Choose the Alaska Cruise Itinerary That's Best for You
You know you want to go to Alaska. After all, it’s a great vacation for west coasters due to the ease of getting to embarkation ports, but it still feels like you’re transported a world away to one that is full of jagged mountain peaks, deep fjords, and calving glaciers. You might be unsure the best way to see those sights, though, and which Alaska cruise itinerary is perfect for you. We’re here to help you decide – with a West Coast spin!
Do You Have a Passport?
If you don’t have a passport, but want to go on an Alaska cruise, you’re still in luck. All of our Alaska cruise itineraries stop in a Canadian port of call, but if you sail on a roundtrip itinerary from Seattle – also called a closed-loop itinerary, you actually don’t need a passport since you’re starting and ending your cruise in the U.S. If you have a passport, any itinerary will work – just make sure your passport isn’t about to expire.
Do You Live in the Pacific Northwest?
Another thing to think about when choosing an embarkation port is where you live. If you’re a west coaster who lives in the Pacific Northwest, you may want to only look at roundtrip cruises that depart from Seattle since it’s an easy port to drive to and you don’t need to worry about the hassle of going through customs on your way into Canada.
If you’re in northwest Washington, you may want to add Vancouver, British Columbia to your list, too (customs isn’t usually that much of a hassle). You can easily drive up or take the comfortable Amtrak train from one of its many stations located between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C.
No matter where you live along the west coast, it is also wise to check air prices before deciding on an Alaska cruise itinerary. Flights to Seattle and Vancouver are usually affordable from most west coast airports, but may differ in price depending on time of year. Flights by Celebrity can help you find the airfare and itinerary that’s best for you.
Do You Want an Alaska Cruise Itinerary that Goes Beyond Southeast Alaska?
If you want to see beyond southeast Alaska and cruise to ports along the northern end of the state, you’ll need to do a one-way cruise that either starts in the PNW and ends in Seward, or vice versa. This is also a must-do itinerary if you want to add a land tour onto your cruise by doing one of our excellent cruisetours that let you experience Alaska both on land and at sea.
Do You Care About Seeing Calving Glaciers During Your Alaska Cruise?
A calving glacier is one of the epic sites of Alaska. Calving occurs when huge chunks of ice (some as big as a multi-story building!) fall off the side of the glacier into the sea. This happens because glaciers are constantly moving (though very, very slowly) due to gravity. One that is doing so at a pace so quick that its nicknamed the Galloping Glacier is Hubbard Glacier. Because of its fast pace, calving frequently happens at Hubbard Glacier and you are extremely likely to see calving while there.
When Celebrity Cruises visits Hubbard Glacier, there is a naturalist on board who will talk over the speakers about what you’re seeing. While at the glacier, the Captain will turn the ship all the way around (conditions permitting) so passengers on all sides of the ship can get a good look at it. Celebrity Cruises itineraries typically visit either Hubbard Glacier or Tracy Arm Fjord Terroir Wilderness (more on that below) so if seeing a calving glacier in all its icy blue glory is important to you, opt for an itinerary that visits Hubbard Glacier.
Do You Want to Sail Through an Alaskan Fjord During Your Cruise?
If you’re more interested in sailing through one of Alaska’s breathtaking fjords, choose that other itinerary mentioned: one that sails through Tracy Arm Fjord Terroir Wilderness. You’ll either cruise along Tracy Arm Fjord and see Sawyer Glacier (in recent years ice conditions haven’t been able to accommodate cruise ships) or Endicott Fjord and Dawes Glacier, which is also located in the Tracy Arm Fjord Terroir Wilderness. Sailing down one of these fjords is a sight to behold as magnificent earth dotted with coniferous trees and glistening waterfalls jut up on either side of you. Along the way, you may see bears or mountain goats along the edges of the land or seals playing among the ice bergs in the frigid water.
Can’t Decide Between Tracy Arm Fjord and Hubbard Glacier Alaska Cruise Itineraries ?
Do both! A couple longer Alaskan sailings are offered each year that go to both Hubbard Glacier and Tracy Arm Fjord Terroir Wilderness.
Browse all of our Alaska cruise itineraries to see these sailings and others, and find the one that’s perfect for you. You can also speak with your travel agent for added insight into the best Celebrity Cruises Alaska itinerary for you.