Which Alaska Cruise Line Is Right For You?

We’re big fans of small ship cruising. But if you’re focused on a conventional cruise, know that each cruise line has its own policies, perks—and, truly, its own personality. Here’s the skinny on each major cruise line, so you can see which one might be the best fit for your personality.

Carnival Alaskan Cruises

Fun, upbeat atmosphereMight be too much of a party atmosphere for some travelers, with lots announcements about activities
Good ValueCrowds, long lines for disembarking
Plenty of onboard activities, from pools to casinos and Vegas-style shows and kids programsCabins may be a little basic

Celebrity Alaskan Cruises

Elegant, colorful atmosphere without being stuffyThe nightlife scene is a little too quiet for some people
Plentiful verandas for Alaskan views and wildlifeBig ships still means long lines
Known for excellent food, great serviceThere is a kids program, but line generally less family-oriented

Crystal Alaskan Cruises

Luxury feel leaves guests feeling pampered and relaxedLimited Alaska cruise option
On-board activities include gold clinics, music lessons, yogaCan be pricey--from $6,300 to $34,000 per person
Most amenities included in overall priceMight be too quiet for some people

Disney Alaskan Cruises

Super family-friendly atmosphere, with lots to age-specific activitiesNo Casino
Great for multi-generation trips, with nice grown-up diversions, such as a good fitness center and spaCan be crowded and noisy
Known for solid, friendly serviceMight be too theme-park-like for some folk

Holland America Line

Most sailings include Glacier Bay National Park, the highlight of the Inside Passage

The nightlife scene ends a little too early for some people

Fewer guests than other "big ship" lines, giving a more intimate feel and uncrowded spaces

Lacks onboard extras like climbing walls, go-karts and laser tag found on bigger ships

Known for excellent food and extensive Alaska-themed programming on board

Norwegian Alaskan Cruise

Its "freestyle" policies mean relaxing price, without so many rules about when you eatLong lines for dining, disembarking
Good food, including the late-night Chocoholic buffetHave to pay extra for some dining options
Lots of sports activities, Vegas-style entertainmentCan be a little loud for some folk

Oceania Alaskan Cruises

Luxury atmosphere with emphasis on dining, service, cultural enrichment, and great librariesNo Cross-Gulf itineraries, difficult to add a land tour pre or post-cruise
Less than 700 passengers allows for a more intimate experience, and it's easier to disembark in portNightlife a little limited
Alaska Explorer Youth Program for kids aged 5-12

Princess Alaskan Cruises

Floating resort offers Broadway shows, wide dining options, casinos, movie theatersBig crowds, and long lines for disembarking
Great views: Lots of affordable balcony cabinsThe food is fine, but tends not to get rave reviews
Has increased flexibility for dining seating options

Regent Seven Seas Alaskan Cruises

Elegant, upscale atmosphere with high level of serviceThere are no "formal nights," but vibe can still be a little too formal for some folk
Lots of onboard lectures and experts for enrichmentSubdued nightlife
Rates include alcoholPricey compared to other major lines

Royal Caribbean Alaska

Known for a wide array of onboard recreation, from water parks to trampolines and climbing wallsLots of the fun activities carry extra costs
Vegas-level showsCrowds and long lines
Casual atmosphereLoud, ongoing announcements

Silversea Alaskan Cruise

Luxury atmosphere with an emphasis on cultural enrichmentCan be too dressy for some folks, though ties are no longer required on formal night
Lots of fine diningNo activities just for kids
Lots of cabins with private verandasNot much nightlife

Seattle Alaskan Cruises

Easy airport hub from most U.S. citiesMore time spent at sea, and not in Alaska
Lots of sea time for ship loversSome bumpy rides in open water

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