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6 Top Luxury Alaska Cruises for 2024 & Beyond

Cruising to Alaska on a small luxury ship affords a very different experience than sailing through The Great Land on a larger vessel. On a smaller luxury ship, you’ll enjoy the expected perks like fewer passengers and more personalized service – but you’ll also physically get closer to the boundless wilderness, abundant wildlife, icy blue glaciers and majestic snow-capped mountains that you’ve waited a lifetime to see.

While the fares to sail on such vessels are quite a bit higher than those of larger cruise providers, the all-inclusive (or mostly all-inclusive) prices typically include all-suite accommodations with balconies, all meals, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, 24-hour room service, Wi-Fi access, gratuities, welcome bottles of sparkling wine, pillow selection, some shore excursions and butler service. Best of all, you won’t feel like you’re being nickel-and-dimed while on board. As a special touch, the attentive crew members may even learn your name and memorize your preferred pre-dinner cocktail.

Unlike many mainstream lines, most luxury Alaska cruises do not offer pre- and post-cruise tours to extend your adventure. However, you can plan these experiences on your own through third-party providers.

Alaska Tour & Travel has pre-cruise packages that include visits to Denali National Park & Preserve and the small, quirky Alaska towns of Homer and Talkeetna. You can also see a different side of Alaska via a train ride on the Alaska Railroad, take a national parks tour that includes Kenai Fjords National Park or head northbound to Fairbanks, one of the best places in the world to see the northern lights (if you visit during aurora season, from late August to late April). In addition, the company can plan a self-drive tour from Anchorage to Seward, which includes a stay at a wilderness lodge, helicopter flightseeing over Knik Glacier and guided tours in the parks.

The following luxury cruise lines will ensure you make the most of your voyage in Alaska – one of the most magical destinations on Earth.

Silversea Cruises

Courtesy of Silversea Cruises

Departure cities Starting cruise fare
Vancouver, British Columbia;
Seward, Alaska
$3,250 per person (Sept. 4 and Sept. 11, 2025, itineraries)

Silversea Cruises’ small luxury ships are designed for adventurers interested in visiting a mix of Alaska’s top ports and more rugged, off-the-beaten-track locales. Extended itineraries offer stops in less-visited destinations like the towns of Haines and Wrangell. On board, guests can expect a personalized experience that includes luxurious ocean-view suites with butler service, multiple gourmet dining options, complimentary alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, and attentive service with one of the highest crew-to-guest ratios in the industry.

Base fares for Silversea’s 2024 and 2025 Alaska itineraries start at $3,250 per person. If you upgrade to Silversea’s door-to-door fare (which starts at $5,200 per person), you’ll receive private chauffeur service from your home to the airport (and back home upon your return) and round-trip flights, with business class upgrades in some destinations.

Silversea also offers immersive pre- and post-cruise land experiences, departing from Seward, Alaska. Highlights include sightseeing flights over Denali National Park & Preserve or into bear country to see Alaska’s magnificent grizzly bears. In Vancouver, travelers can take a flightseeing transfer to Victoria to tour the 55-acre Butchart Gardens or board the Rocky Mountaineer for a two-day train ride through the Canadian Rockies.

Silversea’s Alaska itineraries extend from May to September, with voyages ranging between seven and 16 days. The line’s newest and largest vessel, the 728-passenger Silver Nova, sails its inaugural Alaska season in 2024 along with two smaller ships, Silver Muse (596 guests) and Silver Shadow (392 guests). There are 35 Alaska voyages available in 2024. In 2025, luxury cruisers can hop aboard one of 45 scheduled voyages on either Silver Nova or the 596-guest Silver Moon.

For a seven-day itinerary, consider a sailing from Seward, Alaska, to Vancouver, British Columbia. This voyage cruises the Hubbard Glacier and the Inside Passage and stops in the Alaska towns of Juneau, Skagway, Sitka and Ketchikan. Complimentary excursions in Ketchikan include a tour of Saxman Native Village; a visit to Bonfire Bay Oyster Farm, featuring a sea-to-table oyster tasting; the Alaskan Cultural, Culinary & Lumberjack show; the Alaskan Lodge Adventure & Seafeast and a day as a fisherman aboard the Aleutian Ballard, as seen on Discovery Channel’s “The Deadliest Catch.” You can also opt for a Selected Shore Excursion (for an additional cost), such as mountain biking or a private fishing trip.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Courtesy of Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Departure cities Starting cruise fare
Vancouver, British Columbia;
Seward, Alaska
$4,799 per person (May 1, 2024, itinerary)

Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ elegant Seven Seas Explorer sails the line’s Alaska itineraries in 2024 and 2025. The lavish 746-guest ship was coined “The Most Luxurious Ship Ever Built” when it debuted in 2016; among its impressive features are the 3,875-square-foot Regent Suite and a high-end collection of art displayed throughout the ship, including works by Pablo Picasso.

Alaska voyages with Regent in 2024 and 2025 start at $4,799 per person. Upgraded 2-for-1 all-inclusive fares (starting at $5,499 per person) cover elegant all-balcony suite accommodations; round-trip airfare (business class on international flights); a one-night pre-cruise hotel package; free two- or three-night land programs; free unlimited shore excursions; free unlimited beverages (alcoholic and nonalcoholic); complimentary specialty dining; and prepaid gratuities. You’ll also receive complimentary airport transfers, unlimited Wi-Fi access and valet laundry service.

Every suite style includes a private balcony, roomy closets and upscale finishes. Concierge Suites (and above) add cozy in-room amenities like cashmere blankets, perfect to bundle up in while you take in the scenery. Meanwhile, Penthouse Suites (and higher) include a private butler who can book excursions, make dinner and spa reservations, unpack your luggage, arrange for a private cocktail soiree in your suite and indulge any other special requests.

Between May and September 2024, Regent sails 22 Alaska voyages. There are 16 Alaska sailings scheduled for the same period in 2025. Itineraries range from seven to 14 nights. For plenty of scenic cruising days, consider a round-trip itinerary from Vancouver departing May 28, 2025. The cruise includes five relaxing days at sea, where you’ll enjoy scenic cruising through the Inside Passage (twice), Hubbard Glacier (twice) and Endicott Arm Fjord. Ports of call in Alaska include Wrangell, Juneau, Skagway, Sitka, Seward, Icy Strait (Hoonah) and Ketchikan. You’ll also have a full day in Victoria, British Columbia, before returning to Vancouver.

While in Wrangell, consider the Tongass Botanical Forest Walk excursion. Tongass National Forest is the largest national forest in the U.S., with towering old-growth trees and unique flora, fauna and ecosystems. While in the temperate rainforest with your naturalist guide, look for local wildlife like Sitka black-tailed deer, porcupines and birds of prey. Other complimentary excursions at this stop include a round of golf at Muskeg Meadows Golf Course; a canoe trip through Wrangell harbor and nearby islands, and a heritage tour about Tlingit culture and the history of the town.

Crystal

Courtesy of Crystal

Departure cities Starting cruise fare
Vancouver, British Columbia;
Seward, Alaska
$4,100 per person (Aug. 6, 2024, itinerary)

Recently relaunched Crystal offers just seven voyages in Alaska aboard Crystal Serenity in July and August 2024. The 740-guest luxury vessel was refurbished in 2023 and features the line’s signature top-notch service, elegant interiors and suites, and personal butler service in every room category.

Other perks and amenities include plush bathrobes and Sicily’s Ortigia bath products; an impressive passenger-to-crew ratio; prepaid gratuities; complimentary beverages; and outstanding cuisine, including Umi Uma (an exclusive Nobu restaurant at sea, available only on Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony). Guests can also feast on Italian cuisine at Osteria d’Ovidio; book an exclusive dining experience at The Vintage Room; indulge in Parisian cafe-style fare at The Bistro; opt for American cuisine at Waterside Restaurant or take their pick of several other casual indoor and alfresco options.

Cruisers also have their selection of unique shore experiences curated by Crystal’s parent company Abercrombie & Kent, such as a ride on the world’s largest zip line in Hoonah (Icy Strait Point); dog sledding and glacier flightseeing in Skagway; fishing and wilderness dining in Ketchikan and the Wildlife Quest and Fin Island Lodge experience in Sitka, boasting a feast of Alaska king crab and wild salmon.

Crystal offers seven- and eight-night round-trip voyages from Vancouver, as well as one-way cruises from Vancouver or Seward, Alaska. Select itineraries – like the July 30, 2024, voyage from Vancouver to Seward – offer a scenic cruising day in the Seymour Narrows in British Columbia. On this sailing, you’ll also enjoy a day at sea cruising Hubbard Glacier, as well as stops in Ketchikan, Sitka, Hoonah (Icy Strait), Skagway and Sitka in Alaska. Or, opt for the July 2, 2024, round-trip sailing from Vancouver for three scenic cruising days in the Inside Passage, Endicott Arm and the Seymour Narrows.

The line’s Aug. 13, 2024, round-trip sailing from Vancouver features a special guest: Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, the executive chairman of A&K Travel Group. As such, the cruise will include an exclusive gala dinner and other unique experiences. Other special voyages welcome marine biologist and National Geographic photographer Flip Nicklin, who will share personal stories from his extensive career and expert insights about humpback whale habitats and behaviors.

Viking Ocean Cruises

Courtesy of Viking

Departure cities Starting cruise fare
Vancouver, British Columbia;
Seward, Alaska
$4,799 per person (May 21, 2025, itinerary)

Viking Ocean Cruises’ 11-day Alaska & the Inside Passage cruise is available on 11 dates during the 2024 season. It sails from Vancouver to Seward (or the reverse) on the 930-passenger Viking Orion. In 2025, the line offers the same itinerary on 22 dates between May and September, split between Viking Orion and its sister ship, the 930-passenger Viking Sea.

Viking’s destination-focused itineraries are curated for travelers who are interested in history, science, culture and cuisine, as they feature onboard enrichment like lectures by Viking’s resident historians. You’ll also find regionally inspired dishes in The Restaurant and special access to unique tours and excursions ashore.

The line’s mostly all-inclusive fares cover accommodations in spacious all-veranda staterooms and suites; beer, wine and soft drinks at lunch and dinner; meals at all the dining venues; one shore excursion in every port; free Wi-Fi access; 24-hour specialty teas, coffees and bottled water; complimentary access to The Nordic Spa & Fitness Center; and other upscale amenities.

Voyages traveling northbound from Vancouver include one day of scenic cruising through the Inside Passage before stopping in Ketchikan, Sitka, Juneau, Skagway and Icy Strait Point in Alaska. The eighth day of the cruise sails through picturesque Yakutat Bay, which includes the Hubbard Glacier. The ship then calls on Valdez, Alaska, before the trip ends with two days in Seward.

While in Valdez, take an optional tour to explore the incredible scenery surrounding the small fishing town. Viking offers a kayaking trip to see the Valdez Glacier; a scenic cruise through picturesque Prince William Sound to view the Columbia Glacier; a wildlife cruise where you can look for humpback whales, orcas, porpoises, sea otters and bald eagles; a helicopter ride over the area’s rugged, icy wilderness; or a UTV adventure through the Chugach Mountains to Mineral Creek Canyon.

Seabourn Cruise Line

Courtesy of Seabourn Cruise Line

Departure cities Starting cruise fare
Vancouver, British Columbia;
Juneau, Alaska
$3,399 per person (May 17, 2024, itinerary)

Between May and August 2024, Seabourn Cruise Line will host 20 Alaska voyages aboard the Seabourn Odyssey, before the ship leaves the cruise line in the fall. In 2025, the line offers 27 Alaska sailings on Seabourn Quest. Both yacht-inspired ships accommodate up to 458 guests and feature Seabourn’s signature all-inclusive amenities, including luxurious oceanfront suites with verandas; personalized service; complimentary fine wines and premium spirits; complimentary dining; and caviar served throughout the sailing. You’ll also have a complimentary W-Fi package and an in-suite minibar stocked with your favorite beverages. Ashore, sign up for exclusive programs like shopping for fresh salmon, halibut and Alaska king crab alongside a Seabourn chef.

Guests booking Seabourn Quest for 2025 will be able to sample the line’s new dining concept, Solis. Inspired by destinations in the Mediterranean, the menu features a fresh, modern take on traditional dishes and whimsical cocktails. The restaurant is a collaboration with master chef and culinary partner Anton Egger and senior corporate chef Franck Salein. In addition to dishes like salt-encrusted whole branzino and Tuscan-style steak, guests will also find a wide selection of vegan and vegetarian dishes.

The seven-day Alaska Fjords & Canadian Inside Passage itinerary on May 31, 2024, aboard Seabourn Odyssey, sails from Juneau to Vancouver and includes a day in either Tracy Arm or Endicott Arm, depending on the ice conditions. From there, you can take one of the optional guided excursions: Ventures by Seabourn. These tours are an additional cost but offer opportunities for up-close Zodiac, kayaking or catamaran experiences in the wilderness to see glaciers calving and view local wildlife, such as black bears, mountain goats, seals, wolves and seabirds.

You’ll also enjoy many days of scenic cruising on this voyage, and have the opportunity for more optional adventures in Rudyerd Bay (Misty Fjords). The ship makes additional stops in Wrangell, Alaska, and Prince Rupert, British Columbia, before disembarking in Vancouver.

If you want to see stunning Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve, then consider booking the seven-day Alaska Inside Passage & Glacier Bay sailing on May 10, 2024, from Vancouver to Juneau. This itinerary also includes the Seymour Narrows and Snow Pass, cruising Queen Island Sound and the Lynn Canal. There’s a stop for Ventures by Seabourn activities like kayaking and Zodiac rides in the Inian Islands. The Alaska ports of call on this voyage are Ketchikan, Sitka, Icy Strait Point and Haines. You’ll disembark in Juneau.

PONANT

Francois Lefebvre|Courtesy of PONANT

Departure cities Starting cruise fare
Vancouver, British Columbia;
Sitka, Alaska; Seward, Alaska
$5,530 per person (July 13, 2024, itinerary)

French luxury expedition line PONANT offers 10 Alaska cruises in 2024; itineraries span between seven and 11 nights. Aboard the 264-guest yacht-style Le Soléal, you’ll meet up to 10 naturalist experts and guides specializing in geology, history, ornithology or marine or land mammals. Guests can attend onboard lectures and embark on Zodiac landings with the guides.

The ship features elegant staterooms and suites, a library, a spa, a hair salon and a gym. Guests will be treated to movies in the theater, wine tastings and cooking demonstrations throughout the expedition. All fine dining meals, 24-hour room service, an open bar (including an in-room minibar) and complimentary and unlimited Wi-Fi access are covered in the pricing.

Two of PONTANT’s eight-night voyages from Vancouver to Sitka are in partnership with Smithsonian Journeys and are curated for English-speaking travelers. Fares for these expeditions include transfers to and from the ship and a shore excursion in each port. On board, you can attend talks and discussions hosted by two Smithsonian Journeys experts: geologist Scott Burns and natural history filmmaker John Grabowska.

On these voyages, there is a sea day after departing Vancouver. You’ll cruise through the Johnstone Strait, where you’ll have an excellent chance of seeing humpback whales and orcas. After a day spent in the Inside Passage, the ship will call on the village of Metlakatla, Alaska, on the western coast of Annette Island, which is home to the Tsimshians from British Columbia. Other unique Alaska ports of call in this itinerary include the commercial fishing town of Petersburg, the Tlingit village of Kake and the small fishing community of Alfin Cove.

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Gwen Pratesi is a U.S. News & World Report contributor and an avid travel adventurer who fell in love with Alaska on her first visit to the state many years ago. She’s returned several times both by land and sea to explore the state’s vast wilderness and abundant wildlife, and to chase the northern lights in one of the best places on the planet to view them. Pratesi used her extensive knowledge of Alaska and the cruise industry to write this article.

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Bernard Greenhall
Bernard Greenhall

Bernard is a sports and physical education expert with years of experience. He's passionate about promoting health and wellness through physical activity, and he's worked with athletes and non-athletes alike to help them achieve their fitness goals. Bernard holds a degree in Physical Education and is dedicated to staying up-to-date with the latest trends and research in his field.

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