From huskies to halibut, a cruise to Alaska is a diverse and enchanting vacation option. Alaska is a special cruise destination because of the incredible wildlife and natural attractions you will encounter. Imagine watching the graceful whales breech the freezing waters. Envision the bears lumbering the tundra, and the Caribou traveling through the mountains. Why else is Alaska a great destination for a cruise vacation? Mountain climbing during the day, hot springs to relax at night. Sled with the Alaskan Huskies, or fish for halibut and King Salmon. Cruise to Alaska for an adventure you’ll never forget! 

Alaska cruise tours offer an incredible display of graceful whales dancing in the water, and stunning icebergs towering over Arctic waters. A cruise to Alaska is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you will never forget.

The gorgeous USA state offers many exciting and adventurous activities. The state is rich in natural beauty and hosts an incredible amount of wildlife variety. To start your magnificent once-in-a-lifetime Alaskan Cruise tour, depart for your journey from any of these picturesque ports.


Alaska Cruises Departure Ports

There are mainly four ports from where most Alaska cruises depart from: Seattle, Vancouver, Seward, and San Francisco. Other than these four ports you can also hop on a cruise journey from Los Angeles, Juneau, and Whittier.

1. Alaska Cruise Excursion Tours from Seattle

Seattle is very famous for its cultural diversity, unique climate, and incredible natural surroundings. You can enjoy the time in the city pre or post-Alaskan cruise journey.

The Space Needle is one of the most impressive sites to visit in “The Emerald City”. It is the magnum opus in the city’s skyline. Through its 520 feet high observation deck, you will be able to see the stunning view of the city.

Other than the city you can also visit its incredible countryside. Woodinville is a place which is about 30 minutes from the city, it offers one of the finest wines in the country. The location has more than 70 wine breweries, many of which provide tour programs along with bed and breakfast services.

2. Alaska Cruise Excursion Tours from Vancouver

Vancouver is one of the most modern cities in the world. Vancouver has transformed itself from being a Victorian village to a modern marvel. You can still observe the influence of classical Victorian architecture in all its modernity.

If you are planning to start your journey from Vancouver, you will embark or disembark your journey from the Canada Place cruise ship terminal which in itself is a marvelous place.

Every traveler should plan the tour with an extra few days in the itinerary. If you prefer an adventurous experience you should spend a couple of days in the city as it has a lot to offer.

Also Check: What to Pack for an Alaskan Cruise

3. Alaska Cruise Excursion Tours from Seward

Seward is one of the oldest and the most charming cities in Alaska. The city is named after the former United States Secretary of State William H. Seward who was involved in Alaska’s purchase from Russia.

The small town ambience of Seward attracts a lot of visitors. If you are planning your cruise tours based in Seward, you should visit the Alaska Sealife Center. The facility features many large cold-water tanks with exterior viewing decks. It is a great way to experience Alaska’s sea life.

If you are keen on adventure sports such as sailing, fishing, and sea kayaking, or dog sledge riding, Seward is a great place to visit. It is an incredible place to start your cruise journey through Alaska as it prepares you for all the adventures coming up.

Alaska Cruise Excursion Tours from San Francisco:

San Francisco is one of the country’s biggest cities. It offers picturesque views, cultural diversity, and an incredible skyline. San Francisco offers magnificent architectural and natural marvels such as the Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge, and Pier 39.

The Fisherman’s Wharf is a world-renowned site for shopping, offering an incredible range of fashion boutiques, camera stores, and speciality shops. Also, Union Square is one of the most popular shopping spots for branded clothes.

San Francisco is an entrancing city that can entertain you with its history, modernity, and culture. If you are interested in spending time in a modern city and experiencing city life like no other, it is the place to visit.


Cruise tours in Alaska are a must for seasoned travelers who are keen on exploring new places with a hint of adventure. Not only the tour but also its departure ports are places to marvel at. Start your cruise journey from any of these incredible picturesque destinations.

Nestled in the far northwest corner of North America, Alaska is known for its breathtaking beauty, fascinating wildlife, rich culture, and history. These factors make it one of the best destinations for people looking forward to a cruising vacation. Alaska has two distinct seasons, featuring long, cold winters and short, intense summers.

Different seasons offer varied cruising experiences to people. So, when planning a vacation, it is important to choose the right time to get the most out of your Alaska trip. In this guide, you will get to know the best time to cruise in Alaska so you can go for a memorable trip in this remarkable corner of the world.


When it comes to choosing the best month for an Alaska cruise, your decision should align with your preferences and budget. The costs during each month can vary due to factors like weather, wildlife sightings, and demand. So, selecting the most budget-friendly month is important. Here is a quick rundown to help you to choose the best month for cruising as per your need:

  • April and May: The best time to cruise in Alaska if you are on a budget is during April or May. These months offer lower prices on bookings and fares and ensure fewer crowds. While you might encounter cooler weather, you will get to witness the breathtaking springtime scenery featuring snow-covered mountains and vibrant wildflowers.
  • June and July: The busiest months for Alaska cruises are June and July.  During this time, you can spot bears, whales, and eagles in their natural habitats, along with warmer weather. Moreover, keep in mind that higher demand during these months can lead to increased prices. Therefore, if you are willing to spend a lump sum amount of money and want to experience Alaska at its finest, June and July are worth considering.
  • August and September: August and September offer pleasant weather and reasonable costs as summer comes to a close. You can enjoy the warmth and witness the first signs of fall, painting the landscapes in vibrant red and gold hues. In some parts of Alaska, September is the ideal month for viewing the Northern Lights, adding an extra touch of wonder to your journey.
  • October: Most of the ships have already headed back to the Caribbean for the winter season by October. As the cruise season nears its end, prices significantly drop, offering incredible savings for travelers. Despite potential limitations on sights and activities, you can still enjoy Alaska's natural beauty in a more tranquil setting.


Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, are among the world's most incredible natural wonders. The best time to cruise Alaska for the Northern Lights is during the latter part of the shoulder season, which is around late September. During this period, the days begin to shorten, and the nights become longer, creating the ideal conditions to catch a glimpse of this spectacular phenomenon.


When it comes to the best time to cruise in Alaska to witness the incredible wildlife, July is the perfect option. There are various captivating creatures, such as eagles, bears, salmon, moose, and whales, that you can behold at different times of the year. The following highlights when you can spot these incredible creatures:

  • Eagles Nesting: Around 30,000 eagles reside in Alaska, which is more than anywhere else in the United States. You will often find eagles near the shoreline, in town scavenging for food, or feasting on salmon. Bald eagles give birth to their young ones in April, and you can observe their spotted young birds from May through June. Do not forget to carry your binoculars, as eagles prefer nesting in elevated locations.
  • Bears Feeding: One of the unique experiences during your Alaska trip is witnessing bears catching slippery salmons from the river. The prime time for this thrilling view is from mid-July to mid-August. However, you can go on wildlife excursions to bear hotspots at any point during the Alaska cruise season.
  • Salmon Runs: Starting in early May and running until September, you can witness millions of fully mature salmon making a challenging journey from the ocean to the rivers. Different species of salmon move across at various times of the year, providing a captivating experience.
  • Newborn Moose: Baby moose, which are also known as calves, are adorable animals found in Alaska. The best time to see a mother moose and her calves is in late May and early June. However, you should keep in mind that mooses can be dangerous, especially when their children are threatened. If you encounter these creatures, keep a safe distance of at least 50 ft., and never disturb a lone calf, as the mother is nearby.
  • Whale Watching: There are a variety of whales available in Alaska, including humpbacks, gray whales, killer whales, and a small population of belugas. The best time to cruise to Alaska for whales depends on the species you want to see. For example, humpback whales stay in the area all year, but gray whales come to Alaska during the summer.

The following highlights the list of best Alaska cruises for first-timers:

  • Holland America Line's Nieuw Amsterdam: If you are looking for the best Alaska cruise overall, you should consider Holland America Line's Nieuw Amsterdam. They offer an incredible 7-day Glacier Discovery itinerary that allows you to explore Alaska's culture and nature.
  • Disney Cruise Line's Disney Wonder: This cruise serves as a perfect option for families. Their 7-night Alaskan Cruise from Vancouver includes kids' clubs, Broadway-quality shows, and more.
  • Princess Cruises' Royal Princess: Couples searching for a romantic getaway should check out Princess Cruises' Royal Princess. They offer a 7-day Voyage of the Glaciers itinerary, complete with an exclusive adults-only retreat.
  • Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas: For those on a budget, Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas is an excellent option. Their Northbound Alaska & Hubbard Glacier cruise allows you to enjoy Alaska without emptying your wallet.
  • Alaskan Dream Cruises' Chichagof Dream: This cruise offers a small-ship experience to travelers. With just 76 passengers, you can explore remote destinations and immerse yourself in Alaska's culture.