For every taste and budget: the best cruises around Alaska for couples - ForumDaily
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For every taste and budget: the best cruises around Alaska for couples

What is the best cruise around Alaska for couples? “If I could only take one trip to Alaska with my spouse, I know which one I would take: a seven-day voyage from Juneau on one of UnCruise Adventures’ small ships,” Jean Sloan writes in her blog on the site. The points guy. Next - from the first person.

Photo: IStock

I love adventuring on these tiny, no-frills ships that seat less than 100 people and are designed to take travelers to remote areas of Southeast Alaska for hiking, kayaking, whale watching, and other outdoor pursuits.

However, cruising around Alaska with UnCruise is not for everyone.

If your idea of ​​the perfect couples cruise to Alaska doesn't pan out at every turn (and you're not worried about your budget), then you can instead book a trip with an ultra-luxury line like Silversea Cruises, Seabourn or Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

If you're looking for an Alaskan cruise for couples that won't break the bank, chances are you'll take one of the Holland America ships heading north to Alaska from Seattle, Washington.

In short, there is no definitive answer to the question of which Alaskan coastal waters trip is best for couples. Many cruise ships and itineraries can fit the bill, depending on your vacation preferences.

Unusual adventure in Alaska with UnCruise

You have probably never heard of UnCruise Adventures. It's such a tiny brand that all the customers who ride the same itinerary for a whole year probably wouldn't fill up a single giant Royal Caribbean ship. But if you're a couple looking to take a trip around Alaska for adventure, you might want to check out a ship tour company.

Specializing in trips to the coast of Alaska, UnCruise operates a fleet of ultra-small ships (the largest of them carrying only 86 people) - so small that they can go to the remote open areas of Southeast Alaska where no large ship can go. We are talking about tiny coves surrounded by miles of forest where you will be the only one. Or a small local settlement with only a few hundred people.

The main focus of UnCruise sailing around Alaska is outdoor recreation. The company is known for trips to the wilderness of Southeast Alaska, where passengers can enjoy hiking, kayaking and wildlife watching. You will spend days seeing no one but a handful of people on your ship.

On an UnCruise Adventures trip, the vessel serves as a floating adventure platform that can take you to the most remote areas in a small group.

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Just don't expect anything supernatural. UnCruise ships are comfortable but no frills. Many of them were built decades ago. On most ships you will find one casual dining room, a lounge that doubles as a bar, and simple cabins. That's all. You pay for where the ship can take you and for the adventure.

By their very nature, these are trips that are mainly for couples. In fact, due to the adventure focus of everyday activities, the line limits the number of children on board to those who are at least 8 years old. On small boats there is no entertainment for the whole family, as on large cruise ships.

Note that UnCruise Adventures' nine small boats fall roughly into two categories. Ships with the word Wilderness in their titles are simpler and are described as expeditionary; yachts with Safari in their name are of a higher class and are advertised as boutique yachts. My favorites are the Wilderness vessels, which are cheaper on average. But to each his own.

Luxury travel to Alaska with Silversea Cruises

Couples who want to make the most of their exploration (and for whom money doesn't matter) may want to cruise around Alaska on one of several ultra-luxury ships. They cater mainly to older couples as well as single travelers and bring together relatively few families, although children can sometimes be found on board.

Silversea Cruises is the market leader with two ships sailing to Alaska every year. In the 2023 season, the line is equipping one of its new ships there - the Silver Muse with 596 passengers and the older Silver Whisper with 382 travelers. But in 2024, she will send her newest and most luxurious ship Silver Nova there for 728 passengers. This will give her the most modern fleet of luxury ships in the state.

Other ultra-luxury lines operating in Alaska are Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn and Scenic Luxury Cruises, all of which send one ship to the state for all or at least part of the summer season.

What all three Silversea ships that will sail around Alaska over the next two years have in common is that they offer large, elegant and supremely comfortable suites (every cabin on these ships is a suite); body care services; gourmet cuisine, which can be found in the best restaurants in big cities.

Outstanding restaurants on board include La Dame, a modern French eatery that offers a Michelin-style evening. Atlantide Restaurant provides delicacies such as caviar and lobster, beautifully presented at no extra charge.

Or, if you want to eat caviar in bed, your butler will be happy to arrange it - he will deliver it in white gloves and a tuxedo.

In short, think of these ships as floating Four Seasons or Ritz-Carlton hotels. They offer these types of accommodation with corresponding prices.

Budget cruise from Seattle with Holland America

Looking for the best Alaska cruises for couples on a budget? Then it's the seven-day sailings to the shores of the state that Holland America offers from Seattle.

Often the lowest starting prices for any cruise around Alaska are these flights both in absolute terms and per day.

For example, in the 2023 season, many trips to the shores of Alaska from Seattle are available for less than $750 per person for seven nights. I even found only $429 per person for a one week cruise.

This is even lower than the typical starting prices for cruises around Alaska offered by Carnival Cruise Line, which is the leader in low-price cruises from most US ports.

Photo: IStock

With over 70 years of history in Alaska, Holland America is one of the longtime leaders in cruises along the state coast (along with sister brand Princess Cruises) and its target market is couples, not families.

Holland America bases two ships in Seattle for Alaska cruises, the Eurodam with 2104 passengers and the Westerdam with 1964 passengers.

Hybrid water and land travel with Princess Cruises

If you're a couple who want to see more of Alaska than just its coastal areas, a hybrid trip that combines a cruise with a multi-day land tour of the hinterland is your best bet. Such "cruise tours" are the specifics of Princess Cruises.

Princess has a particularly good deal when it comes to such trips because she operates five Alaskan wildlife resorts that the line includes on its itineraries. Resorts are scattered across iconic inland destinations such as Denali National Park and the Kenai Peninsula.

The Princess has, among other things, its own fleet of buses and train cars that will take you from the ships to the resorts, and all such transportation is included in the price.

The line sells 24 cruise itineraries that add three to 10 nights of land tour to a seven-day cruise. Options include Denali Explorer trails focused on Denali National Park.

In addition, Princess offers longer, longer "Off the Beaten Path" itineraries that add nights to the outlying Copper River Princess Lodge in eastern Alaska near Wrangell-St. These trips range from 13 to 15 nights in total.

Even longer "Connoisseur" cruise tours include stays in five cabins in different locations across the state and last up to 17 nights.

All cruise tours are offered in conjunction with one-way flights between Vancouver, British Columbia and Alaska.

Many of the ships that operate these routes are licensed to visit Glacier Bay National Park, a highlight of any trip to Alaska. Princess brings more guests to Glacier Bay National Park than any other cruise line, as 74% of all cruise lines include a visit to the park.

Deeper Alaska Dive with Viking

For couples who want to explore the Alaska coastline in more detail than most lines offer, Viking might be the perfect choice. A relative newcomer to Alaska cruising, this upscale cruise brand makes longer cruises around Alaska than usual, with each of its departures to the peninsula lasting at least 10 nights.

Longer cruises allow you to make calls to a wider range of coastal Alaskan cities than you'll find on the itineraries. In addition to stops at classic Southeast Alaska cruise destinations such as Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan, Viking's 10-day Alaska itineraries include a visit to Valdez, a less touristy coastal town known for its fishing boat fleet of less than 4000 people. and a cruise to the little-visited Yakuta Bay.

Most Viking flights to Alaska begin or end with a night call at Anchorage, which is too far north for ships making seven-day Alaska voyages from Seattle and Vancouver. Passengers can visit attractions in and around the city that they could not see on flights offered by almost any other line.

Viking, in particular, offers inclusive tours at each of these ports, allowing every passenger on board to receive an excursion during their stops at no extra charge.


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On board, Viking's program revolves heavily around what the line calls "cultural enrichment" - expert lectures on topics related to the places its ships visit, as well as cultural and culinary offerings, often locally anchored.

Indeed, Viking is known for catering to a certain type of thoughtful, inquisitive, usually older traveler who is as interested in learning while on vacation as they are in being pampered. In terms of age, travelers (mostly couples) between the ages of 55 and 75 are at their best. So if you are at a younger age, this may not be the ideal cruise for you.

What Viking doesn't offer is plenty of onboard entertainment designed for families and young travelers. In fact, the line does not even allow children under the age of 18 on their ships. It is one of the few major cruise brands in the world with such a rule, making it by definition a cruise line for couples as well as solo travellers.

In 2023 and 2024, Viking will base one ship in Alaska during the summer (the 930-seat Viking Orion), but in 2025 it will expand with a second ship (the 930-seat Viking Sea). In addition to the 10-day voyages to Alaska, ships sometimes offer longer 22-day voyages that stretch from Alaska to Japan.

More than a dozen major cruise lines operate Alaska tours in the spring, summer, and fall, giving couples looking to explore the state on their travels a wide range of options.

What is the best Alaska tour for couples? There is no single correct answer. This is determined by your personal interests and travel style. The best cruise around Alaska for you and your companion depends on how much adventure you like on your vacation, how much luxury you need, what your budget is, and more.

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