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Cruise Line in Alaska...... if you could pick.

Cruise Line in Alaska...... if you could pick.

Old Jan 31st, 2006, 08:01 AM
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Cruise Line in Alaska...... if you could pick.

If you could pick any ship ( of the bigger lines since Clipper Cruises is sold out in July....) which one would you pick, and why?

Would like to hear from you travel buffs before I pick a ship.
THanks,
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Old Feb 1st, 2006, 04:33 AM
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HAL, they have superb itineraries. The one ways that include Glacier Bay, College Fjords and Seward are wonderful. They have what I consider one of the best round trip Vancouver itineraries which includes Glacier Bay and Tracy Arm. No bad- Alaska cruises however.

So look at ports, time in ports, route, glacier, ship naturalist, price. Budget fully for costly tours, you get only half a trip without them.
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Old Feb 1st, 2006, 08:50 AM
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My brother, an experienced cruiser on many lines, prefers Holland American for the combination of great ships, food and amenities versus price. Clientele is a bit older than on some other ships. We are taking our first cruise to Alaska inside passage on HAL in September with our adult daughter and we are all so excited!
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Old Feb 1st, 2006, 08:52 AM
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Another thing I forgot to mention: you can book your own shore excursions in most ports for a lot less than if you book with the cruise line. Same tour companies, many will meet you at the ship. Look for excursions at the port's tourism web site. You will probably save 1/3 by booking direct.
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Old Feb 1st, 2006, 10:42 AM
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I agrtee with the previous posters. Holland-America is easily the best cruise line for an Alaska cruise. This area is one of its specialities and it has great itineraries. BudgetrQueen spells it out nicely.
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Old Feb 1st, 2006, 11:57 AM
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There are other small ship lines that 'do' Alaska: America West and Cruise West among them...sorry...can't remember names of others. Don't go directly to large ships just because Clipper is sold out.
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Old Feb 1st, 2006, 12:01 PM
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Ditto Holland America--we sailed the Veendam 3 years ago from Seward to Vancouver. HA has the longest history of Alaskan cruises. I believe HA is still tops when it comes to access to certain glaciers and locales--they have certain areas they sail to that are exclusive to their cruise line.
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Old Feb 1st, 2006, 12:01 PM
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When we go, we'll go with Clipper.
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Old Feb 1st, 2006, 06:48 PM
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For clairfication, the above on shore excursions is not usually true in Alaska. Rarely are there significant savings with independent venders vs ship tours. The real bonus is always better tours, smaller groups, more personal attention. I have been traveling to Alaska for 13 years and have my group of "always" must do tours that I repeat over and over. The vender's operation is significant in my choice.

But overall don't expect the 1/3 savings above except on bus tours.
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Old Feb 1st, 2006, 07:58 PM
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Oh boy ...... you guys are wonderful! I did book a cruise and it was with Princess ( since Clipper Cruises was sold out for July).... I have been on HAL and can't get over the "older" crowd." NOT THAT I AM A SPRING CHICKEN!!

BudgetQueen I would be interested to know who you would use for a glacier flightseeing tour, and/or dog mushing? We are going to Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan...... I really don't want to be with alot of people.

Also, I am getting into Anchorage 3 days ahead of the beginning of the trip. What "reasonable" hotel would you stay at in Anchorage? Should I take the train to Seward to check out the Kenai Peninsula or just chill out in Anchorage? You are all great.... thanks for responding.
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Old Feb 1st, 2006, 08:02 PM
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BudgetQueen you write, "I have been traveling to Alaska for 13 years and have my group of "always" must do tours that I repeat over and over. The vender's operation is significant in my choice."

Is it possible for you to share these vendors and the trips that you LOVE ..... thanks again.... ldtc2
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Old Feb 2nd, 2006, 04:29 AM
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If you are arriving in Anchorage- TAKE ADVANTAGE of sightseeing. I would not be sticking around Anchorage the whole time. Excellent is Seward and all the great opportunities there, top being a Kenai fjords boat tour. IF you have 3 full days, you could do Denali Park, less than that, Talkeetna. So determine your priority and make some great plans in either direction.

My top venders- Talkeetna Aero, Alaska Heritage- Kenai Fjords tours, Orca Enterprises, Juneau. Southeast Aviation and Island Wings- Ketchikan, Coastal Helicopters- Juneau. These are only my top multi tour venders that I have used over and over for years. There are many many more excellent ones to consider.

But again only for clairfication on Alaska sailing trends. Princess and HAL have similar aged passengers with the bulk being middle aged and above. All ages sail and the age numbers is creeping down. But overall all lines are similar- even Carnival, no party ships yet.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2006, 05:20 AM
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Thanks again.... am leaving for a land trip in Laos in a few days so this will occupy me for a while. I will check out those vendors BeudgetQueen. Most probably you will hear from me when I return. Thanks everyone....
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