While there are numerous mainstream cruise lines that send their most tried and tested vessels to Alaska, those seeking an ultra-luxury cruise to the 49th State aren’t left out of the action, with Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, and Silversea Cruises offering up some fantastic itineraries next year.
Because luxury ships tend to be smaller than mainstream ships, luxury itineraries tend to be more involved, calling on remote or less-visited ports of call for a more in-depth Alaskan experience.
For example, many itineraries aboard Seven Seas Mariner from Vancouver include all the expected port calls in Juneau, Ketchikan and Skagway, but also include a full-day visit to lesser-known Wrangell, Alaska.
Famous for its stunning Petroglyph Beach, Wrangell used to pop up on a handful of mainstream itineraries, with Norwegian Cruise Line calling frequently here during their 2004-2005 Alaska seasons. This year, however, only a few dozen will be made to this picturesque town – all of them by ultra-luxury or small ship cruise lines.
Ultra-luxury line Silversea has also whipped up some stunning itineraries for this season, including voyages to Alaska aboard Silver Shadow and their dedicated, Pacific-based expedition ship, Silver Discoverer.
But unique itineraries are just part of the reason to consider a luxury cruise to Alaska.
To start with, a luxury cruise ship carries far fewer guests. That translates into more available space to relax, unwind, and enjoy these scenic voyages. There’s no pushing or shoving, no battle to the death for the last deck chair in the sun by the pool.
Luxury cruises have more upfront costs, but less onboard costs, than other types of cruising. This makes them a great value, particularly if you want to know exactly how much you’re spending for your cruise. Gratuities, wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, coffee – even bottled water – are all included with your cruise fare on nearly every luxury line.
There’s nothing quite as relaxing as the realization that you don’t need to hand your keycard over every time you’d like a latte or a glass of red wine with dinner.
At Cruise Experts Travel’s Alaska Cruise Experts division, luxury lines frequently offer up incentives and promotions that arguably go further than they would on a mainstream ship. Onboard credit offers, for example, can be used to pay for premium shore excursions or expensive spa treatments.
For those who have never sailed with a luxury line, it’s also worth noting that there’s nothing “stuffy” about the experience. The generous crews onboard are second to none, and your fellow guests tend to be well-travelled, educated, interesting and engaging.
If you’ve cruised to Alaska before and are looking to do something a little different this year, there’s never been a better time to invest in a luxury experience!