Which Alaska itinerary for 1st time?



O.K. all you Alaskan cruise vetrans....we're planning an Alaskan cruise for next year for a group and we need to know the pros and cons to each itinerary. Inside passage out of Seattle is less expensive for round trip airfare compared to one way to Vancouver and from Anchorage, but I'm told that the North or Southbound Glacier Bay is less expensive compared to inside passage... also a one way trip means it matters which side of the ship you're on too.... it doesn't seem to matter on an inside passage. What should be our priorities? Help....


I prfer the Vancouver to Anchorage northbound from the starboard side. The scenery gets more spectacular as you head north. Glacier Bay was a must for me. You are within sight of land most of the time and I loved to watch for the waterfalls from the starboard side. When the captain is in Glacier Bay, he turns the ship around so both sides have an equal opportunity to see the glaciers. This trip also covers the Inside Passage. We have gone four times and that's still not enough to see everything.


We haven't done the Alaska trip yet, so no vets here? But after much research, we selected the Sun Princess (August l, 2005) outside/w balcony on the starboard side. The ship does change sides when docking, so you can't always plan ahead for that. But no matter which side you book, lots can be seen from the decks (especially whales in the early AM hours). Happy Sailing!!!!


My husband and I just got off the Coral Princess cruisetour for 13 days. What a fantastic time we had! We left out of Vancouver, sailed the Inside Passage stopping in Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway. Then headed for Glacier Bay and College Fjords which were spectacular. It really doesn't matter which side of the ship you are on - we were on Dolphin deck 324, port. There is a nature guide who gives a lecture over the PA which you can hear on deck and in your room on one of the channels on the TV. This is a must to listen to! She is very informative and pleasant. We just stayed on our balcony and left the sliding door open and listened to her on the TV. The ship is turned completely around in the bay and fjords so you don't miss much. Our cruise ended in Whittier and those that didn't go onto a land tour were bussed to Anchorage for their flight home. We opted for the 6 day land tour to Copper River, Denali and ending in Anchorage. The Princess lodges are very nice and the food was great! Two very long bus and train trips but well worth it. Princess does a great job transferring all their passengers to their correct destinations as there as so many different combinations of cruise/land tours you can do.

Since this was our first trip to Alaska, I can't compare it to anything but it was a fantastic itinerary! If you have any questions, just ask!

We did the seaplane to the Misty Fjords in Ketchikan - awesome!
The helicopter/glacier trek in Juneau - even more awesome
The snowshoe (without snow!) hike/train with Packer Expeditions to the Laughton Glacier - 8 hours but well worth it. They do a great job.

Bon voyage

Coral Princess '05
Carnival Pride '04
Carnival Ecstasy '03
Carnival Legend '02
Grand Princess '02
R3 Renaissance (now Princess) '00


My wife & I took our first Alaska cruise last year on RCCL. 7 days roundtrip out of Vancouver. Enjoyed it very much. When we do another Alaska cruise, which we will, we will do a cruisetour. You have to get inland to see Alaska. Princess and RCCL both do these using busses and trains.


We chose the 5/29/06 northbound sailing on the Island Princess. I like the fact that the scenery will build as we go north. Also, after the activities in the ports we can relax and enjoy Glacier Bay and College Fjord cruising.

Booked a mini suite (starboard side) on the Dolphin Deck aft where the balconies are covered :)

Can't wait for this first Alaska cruise!!!


I have done both and would do the round trip unless you are planning to spend extra days touring the Alaska interior!! No matter which you choose you will have a wonderful time.


I vote for the one-way, I prefer Anchorage (Whittier) southbound since flying home from Vancouver is less than Anchorage or Fairbanks.

Have done both and I truely love the one -way !