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2010 Alaska Cruise Ship Schedule cruise ship schedule 2009
Download the 2010 Cruise Ship Calendar PDF for Ketchikan, Misty Fjords and Metlakata here:



Alaska is one of the most popular cruise destinations in the world, and is very high on most cruise lovers' list. Some of the most spectacular parts of Alaska can best be seen from the sea. The year 2009 promises to be a great year to plan an Alaska cruise.
Small ShipSmall Ship Cruises to Alaska 2010

A small ship Alaska cruise is an exciting alternative way to cruise Alaska that might allow you an even closer look at the beautiful scenery and exotic wildlife. There are several cruise lines with ships that carry from a dozen to 300 passengers on Alaska cruises. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the advantages of 100 or less cruisers exploring Alaska, enjoying excursions, or even just descending on the Alaska towns versus 2000 or more!

The smaller ships can also visit some places that the larger ones can only dream about like the Misty Fjords National Monument near Ketchikan or Tracy Arm fjord. If you are looking for a more exotic, out-of-the-way itinerary, a small ship Alaska cruise might be the best choice. One word of caution. These smaller ships are usually more expensive and often fill up fast. For this extra cost, you'll probably get less amenities and entertainment on board, but the trade off of a closer look at Alaska is worth it to many of us!

 

Click on the cruise line to learn more about sailings for the 2010 season.

Cruise West 2010 Alaska Cruises

Cruise West's Alaska’s Inside Passage itinerary will offer an extended cruise season and two new add-on land tour options -- two nights at a Denali Backcountry Lodge in conjunction with the four- or five-day Glaciers of Prince William Sound cruises; or a four day fully escorted Denali land tour traveling roundtrip from Anchorage in conjunction with the nine-day Alaska Whales & Wilderness cruise. I sailed an Alaska Inside Passage Cruise on the Spirit of Yorktown in 2007, and loved the ship and its ability to get us "up close and personal" to the Alaska sights. Cruise West will have eight ships in Alaska in 2010, ranging in size from 78 to 120-passengers.

Cruise West 2010 Alaska Cruises

Other small ship cruise lines are sending their ships north to Alaska in 2010. Most of these small ships do not offer private verandas or luxurious accommodations. However, if you are looking for ultimate luxury on board, the Silversea Cruises' Silversea Silver Shadow will sail 7-12 day Alaska voyages from San Francisco, Vancouver, or Seward. With 382 passengers, she is much larger than the other ships in this category, but the Silver Shadow provides more amenities and is still considered "small".

Lindblad 2010 Alaska Cruises

Lindblad Cruises will be sailing two itineraries in Alaska in 2010 with the 62-passenger National Geographic Sea Bird and National Geographic Sea Lion. The first is a 12-day cruise of Alaska, British Columbia, and the San Juan Islands. The second is an 8-day cruise of Alaska's Inside Passage.
Lindblad 2010 Alaska Cruises

American Safari has four ships sailing in Alaska in 2010 - the Safari Explorer, Safari Quest, Safari Escape, and Safari Spirit. These small ships range in size from 12 to 36 passengers. Five different soft adventure expedition itineraries run from 8, 9, or 15 days.

American Safari Cruises 2010 Alaska Cruises

American Safari has four ships sailing in Alaska in 2010 - the Safari Explorer, Safari Quest, Safari Escape, and Safari Spirit. These small ships range in size from 12 to 36 passengers. Five different soft adventure expedition itineraries run from 8, 9, or 15 days.

Abercrombie & Kent 2010 Alaska Cruises
In addition to marketing cruises on the American Safari Cruises' yachts, Abercrombie & Kent will send the 118-passenger Clipper Odyssey to Alaska, and she will sail the Inside Passage and Bering Sea between Nome and Vancouver.

There are also many other small yachts offered for charter that cruise Alaskan waters. The accommodations on these range from rustic to luxurious, large, mid-sized cruises and small ship cruises to Alaska. There is certainly something for everyone! Large Ship
Alaska cruises normally sell for a higher price than the Caribbean or other popular cruise destinations. Although almost nobody pays the brochure price anymore, you can use them for comparison. Most seven-day Caribbean cruises start around $800, but the brochure price for an Alaska cruise on the same ship, same cabin will start about $1000. The Alaska cruise season only runs from May through September, and demand is high. Getting to the embarkation port is often more costly than flying to Florida or even to Europe. Some cruise ships are sailing from San Francisco or Los Angeles, which might be a cheaper air fare, but a longer cruise. Summer is the big vacation season in the northwest, and many non-cruisers also choose to head to this beautiful part of the world. The shorter season and high demand add up to a more expensive cruise.

Even though Alaska cruises can be expensive, the joy of seeing this exciting American wilderness is well worth the extra dollars.

Many of the large and mid-sized cruise ships sailing to Alaska include cabins with private verandas. Cruisers go to Alaska to see the magnificent mountains, beautiful bays, and wonderful wildlife. How better to see all of this than from your own private balcony? In addition to the verandas, ships cruising Alaska often include huge observation lounges and heated indoor/outdoor pools. You don't have to "rough it" to see all that Alaska has to offer!

There are two great ways to cruise Alaska--on a large or mid-sized cruise ship of 700 to 3000 passengers or on a small ship of a dozen to less than 200 passengers. Both types of cruises have pros and cons. The larger ships have all the extra amenities you could ever wish for, but the small ships provide a more personal look at Alaska and often a better chance to see wildlife from the ship. Either way, Alaska cruise lines offer something for everyone.
Large and Mid-Sized Cruises to Alaska in 2010
Click on the cruise line to learn more about sailings for the 2010 season.

Royal Caribbean 2010 Alaska Cruisetours
Royal Caribbean will send three ships to Alaska in 2009, with 57 departures from Seward, Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, and San Diego. Radiance of the Seas will take guests on seven-night itineraries between Vancouver and Seward, Alaska. Rhapsody of the Seas returns to Seattle on seven-night roundtrip Sawyer Glacier voyages and Serenade of the Seas will sail a seven-night roundtrip itinerary from Vancouver. Royal Caribbean will include calls at Icy Strait Point on many of the cruises. The three ships will have longer voyages at the beginning and end of the season between Alaska and San Diego or San Francisco.
Celebrity 2010 Alaska Cruises
Celebrity Cruises passengers can choose from interesting Alaska itineraries on the Celebrity Infinity, Mercury, or Millennium. The Alaska cruises will be preceded or followed by repositioning cruises from California or Hawaii, and the Panama Canal cruises are in the spring and fall seasons. The Infinity will sail roundtrip from Seattle, the Mercury sails roundtrip from Vancouver, and the Millennium sails between Vancouver and Seward.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises 2010 Cruises to Alaska
The Regent Seven Seas Cruises Seven Seas Mariner will return to Alaska in 2010. All of the suites on the Seven Seas Mariner have balconies. The Mariner primarily sails 7-day cruises between Vancouver and Seward. I sailed this itinerary on the Seven Seas Mariner in late August 2008 and loved the mid-sized ship, the itinerary, and the excursions. The Seven Seas Mariner will arrive in Vancouver in early April from Japan, following her 121-day World Cruise around the Pacific Ocean from Fort Lauderdale to Vancouver. At the end of the Alaska cruise season, the Seven Seas Mariner will cruise the "long way" from Vancouver to Los Angeles on another Grand Asia Pacific voyage of 102 days.
Carnival 2010 Alaska Cruises
The Carnival Spirit will also return to Alaska. Spirit will sail the Gulf of Alaska on seven-day trips between Vancouver to Seward and on seven-day Glacier Bay cruises roundtrip from Vancouver.
Princess 2010 Alaska Cruises
Princess will have eight ships in Alaska sailing the Voyage of the Glaciers or the Inside Passage. The Coral Princess, Sea Princess, Diamond Princess, Golden Princess, Island Princess, Sapphire Princess, Star Princess, and Pacific Princess will all be sailing in Alaska in the summer of 2009. The Star Princess and Golden Princess will being sailing the Inside Passage from Seattle. The Dawn Princess will feature 10-day cruises of the Inside Passage from San Francisco. The Diamond, Island, Sapphire, and Coral Princess will be sailing between Vancouver and Whittier on the "Voyage of the Glaciers" itinerary. The Pacific Princess will have a longer cruise of Alaska - 14 days - with more ports and sightseeing. The Sea Princess will sail twice roundtrip to Alaska from San Francisco.
Holland America 2010 Alaska Cruises
Not to be outdone, Holland America is also sending eight of its ships north to Alaska, most of which are in the mid-sized 1200 to 1800-passenger range. The Amsterdam, Zaandam, and Westerdam will sail 7-day "Alaskan Explorer" cruises roundtrip from Seattle. The Veendam, Statendam, and Ryndam "Glacier Discovery Cruises" will sail between Vancouver and Anchorage (Seward). The Volendam and Zuiderdam will join the Veendam, Statendam, and Ryndam on "Glacier Bay Inside Passage" itineraries roundtrip from Vancouver.
NCL 2010 Alaska Cruises
Norwegian Cruise Line has three ships in Alaska in 2010, including one of its newest ships, the Norwegian Pearl. The Norwegian Pearl will join the Norwegian Star in sailing roundtrip cruises from Seattle. The Norwegian Sun will sail 7-day roundtrip cruises from Vancouver. All three of these ships will be sailing Glacier Bay or Sawyer Glacier itineraries.
Crystal Serenity World Cruise 2010
Crystal Cruises will return to Alaska in 2009 with one itinerary--the Yokohama, Japan to Los Angeles 22-day leg of the Crystal Serenity World Cruise.


People visit Alaska to take in the scenery, and look for exotic creatures in the sea and on the shore. Alaska is a huge place, and much of it can only be seen from the water. Therefore, an Alaskan cruise is an ideal way to see the bays, glaciers, and wildlife. However, because of its size, you will miss much of the state if you only touch on the ports. In addition, there are also cultural and historical experiences to be had in Alaska. You can get a sense of what life was like during gold rush days, or even when the Russians inhabited the area.

Many cruise passengers extend their cruise and explore the inland parts of the state by railroad or by car or bus. After all, while you're there, how can you not see Denali National Park? It features the continent's highest mountain, Mt. McKinley. Royal Caribbean and Celebrity have a joint tour company that serves passengers from both sister cruise lines. The tour company features railroad cars pulled through the wilderness by the Alaska Railroad between Anchorage and Fairbanks. The trek between Anchorage and Fairbanks includes a stopover at Denali. Princess also offers pre- and post-cruise opportunities to its extensive Alaska lineup, as does Holland America Line. These cruise lines have their own wilderness lodges in the interior of Alaska.

There are exciting, adventurous things to do in Alaska. Many places in the state cannot be reached by cruise ship, car, bus or railroad. How do you get there? By float plane! If you are a fishing aficionado or want to see some of the back country, a small float plane will take you to a lodge. Or you can "hook up" with a guide for a fishing trip to the back country. A glacier flight-seeing or helicopter trip in Juneau, home of the Mendenhall glacier, are popular excursions. Other adventurous options include dog sledding, sea kayaking, mountain biking, and heli-hiking. If you're not "up" on the latest fads, heli-hiking is just what it sounds like--a helicopter takes you to a remote location and drops you off. You go hiking, and then are picked up by the helicopter later. Sounds fun!

Each of the ports along the Inside Passage has a special treat for cruise passengers. Sitka is proud of its Russian heritage and offers tours focusing on its Russian roots. It also has an interesting Eagle Rehabilitation Center. If your cruise stops at Skagway, you might want to take the White Pass & Yukon Route narrow gauge railway. This railroad has been in operation since the 1898 Yukon gold rush. Near the White Pass Summit on the Yukon Highway is the beautiful Yukon Suspension Bridge over the Tutshi River. Valdez is the home of the southern end of the famous 800 mile Trans-Alaskan pipeline. Juneau has the Mendenhall Glacier and the state capital. It also features the Mount Roberts Aerial Tramway, which lifts you 1800 feet above the city. Seward is the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park and home of the Annual Silver Salmon Derby, the biggest fishing event in Alaska. Ketchikan has a great waterfront, and cruise passengers love to visit Creek Street.

Each cruise line has many shore excursions, and some offer over 100 different excursions. This can get expensive. One way to save a few dollars is to check out Port Promotions. This is an independent company that has arranged cruise shore excursions in the Caribbean for years. They started offering Alaska excursions in 2000. Sometimes their rates can be as much as 15 percent less than those charged by the cruise line.

 
Fishing and Wildlife Charters Ketchikan Alaska