Spotlight on 2013 Alaska Cruises
There are more options for Alaska Cruises in 2013 than ever before, and for good reasons! As a true destination-oriented cruise, Alaska itineraries are heavy on ports and light on sea time comparatively speaking. And the places you’ll visit will truly take you back in time, while being really easy on your brain. . . no currency conversion or language barriers.
The variety of ships sailing Alaskan waters this year also means that there’s probably something suited to every travel style. . .from high-end exclusivity of small ship cruising to the multitude of choices on superliners. And every budget can be met as well!
There are several departure ports including San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver, putting a “home-port” departure within driving distance of tens of millions of vacationers. For those guests that would have to fly, there are plenty of flights to all three cities and we suggest trying to go in a day or so early—you may find better airfare since you’re not traveling the same day that everyone else is trying to get to the ships, plus you’ll get to sightsee in three gorgeous cities!
Alaska Cruise Tours are popular for first-time cruisers that might still be apprehensive about spending their entire vacation aboard a ship. With a cruise and tour combo, a good portion of your vacation can be land-based which certainly alleviates a lot of first-time uncertainty.
There are too many Alaska options to list them all so we’ve hand-picked six that we think give you a good sense of this year’s options, but there are plenty more where these came from!
Best Overall Ship Experience: Celebrity Solstice
Okay, “Best Overall” is going to be different for everyone, but we’re sticking our neck out and choosing Celebrity Solstice. This is the first year that Celebrity has deployed this class of vessel in Alaska which we think is great. Although not a megaliner like the Oasis and Allure of the Seas from Celebrity’s sister brand, Royal Caribbean, the Solstice-class vessels are game-changers in the premium cruise category (read our review of another Solstice-class ship, Celebrity Reflection). So much so, that we think she gives you a great deal of the luxury cruise experience, but at a far lower price! Here’s one deal we like a lot—we have exclusive rates that are well below what others are paying for this same departure:
Best for First-Time Cruisers: Holland America CruiseTours
As noted above, a CruiseTour is an option for people that want to try a cruise but aren’t ready to commit their entire vacation. With a Holland America CruiseTour, you can spend as little as three days aboard the ship, and then the rest of your vacation is land-based (from as little as two to 11 nights). This gives you an Alaskan experience that a cruise-only can’t even approach—just about every tour includes Denali (Mt. McKinley), and then there are options that also get you into the Yukon Territory for the ultimate expedition. Here’s our pick on Holland America’s beautiful and classic Zuiderdam—this is an early season departure so don’t wait too long:
Best Family Cruise: Disney Wonder
It’s Disney. . . what else do you need to know? Seriously, Disney Cruises are sometimes misunderstood because they get price shopped compared to “regular” cruises, but that’s unfortunately not an apt comparison. A Disney Cruise isn’t just like any other cruise with a Disney label on it—it’s truly the full on Disney experience, except without the lines and much better dining! If you’re not convinced, check out this review of the Disney Fantasy . . . then let us help you plan a Magical Alaska Vacation! This is our hand-picked deal aboard Disney Wonder (but we have many others):
Best Alternative Itinerary: Grand Princess from San Francisco
We like this itinerary a lot because it departs from the City by the Bay, putting an Alaska cruise departure within driving distance of central and southern California and Nevada. This is a 10-day voyage (see all departure dates here) that has a little more time at sea—but aboard Grand Princess there’s plenty to enjoy. When the Grand Princess was introduced, there was nothing like her and she remains a commanding presence to this day! Here’s a voyage that’s in the middle of peak season but still offers a great price for an Oceanview stateroom along with $85 onboard credit. Move up to a Balcony and we’ll throw in another $75 per cabin or go for a suite and we’ll add $150 to you onboard account:
Best Peak Season Value: Royal Caribbean Rhapsody of the Seas
For all destinations, we find Royal Caribbean to be a fantastic value (we are big fans of their product because they consistently provide our customers with a superior vacation). So it’s no surprise Royal Caribbean takes the award for “Best Peak Season Value” with this August 16th departure of the Rhapsody of the Seas. This Alaska cruise features a roundtrip Seattle itinerary, making flights easier and most likely cheaper for many cruisers. And with rates starting from just $819 for Inside cabins (an exclusive rate) plus $50 onboard credit on all categories, this cruise special is proof that you can find a deal on a peak season Alaska cruise.
Best Off-Peak Rates + Best “Splurge” to a Suite: Norwegian Pearl
Experienced cruisers and travelers know that cruises that depart before or after the “peak season” offer some of the lowest rates around and this is especially true with Alaska cruises. We are seeing that Norwegian has some of the lowest “off-peak’ rates at this time. For example, this September departure of the Norwegian Pearl starts from just $499 per person, plus we are giving $50 onboard credit and a bottle of wine. This cruise deal also offers the best “splurge” value with rates for suites starting from just $1379 – which is less than some ocean view or balcony staterooms during peak season!
Exclusive Alaska Booking Bonus: One Week Only!
For one week only starting today we want to give you a bonus for booking any 2013 Alaska cruise! Just book a Balcony or higher on any 2013 Alaska cruise by February 15th and receive:
Best of all, the above may be combined with any other promotion, added value, or reduced fare program!
*Please note, this special sale is for new bookings only