Considering a cruise vacation to Alaska this year? If so, will a cruise cover all you’ve dreamed about seeing, or might you be better off looking into an Alaska cruise tour? Not sure of the difference? Let me explain.
Alaska cruises that are round trip to/from the same port (Seattle or Vancouver) are referred to as Inside Passage Cruises. For a U.S. resident it is often found that it is cheaper to fly to Seattle than it is to Vancouver, and that is one reason why many of the Alaska cruises now originate from there. However scenic transfers from Seattle to Vancouver are available via rail, bus, shuttle transfer or rental car. All Inside Passage cruises tend to explore the same southeastern ports of Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Sitka. They are a great way to see Alaska’s coastal mountains, glaciers, marine wildlife, and towns.
The cruise tour is a fully escorted tour of interior destinations before or after the cruise. The cruise portion is one-way between Vancouver and either Whittier or Seward, near Anchorage. It is set up this way in order to give the cruiser multiple options for adding days before or after the cruise portion in order to explore interior Alaska. Cruise tours are available in any number of different lengths, but the most common range from 10-14 nights, all including the 7 nights aboard the cruise ship. If you want to experience the Northern Lights at Fairbanks or see the towering heights of Mt. McKinley and Denali National Park, the cruise tour option is for you.
A cruise that takes you into the United States' ""Last Frontier"" is a must-do cruise! Whether it be a 7-night Inside Passage cruise or a 14-night cruise tour, there is no right or wrong way to cruise to Alaska. Tailor your Alaska cruise vacation to make it the perfect trip for you.