We are a country of a million cruise passengers and we love cruising close to home.
Did you know that our favourite getaways continue to be the South Pacific, Australia and NewZealand, collectively making for 67 % of the total cruise passengers in 2014 (source CLIA report), followed by Europe and Asia.
So what’s the destination that we need to catch up on? Its Alaska! Only 27,901 Australians cruised to Alaska in 2014, compared to the 24,121 cruisers in 2013. The stunning natural beauty of Alaska and the wildlife it offers makes it an extraordinary cruise destination.
Check out our top 5 reasons why Australians should cruise to Alaska
1. It’s in your Bucket List
The 49th state of USA was once considered an offbeat destination because of its accessibility. Not anymore, which means you can travel to Alaska without any excuses, so tick it off your bucket list as soon as you can before global warming gets there.
You will be awestruck by its untouched beauty, massive glaciers dipped in the sea, which can be admired from the deck of your cruise ship.
As Cruise Passenger reader Debra Rodgers, describes the Fjords in Alaska, “It was awe inspiring to see how the ship turned 360 degrees on the spot so everyone from balconies to up on deck got wonderful views of the glaciers.” Read her Celebrity Solstice Alaska cruise review here
2. Amazing cruises
The list of cruises to Alaska gets bigger and better. You can choose a cruise based on your interests and how much you want to spend. For example, Lindblad Expeditions has the most experience in Alaskan waters, and always has a team of expedition leaders, naturalists, wellness specialists.
If you fancy a helicopter ride and glacier discovery, then Ponant’s Le Soleal offers a 40 minute ride and a 40 minute walk on the glacier as a shore excursion. Silversea ship Silver Shadow also offers a whitewater river excursion in Mendenhall that’s suitable for most.
3. Cheaper than a river cruise
Travelling to Alaska is absolutely not about chipping away your savings. If you plan ahead, you will instead end up saving more for this once-in-a-lifetime experience, and you can use the savings for shore excursions. In 2016, an approximate price of a 7-night river cruise in Europe is $2000 per person ($285 per day), whereas you can cruise to Alaska for as as little as US$99 a day onboard Carnival Legend.
The Alaskan cruise season begins in May and ends in September. These are some of the best fares available currently for 7-day Alaskan cruises in May
Ruby / Emerald Princess
Fares start from 1,139 per person ($162 per day)
Visit the website here
Explorer of the Seas
Fares start from $1,234 per person ($176 per day)
Visit the website here
Fares start from $699 per person (US$99 per day)
Fares start from $1,499 per person ($214 per day)
4. Go big on bears and whales
Did you know there are 16 whale species in Alaska? You are likely to spot at least more than one whale on an Alaskan cruise. Most ships anchor in places such as Tracy Arm Fjord, the Juneau Icefields and Glacier Glacier Bay National Park where you can spot countless sea birds, otters, humpback whales, brown bears, bald eagles and more. Some cruise lines like the Carnival Legend also offer dog sledding on Mendanhall Glacier for $559 per person.
5. Memories of a lifetime
Snowcapped mountains, waterfall, small towns…the natural wonders of Alaska are a must add in your travel scrapbook and digital photo albums on social media. The Alaskan cruise definitely makes for an unforgettable holiday for any kind of cruiser.
Have you cruised to Alaska? Tell us!
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