Hello all, does anyone have an opinion on which itinerary would be good for a first time Alaska cruise? Glacier Bay, northbound passage, southbound passage? We're hoping for one that cruises out of San Francisco but Seattle or Vancouver would be fine too.
My opinion would be for a one way that visits either Hubbard or Glacier Bay. I have only been to Hubbard Glacier but I have seen pictures of Glacier Bay and it looks beautiful. The one negative for a one way is the open jaw airfare, that is usually more expensive.
An Alaska cruise out of San Fransisco will give you more sea days and time to enjoy the ship but it will be more expensive because of the additional days. The cruises out of San Fransisco are around 10 days.
On any of the cruises you will see the beautiful Inside Passage. Try to do a helicopter excursion to one of the glaciers and a whale watching trip.
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Thanks much everyone for the input. I reckoned that Alaska cruises out of San Francisco would be longer and a little more expensive but we would save on airfare at least since San Francisco is only a 35 mile drive from home. A helicopter tour sounds like a great idea. Any ballpark figure on what the cost might be for a helicopter tour? Thanks again all for the info.
We have taken cruises out of and return to San Francisco the last four years on Princess Cruises Ships. These were all ten day and on none did we visit Glacier Bay, twice to Hubbard. The one thing we did not enjoy about these cruises was the amount of time at sea. The Captain would be at sea, then dart into Juneau,, then out to sea and dart into Skagway, out to sea and dart into Sitka or Mistry Fjord or a glacier. Twice we did not stop at Ketchikan, once going to place called Wrangel that was not overly attractive.
During all the many years we have crusied the Alaska Panhandle we preferred and enjoyed more Alaskan scenery going up the Strait of Georgia, past the Seymour Narrows and the LynneCanal being sometimes only 100 or 200 ft from the shore. We were a g uest with the Staff Captain at luncheon this July. I asked asked him why Princess was going out to sea so often. He told me it was for environmental reason but would not respond when I informed him that we have been on Holland America Cruises in the last four years where HAL did not dart in and out of port.s and the open sea.
Fortunately we have cruised Alaska so many times that we still enjoyed the Princess Cruises. We appreciate that Princess has a cruise out of SF since it permits us to fly from Palm Springs to San Francisco, only one hour flying time.Incidentally on all of our SF departure cruieses, a large number of the passengers were from the Bay area.