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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

2016 Alaska Cruises Feature New Itineraries, Ports, Land Options And Special Offers


Get Up Close to Alaska's Glaciers on a Princess Alaska Cruise for 2016

Every destination visited by a cruise ship has its own special character and personality. The Caribbean is all about tropical beaches and sensuous indulgence. Europe is history, sophistication and cosmopolitan charm. And, then there is Alaska.

America’s Last Frontier – the “Great Land” – is like nowhere else on earth. Wild, expansive, magnificent in scale and natural beauty, its boundaries seem limitless and visitors are constantly reminded of the immensity and power of Mother Nature. Cruising through sweeping bays and steep fjords against a backdrop of giant glaciers, even a cruise ship seems tiny. As spring bursts into summer, this is what travelers from around the world come for – the unique experience of Alaska, thoroughly enjoyed in the comfort and luxury of a cruise. With new itineraries, ports, land options and special offers by member lines of CLIA, there has never been a better time to visit.

Alaska offers crystalline glaciers, abundant wildlife and diverse cultural and historic attractions – all of which can be viewed from the deck or suite balcony of a cruise ship. The 49th State will figure prominently in cruise itineraries beginning spring 2016, when eight lines position 28 ships in the region from May through September.

Alaska cruises are offered in varying lengths from ports all along the West Coast, from California to British Columbia to Alaska. Most lines also feature extensive land programs to ensure that the full offerings of the destination are appreciated, whether it’s by dog sled, floatplane, jet boat or steam train. For 2016, cruise lines are making all this even more irresistible with added-value and special pricing, even, in some cases, two-for-one offers. Cruise lines that sail in Alaska include Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Regent Seven Seas, Oceania, Norwegian Cruise Line to name a few.

Vacationers can choose Alaska cruise itineraries that range from seven to 14 days, providing something for everyone interested in exploring Alaska’s spectacular scenery and culture.

Alaska cruises provide travelers with several ways to see the 49th state, all in one convenient, hassle-free package. Most lines offer a variety of cruise-tour package options that take passengers deep into Alaska’s interior via train and include land stays at scenic lodges. Highlights range from hiking and sightseeing in Denali National Park to “flightseeing” across the breathtaking Juneau Ice Field via helicopter.

The scope and beauty of Alaska is hard to imagine until you’ve seen it for yourself, ( see our Alaska sea + land tour review ) and there is no better or easier way to see it than by cruise ship, If you’ve never been or have been yearning to return, this is the year to go north to Alaska.

In each Alaska port, passengers have the option to engage in numerous shore excursions, from kayaking, canoeing and steam train adventures to rafting, horseback riding and flightseeing. Everything from the mild to wild.

Cruisetours ( Alaska Land + Sea Vacations ) offer more than 60 land + cruise tours featuring a wide variety of destinations, including rail travel to Calgary, Banff, Denali National Park, Talkeetna and more.

Land programs highlight the region’s scenery and wildlife, with zip-lining in the Tongass National Forest, flightseeing wildlife tours, puffin expeditions, or yachting off Kodiak to view Alaska’s sea life and cruising across Resurrection Bay into Kenai Fjords National Park.

7 day cruises include seven-day roundtrip cruises from Seattle; seven-day Glacier Bay Inside Passage roundtrips from Vancouver; and seven-day Voyages of the Glaciers cruises between Seward and Vancouver. With more than 250 optional shore and land excursions, the line’s itineraries are planned so that guests who are on board will visit at least one tidewater glacier.

Denali National Park is featured on 3 to 7 day pre-cruise or post-cruise “Discover Denali” packages that includes a first class hotel stay in Anchorage and or Fairbanks, motorcoach and rail travel, wilderness lodge stays at Denali National Park, Talkeetna, tour guides and select sightseeing along the way, plus the unique Direct to the Wilderness rail service.

Seven-day “Voyage of the Glaciers” Gulf of Alaska cruises between Vancouver and Whittier featuring Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay and College Fjord as well as seven-day roundtrips from Seattle featuring Tracy Arm. In addition, you can sail on 14-day voyages from Seattle, with stops at Kodiak, Valdez, Icy Strait Point, and Seward as well as Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Victoria and Glacier Bay. 10-day roundtrips offer varying itineraries from San Francisco.

Cruise itinerary highlights might include one or more  of these visits: Prince William Sound, Misty Fjords, College Fjord, Hubbard Glacier, Tracy Arm, Glacier Bay National Park, Sawyer Glacier, Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Sitka and Icy Strait Point.

For more information on Alaska cruises, contact a Certified Alaska Cruise Expert.

Alaska Cruises Are Consumers’ Best Choice

Alaska’s awe-inspiring glaciers, abundant wildlife and Native American culture are best showcased on a seagoing vacation. In fact, the panoramic vistas from open decks and balcony staterooms combined with passenger-pleasing facilities, amenities and services, aboard today’s feature-filled cruise ships make these vessels the ideal way to enjoy the stunning scenery of the “Great Land,” according to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

Many Alaska itineraries take vacationers to the Inside Passage, which serves as a gateway to Alaska’s magnificent Southeast, and features the historic port towns of Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Sitka and Haines. Inside Passage cruises also enable guests to experience the stunning natural scenery of Glacier Bay National Park.

Travelers can also opt for Gulf of Alaska cruises, which typically sail north- and southbound between Vancouver and Seward or Whittier, the ports for Anchorage. These itineraries feature many of the charming towns offered on Inside Passage cruises, and also visit glittering Hubbard Glacier and College Fjord.

Alaska cruisers also have the opportunity to participate in optional shore excursions ranging from “flightseeing” across the Juneau Ice Field by helicopter to kayaking Alaskan waterways. And most cruise lines also offer extended land packages before or after the voyage, taking passengers deeper into Alaska via rail and featuring stays at wilderness lodges and sightseeing in Denali National Park.

Prospective cruise visitors to Alaska are well advised to book immediately for 2016. The 2015 Alaska season was a veritable sellout, with those travelers who attempted to book in mid-season last year were left with very few choices.

The best way to learn more about these exciting itineraries and ports is to seek the professional counsel of a Certified Alaska Cruise Expert.

source: CLIA Alaska

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