Tags Posts tagged with "Alaskan cruises"

Alaskan cruises

If you have read my previous blog you will of hopefully decided that Alaska is next on your list of travel destinations and you will also have a better idea of when you would like to cruise

Most cruise lines offer a variety of sailings, mainly 7 night durations. Your next decision is where to begin and where to cruise. Many begin in either Seattle or Vancouver, sailing North up the Inside passage. The Inside Passage is a waterway of islands than run along the Pacific coast of North America. This is a perfect itinerary for a first time cruiser as the waters tend to be calm and sailing through offers spectacular scenery. The main ports of call are Juneau, Skagway, Sitka and Ketchikan

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Alternatively you can cruise further afield up to the Gulf of Alaska to Anchorage, most itineraries start or end here and Vancouver. Still experiencing the Inside passage this opens up a world of glaciers and opportunities to add on a land tour to Denali National park or visit the Kenai fjords.

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There are 2 very different types of cruising here depending on what type of experience you are looking for. The larger mainstream cruise lines such as Celebrity, Holland America and Princess offer the most flexibility on itineraries and tend to have 3-4 ships here every Summer. Here you get to experience the best of both worlds. The luxury of a cruise with your food and entertainment combined with the excitement of cruising to such a destination

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Alternatively you have the very small expedition ships, these only carry a few hundred people, but means that you can experience a true Alaskan holiday getting closer to nature. Many of these have experienced guides and zodiaks, small boats that take you as close to the shoreline and wildlife as is possible. These don’t have any of the features of the larger ships but will give you a whole new perspective on your holiday

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For this weekend only Celebrity cruises have an Alaskan sale with prices starting from as low as £1699p/p for a balcony cabin in May on their Solstice flagship. These offers also include a complimentary all inclusive drinks package, so whether its a glass of wine to celebrate what you have seen, or a steaming cup of coffee to warm you up after a long day out, everything is catered for.

For more information please call myself on 0161 798 2516 or email marcia@cruiseclubuk.com

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Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1) That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

One of my dreams is to visit Alaska but I as many of you probably can’t decide when to go, so sat at home on Sunday evening watching the beginning of a new series called Wild Alaska live it opened my eyes to the different times of year to visit. I always wanted to go at the beginning of May, thinking I’d catch the end of the snow, and still having a slight chance of seeing the Northern lights. What I didn’t realise was that the wildlife you see can depend on the month that you visit, I was fascinated to watch all the Salmon moving down the rivers which happens only in July and August

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So to help me and all of you fellow adventurers here’s a quick brief on the different months to visit

Alaska season starts in May, the nights begin to get longer and the temperatures are on the up. May is also one of the driest months. Wildlife is rife as animals begin to come out of hibernation, particularly Moose and Dall sheep which are slowly moving down the slopes of the hills for better grazing, sightings of Bald eagles are also high where they will be preparing their nests for their young. At the beginning of the season prices tend to be lower and fewer crowds so would suit more people in the smaller ports and towns

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June is the beginning of peak season, the temperatures are on the up and the nights are getting longer with long days and sparse nights, later June and into July tends to be very busy for cruise passengers, which does see a rise in prices as you can expect. Anyone wanting to catch a glimpse of the famous Brown bear this is the time to visit, heading into Salmon season you can spot the bears doing a spot of fishing for food, building up their strength before hibernating again in the Autumn. If you can get close enough to see the salmon swimming up the river beds is something that you will never forget.

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August can be a great time for whales orcas and dolphins navigating the inside passage, in an ideal world I would be sitting on my balcony watching them swim alongside our ship, imagine the photos to take home to show family and friends.

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September is the beginning of the end of the season here, prices tend to drop and similar to May it can be less crowded, this is classed as shoulder season. It can be slightly more rainy, but I believe the weather just like the UK is extremely changeable where you can have just as sunny a day as in June. The nights are drawing in and this starts the Autumn season, most cruise lines stop by the second week, tourist resorts close down but the biggest thrill is that Aurora season begins and so begins the possibilities of seeing the Northern lights in the North in Denali and Fairbanks.

Alaska really does have everything, from glaciers, forests, wilderness, rivers, bears, whales, wolves, and eagles, this is a combination that really does make a holiday of a lifetime. See my next blog for some fantastic special promotions

For more information please call myself on 0161 798 2516 or email marcia@cruiseclubuk.com

Follow us on our social media channels for Exclusive Offers – Cruise News – Blogs – Competitions & much more:

twit           insta           fb

Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1) That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

 

Exclusive Princess Alaskan Rail Service Direct to the Wilderness

Discover 500 miles of unspoilt scenic wilderness with Princess Rail. Only Princess offer a service that takes you from the ship through the heart of Alaska in a day to their exclusive Wilderness Lodges. Click here for more information on Wilderness Lodges, which are located on the doorstep of legendary national parks.

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Rail guides: Onboard staff narrate your journey, pointing out wildlife, scenery and talking you through the history of the popular rail route.

Huge wrap around glass domed windows and openair observation platforms provide magnificent views. Enjoy a formal dining experience of Alaskan cuisine, plus table service drinks.

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The service operates from mid-May to mid-September

Combine a cruise with landtour to get the most out of your Alaskan holiday.

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Prices include transfers to/from train stations/lodges

Getting to the Alaska wilderness is just as spectacular being there when you travel via Princess Rail.

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General information on Alaskan Cruisetours:

Weather:

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Time Zone: -8 GMT also bear in mind that during the summer months the sun doesn’t set and will remain in daylight hours

Meals: these are at your own expense. A pre-paid meal package for the land part of your Alaskan Cruisetour can be pre booked, this includes a service gratuity and tax. Prices start from £170pp which includes 2 breakfast, 1 lunch and 2 dinners. More information can be found on your cruise personaliser once booked. Please see below for approx. meal prices in Alaska $$$

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What to bring:

Alaska has a variable climate, with that in mind its best to wear layers and comfortable shoes. The below table gives you an example of weather:

Alaska is a casual destination during the day and evenings. Active sportswear is the best option. Good walking shoes and a warm jacket for the evenings as temperatures drop. Also recommended items include: binoculars, insect repellent, collapsible umbrella

The best time for wildlife encounters by month:

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You don’t have to worry about luggage wither, that’s all taken care of every step of the way, Princess transport luggage from one location to the next. It’s strongly advisable that you pack an overnight bag on cruisetours as your main luggage will be transported separately from you and will not be accessible during transit. Recommended items of clothing, sleepwear, shoes and anything else you might need at your lodge, but don’t need access to during the day.

Our team of specialist sale advisors can assist you when booking an Alaskan Cruisetour with Princess Cruises – there really is nothing else like it in the World.

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    Alaska is a dream destination for most people and definitely at the top of my bucket list

Princess Cruise Lines are the leading cruisetour operator in Alaska, with over 22 itineraries to choose from in 2018. With so many options to choose from it can get confusing for the best of us. Here I’ve focused on the land part of this amazing landscape and what you can get out of staying in a Princess Lodge.

Princess Lodges are located near top attractions and can be added onto your cruise as a pre or post stay. This way you get to experience the rugged beauty of Alaska, its breathtaking views and stunning landscape, giving you all the pampering you will need after a day of exploring.

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Princess Cruises offer a choice of five exclusively owned Wilderness Lodges to choose from:

Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge:

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Welcome to the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska’s playground. Located in Cooper Landing amongst 43 acres of wilderness. The lodge has been designed for ultimate comfort and relaxation. Complete with vaulted ceilings, wood burning stoves and private porches. Take in the views and relax whilst overlooking the Kenai River. Dine in the Eagles Crest restaurant and enjoy Alaskan cuisine. The tour desk can book excursions for you, from nature hikes, Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise to river rafting and fishing.

Cooper River Princess Wilderness Lodge:

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Boasting fantastic views of the Wrangell-St. Elias mountain range and the Copper and Klutina Rivers, this Princess Lodge is located on more than 200 acres within America’s largest national park. Infact this area includes 9 of highest peaks in America. Packed with wildlife and famed for the regions red salmon fishing this area is rich in native Alaskan traditions. Excursions bookable from the tour desk include glacier hikes, glacier cruises and dog sled rides. Cooper River Lodge was designed to show off its stunning location, so for those who like to sit back and unwind you have the perfect location!

Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge:

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The perfect base camp, located within a mile from the entrance to Denali National Park. Six million acres of unspoiled nature and wildlife await, from moose, grizzly bears, wolves and caribou. With easy access to the national park, which is set on the banks of the Nenana River, rafting, helicopter flights and tours of the park are all bookable from the lodges’ tour desk. Not to be missed is the ‘Music of Denali Dinner theatre’. This is one of the larger lodges exclusive to Princess Cruises with numerous dining venues to choose from.

Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge:

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Located near the heart of Alaska’s interior, set on the water’s edge in an exclusive setting on the Chena River. A great location for downtown shopping and easy access to the airport. The long hours of daylight make it a true Alaskan experience. Pan for gold, take in the Arctic Circle by air or join a riverboat discovery cruise.

Mt. Mckinley Princess Wilderness Lodge:

McKinley Princess Lodge

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Spectacular views of the Alaska Range await. With dramatic vistas of Denali (North America’s highest peak) and Mt. Foraker. Set in 146 acres inside of Denali State Park and bordered by the Chulitna River. The lodge is a true wilderness escape with plenty of activities on offer. Sportfishing, nature walks, canyon adventures, black bear adventures, the variety of excursions here are endless.

No other cruise line offer ‘direct to the wilderness’ rail service, taking you from the ship to the heart of Alaska, ready for your chosen wilderness lodge experience. More to come on this in the 2nd part of my Princess Alaska blogs

Look out for our special newsletter and promotions on Alaska coming this June…..

Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1). That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

Top 50 Cruise Blog High Res

Norwegian Cruise Lines have released some exciting news about one of their brand new Breakaway Plus class ships, Norwegian Bliss.

This will be their first ship specifically designed to cruise Alaska and will set sail in June 2018. The ship will have custom built features and amenities to enhance cruising in this region.

As yet, dining, accommodation and on board facilities are to be announced over the forthcoming months but this is a real innovation from NCL and is sure to prove very popular. Bliss will be the youngest ship to sail in Alaska and this is bound to be a great pull for those wanting to experience Alaska on a state of the art new ship.

The hull art of the ship, which is synonymous to Norwegian Cruise Line, is to be revealed later this month and is to be designed by Marine Life artist, Wyland. This sounds very fitting for Bliss and I can’t wait to see the design!

Ship facts

Passenger capacity; 4000

Gross tonnage; 167,800

Shipyard; Papenburg, Germany

Itineraries on sale today and her homeport will be Seattle, sailing 7 night cruises departing on a Saturday. Bliss will visit Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, Victoria ( British Columbia ) and scenic Glacier cruising.

Skagway
Skagway
Ketchikan
Ketchikan
Glacier Bay
Glacier Bay

Prior to her Alaskan season she will be doing a transatlantic cruise and a Panama Canal cruise before sailing to her homeport of Seattle. This gives plenty of opportunity for those wanting to be one of the first to sail on her but have maybe already sailed Alaska. After which Norwegian Bliss will relocate to Miami for winter 2018/19

The Bliss will be a fantastic addition to Alaskan offerings and I for one can’t wait to find out more! Here’s a sneak peak at her interior:

The Haven Observation Lounge

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Built for the spectacular vistas of Alaska and The Caribbean, Norwegian Bliss will offer guests staying in The Haven exclusive access to a 2-story observation lounge with expansive, panoramic ocean views.

The Observation Lounge

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Imagine sheer amazement from our revolutionary observation lounge offering the most expansive views at sea. The Observation Lounge is located at the front of the ship and provides the same stunning views as the views from the bridge and features a full service bar for guests to sit back, relax and take in the views.

If you are considering a cruise to Alaska and would like further information you can read my fun and informative 5 part blog by clicking here.  I loved my cruise to Alaska so if I can help you plan your trip please do not hesitate to drop me an email or give me a call! My contact details are below.

Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1) That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

Email or call me to discuss your dream cruise: natalie@cruiseclubuk.com 0161 7982506.

Looking for amazing destinations?

Carnival Cruise Lines have just announced a 14 day Alaskan Carnival Journey for September 2017, departing from Long Beach, California. The cruise will visit Glacier Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Icy Strait – brilliant for whale and bear watching. shutterstock_339637385Full itinerary includes:

02-Sep-17 Saturday Carnival Miracle Los Angeles (Long Beach), CA 06:00 PM
03-Sep-17 Sunday Carnival Miracle At Sea At Sea At Sea
04-Sep-17 Monday Carnival Miracle At Sea At Sea At Sea
05-Sep-17 Tuesday Carnival Miracle At Sea At Sea At Sea
06-Sep-17 Wednesday Carnival Miracle Ketchikan, AK 08:00 AM 04:00 PM
07-Sep-17 Thursday Carnival Miracle Icy Strait Point, AK 10:00 AM 07:00 PM
08-Sep-17 Friday Carnival Miracle Skagway, AK 07:00 AM 05:00 PM
09-Sep-17 Saturday Carnival Miracle Cruise Glacier Bay At Sea At Sea
10-Sep-17 Sunday Carnival Miracle Juneau, AK 08:00 AM 05:00 PM
11-Sep-17 Monday Carnival Miracle Sitka, AK 08:00 AM 05:00 PM
12-Sep-17 Tuesday Carnival Miracle At Sea At Sea At Sea
13-Sep-17 Wednesday Carnival Miracle Vancouver, BC, Canada 08:00 AM 05:00 PM
14-Sep-17 Thursday Carnival Miracle At Sea At Sea At Sea
15-Sep-17 Friday Carnival Miracle At Sea At Sea At Sea
16-Sep-17 Saturday Carnival Miracle Los Angeles (Long Beach), CA 08:00 AM

 

Stuck for time?

Carnival Legend is doing 7/8 day Alaska Voyage during 2017/18 with a total of 38 sailings!

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So what is a Carnival Journey?

Something a little different and unique, offering longer durations and destinations to amaze. Local food is sourced in each destination offering you regional flavours back on board the ship – also experience on board cooking demonstrations. Experience local culture and traditions with tailor made excursions – you may even get treated to on deck show!

80’s nights are part of the cruise, so make sure you pack shoulder pads and bad hair!

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Carnival’s academy of fun sounds amazing – from a social media classes to photography lessons. Join the ships officers as they guide you through the history of navigation (long before gps and radar) – enlighten – never stop learning

Prices for the 14 night sailing start from £1949 per person

 

Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1). That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

 

Having been lucky enough to visit Alaska and Vancouver, and also sailed with Celebrity Cruises, I thought I would share with you my experiences.

Lets begin with the star attraction….Alaska!

This is one of those places that is on most peoples bucket lists. In my eyes, a cruise is the best way to visit a lot of the main destinations in one holiday. Itineraries will vary but will always include at least one day of scenic cruising. I sailed through the Inside Passage and also had a day of scenic cruising through the Glacier Bay national park.
On these scenic cruising days you get to experience the actual scale of some of the Glaciers, It is awesome in every sense of the word! What struck me was the quietness which was intermittently broken by the sound of the Glaciers moving and cracking. I even saw a huge chunk of ice fall off and crash in to the water below, quite a sight to behold!
The pictures below don’t really capture the scale of the Glaciers but bear in mind I was on top deck taking these pictures and the Glacier was still towering above!

Frozen Glacier
Frozen Glacier
Frozen Waterfall
Frozen Waterfall
Towering Glacier
Towering Glacier

I have also visited Ketchikan, Skagway and Juneau. You may have read my previous blogs on these destinations but if not, rather than repeat myself, please click on the highlighted links to read in more detail.

Whilst we are on the topic of destinations, Vancouver was the finishing point for me on my Alaskan cruise. I only got to spend a day in this fantastic city but it is definitely on my list to go back to as I only touched the surface of what it has to offer. If you click on the highlighted link you can read my previous blog on my experience in Vancouver.

Now you have a feel for the destination, moving on to my featured ship Celebrity Infinity.

Infinity

Firstly a few facts:
Celebrity Infinity is a Millennium class ship and first came in to service in 2001. She can hold 2170 passengers and is 90,940 tonnes.
The perfect size ship for the Alaskan itineraries!

In October of 2015 Celebrity Infinity received a grand makeover to include some of the most favourite Solstice class amenities. This included the addition of the Ice topped Martini bar, Tuscan Grill and Qsine speciality restaurants and a rooftop terrace where you can enjoy a movie alfresco or just take in the views with your favourite tipple.

Rooftop terrace
Rooftop terrace
Martini Bar
Martini Bar

I sailed with Celebrity Cruises this year, for the first time, on board a Solstice class ship so I can say with confidence that the new additions will perfectly enhance an already popular ship in the fleet.

If you have never sailed with Celebrity Cruises before they are an american style cruise line and their ‘Modern Luxury’ brand is certainly that. You can expect high but understated service and the food on board is fantastic and varied. I dined in both Qsine and Tuscan Grill, which are 2 of the speciality restaurants on offer, and they were both great! Each very different in its concept and well worth a visit.

To read about my experience with Celebrity Cruises, albeit on a different ship to the Infinity, please click the highlighted link above. This will give you a good idea of what to expect.

Top tips!
I would highly recommend having a balcony cabin whilst sailing in Alaska. On the scenic cruising days the top deck can get busy so it is great to have your own personal space to enjoy the views on offer. I would also recommend taking some binoculars with you to spot Eagles and Whales/Dolphins in the distance, mine came in very handy indeed!

I am the only one in our office that has been to Alaska so If I can assist you with making your Alaskan booking please do not hesiate to call me directly on 0161 7982506 or email me natalie@cruiseclubuk.com

Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1) That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.