More and more people are adding Alaska to their bucket list, making it one of the hottest travel destinations in the world. You’ve heard it from us, and no doubt you’ve seen plenty of breathtaking photos of glaciers, wildlife and icy mountain ranges popping up on your Facebook newsfeed courtesy of friends and family. In fact, in 2017, Alaska welcomed its one millionth cruise ship visitor, according to the Alaska Cruise Association. Alaska has been seeing a record number of tourists since 2013 when it reached an all-time high of nearly 2 million visitors.
Thanks to this steady increase in popularity, cruise lines have responded by adding more sailings to the Last Frontier, with 2018 is shaping up to be the biggest Alaska cruise year yet. Perhaps the biggest news is coming from Alaska veteran Princess Cruises who announced that it will be bringing its largest deployment ever to Alaska in summer 2018 with seven cruise ships sailing on 130 cruise departures with more than 75 percent sailing to Glacier Bay National Park departing from Vancouver, Seattle, Whittier (for Anchorage), San Francisco and Los Angeles. Passengers will be able to choose from 22 cruisetours to journey the interior of Alaska, and visit five custom-built Princess Wilderness Lodges.
The 2018 season will also mark the debut of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Bliss, a brand-new 4,000 passenger ship that will embark on a seven-day cruise from Seattle with stops in Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway. This new build promises all of the luxury of a Breakaway Plus class-ship.
Windstar Cruises is entering the Alaska market for the first time in 2018 with its all-suite yacht Star Legend. The 212-passenger ship offers the bells and whistles of a large cruise ship with its lounges, club and casino but it’s small enough to explore the quaint harbors and inlets that the biggest ships pass by. Windstar is offering a 12-night cruise on Legend from Vancouver through the islands and inlets of the Inside Passage as well as a 14-night Alaska and Canada cruise from Seward to Vancouver.
Don’t forget, all of the tried-and-true favorites are also returning with their best ships too, including Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean and even Disney Cruises. Prefer a luxury or small ship? Silversea, Seabourn and Regent are among the high-end cruise lines heading to Alaska. As dates get closer, more itineraries are sure to be announced by all the major cruise lines. Spots will go fast, so don’t wait to book your trip. Let Best Cruises be your source for everything Alaska.