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Old November 22nd, 2002, 10:29 AM
Happy Camper
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Default When to cruise Alaska and why?

We are thinking of doing the Alaska cruise next year and I need to start my research. Where should we sail out of? Should we do round trip Vancover or do you see more doing the one way trips? Is it worth adding on a land trip? What cruise line is best and why? Please help - I don't know anything about the COLD routes. I've always gone where it was warm. The closest we have come was on our Hawaii - Vancover route two years ago. How much is the air fare on the one way routes from the mid west? We have cruised 15 times on three different lines, we are about 40 and like the active shore excursions but really want to go to see all the wildlife. Please help direct me on how to start my research. Is May best or August? HELP! Debbie
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Old November 22nd, 2002, 10:55 AM
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Donna Donna is offline
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Default Re: When to cruise Alaska and why?

Hi Happy Camper,
We recently did our first Alaska cruise, inside passage, round-trip from Vancouver. It was absolutely wonderful, would do it again. I was amazed at Hubbard Glacier, we had a beautiful day there. Other stops were Juneau, good place to do some whale watching. Then there was Skagway, Ketchikan. If you can take more time and add a land vacation, I'd think that would be the best.

Here is a link to some great Alaska tips for 2003:



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Old November 22nd, 2002, 11:56 AM
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Default Re: When to cruise Alaska and why?

Hi Happy Camper~
Its been a number of years since my Alaskan cruise, but here is what I would consider. If possible, I would recommend a land/cruise package, it just gives you the best of both worlds. We used Princess and they have an exellent group of land/cruise packages to chose from. The best time of the year to visit Alaska are the "summer months", June, July and August. About as warm there as you are gonna get, AND less chance of rain!!
All the ports are interesting, but just traveling the Inside Passage, words cannot describe! We travelled from Vancouver and flew back from Alaska...Now Princess offers a RT from Seattle, which is nice when you consider the costs of airfare...
See and do as much as you can with the excursions, you won't regret it!!

Hope I've helped?


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Old November 22nd, 2002, 05:05 PM
Chuck Palm Chuck Palm is offline
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Default Re: When to cruise Alaska and why?

I have only been on one Alaska cruise. It was round-trip Vancouver to Vancouver. We were on Holland America and had a wonderful time. We liked the woolen plaid blankets on deck to use for warmth and aesthetics.

Glacier Bay is a must. That was one of the most magical days of my life.

I'm sure a one-way cruise would be great. Some people take two one-way cruises which make the one-way into a two week long round trip. If you wait for bargains and are flexible on dates. You can often combine two cruises for the cost of one. This gives you two days at each port-of-call. Thus it is not so hard to make tour choices, because there are many wonderful tours available at each port.

I have friends who did this and were quite happy with their decision.
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Old November 23rd, 2002, 02:49 AM
CruisinDenise CruisinDenise is offline
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Default Re: When to cruise Alaska and why?

Why Alaska?

Oh my, you've never been! Southwest Alaska is all rain forest, not snow. The most green you will ever see in your life, and I live in the coastal mountains in CA. Alaska is GREEN. Not white. It is more green than I've ever seen in my life. Gorgeous.

Glaciers are gorgeous wonderous marvels of nature, and the Columbia glacier, which we flew over in Valdez, looks like a whole other world. People think icebergs. They're not, they're roads. Roads of ice carving out the landscape of green. Incredible.

I'm going again next year and maybe every year after. I've never seen such untouched beauty. The towns are tiny and sparce. The tales are tall, and probably well deserved. The American spirit and quest for life and wealth was never so vivid to me before.

Any time is good, but remember that it is rainforest. Your're most likely going to have rain. We were very lucky and had blue skies and wonderful weather most of the trip. May and Septemper will obviously be colder, and far cheaper.

Pick an itinerary that views Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay if possible. Round trips aren't necessarily shorter, but on some lines they might be. We did southbound and I adored getting right into the glaciers as opposed to northbound, where you see some towns first. But I'm going Northbout next time to see Sitka.

It's not for everyone, but everyone we met said it was the adventure of a lifetime, so I wonder who it's not for!

Editied for: And as for ships--Carnival Spirit is lovely, classy, and with great food and service, and with cheap balcony rooms, and balcony rooms are a MUST in Alaska. So I'd vote for them--have sailed and will sail again, June 18th to be precise!


Post Edited (11-23-02 01:53)

Carnival Spirit to Alaska
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Old November 23rd, 2002, 08:48 AM
colleen colleen is offline
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Default Re: When to cruise Alaska and why?

I used to live in Alaska. The best time in my opinion to sail/visit is in late May or June. You have the most sunlight, the very least amount of mosquitos, and usually the least amount of rain. You must do a land trip!! That IS Alaska. An Inside Passage cruise shows you the most sea life, particularly humpback and killer whales. However, if you do a Gulf cruise, which goes from Vancouver (I think) up along the Inside Passage a ways and along the Gulf of Alaska coast, you end up in Seward. Right there in Seward is the Kenai Fjiords National Park - sensational. Most cruise lines bus you up to Anchorage for either your flight out or you board their train cars pulled by the Alaska Railroad (for whom I used to work) and you travel north to Denali National Park and on to Fairbanks. I loved the Gold mine tour and riverboat cruise offered by the Brinkley (sp?) family in Fairbanks. Both are well worth the money. If you have the time and money, make sure you do a land package or tour!!! You won't see the real Alaska unless you do. Have fun!!
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Old November 24th, 2002, 08:03 PM
Lorraine Sadler
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Default Re: When to cruise Alaska and why?

We also took the inside passage cruise from and back to Vancouver several years ago. Went the first week of June. The weather was wonderful--never did have any rain and found layering clothes worked. The temperature stayed between 70 and 75 degrees. Found out that the 7-day cruise was not long enough and plan to take a longer cruise, visiting Denali Park, etc, on that trip. It's breath-taking and so pristine. You'll have a vacation to remember.
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