Travel Factory Blog
Get Alaska Off Your Bucket-List In 2014!!
My wife and I have had the pleasant and exciting experience over the past 19 years of taking groups to the frontier 49th state of Alaska. Our 20th group will do some more exploring on July 7-19, 2014. Travel prognosticators are predicting that 2014 will be a banner year for visits and cruises to Alaska, and we can certainly agree with that assessment because we already have 48 persons signed up to go with us this year.
A magazine that I’ve been subscribing to ever since they started publishing, Cruise Travel, have said that cruise lines big and small are announcing new deployments and product enhancements in the coming season. Some lines have new itineraries, others have redeployed their ships, and a few offer exclusive opportunities for cruise travelers to get off Alaska’s beaten path in less-visited destinations.
We have been enjoying Princess Cruise Lines presentation of Alaska for many years. Before we settled on them, we tried Holland America and Norwegian Cruise Lines, but settled on Princess primarily because we thought they had the best land package from Fairbanks through Denali to Anchorage.
Princess is the biggest cruise operator in that market with 7 ships positioned there, and have made the announcement that the Crown Princess is being deployed to Alaska for the first time, while the 680 passenger Pacific Princess brings small-ship cruising back to the line’s lineup for the first time since 2010. Their “Voyage of the Glaciers” itinerary between Vancouver and Whittier features two glacier-viewing experiences on every sailing with visits to Glacier Bay National Park plus either Hubbard Glacier or College Fjord. They also feature calls at Skagway, Juneau (the capital), and Ketchikan while traveling through the Inside Passage.
But Princess is not all there is to cruising the Great Land. Holland America also has 7 ships in that market, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line is starting its 25th year in Alaska with two ships positioned there. Celebrity Cruises, a partner of RCCL, has 3 ships in the Alaska market, and even Disney Cruise Line has a ship doing Alaska for the second year in a row. Oceania Cruises has a 684-passenger ship there for the second year also. We put a lot of folks on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Pearl out of Seattle for a 7-day round-trip of the Inside Passage, primarily because they do provide the Glacier Bay experience. NCL also has three other ships doing various itineraries between Vancouver and Whittier. There has also been a revival of small-ship operators who have surfaced in that market that caters to the adventurous niche traveler, including the American Cruise Lines, the Alaska Dream Cruises, Un-Cruise Adventures, and Lindblad Expeditions.
Talk about options!!! Any of these experiences will be a forever memory for those who decide to get Alaska off their bucket-list. The experienced and professional travel counselors at The Travel Factory will be more than happy to help you navigate making plans for this memory-making experience, so give us a call at 698-1421 or toll-free 800-760-4040, or drop in for a visit at 4150 Southwest Drive. Ste. 120.
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