I was recently asked by a major travel magazine what I thought were the top cruise lines for an Alaska vacation. It got me thinking…as I do!
The question of which are the “best” cruise lines for Alaska really depends on the guest’s desires, as there is a balance between how in-depth they wish to delve into Alaska’s nature and indigenous culture, what type of onboard experience they desire, and, of course, whether the cruise is family-focused (including the ages of the children).
I must pause for a moment: Actually, the most important thing when booking an Alaska cruise is to utilize a travel advisor who has actually been to Alaska more than once and on different ships, so that the client has access to important first-hand knowledge rather than merely the deluge of marketing from the various lines; with some lines insisting they are “the Alaska experts”, but actually offer rather mundane experiences overrun by thousands of fellow passengers.
It is also essential to utilize a travel advisor who specializes in the type of travel the client is interested in. Those like myself, who specialize in Luxury and Expedition, are not well-suited to those seeking a high-energy onboard experience or those focused on larger groups and families. So, while I don’t know that much about the mass market lines such as Princess, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, or Holland America, among others, two things I do know are Luxury and Expedition!
As I went through the luxury cruise lines, ships, and itineraries – each being an important factor when guiding a client – I noticed something that had previously escaped me: Silversea offers three different styles and many different itinerary options, as it now has so many ships – including new ships – and styles, ranging from Expedition to Classic Cruise to the new Resort-Focused.
In addition, many of Silversea’s itineraries – unlike many of the other lines in these categories – allow for more of its guests to experience pre- or post-cruise land experiences in Denali and/or Kenai, in addition to the beautiful journey by train or bus between Anchorage and Seward.
While primarily for adult desires ranging from contemplative to active, Silversea is also a good option for families with more mature children who are more engaged with the journey than onboard child-focused activities.
Here are some examples, each with one sample itinerary:
Resort-Focused and Classic Alaska: Silversea’s Silver Nova; a literal game-changing and innovative cruise ship. Silver Nova offers repeating 2024 seven-day itineraries that reverse direction (Seward to Vancouver and Vancouver to Seward).
Expedition: Silversea’s Silver Wind offers a unique Nome, Alaska to Vancouver, Canada, 18-day itinerary on September 16, 2024, for those wanting to really explore Alaska’s nature and cultures in luxury with a full expedition team, with experiences including a combination of hiking, zodiac cruising, and visits to communities.
September 16, 2024
Classic Cruise: Silversea’s Silver Muse offers a 14-day Roundtrip Seward sailing that is a genuinely immersive experience traveling down the Inside Passage and Back not only without repeating any destinations, but visiting some of the less visited places such as Wrangell, Icy Bay, and Valdez.
June 6, 2024
The need for expertise is not finished with the selection of the ship and itinerary. The array of options not only with Silversea, but across the luxury and expedition markets can be confusing, if not overwhelming. What each destination offers, what excursions, expedition-type experiences (even if you are on a classic or resort-focused cruise), independent options, etc., are critical parts of one’s Alaska experience. Alas, it is not just about booking a cruise and then skimming the excursion options offered.
I know many think of Alaska and envision huge ships and crowded piers. But there are ways to avoid all of that and have a wonderful immersive experience. Possibly kayaking in Haines, taking a beautiful and challenging hike in Wrangell, wandering through a totem pole forest, getting a deeper understanding of the indigenous cultures, fishing for salmon or halibut, enjoying a crab lunch, or even getting some shopping done.
Silversea has some fantastic Alaska options and we will do everything to be sure your experience will exceed your desires!
When you are ready, give Goldring Travel a call, drop us an email, or shoot over a text, Facebook, or WhatsApp message.