It’s going to be a busy season for cruises to Alaska.
Spring must be right around the corner because the season for cruises to Alaska has begun. Earlier this week, I interviewed Tyler Hickman, the VP of Operations for Icy Strait Point. Everyone in the village of Icy Strait is excited because the first ship to visit this Tlingit community by the sea arrives on May 11. And so it goes.
And it looks like Seattle is the big winner this year, especially due to the Carnival Corp family of cruise lines; Holland America, Princess and Carnival.
What Carnival Corp. ships are home-based in Seattle this year?
Six ships, three from Holland America, two from Princess and one Carnival ship will offer a total of 103 round-trip cruises to Alaska from Seattle beginning in May through September. More than 208,200 guests are expected to cruise to Alaska with these three Carnival Corp brands this year.
On Saturday, May 2, the Holland America Westerdam arrives into the port of Seattle along with a Lindblad Expeditions/National Geographic Sea Bird. Both ships will depart the same day. The Westerdam will cruise the inside passage and continue up as far as Juneau, the state capital. The 7-night itinerary also includes cruising through magnificent Glacier Bay, then Sitka, Ketchikan and Victoria, British Columbia before returning to Seattle on May 9.
The other two Holland America ships, the Statendam and the Amsterdam arrive in Seattle on May 18 and May 31, respectively. The Westerdam and Amsterdam will cruise 7-night itineraries as far north as Juneau. The only difference is the Amsterdam will cruise Tracy Arm Fjord instead of Glacier Bay.
A really unique itinerary will be offered on the Statendam with 14-night round-trip cruises to Alaska from Seattle all the way north to Anchorage. A total of nine ports plus cruising Glacier Bay and Tracy Arm Fjord.
Together, these three Holland America ships will do a total of 47 round-trip cruises from Seattle this year.
The Ruby Princess is the first ship to arrive in Seattle on May 3 followed by the Crown Princess on May 16. Both ships’ 7-night itineraries are basically the same as the two Holland America ships.
All totaled, Princess will offer 40 round-trip cruises from Seattle this year.
On June 2, the Carnival Legend will call Seattle home for a summer of 7-night round-trip cruises. The Carnival Legend will call on Juneau, Skagway, cruise Glacier Bay then onto Ketchikan and Victoria, British Columbia before returning to Seattle.
The Carnival Legend will offer a total of 16 voyages between Seattle and Juneau, with the last round-trip Seattle cruise departing on September 1.
On September 8, the Carnival Legend sails the same itinerary from Seattle but ends in Vancouver. From there, Carnival Legend passengers can put away their parkas and replace them with flower leis when the ship crosses the Pacific to Hawai’i.
How many cruise lines will have ships in Alaska?
I did a bit of research about cruises to Alaska from Seattle for this year. There are a total of nine cruise lines across five brands that will homeport ships in Seattle.
Other cruise lines heading north to Alaska are Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Celebrity, American Cruise Line and Lindblad Expeditions.
‘Tis the season.
The last two 7-night round-trip from Seattle cruises are aboard the Holland America Amsterdam and the Norwegian Pearl on Sept. 20, 2015.
It looks like a busier than usual year for cruises to Alaska and Alaska and Yukon cruise tours. That said, don’t wait too long to book your cruise, especially if you want a balcony. The good news is that is doesn’t matter which side of the ship you’re on because these are round-trip from Seattle cruises!