Cheapest cruise lines for Alaskan cruises – 7 lines ranked by price
Often referred to as the last frontier, Alaska is an outdoor lover's dream with sky high mountains, lush wilderness, glaciers, wildlife galore and a unique way of life that is not often found anywhere in the lower 48. But because Alaska is so large, it's sometimes hard to view a sizable amount in a short amount of time. That's where cruises come in. With a recent surge in popularity, Alaskan cruises have now become the best way to see Alaska, whether on a budget or not.
Each cruise line, much like hotels and resorts, tends to fit into a certain price category and thus have a different overall cruise atmosphere and personality. There are 7 main cruise companies (including a luxury ship) that venture from Seattle up and around the Alaskan coast. The information below should help you narrow down your choices to only one or two of the cruise lines available.
Each cruise line tends to attract a different crowd
When reading each cruise line summary, you'll find that they each differ from the next, thus attracting a different crowd of passengers. Due to this, it's best to select a cruise line that caters to your individual preferences. Generally, and very unsurprisingly, cruise lines ranging on the cheaper side tend to attract families and the younger crowd.
Then there are other cruise lines that are geared more for couples and/or older individuals who enjoy more of a formal or traditional style of cruise. Each of the cruises listed below is provided with a description, which should help to narrow your choices down rather quickly.
How we compared the cruise lines
The below list details the best available rates for 7-night cruises in June 2020, which is arguably one of the best months to visit Alaska due to day length and pleasant daily weather. You'll find the below rates listed from the cheapest cruise line to the most expensive, departing from Seattle, Washington. Though the same cruise lines operate from several other cities, most commonly, travelers will depart from Seattle, which is home to a large international airport.
With that said, we also took the time to research two other popular departure cities- Vancouver, Canada and Seward, Alaska. Coming in as the next two popular departure points, these two cities are great for those who wish to stay a few days exploring before venturing out on your cruise. It must be noted that not all of the below cruise lines have these two departure cities, some only leave from Seattle.
Keep in mind that these particular departure cities (Vancouver and Seward) are not ranked cheapest to most expensive and instead are used as a price comparison to Seattle. Due to the difference in airline fares to the three cities, we felt it would be helpful to include them all. With the listings of all three departure cities, you should be able to make a more informed decision on which city to begin your cruise from based on both cruise price and airfare to your starting point.
When selecting your cruise, you may find that prices move around a bit, up or down, but generally they move together, keeping the ranking the same.
Alaskan cruise lines ranked by price
The fares below are per person based on double occupancy. Government taxes, fees, and port expenses are extra for all cruise guests.
1- Norwegian Cruises (cheapest)
7 nights from: $699
(Seattle, Washington → Day At Sea → Ketchikan, Alaska → Juneau, Alaska → Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier, Alaska → Icy Strait Point, Alaska → Day At Sea → Victoria, British Columbia → Seattle Washington)
From Vancouver: $545
From Seward: $391
If you're looking for a great, fun filled cruise at the best price possible, then Norwegian Cruises is your best bet. This 7 night cruise is on the Norwegian Bliss, and is part of the youngest fleet cruising to Alaska.
The noted slogan of Norwegian cruises “souvenirs are great, but stories are even better” definitely rings true on their Alaskan cruises. With plenty of activities to choose from, both on and off the ship, guests will never run out of things to do and see. This cruise line is great for gregarious, high energy passengers.
2- Carnival Cruise Lines
7 nights from: $869
(Seattle, Washington → Day AT Sea → Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska → Skagway, Alaska → Juneau, Alaska → Ketchikan, Alaska → Victoria, British Colombia → Seattle Alaska)
With everything that a stay on land could offer, Carnival Cruise Lines is made for guests who want to do it, see it all and eat it all in one single trip. Aboard the Carnival Spirit, guests will get to do exactly that with dining options, bars and clubs, casino and gaming opportunities, entertainment of all sorts and spa and fitness activities.
You'll even find a personalized touch with hair and beauty services (hair styling and makeup), special men services including hair cuts, dyes and shaves and more. If you're a fitness enthusiast who doesn't want to break out of their fitness routine, no worries as there is a jogging track, yoga and Pilates studio and fitness center on-board. Though there are spa treatments and relaxing opportunities abroad, this cruise is more suited to high energy, active travelers.
3- Holland America Line
7 nights from: $949
(Seattle, Washington → Puget Sound, Washington → Day At Sea → Scenic Cruising Stephens Passage → Juneau, Alaska → Hubbard Glacier, Alaska → Sitka, Alaska → Ketchikan, Alaska→ Victoria, British Columbia, Canada → Seattle, Washington)
From Vancouver: $949
From Seward: $699
A signature cruise line in the cruising world, the Holland America Line offers luxury at an affordable price. Guests on this Alaskan cruise will find themselves on the Oosterdam, a mid sized ship with all the bells and whistles you could ask for. You'll find lots to do while on board, including lots of entertainment venues like the Lincoln Center Stage, and Billboard Onboard.
Romance is everywhere and weddings are common, making this cruise line a match made in heaven for those looking to grow or rekindle their relationship. Couples will have a plethora of activities to choose from ranging from culinary cooking classes to shopping on-board to spa and salon activities. Though there are youth programs available, this line is considered more couple friendly than family friendly.
4- Royal Caribbean
7 nights from: $958
(Seattle, Washington → Day At Sea → Alaska Inside Passage → Juneau, Alaska → Skagway, Alaska → Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier, Alaska → Day At Sea → Victoria, British Columbia → Seattle, Washington)
From Vancouver: $829
From Seward: $799
A well known cruise line with lots of voyages, Royal Caribbean is a great choice of all guest types. On this Alaskan voyage you'll find yourself on the Ovation of the Seas, a ship perfect for viewing the vast Alaskan coastline.
If you're looking for a bit of fun and excitement alongside some relaxation, you'll find plenty of choices to choose from that offer the best of both worlds. From on-board rock climbing to nightlife and shows to a casino, fun is around every corner. If you rather just sit back and relax, you'll feel at home with a spa massage and a few drinks. Families will never get bored with a youth program packed with daily activities for all ages.
5- Princess Cruises
7 nights from: $969
(Seattle, Washington → Ketchikan, Alaska → Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska → Juneau, Alaska → Skagway, Alaska → Victoria, British Columbia → Seattle, Washington)
From Vancouver: $699
Sailing around the world with multiple ships and ports, Princess Cruises is an established cruise line with large ships, fantastic amenities, picturesque destinations and more all at affordable prices. For your Alaskan trip you'll find yourself on either the Emerald Princess or the Grand Princess, with both ships offering memories for a lifetime.
Each ship offers guests rooms with balconies, restaurants, star glazing, swimming pools, duty free shopping, fitness and yoga classes and night after night of entertainment options from live theater to casinos. For those traveling with young adults or kids, you'll find lots of activities for them as well, including a fun zone, teen center, video arcade and their own kids swimming pool.
6- Celebrity Cruises
7 nights from: $1,209
(Seattle, Washington → Day At Sea → Ketchikan, Alaska → Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier, Alaska → Juneau, Alaska → Skagway, Alaska → Alaskan Inside Passage → Day At Sea → Victoria, British Columbia → Seattle, Washington)
Looking to cruise in style? Want to feel like a Celebrity? Then Celebrity Cruises is just the cruise line for you. On this Alaskan cruise you'll be traveling on the ship Celebrity Solstice, a redesigned and redecorated ship with many new ‘firsts' including a Lawn Club, Hot Glass Show and specialty restaurants.
You'll also find perfect amenities for spa and fitness lovers with a large fitness center and the Canyon Ranch SpaClub. Another plus is the Sky Observation Lounge complete with full length glass windows looking out over the sea. This cruise is great for couples (young and old) as well as families with young adults.
7 nights from: $1,999
(Seattle, Washington → Outside Passage, Alaska → Ketchikan, Alaska → Juneau, Alaska → Sitka, Alaska → Outside Passage, Alaska → Victoria, British Columbia, Canada → Seattle, Washington)
Your world, your way. That's the motto that Oceania lives by and they currently deliver. More expensive than most other cruise lines, guests are treated to luxury as if they are kings and queens. Feeling as if the ship is their own private vessel, the Regatta sails the waters surrounding the Alaskan coastline while offering postcard perfect views.
Perfect for retirees, couples and singles looking for a break from reality, Oceania cruises offer on-board activities that foster learning with a hands on approach. Guests will have the opportunity to attend cooking lessons and artist lessons ranging from painting to needlepoint. An onsite spa offers a relaxing afternoon after your lessons. An impressive guest to staff ratio allows guests the best sea service around with personal touches in rooms, activities and dining.