska with Oceania Cruises, you will sail on the Regatta, which has an occupancy of 670 passengers. Life on board this ship features a variety of dining venues, engaging talks from guest speakers, a cozy library and plenty of entertainment. For guests cruising with children, Oceania has an Alaska Explorer Youth Program that includes activities and games inspired by The Last Frontier.

Book an Oceania Cruise

8. Viking Ocean Cruises

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Cruise At-a-Glance:

  • Best for: Guided shore excursions
  • AAA member benefits: $100 per person shipboard credit for all cruises 8-11 days, $200 per person shipboard credit for all cruises 12 days or longer
  • Unique features: Complimentary shore excursions, free Wi-Fi, enrichment lectures and performances, access to The Nordic Spa & Fitness Center
  • Recommended Itinerary: 11-Day Alaska & the Inside Passage

Viking Ocean Cruises offers an 11-day itinerary that sails to Alaska and the Inside Passage. Known for its fleet of smaller ships that provide an intimate experience, voyages to Alaska set sail on the Viking Orion which holds 930 guests. While there are different staterooms to choose from, all cabins have private verandas so you can enjoy the passing views of glaciers and look for humpback whales from the comfort of your own room.

Amenities you will find on board the ship include free Wi-Fi, a fitness center, The Nordic Spa, restaurants and more.On board, a Viking Resident Historian will also provide informative lectures on topics ranging from glaciers to the indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest.

On Viking cruises, passengers can enjoy one complimentary shore excursion in every port of call. Examples of excursions include learning about pole carving at Potlatch Totem Park, a sightseeing tour of Sitka and a theatrical performance, a nature walk and a visit to Alaska SeaLife Center.

Book a Viking Cruise

9. Regent Seven Seas Cruises

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Cruise At-a-Glance:

  • Best for: All-inclusive bliss
  • AAA member benefits: Up to $400 per suite, onboard spending credit on selected promotional voyages.
  • Unique features: All-inclusive luxuries, dining experiences, bocce court, culinary arts kitchen, golf net, infinity pool, paddle tennis court, putting green, casino, theater and spa
  • Recommended Itinerary: Majestic Glaciers

If you’re looking to travel to Alaska in pure bliss, Regent Seven Sea Cruises are just what you’re looking for. As one of the most luxurious cruise lines, every amenity is included so you don’t have to lift a finger. This includes free shore excursions, specialty restaurants, beverages, WiFi, valet laundry service and more.

You can choose a seven or 14 night journey to Alaska. Whether you're interested in whale-watching, seeing majestic glaciers or exploring Tongass National Park, there’s plenty of itineraries to choose from.

Travelers embark to Alaska on board the Seven Seas Explorer, which holds 746 guests. Activities on board this ship include a bocce court, golf net, infinity pool, putting green, spa and boutiques.

Book a Regent Seven Seas Cruise

Book Your Alaskan Cruise with AAA

Ready to set sail on your Alaskan adventure? Make sure to plan your cruise with AAA. Your AAA membership grants you exclusive perks when reserving your tip including onboard spending credits and other select discounts.

Written by

AAA Travel Editors

The 9 Best Alaska Cruises For Every Traveler [2024] - Trip Canvas (2024)
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