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How Much Does a Cruise to Alaska Cost?

Lee Huffman

Lee is a freelance travel writer and podcast host based in Nashville, Tennessee. He loves to travel with his wife and two children using miles and points. Lee has held the Southwest Companion Pass since 2007 and enjoys being spoiled thanks to his Kimpton Inner Circle status.

Meghan Coyle

Meghan Coyle started as a web producer and writer at NerdWallet in 2018. She covers travel rewards, including industry news, airline and hotel loyalty programs, and how to travel on points. She is based in Los Angeles.

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Table of Contents

What to expect on an Alaska cruise

How much are alaskan cruise prices, what affects the cost of an alaskan cruise, how to save money on an alaskan cruise, so, how much does an alaskan cruise cost.

Many travelers dream of taking an Alaskan cruise, but they often fear how much it will cost. But the truth is, Alaskan cruise prices can be more affordable than you think. There are simple ways to reduce Alaska cruise prices to fit almost any travel budget.

In this article, we'll share expected Alaskan cruise prices, additional unexpected costs to factor in and tips for saving money on your trip.

Your experience on an Alaskan cruise will vary based on the time of year you travel. The scenery, wildlife and foliage change by season, so many travelers return at different times of the year to experience it all.

One of the favorite things to do on an Alaskan cruise is to see wildlife. Cruise passengers have opportunities to see animals at sea and on land. Pay close attention throughout your journey because you may see Grizzly and black bears, moose, bald eagles, humpback whales and pods of orcas.

While many travelers assume that Alaska is cold year-round, that isn't necessarily true. The weather can change multiple times in a single day. Travelers may enjoy warm sunshine one minute, then chilly rain the next. Because of this, it is wise to dress in layers and bring clothing that's suitable for different types of weather.

Hours of sunshine also vary widely throughout the year. Alaska cruise season is from April to October, which avoids the coldest and darkest times of the year. Cruises around the summer solstice may enjoy around 20 hours of sunshine since the days are so long.

Alaskan cruise costs vary widely based on travel dates, length of trip, cabin style and other factors. To illustrate what you might expect to pay for an Alaskan cruise, we priced out trips from a few of the most popular cruise companies.

The sample trip departs from Seattle and takes place in May 2024.

* The Disney Cruise departs from Vancouver since it does not offer a Seattle departure.

» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now

When figuring out how much an Alaskan cruise is, travelers need to understand that many factors determine the price, as the total cost of an Alaskan cruise is more than just booking the cruise.

Base cruise fare

The base cruise fare is the price you'll often see advertised when researching Alaska cruises. This is the basic cost of getting on the ship and securing your room.

Port taxes and fees

In addition to the base cruise fare, all cruisers must pay port taxes and fees. Even if you find a "free cruise" through some promotion, you'll still pay these extra charges. The cruise company pays these taxes and fees to the ports and destinations you visit throughout your trip.

Cabin upgrades

Many travelers choose to upgrade their experience by booking a larger room, a better view or a room with better features. Base cruise fares often include an interior room. Depending on the cost, upgrading to an exterior room with a window can be a good idea.

Flight/transportation

Most cruise travelers don't live within driving distance of the departure city. Because of that, you'll need to factor in how you'll get to the departure port. Many travelers fly to the departure city, which can increase the cost of your trip.

You may want to extend your trip to factor in travel time and avoid issues in case of a delayed or canceled flight. Additionally, this provides time to enjoy the city for a few days before or after the cruise travel dates.

» Learn more: Is cruise travel insurance worth it?

Hotel stays

When staying in the departure city, you'll need a place to stay. Booking a hotel room, short-term rental, hostel or other accommodation is key because you won't be able to stay on the cruise ship during this time.

Shore excursions

During your cruise, your ship may stop in several ports along the way. At each stop, you can get off the ship to explore local attractions, tours and cuisine as part of a shore excursion.

These excursions have a wide variety of prices depending on the destination, admission cost and other factors. The excursion price typically includes transportation to and from the attraction.

Some travelers explore the port city on their own. You may be able to save money this way. However, you're responsible for organizing and paying for your transportation, admission and other items along the way.

Onboard entertainment and gambling

Most onboard entertainment is included in the price of your cruise. However, some exclusive events or VIP seating may cost extra. Many cruise ships also offer spa treatments and gambling, which aren't included in the cruise price.

Alcoholic beverages

While most cruises include all-you-can-eat and drink in the cruise price, alcoholic beverages generally cost extra. You can pay for each drink individually. However, some cruises offer a flat price for unlimited beer, wine and other alcohol.

» Learn more: 7 ways a cheap cruise gets pricey fast — and how to deal

Premium meals

Premium meals offer higher-end cuts of meat and gourmet specialties. Depending on the cruise ship company, premium meals may be included or cost extra. Factor this in when comparing Alaska cruise options.

Meals off ship

While most meals are covered on the cruise, once you depart, you're on your own for meals. Even if your shore excursions include food, you may not like what they offer. Alternatively, you may want to try local eateries to enjoy dishes you can't get at home.

Shopping and souvenirs

Part of the experience of traveling is buying goodies to bring home. You may find local food or cultural items that you can't find at home. Or these items can serve as a reminder of fond memories.

Vacation clothing

Many travelers use vacations as an excuse to update their wardrobes. When traveling to different climates, you may also need to buy new clothes to be comfortable in varying conditions. Additionally, you may need formal clothes to dine at the higher-end restaurants on the ship.

Although many cruise ships are all-inclusive, it is common practice to tip the staff for a job well done. Additionally, extra tipping can be useful to secure prime meal times or spots on excursions.

Travelers should budget $14 to $19 per day per person to cover gratuities. However, some cruise lines include gratuities in your package price.

» Learn more: The best cruise lines

With so many items to factor into the cost of an Alaskan cruise, savvy travelers look for ways to save money. Here are a few ways our readers have saved money on their Alaska cruise vacations.

Travel off-peak . Booking during slower periods can reduce the cost of your cruise or provide additional incentives from the cruise company.

Book last minute . Last-minute reservations can save money because once the cruise ship departs, they cannot sell that cabin. Some travel websites specialize in last-minute travel deals.

Use travel rewards . Cruise travelers often use airline miles to fly to their cruise and hotel points to stay in the departure city. Additionally, flexible points can be a solid option to cover the cost of the cruise.

Consider cruise insurance. If you're concerned about losing money because of a last-minute change or cancellation, consider purchasing a separate cruise travel insurance plan or booking your trip with a credit card that has travel insurance .

Book early . Cruise lines often offer deals and incentives to travelers who book early.

Work with a cruise agent . Travel agents who book cruise vacations often have access to deals and promotions not available anywhere else.

Stay in an interior room . While balcony or exterior rooms provide better views, consider how often you will be in your room.

Book excursions directly . Cruise lines often mark up the cost of excursions when selling them to passengers. Book directly to reduce the cost.

Skip the beverage package . While many people enjoy an alcoholic drink or two, will you drink enough to justify the daily fee? To save money, it can be worth skipping the inflated drink prices.

» Learn more: How to earn and redeem points on cruises

Many travelers dream of taking an Alaska cruise with friends or family. Alaskan cruise prices vary widely depending on many factors, but you can expect to pay at least $600 before taxes for a 7-night cruise to Alaska. Factors that will increase the cost include the cruise line selected, cabin type, the time of year and how long your trip is.

Extras like excursions, gambling, alcohol and premium meals may also affect the price. You can save money on your Alaska cruise by traveling in the off-season, booking at the last minute or using your travel credit card rewards .

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024 :

Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

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Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

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60,000 Receive 60,000 online bonus points - a $600 value - after you make at least $4,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

alaska cruises costco

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Ocean Waters and Snow Mountains Part of the Alaska Experience

ADVENTURE ON THE WILD SIDE

Alaska cruises.

Adventure comes first on the last frontier.

Endless breathtaking tundra, four gamechanging ships, one epic summer adventure — this is the boldest Alaska season ever. Experience once-in-a-lifetime moments every single day.  Like whale watching in Juneau. Grizzly spotting in Haines. And totem touring in Sitka. Get to know wildlife, big and small, that call this wilderness home, like otters, eagles, bears, and whales. This is Last Frontier pioneering with the cruise line voted Best Overall by Travel Weekly readers for 21 years running.

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Mother and Daughter Enjoying a Kayak Tour in Alaska

OF ICE AND MOUNTAINS

Adventuring in Alaska is all about getting to know this state's stunning landscape. It might seem cold and unforgiving at first glance, but the best Alaska cruises allow you to explore the quiet lakes,  imposing glaciers  and breathtaking mountain views, you'll have only warm impressions of this wilderness. 

Seals in Alaska Inside Passage

JOURNEY INWARD

Exploring the interior of Alaska will give you an entirely different perspective on this vast and rugged state. Take an Inside Passage cruise and gaze upward at the sky that is as blue as the lakes below. Hop on the Alaskan Railroad near Anchorage and see the spruce-lined, mountainous landscape whir by from a new perspective.

Majestic Glacier in Alaska

GLACIERS WILL MOVE YOU

In Alaska, ancient rivers of ice wind between mountains and grind out of valleys. Towering walls of ice like the Hubbard Glacier, Endicott Arm Dawes and the twin Sawyer Glaciers thunder as they calve  massive icebergs . Some shore excursions allow up close interaction with these natural wonders.

Magnificent Denali National Park Alaska

JOURNEY TO "THE GREAT ONE"

In the center of the state,  Denali National Park  is blanketed in wildflowers punctuated with mountains, raging rivers and serene lakes. Denali, "The Great One," formerly known as Mt. McKinley, rises to the tallest peak in North America and can be seen from as far away as Anchorage on a clear day. An up-close view is more than worth the expedition during your vacation.

Beautiful Mountain View in the National Park, Icy Strait Point, Alaska

FEEL THE RUSH

Alaska is tailor-made for once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Whether you sail its icy bays trying to spot huge cold-water whales or fly high above this rough-and-tumble landscape from the vantage of a helicopter, you're sure to come away with memories you couldn't have made anywhere else during your cruise to Alaska. 

Alaska Dog Sledding Excursion

WHO LET THE DOGS OUT?

In some parts of the state, dog sledding is still the primary mode of transportation through the winter months. Visit Alaska and get the experience for yourself at the  Skagway Yukon Discovery and Dog Sled Tour . The Siberian Huskies are sweet and energetic, and the ride is a thrill.

Whale Watching Activity in Alaska

WHERE ARE THE WHALES AT?

Head to Kenai Fjords National Park in Seward for a  whale watching tour . There's nothing like seeing these behemoths hurl themselves out of the water, to splash back into the sea. Don't pass up an opportunity to watch these giants feed and play in the water.

Alaska Charter Helicopter Tour

Planes are plentiful in Alaska, where they're a common form of transportation across the state. Charter a helicopter or fixed-wing flightseeing tour at Juneau and get an unforgettable perspective of the mountains and glaciers of this vast landscape.

Juneau, Alaska Blue Glacier Ice Cave

RELEASE YOUR WILD SIDE ON THE BEST ALASKA CRUISE

Embark on an unforgettable Alaska adventure cruise and experience the ultimate vacation. Immerse yourself in the thrilling destinations that Alaska has to offer, each brimming with its own unique style and vibe. Discover the wonders of Alaska with the Best Cruise Line for 21 years running.

iFly and Flowrider Sunset in Alaska

QUANTUM OF THE SEAS

Quantum of the Seas® heads to the Last Frontier from Seattle . This adventure packed ship offers glacier gazing from the tallest viewing deck on a cruise ship and activities you can enjoy in any weather. Edge of your seat entertainment, all weather activities like the fan-favorite Flowrider®* and unparalleled views from every room.

EXPLORE MORE

Anthem of the Seas Aerial Stern Sailing

ANTHEM OF THE SEAS

Making its Alaska debut, Anthem of the Seas ® is full of family-favorite thrills and chill. Gaze at giant glaciers from the pool deck while you sail through Endicott Arm . Whether you’re challenging friends to bumper cars at the SeaPlex® or catching record-setting views from North Star®, make unforgettable memories on these 7-night cruises.

Serenade of the Seas Alaska Landscape Aerial

SERENADE OF THE SEAS

Bring your adventure crew to the Last Frontier for a 7-night sailing to can’t-miss glaciers and quaint seaside cities brimming with rugged charm. Go peak seaking in Sitka or and take-on rugged adventures in Haines . Once onboard, snag some adults-only time at the Solarium or treat your tastebuds to plated perfection at Izumi Japanese Cuisine. Getting to your coolest getaway yet is easy for the whole family with sails roundtrip from Vancouver .

Radiance at Hubbard Glacier - Alaska

RADIANCE OF THE SEAS

Sail into the Last Frontier from Seward or Vancouver onboard Radiance of the Seas®. With over three acres of windows and glass exterior viewing elevators, you can watch for whales along Alaska’s Inside Passage when you aren’t wandering wilderness paths from Ketchikan to Juneau. And for the ultimate outdoor adventure, take a CruiseTour into Alaska’s interior where you can hang with huskies in Denali, and scale glaciers in Alyeska.

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO Alaska Cruises Insider

The sheer size of Alaska lends itself to a wide variety of terrain and travel experiences. This diversity means you need to be prepared for a lot of change while traveling.

The best time to travel to Alaska depends on your priorities. If you're interested in the Midnight Sun, the longest day of the year is June 21, when you can experience close to 20 or more hours of sunlight in some parts of the state. If you're more interested in the Alaska Northern Lights, the earlier sunset in later summer will allow more contrast and better views of this natural wonder.

No two days will be the same, and you'll need to pack your clothing to prepare for temperature changes throughout the day. Think layers: zip-up sweaters, boots, rain jackets.

Cozy Cabins and Scenic Restaurants in the Alaskan Wilderness

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June 7, 2024

Plan your romantic Alaskan cruise with our adventurer’s guide to discovering the coziest vacation spots and most scenic restaurants for couples traveling in Alaska.

Craft Beer Tap Bartender

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For all the beer lovers planning an Alaskan cruise vacation, we’ve curated the ultimate zythophile guide to visiting 5 of the best craft breweries in Alaska.

Woman looking at Exit Glacier, Harding Ice Field, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

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Find the most Instagrammable places for your next vacation cruise to Alaska. Come discover the prettiest spots to take pictures with our travel photo guide.

Alaska, Bull Moose Wildlife

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Alaska Yukon Skaqway White Pass

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June 6, 2024

Your Guide to the Best Cruises From Alaska. Learn more about the most stunning destinations you can visit on an Alaska cruise from Seattle or Vancouver.

Canada Banff Mountain Landscape

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May 22, 2024

The best time to visit Banff is also the best time to cruise from Vancouver, so go ahead and pair your sailing with a side trip.

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Denali, Alaska National Park Mountains

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Anchorage, Alaska Glaciers

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Enjoy an insider’s guide to discovering the best family cruises for your next vacation onboard Brilliance of the Seas. Start sailing today.

Alaska Hubbard Glacier Mountain Blue Ocean

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Mount Roberts Tramway above the forest, Juneau, Alaska

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Take the guess work out of what to pack for a cruise to Alaska with this guide that tells you what to bring and why you'll be glad you did!

Vegan pancakes with Birch syrup and raisins

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The best Alaska food to try on a cruise includes king crab, salmon, fry bread, birch syrup, wild berries and more.

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Fun activities for kids abound on an Alaska cruise. Embark on a thrilling journey with young explorers through breathtaking landscapes.

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Whether you're curious about Alaska native culture or other Alaska traditions, here's how to make these an integral part of your trip up north.

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Denali, Alaska Highest Mountain Peak

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Alaska, Juneau Mendenhall Glacier

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Planning a honeymoon cruise to Alaska? We’ve curated the ultimate guide to visiting some of the most romantic destinations to vacation for couples.

Couple Enjoying Glacier Tour, Juneau, Alaska

Must-Sees for Your Once in a Lifetime Alaska Cruise Vacation

Whether you're a history buff or a nature nut, there are numerous bucket list destinations to experience while traveling on your Alaska cruise vacation.

Zip Lining in the Summer, Icy Strait Point, Alaska

Conquer the World's Longest Zip Line in Alaska

Don’t wait any longer, riding the world's longest zip line in Alaska will be an experience you'll never forget while on your next Alaskan mountain adventure.

Sled Dog Racing Alaskan Malamute, Alaska

Dog Sledding Tours

There's nothing like an amazing adventure during an Alaskan vacation, and if you're looking for things to do then dog sledding is a bucket-list experience.

Best Helicopter Tours to Take when Flying over Alaska

Alaska Helicopter Tours

There's nothing quite as exhilarating as a helicopter tour over Alaska's sprawling landscapes. Take your breath away as you travel above its amazing glaciers.

Alaska is not a formal place; people even wear jeans to the opera. Focus more on comfort when deciding what clothing to pack.

Cameras, binoculars, rain ponchos and jackets are useful, but add these to the souvenirs you'll be picking up and soon your bag will be too heavy to tote around. Bring along a quality day pack to make it easier to hold your necessities.

Learn a few words in Alaska's local lingo: The "Alcan" is the Alaska-Canada Highway, for example, and "fish stories" are the local version of tall tales — unreliable yarns of mythological proportions, often told by fisherman.

ALASKAN CUISINE WILD IS THE WAY 

Alaskan food focuses on locally sourced ingredients that reflect the state's rugged terrain and the vast oceans surrounding it. These nutrient-rich waters serve up some gorgeous fish and shellfish, from super-fresh salmon to huge Alaskan King Crabs that can feed a crowd, while game meats and berries from the wilderness form a perfect marriage of flavor.

Best Alaska Smoked Salmon

SALMON IS CENTRAL

Fresh-caught wild salmon is served up at backyard BBQs and the finest restaurants. For something different, try the sweet and savory treat Indian Candy, salmon that is sweetened and smoked till hard.

Typical Alaskan Sourdough Bread

SOURDOUGH WON'T LET YOU GO

Sourdough is such an important part of Alaskan culture that long-time Alaskans are actually called sourdoughs in local parlance. Try a sourdough bread bowl filled with salmon chowder for a hearty lunch.

Alaskan Wild Berries Pie Dessert

GO WILD FOR BERRIES

Alaskan wild berries are sweet and pack a powerful punch of flavor. Whether served up in jams, candies, pies or cobblers, Alaskan blueberries, high-bush cranberries and other local wild berries are a staple when it comes to Alaskan summer eats.

RELATED PORTS

Whether you're interested in hiking through a forest, trekking to glaciers or a shopping spree downtown, the towns along Alaska's inside passage provide a variety of adventurous activities. Alaska cruise ports such as Juneau and Ketchikan are small cities with their own personalities. Anchorage is the state's largest city and a gateway to the rest of the state. Denali National Park takes you out of the city altogether, into a wilderness full of spruce forests and snow-capped mountain peaks.

 National Park Mountains Snow, Icy Strait Point, Alaska

Icy Strait Point, Alaska

Flowers Nature Mountains , Juneau, Alaska

Juneau, Alaska

Misty Fjords National Monument, Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan, Alaska

Coastal Town Seascape Views, Sitka, Alaska

Sitka, Alaska

National Park Forest, Inside Passage, Alaska

Alaska Inside Passage, Alaska

Iceberg Snow Glacier, Hubbard Glacier, Alaska

Hubbard Glacier, Alaska

Vancouver Island Mountains, Inside Passage, British Columbia

Inside Passage, Canada

Seascape Mountain Side Ocean, Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska

Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska

Glacier Icy Snow, Endicott Arm & Glacier Dawes

Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier, Alaska

Chilkat Peninsula, Skagway, Alaska

Skagway, Alaska

Alaska Glacier Bay Mountains

Glacier Bay (Cruising), Alaska

Chilkoot Lake Haines Alaska

Haines, Alaska

Downtown Lodge Houses Stilts, Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan (Ward Cove), Alaska

Resurrection Bay Mountain Side Ocean Kayaking Nature, Seward, Alaska

Seward, Alaska

Related Destinations

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Alaska Cruise Tours:

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Alaska Cruises and Cruisetours

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Come find yourself in the heart of the wilderness and discover the very best of Alaska with Princess Cruises.

Experience Alaska as only Princess can show you. Princess offers a range of enriching Alaska vacation options to see the wonders of the Great Land. With Alaska cruises, you can experience stunning views of glaciers, explore beautiful port cities, and trek through Alaska's untamed beauty. Travel further into the wilderness with an Alaska Cruisetour. Every Princess Alaska cruisetour takes you to Denali National Park so you can enjoy a land beloved by millions but only seen by the adventurous. This national park is a dream destination for any serious Alaska traveler. With some of the most stunning wilderness in existence and famous wildlife, it's part of the definitive experience of traveling to the Great Land's wild interior. Book with the Princess Plus Package to receive a drink package (ages 21+) or Zero-Alcohol package (ages 20 and younger), Wi-Fi, crew appreciation (previously called shipboard gratuities), premium desserts, and fitness classes for the first two guests in a stateroom on select cruises or cruisetours. Third and fourth guests must call Costco Travel to add amenities (for an additional fee). Plus, receive a Digital Costco Shop Card with every sailing.

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How Much I Saved Booking a Cruise Through Costco Travel

Last Updated on July 1, 2022

Yesterday, I booked a cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas for a 7-night Alaskan Experience in May 2022. Alaskan cruises have been on our wish list for a while now, and after a year of being trapped at home with no travel, it seemed like next year would be a perfect time to try one: beautiful mountain views, whales, moose, adventurous excursions. Sign me up!

In the past, when planning a cruise, I’ve either booked directly through the cruise line or through a travel agent. This time, I tried Costco Travel and ended up saving quite a bit of money.  

alaska cruises costco

About Costco Travel

To be clear, Costco is NOT a sponsor of this post, and it’s NOT a paid endorsement for them. As my friends and family know all too well, I always talk about Costco’s extra benefits. I purchased my last two cars through the Costco Auto Program. I bought my dishwasher and oven through their website and got free installation. I’ve purchased preprinted checks through them at a much better price than I saw elsewhere. Long story short, Costco offers outstanding deals if you look for them. 

If you’re a Costco member, you can book travel or rental cars through the website CostcoTravel.com . It’s technically a separate company from Costco, and you won’t see any of these offers in the Warehouse. Still, the vendor has to go through a pretty stringent selection and review process to get to use the Costco name, and they must offer certain deals and benefits to Costco customers. I’ve booked rental cars through this website in the past and had a great experience and got a great price. 

Why I booked this cruise through Costco Travel

Honestly, I intended to book my cruise through Royal Caribbean’s website. I started my search on the Royal Caribbean website and identified the ship and itinerary that was important to me. Because it’s colder and rainy in Alaska, I wanted a ship with enough to do inside. The Ovation of the Seas was perfect. Two indoor pools, bumper cars, an esplanade (this ship’s version of Royal Caribbean’s famous Promenade), and the pièce de résistance; a glass-enclosed adults-only solarium that looks over the front of the ship that just screamed Alaska.

I went through the whole process and was about to book only to be greeted with a blank white screen error screen. I refreshed and tried again, the same. I tried to start from scratch, and nothing; Royal Caribbean’s site kept crashing. I was all ready to book the cruise at that moment, so I thought I’d try an alternative, and Costco Travel was the first that came to mind. 

Glass-enclosed solarium in Alaska on the Ovation of the Seas

Costco Travel cruise booking process

Costco Travel’s website seems a bit dated in their navigation, but at least it works (compared to Royal Caribbean’s site). It’s a very traditional website; you’re not going to find fancy chatbots or pop-ups trying to upsell you or move you along the process. There are no bells and whistles, but honestly, do you need any? 

I searched through the cruises and found the one I was looking at previously. Right up front, the website listed this itinerary as a “Kirkland Signature Cruise,” which meant it had special prices and benefits. I couldn’t see what those benefits were until I created an account with my Costco membership number. I logged into my account and continued through the screens. Most of the process was pretty standard for a cruise booking website. You start by picking your sailing, then entering the number of guests and the type of room you want. The only part that got confusing was when I had to choose the actual cabin. 

alaska cruises costco

I selected a balcony room, and a map came up with a highlighted room. Looking at the picture, it looked like there were no other rooms available and this was the only one I could choose. I like to see all my options when I book, so I scrolled down and found a white box that said, “Choose Different Stateroom.” The page refreshed and then showed me all the possible rooms on that deck and let me switch deck. There were quite a few other rooms available that I wouldn’t have known about initially. The button does the trick, but I just wish the button was more straightforward, or like other websites, it just shows all possible rooms.

alaska cruises costco

After that, I just put in my information and credit card, and I was set. Alaska, here I come! Just a note, if you are a Costco Executive Member (that’s a black card), you’ll get 2% of this cost back at the end of the year! 

How much Costco Travel saved me on this cruise

I honestly wasn’t prepared to save a lot when I started, but after I selected the room I wanted, I was pleasantly surprised with the deal. If you look at the out-of-pocket cost, or what will show up on my credit card, booking through Costco Travel saved me $260 or about 8% . That alone is pretty impressive. You can see the comparison below:

Not only was the cruise $260 than Royal Caribbean’s website, but I also received several perks like a $50 onboard credit, two free soda packages (valued to be $149 for this cruise), a free spa treatment for 1 ($100 value), and a $190 gift card to Costco.

Extra Perks:

I saved $749 compared to booking directly through Royal Caribbean. Now, if you don’t use all these perks, they’ve of no value. For sure, I’ll use the $190 Costco Gift Card, Shipboard Credit, and I would have purchased a soda package for myself, so that means it saved me $575 in total or 17%. That’s a killer deal. 

Planning my cruise activities through Royal Caribbean

Within minutes, I received the confirmation email from Costco Travel. It included a cruise line confirmation number that I was able to put into the Royal Caribbean website. It linked that cruise to my account, and minutes later, the cruise showed up in my cruise planner just like if I booked it through Royal Caribbean. I could then book excursions, wifi, drink packages, etc. By booking through Costco Travel, though, I can’t change dining times, guest names, or request room changes on the Royal Caribbean website. For that, I’d have to contact Costco Travel, but that is pretty rare for me anyway.  

alaska cruises costco

Your mileage may vary

Is Costco Travel going to save you hundreds on every cruise you look at? No, I highly doubt that, but based on my experience, it’s an option worth considering, especially if you’re a Costco member already. For my cruise, it saved me money and gave me a few additional perks. Do your homework and price it out a few ways to see what your best deal.  

Overall, the process was simple, painless, and saved me money. I’ll update this post as the cruise gets closer to let you know how it goes and how the experience with Costco Travel pans out. 

Update – 7/7/2021 – Scoring a price drop

Every once in a while, I check on the price of the cruise. To do that, I have to go to Costco Travel and complete a mock booking. I try to pick cabins nearly identical to mine, so I’m comparing apples to apples. Today, I noticed the price looked lower. It’s hard to be sure, though, because of all the stipulations, so I gave them a call to see.

Their automated system said it’d be about 20 – 30 minutes to speak to a representative, so I put my phone on speaker and waited. This time can vary a lot; I called once before and got an agent in 5 minutes; other times, it was an hour, so I hung up and called later. In COVID times, your wait time will be all over the place, and I totally understand that.

After 25 minutes, an agent picked up. She was friendly and, using my Costco travel booking number, pulled up all the information to confirm. I said that it looked like the cruise was cheaper on the website and is it possible to make a price adjustment. She looked at my reservation and ran the numbers, and said it looked like I was correct. She put me on call and then called Royal Caribbean to see about the adjustment. She was on hold for about 20 minutes waiting for a Royal Caribbean representative but kept coming back every 5 minutes to let me know she was still working on it. When she finally got someone, she confirmed the lower price, which saved me $275. She sent me an email with the confirmation and updated price and waiting to make sure I received it. All the selections I’d made previously with Royal Caribbean (dining time, internet package, etc), stayed precisely how they should be.

Overall, it took me about an hour to save $275, so it was totally worth it. While there was a bit of a wait, it’s understandable with all the COVID changes going on. The Costco Travel representative was friendly, efficient, and competent. The one downside is that I had to be actively looking for this price drop. Some travel agencies will automatically do this for you, but apparently, that’s not part of Costco Travel’s services.

Update 9/1/2021 – Another price drop

Here’s a helpful tip. Once you book a cruise, look for your sailing’s Facebook group. These groups are not affiliated with the cruise line and are often created by a fellow passenger, but it gives you a great place to get ideas and input about your specific cruise. Today, someone in the Facebook group for this cruise posted that they saw a price decrease today. I repriced the cruise on Costco Travel’s website, and saw the price was now $220 lower. I called up Costco Travel and was connected to an agent in about 5 minutes. He verified that I could be eligible for the price drop and then he called Royal Caribbean to get it changed. He was on hold about 35 minutes to make that change, but kept checking in to let me know he was waiting on the cruise line. Overall, it took me 40 minutes on the phone to save another $220. Overall the process with Costco Travel was simple and I still am really impressed with the service. Again, the only thing I wish is that they monitored the prices and adjusted them accordingly.

Update 6/10/2022 – Costco Travel cruise was a success!

Our Alaskan Cruise through Costco Travel was a success. We had an amazing time ( read more here ). In the end, booking through Costco Travel was not much different than if I booked through Royal Caribbean. The letter below was left in our cabin around 6 PM on the first day. It was accompanied by coupons for the spa and the soda packages. There was no hassle in using the coupons. The one down side was that for the soda package, they couldn’t activate it until I gave them my coupon. I didn’t receive the coupon until 6 PM so that meant I had to go from 10 AM (when we boarded) until 6 PM without a soda. As a caffeine addict, it was rough, but not the end of the world. Two weeks after we arrived back home, we received our $190 Costco Gift Card as promised as part of the deal.

costco travel cruise letter

Costco Travel can be right for you if…

  • You have to be a member to see the pricing and book a cruise. Plus, Executive members get 2% back on travel through this website
  • If you know what you want in a cruise and what to expect when booking, then this is no different than many other websites
  • You can find excellent deals on the website, especially if you’re flexible.

You might want to avoid booking a cruise through Costco Travel if you…

  • If you’re new to cruising and don’t want to do the research, you might be better off using a travel agent. Do you need a passport? Which dinner seating is best? If you have many random questions and don’t want to spend time on the internet, a travel agent is a better fit for you.
  • The website experience isn’t great for booking more than 2 cabins. If you’re booking a cruise for more cabins, you can call them although I’d suggest using a travel agent who can act as a point person with everyone.

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alaska cruises costco

Randy Young

Randy Young is the founder and editor-in-chief at Cruise Spotlight. He has been in marketing for 19 years and has been cruising for just as long. Over the years, he's worked with products like TVs, copiers, light bulbs, and EV chargers, but cruising has always been his passion. There's nothing Randy likes more than the first couple of hours on a ship, exploring every nook and cranny and seeing how it's different from everything else out there. He's known for providing detailed and analytical coverage of cruising to help cruisers get a comprehensive picture of a ship's offerings.

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Costco cruise deals: How to save money booking travel at a warehouse club

Erica Silverstein

Deal hunters know that Costco Travel is an under-the-radar hit for finding travel deals. For folks who prefer to vacation at sea, Costco cruise deals can be among the most lucrative offers you can find.

That's because low fares and value-added extras are hallmarks of Costco cruise bookings. Combine that with generally friendly service from the warehouse club's travel agents, and you might have another way to get maximum value out of your membership.

What are the benefits of booking a cruise through Costco, and how do Costco's cruise prices compare with cruise line pricing? I went online to road-test the booking platform. Here's what I learned.

For cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG's cruise newsletter .

Benefits of booking a cruise through Costco

First things first (because I've seen people misinterpret this): a Costco cruise is a sailing booked through Costco Travel. Costco does not operate its own branded cruise line where the buffet line serves Kirkland hot dogs and churros and all cabins are equipped with Lovesac beanbag chairs. (That would be epic, though.)

Related: 5 unexpected places that sell cruises

The main benefit of booking a cruise through Costco is that every booking comes with a Digital Costco Shop Card and/or onboard credit.

Also, if you're an Executive Member, you earn 2% back on qualifying Costco purchases (up to $1,000), including many travel purchases. With cruises, you'd earn the 2% back on the cruise fare but not on the taxes, fees, auto-gratuities, other surcharges and trip protection.

That's free money for you to spend, either in a Costco warehouse or on the ship – especially as Costco cruises typically have competitive fares. It's not like you're paying more than you would by booking directly and getting the difference in Costco money.

This brings me to my second point. Typically, Costco Travel offers competitive rates on cruises, so you can either find a discounted deal or at least pay a similar rate offered by other travel sellers.

Finally, Costco offers "Buyer's Choice" and "Kirkland Signature" cruise deals, which offer "exclusive savings and included extras," according to the Costco Cruises website. The added-value perks vary by cruise line but may include shipboard credit, complimentary dinners and spa treatments on board and special wine and culinary theme cruise access with exclusive meals, tastings and demos.

My quick search through these deals revealed that Costco's Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line cruises usually have the most added freebies. Norwegian cruises even feature free perks, such as a photo package or spa credit, that are combinable with the line's Free at Sea value-adds offered to everyone. Celebrity cruise deals were the ones centered around food-and-wine theme cruise perks, while Costco Carnival cruise deals typically offer both onboard credit and a Costco shop card.

Related: The best cruise booking perks – and which ones are actually free

I was not surprised to see that you could book Disney cruises through Costco, but they are not eligible for either Kirkland Signature or Buyer's Choice deals.

Costco cruise prices

Costco Travel boasts "exclusive Costco member rates," but are you really getting a deal? I priced out three sailings on different cruise lines to see how much you could potentially save by booking a Costco cruise.

alaska cruises costco

I started with a seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruise on Royal Caribbean 's Harmony of the Seas, departing Sept. 9.

Costco listed balcony cabins from $784 per person. Booking perks included $50 onboard credit per room, one meal for two people in a specialty restaurant and a Costco shop card. Royal Caribbean listed rates starting from $833 per person on the same departure.

The cheapest balcony cabins where I could pick a cabin were Boardwalk-facing balcony cabins (inward-facing balconies toward the back of the ship) on Deck 14. Costco's final price for the two-person cabin was $1,849.56, plus a $95 shop card and the dining and credit perks. Royal Caribbean's final price was $2,197.56, with no perks.

Both prices included taxes and fees. The difference before the perks was $348, plus you get roughly $200 in value from the perks alone.

Related: Costco lovers: Consider the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi

Next, I priced out a Carnival cruise , which didn't offer as many extra perks.

A six-night Mexico cruise on Carnival Miracle, departing from Los Angeles Oct. 8, was listed as $584 for a balcony cabin on Carnival and $564 on Costco.

Carnival offered $50 onboard credit per room, and Costco offered a $70 shop card and possibly some shipboard credit, but it wasn't clear the way the fine print was written.

alaska cruises costco

Final prices worked out to $1,478.40 on Carnival (for two people sharing a cabin) and $1,444.40 on Costco. The Costco cruise deal was slightly better, especially if it really did come with shipboard credit.

For my last cruise, I looked at a seven-night Hawaii cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line 's Pride of America, departing May 27.

Starting prices were similar: $2,649 per person for a balcony cabin through Costco and $2,549 on Norwegian's website. Both included Norwegian's Free at Sea perks (complimentary beverage package, specialty dining, Wi-Fi and shore excursion credit).

alaska cruises costco

However, Costco also offered the following valuable perks:

  • Photo package.
  • $50 spa credit for two people.
  • 200-minute Internet Package.
  • $50 arcade credit for one guest.
  • One bottle of wine and chocolate-covered strawberries (per room).

On the other hand, Norwegian listed additional Free at Sea perks – free airfare and free third and fourth guests – that Costco did not mention on its site.

Ultimately, this sailing priced out the same at $6,375.28 per balcony cabin, based on double occupancy. Norwegian might have the edge if you can take advantage of the airfare offer. Otherwise, the Costco deal could be better value with all the extra inclusions.

Things to know when booking Costco cruises

alaska cruises costco

I noticed a few things as I road-tested Costco's booking tool and compared it to the cruise lines' versions.

You can click on Kirkland Signature or Buyer's Choice deals to see featured offers, but they don't necessarily account for all of Costco's best deals. Sort by destination or cruise line to see more options.

Costco wasn't always clear about whether all sail dates and cabin categories were eligible for deals. The links that prompted you to click them to determine eligibility never gave me that information. Because I was not actually booking cruises, I could not see if these details became clearer just before you gave Costco your credit card information.

Lead-in rates were occasionally for guarantee rooms (where the cruise line picks your cabin), even when I thought I was choosing a regular cabin type. If you're not given a cabin number and you want control over your stateroom location, click the link to choose another room or cabin category.

Costco only accepts Visa and MasterCard for cruise booking payments. You will not be able to use your American Express and earn Membership Rewards points for your vacation purchase.

Related: Use these credit cards to maximize your next cruise vacation

You can, however, use a future cruise credit from a cruise line to pay for all or part of your Costco cruise. Your shop card amount will be determined by the cost of the cruise fare, not how you pay for it. So, if you use FCC to pay for your entire sailing, you will still get the shop card based on the invoice price.

Ultimately, savings will vary based on the specific itinerary, departure date and room you choose. The more you spend, the higher the shop card amount will be. Some deals were only available on close-in sailings or specific sail dates. In general, though, pricing was competitive with the cruise lines, and often the value-adds gave Costco the edge.

Costco cruise cancellation policy

Costco Travel operates like a typical online travel seller. Its cruise change and cancellation policies are simply what the cruise lines put in place themselves. They aren't different because you booked through Costco.

If you need to change or cancel your Costco cruise, you may be subject to fees or forfeit your deposit or portion of your cruise fare, according to each cruise line's rules.

You cannot get a rate reduction once you pay in full for the cruise, usually 90 to 160 days before departure. "Exceptions to this policy, if any, are at the full discretion of the cruise line and are outside of the control of Costco Travel," according to the online terms and conditions.

Are Costco cruises a good deal?

alaska cruises costco

Costco cruises are priced competitively, especially when you factor in the shop card or shipboard credit available with every purchase. Some cruises will be exceptionally good deals, especially ones that come with lots of complimentary extras. Others will be roughly the same value as you'd find elsewhere.

You can spend a lot of time searching the site for the most amazing Kirkland Signature or Buyer's Choice steal, but it isn't always simple to assess the value. Still, if you're flexible, focus on these featured offers, especially ones with lots of freebies.

Travelers generally report having good experiences with Costco, either booking online or using one of their agents. You can use future cruise credit to book cruises with Costco. You will still earn cruise loyalty points toward status and can earn points, miles or cash back for your purchases made with rewards-earning credit cards like Visa and Mastercard.

It's likely not worth joining Costco just for its travel services. However, if you already have a membership and are planning a cruise, it's definitely worth seeing what the warehouse club is offering in terms of pricing and perks for the sailing you're contemplating. You might find a great deal and get a shop card to spend when you return home from vacation.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

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Discover a refreshing perspective of iconic Alaska with experiences fit for the whole family.

Take in magical views of tidewater glaciers, trek through rugged mountains, and cruise among narrow fjords. From culture to food to icy thrills, find options for all interests and activity levels. On board gain an exclusive experience with Alaska Up Close™, a program with innovative performances from BBC Earth, expert-led talks, Port to Table cooking demonstrations, and more. Enhance your cruise by booking into Holland's Have It All Event and receive a Beverage package, specialty dining, Wi-Fi, and shore excursion credit.

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The 8 top alaska cruise lines of 2024.

Discover the best lines and itineraries for your type of travel style.

The Top Alaska Cruise Lines

Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas in Alaska.

Courtesy of Royal Caribbean International

A cruise vacation to Alaska is a profound adventure. The spectacular natural beauty, rugged wilderness, massive glaciers and endless opportunities for wildlife viewing make a trip to the 49th state a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many travelers. As an added bonus, cruise ships can reach remote parts of the state, including Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve: one of the most significant (and picturesque) marine and wildlife sanctuaries in the world.

With the ever-growing popularity of the destination and an extended cruising season (some lines now travel to Alaska between April and October), more ships are heading north to the shores of The Great Land. With these expanded itineraries, there's more than ever to think about when booking your Alaska cruise.

To assist in your decision-making process, U.S. News listed the top cruise lines to consider across five categories, including the best options for families , luxury-seekers and adventurers. U.S. News consulted data provided by Cruiseline.com and the results of our 2024 Best Cruise Lines rankings to help develop this list of the top cruise lines sailing to Alaska.

  • Best Overall: Holland America Line; Princess Cruises
  • Best for Families: Norwegian Cruise Line; Royal Caribbean International

Best for Couples: Celebrity Cruises

  • Best Luxury: Regent Seven Seas Cruises; Silversea Cruises

Best Small-Ship Expedition Line: UnCruise Adventures

Find your perfect cruise

Best Overall: Holland America Line and Princess Cruises

Holland america line.

Holland America Line's Westerdam in Glacier Bay, Alaska.

Courtesy of Holland America Line

Alaska cruise ships: Eurodam , Koningsdam , Nieuw Amsterdam , Noordam , Westerdam , Zaandam Departure cities (cruises and cruisetours): Anchorage , Fairbanks and Whittier, Alaska; Seattle; Vancouver, British Columbia Starting from: $379 per person for seven-night Alaska Inside Passage cruise on May 1, 2024, or Sept. 22, 2024. Round-trip from Vancouver.

Holland America Line has been cruising Alaska's pristine glacial waters for more than 75 years – longer than any other cruise line. On top of that, the line features more voyages to Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve than its competitors. Seven-night round-trip sailings depart from either Seattle or Vancouver, while cruisetours – Holland America Line 's sea- and land-based packages – leave from several cities and extend each trip to nine to 18 days.

If this will be your first visit to Alaska, consider booking the comprehensive 14-day Yukon + Denali cruisetour. This Alaska adventure includes a voyage aboard Koningsdam, plus a three-night stay at Holland America's exclusive lodge in Denali National Park, where you'll have the opportunity to see Alaska's big five: moose, caribou, grizzly bears, Dall sheep and wolves – and book bucket list activities like flightseeing over Denali. If it's a picture-perfect day, your pilot might even be able to land on the tallest mountain in North America, also known as "The Great One." Other excursions include meeting dog mushers from the Iditarod, landing on the Yanert Glacier, heli-hiking or embarking on a covered wagon adventure on the Alaska tundra. The Yukon Territory portion of this trip is exclusive to Holland America; while there, visit the mining town of Dawson City and learn about Northern Canada's Klondike Gold Rush of August 1896.

Another highlight of sailing Alaska with Holland America is the Alaska Up Close program, which immerses guests in an array of expert-led lectures and excursions on board and shore. When it comes to dining , Holland America is the only cruise line to achieve the Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) certification, which means cruisers will enjoy certified sustainable wild Alaska seafood on board (think: Alaskan king crab legs and fresh salmon). You may also have access to culinary excursions in partnership with Food & Wine magazine, as well as special offerings like Alaska salmon bakes.

Cruisers should also consider one of the Holland America's new itineraries for 2024: the 28-night Alaska Arctic Circle Solstice voyage aboard Westerdam, round-trip from Seattle. This sailing, which departs on June 9, 2024, features highlights like crossing the Arctic Circle; celebrating the summer solstice in Nome, Alaska; and watching Kodiak bears – the largest bears in the world – on Kodiak Island.

Insider tip: Sample Holland America Line's famous Dutch pea soup while glacier viewing on the outside decks. The crew passes around mugs of the warm soup in this Holland America tradition that gives a nod to the line's heritage – and keeps guests warm on chilly summer days in Alaska.

Princess Cruises

View from the deck of a Princess Cruises ship in Alaska.

Courtesy of Princess Cruises

Alaska cruise ships: Grand Princess , Sapphire Princess , Royal Princess , Ruby Princess , Majestic Princess , Discovery Princess , Crown Princess Departure cities (cruises and cruisetours): Seattle; Anchorage, Alaska; Vancouver, British Columbia; San Francisco ; Fairbanks, Alaska Starting from: $398 per person for seven-night cruise from Anchorage (Whittier, Alaska) to Vancouver on May 18, 2024

Princess Cruises has a long history in Alaska, boasting more than 50 years of sailing to the Great Land. Cruise itineraries last between seven and 14 nights, and many visit the Inside Passage. Princess Cruises also owns and operates five wilderness lodges for guests of its cruisetours, plus exclusive "Direct to the Wilderness" rail service to those properties. The line's wide selection of cruisetours includes independent adventures and off-the-beaten-path destinations, like Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve, the largest national park in the U.S. For travelers seeking the highest level of service and the most time on land, the Connoisseur cruisetour is a good option, including up to 10 nights ashore following the seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise. The Connoisseur trip is hosted by a tour director and includes select sightseeing outings and most meals in the fare.

Princess' special programming, North to Alaska, offers guests unique insights into the history and culture of the region with visits from local Alaskans, photography sessions, demonstrations on lumberjacking and excursions like Cook My Catch, where guests will go fishing (with a guide), then bring their fish back for chefs to prepare for dinner at one of the designated Princess lodges.

There are two new Princess cruisetours to consider for 2024. The 15-night National Parks Tour includes a seven-day cruise, visits to five national parks, scenic rail travel and a total of eight evenings across four Princess wilderness lodges. Meanwhile, the Katmai National Park Tour is a nine-day adventure that takes guests to the famed Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park & Preserve to see bears feasting on wild salmon in Alaska's wilderness.

Insider tip: While visiting Denali National Park, be sure to check out the Princess Treehouse at the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge. Built by Pete Nelson of Animal Planet's "Treehouse Masters," the treehouse offers a different perspective of Denali and features "Sappy Hour" and other fun activities.  

Best for Families: Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International

Norwegian cruise line.

Race track atop the Norwegian Bliss in Alaska.

Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

Alaska cruise ships: Norwegian Encore , Norwegian Bliss , Norwegian Jewel , Norwegian Sun , Norwegian Spirit Departure cities (cruises and cruisetours): Seattle ; Vancouver, British Columbia; Seward, Alaska Starting from: $349 per person for seven-night sailing between Seward and Vancouver (itineraries visit Hubbard Glacier and Skagway, or Glacier Bay, Skagway and Juneau). Available on Norwegian Jewel in April, May and June 2024.

Norwegian Cruise Line has one of the longest seasons in Alaska, extending from April through October. The line operates two of its larger ships in Alaska: Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Encore. These ships feature a plethora of onboard activities to keep kids and adults entertained, like racetracks, laser tag, mini-golf, complimentary kids and teen clubs, video arcades, themed parties, live performances and more. Families will also enjoy entertainment by Nickelodeon, character breakfasts, salmon bakes and sessions with a park ranger who comes on board to narrate the Glacier Bay passage. You'll find many spacious room options on board perfectly suited to larger families – especially in The Haven, the line's exclusive ship-within-a-ship concept. In addition, Norwegian Cruise Line offers select cruise deals where third and fourth guests sail free .

There are two new Alaska shore excursions for 2024: the Mendenhall Glacier Canoe Paddle & Trek and the Fly-In Norris Glacier Hike and Packraft. The first outing takes place in Juneau , where you'll paddle a 12-person canoe across Mendenhall Lake to reach the towering glacier. Prepare to be surrounded by the spectacular setting of Tongass National Park, a 400-foot waterfall and an Arctic tern nesting ground. The second excursion, also in Juneau, takes participants on a flight into the Alaska wilderness via floatplane; you'll then paddle across a pristine glacial lake and hike the surface of Norris Glacier. Unforgettable sights along the way include densely forested mountains; the mouth of the Taku Inlet, a waterway that offers access to Juneau Icefield; and plenty of wildlife, including sea lions and bald eagles.

Also new for 2024 is the option to take the Denali Talkeetna Explorer tour after your cruise. (This cruisetour previously only took place prior to the voyage.) The 13-day sea and land package, Denali Talkeetna Explorer – Northbound Cruisetour, is available on three dates in 2024 in combination with a Norwegian Jewel sailing. The package includes a seven-night cruise; a total of six nights in Fairbanks, Denali and Talkeetna; a stop at the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline; a riverboat cruise in Fairbanks; a visit to an Iditarod dog musher's kennel; a deluxe glass-domed Alaska Railroad journey between Fairbanks and Denali; and more. You'll also have free time to book optional shore excursions like whitewater rafting, park tours, helicopter flightseeing and other outdoor adventures.

Insider tip: If you're sailing on Norwegian Bliss or Norwegian Encore, be sure to grab a front-row seat in the Observation Lounge when sailing in Glacier Bay Park & Preserve. This expansive space on Deck 15 at the bow of the ship offers breathtaking panoramic views from the comfort of inside the ship. 

Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas at the Hubbard Glacier in Alaska.

Alaska cruise ships: Radiance of the Seas , Quantum of the Seas , Brilliance of the Seas , Ovation of the Seas Departure cities (cruises and cruisetours): Seward, Alaska; Vancouver, British Columbia; Seattle Starting from: $439 per person for seven-night cruise on Radiance of the Seas, Seward to Vancouver on May 24, 2024

Royal Caribbean International offers seven-night cruise-only Alaska options (some featuring the Inside Passage) and extended cruisetours (lasting nine to 13 days) with land portions before or after the voyage. Cruisetours may visit Denali National Park & Preserve, among other highlights. The line also offers select "kids sail free" itineraries, which will appeal to families.

If you want nonstop entertainment while on board, choose one of Royal Caribbean International 's two larger Quantum Class vessels: Quantum of the Seas or Ovation of the Seas. Both megaships accommodate approximately 4,900 passengers. If you prefer a smaller ship, consider booking one of the Radiance Class vessels, which hold a maximum of around 2,500 guests.

Quantum Class ships have multiple outdoor attractions that provide panoramic views of the scenery. For example, the surf simulator, FlowRider, affords views of magnificent snow-capped mountains and glaciers all around the ship. If you're adept at rock climbing, this is another chance for optimal scenic viewing – at 40 feet above the deck. Additional entertainment includes free-fall skydiving at RipCord by iFly, outdoor movie nights, live performances and musical entertainment, bumper cars, an escape room, a sports court and indoor pools for those cool Alaska summer days.

Insider tip: For more awe-inspiring vistas, take a ride on North Star. Exclusive to Royal Caribbean (on Quantum and Ovation of the Seas), the glass-enclosed capsule rises 300 feet above sea level while suspended over the ocean.

Read: The Most Affordable Alaska Cruises

Celebrity Cruises

View from the Magic Carpet on the Celebrity Edge.

Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

Alaska cruise ships: Celebrity Summit , Celebrity Edge , Celebrity Solstice Departure cities (cruises and cruisetours): Seward, Alaska; Vancouver, British Columbia; Seattle Starting from: $397 per person for seven-night voyage on Celebrity Summit, Seward to Vancouver on May 17, 2024

Adventure-seeking couples will have many options to choose from during Celebrity Cruises ' 2024 Alaska season. The line's six- and seven-night cruise-only itineraries include up-close views of the Dawes Glacier in the Endicott Arm Fjord and the Hubbard Glacier, the world's longest tidewater glacier at 76 miles long. For an in-depth exploration of Alaska's interior, Celebrity's cruisetours extend the trip to a maximum of 13 nights and feature small-town destinations like Talkeetna, Alaska – the quirky village that inspired the 1990s television show "Northern Exposure." There are also themed tours centered on wildlife viewing and national parks, as well as culinary tours highlighting the flavors of Alaska.

Couples will also find plenty of adult-focused activities and entertainment on board, no matter which vessel they choose. Each ship offers a spa, multiple bars and lounges, and an excellent selection of complimentary and specialty restaurants. Celebrity's three Alaska-bound ships carry between 2,158 guests (Celebrity Summit) and 2,908 passengers (Celebrity Edge). Celebrity Edge, the newest of the ships, offers immersive entertainment and especially beautiful public spaces – like Grand Plaza, a three-story venue at the heart of the vessel.

For extra privacy during your couples' vacation, consider splurging on a suite or villa in The Retreat. This all-inclusive space features luxurious accommodations; a private lounge; a sundeck (unavailable on Celebrity Solstice); and a private restaurant, Luminae at The Retreat. The swanky culinary venue serves dishes curated by renowned French chef Daniel Boulud. In addition, you'll have a team of attendants, butlers and concierges to indulge every whim.

Insider tip: Book your Alaska cruise on Celebrity Edge. The outward-facing design of the ship and expansive outdoor spaces, including the Magic Carpet, offer guests excellent viewing opportunities of Alaska's vast landscapes, calving glaciers and wildlife, including humpback whales in the Inside Passage and around Juneau and Sitka.

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Best Luxury: Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Silversea Cruises

Regent seven seas cruises.

Alaska cruise ships: Seven Seas Explorer Departure cities: Vancouver, British Columbia; Seward, Alaska Starting from: $4,699 per person (all-inclusive) for seven-night cruise, Vancouver to Seward on May 1, 2024

Regent's Seven Seas Explorer will spend the 2024 season in Alaska, with the first sailing embarking from Vancouver, British Columbia, on May 1, 2024. The line offers 20 seven-night voyages and two 14-night sailings between May and September. The 746-passenger ship provides an in-depth exploration of Alaska's wilderness, thanks to the vessel's smaller size and all-balcony suites. Regent Seven Seas Cruises ' all-inclusive fares include free unlimited shore excursions (though select tours come with a fee); complimentary fine wines and spirits; dining at specialty restaurants; 24-hour room service; unlimited Wi-Fi access; prepaid gratuities; free valet laundry service; and more. Depending on the suite category, guests may also receive a pre- and post-cruise hotel stay with their voyage.

Complimentary shore excursions are available in a number of Alaska ports. In Ketchikan, sign up for the Tongass Rainforest Expedition, the Great Alaska Lumberjack Show or the Alaskan Lodge Adventure & Seafest. (Note: Some excursions in Ketchikan, such as the Alaska Fishing & Wilderness Dining option, come with an additional fee.) In Juneau, guests can take the complimentary hiking adventure through the Mendenhall Glacier National Recreation Area, home to black bears, mountain goats and other wildlife. Cruisers can also dine on wild Alaska salmon grilled over a fire at the Gold Creek Salmon Bake.

Insider tip: Take advantage of the complimentary shore excursions during your cruise. These are tours you'd normally have to pay for on a ship that's not all-inclusive – and that can add up quickly.

Silversea Cruises

Pool bar on the Silver Nova.

Courtesy of Silversea Cruises

Alaska cruise ships: Silver Nova , Silver Muse , Silver Shadow Departure cities: Seward, Alaska; Vancouver, British Columbia Starting from: $3,450 per person for seven-night cruise, Vancouver to Seward on Silver Muse on Aug. 1, 2024

Debuted in August 2023, Silversea's latest addition, Silver Nova, is the newest luxury vessel sailing Alaska for the 2024 season. Silver Nova features an asymmetrical design and advanced technologies that make it Silversea Cruises ' most environmentally friendly vessel yet. With just 728 guests, spacious suites (some affording 270-degree views) and outdoor spaces showcasing The Great Land's pristine wilderness, Silver Nova is an excellent luxury option for an Alaska adventure. Silversea offers seven-night itineraries on its three Alaska ships, plus longer voyages on Silver Muse and Silver Shadow.

Silversea's all-inclusive fares include pre- and post-cruise hotel stays; complimentary nonalcoholic and alcoholic beverages; in-room minibars; gourmet dining; all gratuities; at least one excursion per port; butler service in every suite; and other upscale amenities. Complimentary Alaska excursions include a scenic railway tour aboard the White Pass and Yukon Railway in Skagway, the Sea Otter & Wildlife Quest in Sitka Sound and more. You can also visit the Iditarod dogs' summer camp in Juneau. For an additional cost, Silversea offers more exclusive experiences, like a helicopter ride to Mendenhall Glacier followed by a dogsledding adventure with a team of Alaskan huskies in Juneau, or a remote fly-fishing trip in Sitka.

Insider tip: Spend some time on Deck 10; you'll enjoy unobstructed views of the spectacular scenery from the comfort of the heated pool, thanks to the asymmetrical design of the pool deck.

UnCruise Adventures

Alaska cruise ships: Wilderness Discoverer, Wilderness Legacy, Safari Endeavor, Safari Explorer, Safari Quest Departure cities: Ketchikan, Juneau, Whittier, Dutch Harbor and Sitka, Alaska; Seattle Starting from: $3,600 per person for seven-night cruise, Juneau to Ketchikan (or reverse itinerary) on Wilderness Discoverer; various dates between April and September 2024

UnCruise's expedition-style small ships call on ports and remote areas in Alaska that larger ships can't access, taking guests to locales that the line coins, "UnAlaska." The five ships operating in The Great Land accommodate between 22 passengers (Safari Quest) and 86 guests (Wilderness Legacy), and there are seven-, 12- and 14-night itineraries to choose from. You can also book optional land tours, including a Denali & Talkeetna Wilderness Rail Adventure. Expedition teams take guests on kayaking, skiffing, paddleboarding, bushwhacking, waterfall walks and hiking excursions close to the glaciers and visit secluded areas and waterway passages known for optimal wildlife viewing.

Cruise fares include group transfers to and from the ship; all meals; premium wine, beer and liquor; all nonalcoholic beverages; daily activities; wellness amenities; onboard heritage and expedition guides; and access to guest experts. You'll need to disconnect from your devices in remote areas, as there is no Wi-Fi access on UnCruise vessels.

For a once-in-a-lifetime trip, book the 14-night Alaska's Fjords & Glaciers Bay Adventure Cruise on Wilderness Discoverer, a 76-passenger ship. This voyage includes birding in the South Marble Islands, where you'll see puffins, cormorants, oystercatchers and other bird species. You can also search for brown bears in Corner Bay, bushwhack in old-growth forests, visit the town of Haines to sample local brews and spirits, and more.

UnCruise has introduced a few new cruises for 2024 with a renewed focus on The Great Land. One of these is the Kids in Nature, Wild Woolly & Wow with Glacier Bay cruise. The seven-night, family-focused voyage departs round-trip from Juneau aboard Wilderness Legacy and is available on three dates between June and July. One highlight of the voyage is exploring off-the-grid in Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve's "Outback."

A second new option is the seven-night Prince William Sound Explorer with Cordova cruise. This adventure visits dozens of glaciers; the small fishing village of Cordova; the Harriman and College glacial fjords; the islands of Knight and Montague; and multiple places where you can see orcas, humpback whales, sea otters, seals, sea lions, puffins and other wildlife. The itinerary is offered round-trip from Whittier, Alaska, on Safari Explorer throughout the summer.

Insider tip: Depending on your itinerary, you may be able to hop in a skiff directly off the ship to watch bears along the shore hunt for salmon just 100 feet away. This is an Alaska experience you can only have when sailing on a small ship.

Read: The Top Cruises on Small Ships

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Gwen Pratesi has been an avid cruiser since her early 20s. She has sailed on nearly every type of cruise ship built, including the newest megaships, traditional masted sailing ships, river ships in Europe and a small luxury expedition vessel in Antarctica. She has cruised to Alaska and visited The Great Land in the summer, fall and winter, and journeyed to remote areas by bush plane above the Arctic Circle. Pratesi covers the travel and culinary industries for major publications, including U.S. News & World Report.

You might also be interested in:

  • Alaska Cruise Packing List
  • The Top Things to Do in Alaska
  • The Top Northern Lights Alaska Cruises
  • The Top Antarctica Cruises
  • The Best Cruise Insurance Plans

Vacation Ideas for Every Traveler

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FinanceBuzz

FinanceBuzz

14 Unique Cruises You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Posted: January 27, 2024 | Last updated: January 27, 2024

<p> Whether you’re a diehard cruise lover or a casual tourist looking to <a href="https://financebuzz.com/ways-to-travel-more?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=1&synd_postid=15873&synd_backlink_title=step+up+your+travel+game&synd_backlink_position=1&synd_slug=ways-to-travel-more">step up your travel game</a>, cruise ships offer a wonderful way to see the sights in multiple locations. </p> <p> There are plenty of recognizable cruise ships that specialize in specific experiences or themes. However, these lesser-known cruise ship lines may offer a unique experience for those seeking something a little different.  </p> <p>  <a href="https://financebuzz.com/top-travel-credit-cards?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=1&synd_postid=15873&synd_backlink_title=Earn+Points+and+Miles%3A+Find+the+best+travel+credit+card+for+nearly+free+travel&synd_backlink_position=2&synd_slug=top-travel-credit-cards"><b>Earn Points and Miles:</b> Find the best travel credit card for nearly free travel</a>  </p>

Whether you’re a diehard cruise lover or a casual tourist looking to step up your travel game , cruise ships offer a wonderful way to see the sights in multiple locations.

There are plenty of recognizable cruise ships that specialize in specific experiences or themes. However, these lesser-known cruise ship lines may offer a unique experience for those seeking something a little different.

Earn Points and Miles: Find the best travel credit card for nearly free travel

<p> Mainstream cruise ships are often huge and fully modernized. At Sea Cloud Cruises, they focus on a smaller, more intimate sailing experience. </p> <p> The private yachts primarily use hand-set wind sails to guide the ship. In fact, the routes periodically change to adapt to the weather. The yachts also dock at smaller ports, creating a more unique and personalized travel experience. </p> <p>  <p class=""><a href="https://financebuzz.com/choice-home-warranty-jump?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=2&synd_postid=15873&synd_backlink_title=Avoid+costly+repairs%3A++Unexpected+appliance+breakdowns+can+cost+%241%2C000s+of+dollars+to+fix.&synd_backlink_position=3&synd_slug=choice-home-warranty-jump"><b>Avoid costly repairs: </b> Unexpected appliance breakdowns can cost $1,000s of dollars to fix.</a></p>  </p>

Sea Cloud Cruises

Mainstream cruise ships are often huge and fully modernized. At Sea Cloud Cruises, they focus on a smaller, more intimate sailing experience.

The private yachts primarily use hand-set wind sails to guide the ship. In fact, the routes periodically change to adapt to the weather. The yachts also dock at smaller ports, creating a more unique and personalized travel experience.

Avoid costly repairs: Unexpected appliance breakdowns can cost $1,000s of dollars to fix.

<p> With Emerald Cruises, you can enjoy a river cruise through Europe and Southeast Asia.  </p> <p> Some river routes include the Danube, Rhine, Douro, and Mekong. The company also offers yacht cruises on the Mediterranean, Adriatic, and Red Sea. You can also cruise through the Caribbean and Central America. </p> <p> Emerald Cruises is also committed to sustainability, sourcing local ingredients at port and avoiding single-use plastic entirely.  </p>

Emerald Cruises

With Emerald Cruises, you can enjoy a river cruise through Europe and Southeast Asia.

Some river routes include the Danube, Rhine, Douro, and Mekong. The company also offers yacht cruises on the Mediterranean, Adriatic, and Red Sea. You can also cruise through the Caribbean and Central America.

Emerald Cruises is also committed to sustainability, sourcing local ingredients at port and avoiding single-use plastic entirely.

<p> For a much smaller, more intimate cruising experience, book a stay on the Kruzof Explorer from Alaskan Dream Cruises. This former Bering Sea crab fishing boat only hosts 12 passengers in luxurious, cozy rooms. </p> <p> Another perk of the Kruzof is the boat’s ability to get to remote, hard-to-access waters. There are also speed boats, kayaks, and adventuring gear on board for further exploration. </p> <p>  <a href="https://financebuzz.com/money-moves-after-40?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=4&synd_postid=15873&synd_backlink_title=Grow+Your+%24%24%3A+11+brilliant+ways+to+build+wealth+after+40&synd_backlink_position=4&synd_slug=money-moves-after-40"><b>Grow Your $$:</b> 11 brilliant ways to build wealth after 40</a>  </p>

Alaskan Dream Cruises – Kruzof Explorer

For a much smaller, more intimate cruising experience, book a stay on the Kruzof Explorer from Alaskan Dream Cruises. This former Bering Sea crab fishing boat only hosts 12 passengers in luxurious, cozy rooms.

Another perk of the Kruzof is the boat’s ability to get to remote, hard-to-access waters. There are also speed boats, kayaks, and adventuring gear on board for further exploration.

Grow Your $$: 11 brilliant ways to build wealth after 40

<p> For a more culture-forward cruise experience, take a trip on a Viking river or ocean cruise.  </p> <p> The cruise line docks in smaller towns like Marksburg Castle in Germany or Porto in Portugal. You can also travel along the Seine River in France or the Nile River in Egypt.  </p> <p> The vessels are designed in a modern yet comfy Scandinavian style. </p>

For a more culture-forward cruise experience, take a trip on a Viking river or ocean cruise.

The cruise line docks in smaller towns like Marksburg Castle in Germany or Porto in Portugal. You can also travel along the Seine River in France or the Nile River in Egypt.

The vessels are designed in a modern yet comfy Scandinavian style.

<p> If you’re seeking a true adventure, book a trip on the Ocean Endeavour, which takes guests on a tour of Antarctica.  </p> <p> With limited off-board options, the on-board amenities are vast, including saunas, spas, a pair of restaurants, and more. The experience is also intimate, with the passenger headcount capped at 199. </p>

Ocean Endeavour

If you’re seeking a true adventure, book a trip on the Ocean Endeavour, which takes guests on a tour of Antarctica.

With limited off-board options, the on-board amenities are vast, including saunas, spas, a pair of restaurants, and more. The experience is also intimate, with the passenger headcount capped at 199.

<p> Another cruise line tailored to adventure seekers is UnCruise Adventures. This Alaska-based company has several vessels of varying sizes, and destinations that include Hawaii, California, the Galapagos, and Machu Picchu. </p> <p> The smallest cruise ship hosts 22 guests in 11 cabins, and the largest can hold up to 86 in 43 cabins.  </p> <p>  <a href="https://financebuzz.com/retire-early-quiz?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=7&synd_postid=15873&synd_backlink_title=Retire+Sooner%3A+Take+this+quiz+to+see+if+you+can+retire+early&synd_backlink_position=5&synd_slug=retire-early-quiz"><b>Retire Sooner:</b> Take this quiz to see if you can retire early</a>  </p>

UnCruise Adventures

Another cruise line tailored to adventure seekers is UnCruise Adventures. This Alaska-based company has several vessels of varying sizes, and destinations that include Hawaii, California, the Galapagos, and Machu Picchu.

The smallest cruise ship hosts 22 guests in 11 cabins, and the largest can hold up to 86 in 43 cabins.

Retire Sooner: Take this quiz to see if you can retire early

<p> History lovers will enjoy a cruise on the Swell, a 1912 tugboat built in Canada that has been converted into a commercial cruise ship.  </p> <p> The vessel is small, with six cabins and a maximum of 12 guests per voyage. Other amenities include a hot tub, three salons and lounging areas, and kayaks for further exploration. </p>

Maple Leaf Adventures – Swell

History lovers will enjoy a cruise on the Swell, a 1912 tugboat built in Canada that has been converted into a commercial cruise ship.

The vessel is small, with six cabins and a maximum of 12 guests per voyage. Other amenities include a hot tub, three salons and lounging areas, and kayaks for further exploration.

<p> Experience the South Pacific on an intimate vessel with Paul Gauguin Cruises. The Gauguin holds 330 guests and has three restaurants and a spa on board.  </p> <p> Destinations include Tahiti, the Society Islands, Fiji, Tonga, the Cook Islands, and more, many of which are explored together on one voyage. The ship can sail to a total of five islands within a week. </p>

Paul Gauguin Cruises – The Gauguin

Experience the South Pacific on an intimate vessel with Paul Gauguin Cruises. The Gauguin holds 330 guests and has three restaurants and a spa on board.

Destinations include Tahiti, the Society Islands, Fiji, Tonga, the Cook Islands, and more, many of which are explored together on one voyage. The ship can sail to a total of five islands within a week.

<p> Quark Expeditions offers another adventurous cruise ship option: 50 Years of Victory. </p> <p> This nuclear-powered vessel features a spoon-shaped bow and stainless steel skirt that makes it able to break through ice as thick as 9.2 feet. </p> <p> When not exploring polar waters, guests can take helicopter excursions, hit the gym, swim laps in the pool, warm up in the sauna, and more. </p> <p>  <a href="https://financebuzz.com/southwest-booking-secrets-55mp?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=10&synd_postid=15873&synd_backlink_title=9+nearly+secret+things+to+do+if+you+fly+Southwest&synd_backlink_position=6&synd_slug=southwest-booking-secrets-55mp">9 nearly secret things to do if you fly Southwest</a>  </p>

Quark Expeditions – 50 Years of Victory

Quark Expeditions offers another adventurous cruise ship option: 50 Years of Victory.

This nuclear-powered vessel features a spoon-shaped bow and stainless steel skirt that makes it able to break through ice as thick as 9.2 feet.

When not exploring polar waters, guests can take helicopter excursions, hit the gym, swim laps in the pool, warm up in the sauna, and more.

9 nearly secret things to do if you fly Southwest

<p> While most cruise ships explore oceans and rivers abroad, American Cruise Lines sets forth on river expeditions in America.  </p> <p>Specific rivers include the Mississippi River and the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Cruises also visit New England, Alaska, Puget Sound, and more. </p> <p> The riverboats range in capacity from 90 to 180 guests, with each vessel featuring onboard entertainment and education, fine dining, and more. </p>

American Cruise Lines

While most cruise ships explore oceans and rivers abroad, American Cruise Lines sets forth on river expeditions in America.

Specific rivers include the Mississippi River and the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Cruises also visit New England, Alaska, Puget Sound, and more.

The riverboats range in capacity from 90 to 180 guests, with each vessel featuring onboard entertainment and education, fine dining, and more.

<p> Aranui is a Polynesian-focused cruise line that includes the Aranui 5. The vessel carries passengers around for a 12-day, immersive getaway. At the same time, it is also a supply ship that delivers to small, remote civilizations in French Polynesia.  </p> <p> The ship hosts up to 230 passengers and provides a culturally enriching, comfortable, all-inclusive experience. </p>

Aranui Cruises – Aranui 5

Aranui is a Polynesian-focused cruise line that includes the Aranui 5. The vessel carries passengers around for a 12-day, immersive getaway. At the same time, it is also a supply ship that delivers to small, remote civilizations in French Polynesia.

The ship hosts up to 230 passengers and provides a culturally enriching, comfortable, all-inclusive experience.

<p>Aqua Expeditions vessels offer river and ocean cruises in destinations such as the Mekong River in Cambodia and Vietnam, the Amazon River in Peru, Komodo Island, the Raja Ampat and Spice Islands in Indonesia, and the Galapagos Islands.</p> <p> The small cruises focus on culturally engaging experiences, emphasizing exploring nature and local wildlife. </p> <p>  <a href="https://financebuzz.com/top-travel-credit-cards?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=13&synd_postid=15873&synd_backlink_title=Earn+Points+and+Miles%3A+Find+the+best+travel+credit+card+for+nearly+free+travel&synd_backlink_position=7&synd_slug=top-travel-credit-cards"><b>Earn Points and Miles:</b> Find the best travel credit card for nearly free travel</a>  </p>

Aqua Expeditions

Aqua Expeditions vessels offer river and ocean cruises in destinations such as the Mekong River in Cambodia and Vietnam, the Amazon River in Peru, Komodo Island, the Raja Ampat and Spice Islands in Indonesia, and the Galapagos Islands.

The small cruises focus on culturally engaging experiences, emphasizing exploring nature and local wildlife.

<p> Adventurous travelers get to explore the Galapagos Islands aboard the Relais & Châteaux Ecoventura.  </p> <p> This experience also focuses on wildlife and nature, with activities that include snorkeling with sea lions. You might also spot dolphins, green sea turtles, and giant tortoises. </p> <p> Seeing rare Galapagos birds is another enriching opportunity for passengers of the Ecoventura. </p>

Relais & Châteaux – Ecoventura

Adventurous travelers get to explore the Galapagos Islands aboard the Relais & Châteaux Ecoventura.

This experience also focuses on wildlife and nature, with activities that include snorkeling with sea lions. You might also spot dolphins, green sea turtles, and giant tortoises.

Seeing rare Galapagos birds is another enriching opportunity for passengers of the Ecoventura.

<p> For a truly special sailing experience, take a trip aboard the Skull & Crossbones. Expeditions are four days long and recreate the experience of being a pirate sailing on the Baltic Sea in one of two ships. </p> <p> Passengers are also referred to as players, as they will spend the expedition in character as a true pirate, complete with mock combat between the ships. </p>

Sailing4Adventure – Skull & Crossbones

For a truly special sailing experience, take a trip aboard the Skull & Crossbones. Expeditions are four days long and recreate the experience of being a pirate sailing on the Baltic Sea in one of two ships.

Passengers are also referred to as players, as they will spend the expedition in character as a true pirate, complete with mock combat between the ships.

<p> These cruise ships offer unique experiences — from exploring remote islands to experiencing the Antarctic. </p> <p> So, if you have a credit card that helps you <a href="https://financebuzz.com/top-travel-credit-cards?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=16&synd_postid=15873&synd_backlink_title=earn+travel+rewards&synd_backlink_position=8&synd_slug=top-travel-credit-cards">earn travel rewards</a>, see if you have accumulated enough points or other perks to enjoy one of these cruises today.  </p> <p>  <p><b>More from FinanceBuzz:</b></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://financebuzz.com/supplement-income-55mp?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=16&synd_postid=15873&synd_backlink_title=7+things+to+do+if+you%27re+scraping+by+financially.&synd_backlink_position=9&synd_slug=supplement-income-55mp">7 things to do if you're scraping by financially.</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.financebuzz.com/shopper-hacks-Costco-55mp?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=16&synd_postid=15873&synd_backlink_title=6+genius+hacks+Costco+shoppers+should+know.&synd_backlink_position=10&synd_slug=shopper-hacks-Costco-55mp">6 genius hacks Costco shoppers should know.</a></li> <li><a href="https://financebuzz.com/retire-early-quiz?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=16&synd_postid=15873&synd_backlink_title=Can+you+retire+early%3F+Take+this+quiz+and+find+out.&synd_backlink_position=11&synd_slug=retire-early-quiz">Can you retire early? Take this quiz and find out.</a></li> <li><a href="https://financebuzz.com/choice-home-warranty-jump?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=16&synd_postid=15873&synd_backlink_title=Are+you+a+homeowner%3F+Get+a+protection+plan+on+all+your+appliances.&synd_backlink_position=12&synd_slug=choice-home-warranty-jump">Are you a homeowner? Get a protection plan on all your appliances.</a></li> </ul>  </p>

Bottom line

These cruise ships offer unique experiences — from exploring remote islands to experiencing the Antarctic.

So, if you have a credit card that helps you earn travel rewards , see if you have accumulated enough points or other perks to enjoy one of these cruises today.

More from FinanceBuzz:

  • 7 things to do if you're scraping by financially.
  • 6 genius hacks Costco shoppers should know.
  • Can you retire early? Take this quiz and find out.
  • Are you a homeowner? Get a protection plan on all your appliances.

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Costco is switching up how it sells books. What it means for shoppers.

alaska cruises costco

  • Costco plans to stop regularly selling books throughout the year starting in January.
  • The decision is meant to ease labor for Costco staff.
  • The shift is a symbolic blow to an industry that has already taken a hit from rising costs and lagging print sales.

The large stack of books in the middle of your nearest Costco may not be around much longer.

The New York Times reported earlier this week that Costco plans to stop regularly selling books year-round starting in January 2025, citing four anonymous publishing executives. Instead, the wholesale retailer will consistently sell books only during the last four months of the year, when holiday shopping picks up.  

Costco representatives did not respond to requests for comment, but a publishing company confirmed the company's decision to USA TODAY. 

Costco may not be the country's largest bookseller – Publishers Weekly editor-at-large Jim Milliot estimates that the retailer along with other big-box stores like Target make up just 4% of book sales – but the shift is a symbolic blow to an industry that has already been struggling to keep up with rising operating costs.

“It was sort of a point of pride within the industry, that books are not just elitist, books had a really solid mass market play,” publishing industry analyst and author Thad McIlroy said. “It really meant a lot to the industry that Costco was a strong outlet, and to have it turned into just Christmas gifts, that’s not a good thing.”

What does this mean for Costco members?

Costco's decision stems from the amount of labor required to stock books. Each title has to be unboxed and stacked by hand, whereas other products are simply rolled out on pallets. The company had already stopped selling books in its Hawaii and Alaska warehouses in 2022.

While Costco's book selection is limited, it has been a convenient way for shoppers to pick up their next beach read or check out a new cookbook while running errands. Now, there will be one less exposure point to books – a “big deal” for consumers, according to McIlroy. 

“(Some people are) just not bookstore people. They don't buy books on Amazon. So I think there's a significant group of people who find their reading enjoyment via Costco, and that's going to be much diminished,” he said.

Pennie Clark Ianniciello, who worked as Costco's book buyer for 32 years before leaving the company in 2021, made a post on LinkedIn noting she was saddened to hear the news, but Costco "needs to make changes for their own business needs" and the publishing industry will find new ways to sell and promote their publishing lists.

"I do hope true book readers will find a new independent bookstore and others who used to 'cruise' the book selection will once again check other retailers and libraries for their literary treasures," she said in her post. "It will be unsettling for a time and uncomfortable adjustments will be made. I too, will be making new shopping plans for my books."

Costco $1.50 hot dog: Costco's hot dog price 'is safe,' company's new leadership announces

'It's a really tough time to be a publisher'

Costco's decision comes as U.S. print book sales dwindle. The industry’s print volume hit 767 million last year, down 3% from 2022 , according to a February report from market research company Circana.

The firm notes that increased household debt could further tighten consumer spending, especially on higher-priced titles after the holiday season. 

“It’s a really tough time to be a publisher, regardless of your size,” McIlroy said. “So having something like this kick you in the face when you're down is not a good thing.”

While certain titles see a good chunk of their sales from Costco members, the company's decision means little for the average author, according to publishing industry analyst Jane Friedman.

“Costco typically sold books and authors that were already wildly successful,” she said in an emailed statement. “If you're a bestselling author or a big publishing house, this isn't welcome news, but it's not going to change how publishing decisions get made. No one acquires books thinking ‘This is a Costco book!’ It's more like icing on the cake.”

McIlroy agreed that it'll likely be a specific subset of authors and publishers who “are really going to feel some pain.”

The Key Points at the top of this article were created with the assistance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and reviewed by a journalist before publication. No other parts of the article were generated using AI. Learn more .

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  1. Alaska Cruises

    Alaska cruise deals and Alaska cruises out of Seattle or Vancouver. Looking for your Digital Costco Shop Card? Please visit this link for more information. X. Skip to main content. Login Costco.com Membership Help Center 1-866-921-7925. United States Canada ...

  2. Explore Alaska

    Costco Travel offers everyday savings on top-quality, brand-name vacations, hotels, cruises, rental cars, exclusively for Costco members. ... Book your Alaska cruise or cruise tour today! Alaska cruises and cruise tours take place from late April through September. While July brings peak weather, spring and fall offer season-changing splendor.

  3. Alaska Cruises and Cruisetours

    Costco Travel offers everyday savings on top-quality, brand-name vacations, hotels, cruises, rental cars, exclusively for Costco members. ... With Alaska cruises, you can experience stunning views of glaciers, explore beautiful port cities, and trek through Alaska's untamed beauty. Travel further into the wilderness with an Alaska Cruisetour.

  4. Alaska: Ultimate Alaska with Glacier Bay Cruise

    Find exciting cruise vacations and last-minute cruise deals with the help of Costco Travel. Our exclusive member values are available aboard popular cruise lines. Search today and set sail to exciting destinations like Alaska, Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean, and so much more!

  5. Explore Wild Alaska by Land and Sea

    12 Nights from $2,807*. Authentic Tastes of Alaska Cruise Tour - Tour #9A. Celebrity Cruises | Celebrity Summit®. Digital Costco Shop Card. 10 Nights from $1,719*. Homer Discovery and Heartland Wildlife Cruise Tour - Tour 10B. Celebrity Cruises | Celebrity Summit®. Digital Costco Shop Card. 13 Nights from $2,900*.

  6. Travel Connection -The last frontier

    Costco Connection: Costco Travel offers Alaskan cruises, as well as other ocean and river cruises, vacation packages, rental cars and hotel-only options for destinations in the United States and around the world. To learn more, visit CostcoTravel.com or call 1-877-849-2730. MICHAEL MARK. Lois Alter Mark is an award-winning travel writer.

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    Alaska cruises and cruise tours are the ideal way to experience the legendary history of the 49th state. The historic charm and frontier spirit are felt in the Inside Passage and picturesque ports of call, such as Ketchikan, Skagway, Juneau and Sitka. Alaska is also renowned for its magnificent wildlife, whale migrations, exceptional scenery ...

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    Buyer's Choice Alaska Sailings. Enjoy the freedom to cruise Alaska the way you like. Enjoy exclusive Included Extras and a Digital Costco Shop Card. Filled with icy fjords that tower over the Pacific Ocean while snowy peaks stretch towards the horizon, Alaska feels boundless, yet incredibly intimate as you watch eagles nesting along coastal ...

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    With Alaska cruises, you can experience stunning views of glaciers, explore beautiful port cities, and trek through Alaska's untamed beauty. Travel further into the wilderness with an Alaska Cruisetour. Every Princess Alaska cruisetour takes you to Denali National Park so you can enjoy a land beloved by millions but only seen by the adventurous.

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    Instant Savings. $75. Out of Pocket Cost. $3,029. $3,289. Not only was the cruise $260 than Royal Caribbean's website, but I also received several perks like a $50 onboard credit, two free soda packages (valued to be $149 for this cruise), a free spa treatment for 1 ($100 value), and a $190 gift card to Costco.

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    Costco Cruises to Alaska. May 28, 2014. Alaska is one of the most popular cruise destinations in the world, so basically all enterprises associated with the industry (cruise lines, travel agencies, deal-aggregation websites, etc.) offer or promote Alaskan cruises, including Costco cruises. ( Costco cruises aren't really an "enterprise" in ...

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  24. Home

    Costco Travel offers everyday savings on top-quality, brand-name vacations, hotels, cruises, rental cars, exclusively for Costco members. ... Alaska Cruise Tours: close. A cruise tour is a voyage and land tour combination, with the land tour occurring before or after the voyage. Unless otherwise noted, optional services such as airfare, airport ...

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  29. Costco to stop selling books regularly. What it means for shoppers

    Costco $1.50 hot dog:Costco's hot dog price 'is safe,' company's new leadership announces 'It's a really tough time to be a publisher' Costco's decision comes as U.S. print book sales dwindle.