15 Best Alaska Cruises for an Unforgettable Adventure

Alaska cruises are something that everyone should do at least once in their lives — even if you aren’t an avid cruiser! You’ll be enthralled by the jagged coasts, towering mountains, and icy blue glaciers sailing past your stateroom window.

In fact, you’ll probably be afraid to look away because you won’t want to miss the opportunity to enjoy the rugged vistas or catch a glimpse of the local wildlife. It isn’t unusual for bald eagles to go sailing by or whales to breach the waters when you are cruising in the Last Frontier.

So in this article, I compiled the best Alaska cruises to choose from.

Let’s get started!

Best Alaska Cruises

15 Best Alaska Cruises

1. Silver Muse

An all-inclusive trip from your front door and back again, the Silver Muse is Alaskan cruising in style. The ship was built by Fincantieri and houses 596 guests giving you the intimacy of a small ship with the luxury of the Silversea experience. You can enjoy butler service and your private teak veranda while sailing past Alaska’s breathtaking vistas.

There are available excursions at each of the stops including the Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary in Ketchikan, a Grizzly Falls Ziplining Expedition in Skagway, or the Wilderness Sea Kayaking Adventure on the Sitka stopover.

Cruisers love the cleanliness of the ship and the excellent service provided by the staff and crew. The staterooms are decked out in luxury linens with marble touches in the bathrooms which are stocked with Bulgari toiletries. There are eight dining areas to choose from with a variety of cuisines available including French, Asian, and Italian. Onboard activities include spa treatments, a gym, and several lounges.

No wonder why the Silver Muse is on top of our list of the best Alaska cruises.

  • Sails from: Vancouver
  • Duration: 7 nights
  • Cruise line: Silversea Cruises
  • Itinerary: Vancouver, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Sitka, Hubbard Glacier, Seward
  • Website

2. Disney Wonder

Gliding up the Inside Passage, Disney Wonder will take you to the Dawes Glacier through the fjord of Endicott Arm. You’ll find the ship perfectly blends the whimsical Disney feel with all the modern amenities to give you eleven decks of pools, recreation, and restaurants to explore. Dining options include room service, table service, quick bites, and adults-only meals.

The staterooms are built for families with plenty of space and vibrant colors. With warm wood accents and pops of red and blue, you’ll snuggle into your Egyptian cotton-clad beds and dream of the next day’s adventures.

Your time spent with your feet firmly on Alaskan soil can be just as adventurous as your time onboard the ship. Enjoy a zipline adventure in Juneau, a kart expedition in Ketchikan, or a wildlife expedition in Skagway.

All of this makes Disney Wonder one of the best Alaska cruises for families with kids.

  • Sails from: Vancouver
  • Duration: 7 nights
  • Cruise line: Disney Cruises
  • Itinerary: Vancouver, Skagway, Icy Strait Point, Ketchikan, Juneau, Dawes Glacier
  • Website

3. Celebrity Eclipse

Your Alaskan adventure will start in Vancouver when you board the Celebrity Eclipse — one of Celebrity’s ships that have been gliding through the seas since 2010. Full to the brim with activities and luxurious touches, the Eclipse can accommodate 2,852 people.

Spend mealtime in the Moonlight Sonata Restaurant, the ship’s main eatery offering legendary service and classic entree options. If your tastebuds crave something a little more adventurous, head to Blu the exclusive restaurant for AquaClass guests. After dinner stop by one of the lounges for music, entertainment, or just conversation with your shipmates.

Your time off the boat will be just as much fun as the days spent roaming the decks. You can enjoy a whale-watching excursion, go dog sledding in Juneau, or gawk at the totem poles in Ketchikan. Your sailing days through the inside passage offer breathtaking views of Alaska’s mountains, fjords, and lush green islands.

  • Sails from: Vancouver
  • Duration: 7 nights
  • Cruise Line: Celebrity Cruises
  • Itinerary: Vancouver, Inside Passage, Icy Strait Point, Hubbard Glacier, Juneau, Ketchikan, Inside Passage, Vancouver
  • Website

4. Ovation of the Seas

Royal Caribbean claims the Ovation of the Seas is the biggest ship to sail the Alaskan waters and offers the highest vantage point to give cruisers a bird’s eye perspective on the stunning views. You’ll be cruising to the Last Frontier in style.

The staterooms are decked out to maximize comfort. The beds have high-quality linens, and room service is available 24-hours. Even if you are staying in an interior room, you don’t have to miss out on any views because the rooms “virtual balconies” that give you real time views of the passing mountains and glaciers.

While the ship has plenty to keep you entertained, you’ll find the shore excursions equally exciting. In Juneau, you can try to make your fortune by panning for gold, take a hike through the rainforest in Skagway, and visit the Butchart Gardens during your stopover in Victoria, Canada.

  • Sails from: Seattle
  • Duration: 7 nights
  • Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
  • Itinerary: Seattle, Inside Passage, Juneau, Skagway, Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier, Victoria, Vancouver
  • Website

5. Celebrity Solstice

The Celebrity Solstice is one of the cruise lines most decorated liners. It made its first voyage back in 2008 and houses 2,852 guests. You get to cruise with confidence with the trusted Celebrity name, and past cruisers rave about the quality of the entertainment and graciousness of the staff.

There are available excursions at each of the stops including a rainforest canoe ride in Ketchikan, a Grizzly Falls Ziplining with marshmallow roasting in Skagway, or the Zodiac whale watching on the Victoria stopover.

The staterooms are known for their comfort, and the transfers to the shore excursions are easy and efficient. There are multiple dining areas to choose from such as the Grand Épernay Restaurant which offers contemporary takes on classic dishes. Celebrity cruises also offer autism-friendly menu options for those guests with special dietary needs.

  • Sails from: Seattle
  • Duration: 7 nights
  • Cruise Line: Celebrity Cruises
  • Itinerary: Seattle, Ketchikan, Endicott Arm, Juneau, Skagway, Inside Passage, Victoria, Vancouver
  • Website

6. Royal Princess

When on an Alaska cruise, the scenery is everything. Whether you’re lounging on the deck or relaxing in your luxurious suite, you’ll be able to see everything from gigantic glaciers to unique wildlife from a Princess cruise ship.

Royal Princess is an absolute delight, that’s why many consider it the crème-de-la-crème of the best Alaska cruises.

Guests love the stunning “piazza-style” Atrium and the spectacular views available from the glass floors of the SeaWalk. On board, you can relax in The Sanctuary, a serene retreat for adults only, or watch the WaterColor Fantasy light and water show. You’ll also spend plenty of time dining on the delectable food at Crown Grill and the ship’s other restaurants.

Off ship, you can enjoy excursions in each port — there are 52 available in Juneau alone!

  • Sails from: Vancouver
  • Duration: 7 days
  • Cruise Line: Princess
  • Itinerary: Vancouver, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, College Fjord, Anchorage
  • Website

7. Eurodam

Eurodam was first launched in 2008 and was refurbished in late 2015. It can accommodate up to 2,104 passengers and 876 crew members. The ship’s 11 decks have a variety of stateroom types, each with comfortable Euro-Top beds and flat-screen televisions.

Cruisers love the diverse assortment of dining options at the nine onboard restaurants. Tamarind, the ship’s signature restaurant, features diverse fare from Asia. The Greenhouse Spa & Salon and the BBC Earth in Concert event are available during the day. Two swimming pools and sports courts are available for those seeking more active pursuits.

When it is time to get off the ship, the excursions offered in the various Alaskan ports are sure to thrill. In Ketchikan, you can learn more about the Native Alaskan nations, and in Sitka, you can visit the Fortress of the Bear to get up close and personal with Alaskan wildlife.

  • Sails from: Seattle
  • Duration: 7 days
  • Cruise Line: Holland America Line
  • Itinerary: Seattle, Puget Sound, Stephens Passage, Juneau,Glacier Bay, Icy Strait Point, Sitka, Ketchikan, Victoria
  • Website

8. Regatta

The cruise line’s flagship, the Oceania Regatta, is known for its visits to Alaska. You can anticipate an excellent experience aboard a modern, attractive ship when you cruise with Oceania.

Regatta has an onboard day spa, lounges, and cocktail bars. Book a suite with a private balcony for a more intimate experience, and you can go whale watching from the comfort of your stateroom!

Treat yourself to a fantastic cruise onboard this ship, which has a guest-to-staff ratio of 684 to 400, ensuring that you are lavishly pampered. Enjoy up to six shore excursions for free including a visit to the Sheldon Jackson Museum in Sitka or a trip to the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau.

  • Sails from: Los Angeles
  • Duration: 12 days
  • Ship Name: Oceania
  • Itinerary: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Astoria, Outside Passage, Sitka, Icy Strait Point, Hubbard Glacier, Juneau, Ketchikan, Inside Passage, Vancouver
  • Website

9. Nieuw Amsterdam

Holland America, one of the most opulent cruise lines available, goes above and above to ensure that its passengers have a fantastic vacation during their cruises to Alaska. In fact, they’ve won awards for their Alaskan cruises!

On the Nieuw Amsterdam, you can combine sea and land travel with this 10-day cruise that includes a train ride to Denali National Park. You can personalize your Alaskan adventure further by participating in fun off-boat activities like a flightseeing safari in Anchorage.

Only Holland America’s mid-sized ships are available for voyages to the Last Frontier, which means you are on the perfect size ship for getting close to Alaska’s natural beauty. You’ll also be able to try some Alaskan delicacies while onboard, including excellent fresh-caught salmon and other seafood.

  • Sails from: Vancouver
  • Duration: 10 days
  • Cruise line: Holland America
  • Itinerary: Vancouver, Inside Passage, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, College Fjord, Whittier, Anchorage, Denali (rail)
  • Website

10. Majestic Princess

The Majestic Princess, which welcomes 3,560 passengers and 1,346 staff and crew members, boasts innovative features not found on any other Princess ship, including two speciality restaurants with dinner menus developed by Michelin-starred chefs.

The Lotus Spa, a fitness center, and a sports deck round out some of the other onboard featurs. Don’t forget to take a stroll on the SeaWalk — a glass-paneled promenade that reaches 28 feet over the ship’s edge – while on board. There are also various clubs, lounges, and theaters on the Majestic Princess.

There are available excursions at each of the stops including Underground Mine Exploration in Juneau, Klondike Rock Climbing in Skagway, and a small boat Glacier Cruise in Anchorage.

  • Sails from: Vancouver
  • Duration: 7 days
  • Cruise line: Princess
  • Itinerary: Vancouver, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay National Park, College Fjord, Anchorage
  • Website

11. Koningsdam

The 2,650-passenger Koningsdam, which debuted in 2016, is one of Holland America’s newest ships and the first in the Pinnacle Class. Passengers can take part in a variety of activities, including cooking courses and duty-free shopping, or simply rest at the spa.

Cruisers can choose from 11 eating options when hunger hits, ranging from the informal New York Pizza & Deli to the more upscale Pinnacle Grill steakhouse. Cabin categories on the ship consist of Interior and Ocean View cabins with sizes ranging from 151 to 231 square feet, as well as Verandah accommodations. Plus, there are three Suite categories available.

Shore excursions can be added to the trip to round out your adventure in the Last Frontier. Go salmon fishing in Juneau, explore the Klondike Highway by bike in Skagway, or see a Native dance performance in Ketchikan.

  • Sails from: Vancouver
  • Duration: 7 days
  • Cruise line: Holland America
  • Itinerary: Vancouver, Inside Passage, Tracy Arm Inlet, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan, Inside Passage, Vancouver
  • Website

12. Viking Orion

In 2018, the 930-passenger Viking Orion set sail for the first time. The Viking Orion’s staterooms all have balconies, flat-screen LCD TVs, and minibars. You’ll also find bathrooms with glass-enclosed showers and heated flooring in the cabins.

Guests onboard the Viking Orion can dine in a variety of onboard eateries, including the main restaurant, where the menu changes everyday. Cruisers love the ship’s service and cuisine quality. Be sure to check out the ship’s theater which hosts live performances, ranging from themed shows to history and art lectures.

When you get to port, you will want to spend a little time off ship to experience the beauty and excitement of the Last Frontier. Enjoy some self-guided exploration in Valdez, take a ride on the White Pass Railroad in Skagway, or visit the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward.

  • Sails from: Vancouver
  • Duration: 11 days
  • Cruise line: Viking Cruises
  • Itinerary: Vancouver, Inside Passage, Ketchikan, Sitka, Juneau, Skagway, Icy Strait Point, Yakutat Bay, Valdez, Seward
  • Website

13. Grand Princess

When you’re on a cruise to Alaska, the scenery steals the show. From a Princess cruise ship, you’ll be able to see it all — from massive glaciers to wildlife. Whether you’re lounging on the deck or relaxing in your beautiful suite, the Grand Princess is sure to impress.

Princess ships have a range of activities, restaurants providing a variety of cuisines, shows to see, spas, and numerous locations to simply sit and relax while cruising the Inside Passage.

On your stopover in Ketchikan, try and catch the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show or take a Duck Tour of the town and harbor. In Anchorage, you can take an excursion to the Wildlife Conservation Center. Plus, there are tons more off-boat experiences to be had!

  • Sails from: Vancouver
  • Duration: 14 days
  • Cruise line: Princess cruises
  • Itinerary: Vancouver, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay National Park, College Fjord, Anchorage, Hubbard Glacier, Glacier Bay National Park, Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, Vancouver
  • Website

14. Norwegian Encore

The Encore set out on its first journey in 2019. It has a capacity of 3,998 passengers and 1,735 crew members. The Encore has the longest racetrack at sea and a 10,000-square-foot outdoor laser tag arena, setting the bar for onboard entertainment.

There are inside and oceanview cabins and Balcony and Suite rooms available. There are also studios for lone travelers, spa-themed cabins, and The Haven staterooms, positioned at the top of the ship and come with access to an exclusive patio, restaurant, and bar. Cruisers can add a free beverage or WiFi package to their cruise.

When you get to the Last Frontier, you can book a wide variety of shore excursions like the Whale Watching & Wildlife Quest in Juneau. Skagway adventures include the Klondike Gold Fields & Panning, and in Ketchikan, you can visit the Saxman Native Village.

  • Sails from: Seattle
  • Duration: 7 days
  • Cruise line: Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Itinerary: Seattle, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan, Victoria, Seattle
  • Website

15. Seabourn Odyssey

Guests can expect complimentary champagne upon arrival, daily fresh fruit, 24-hour room service, as well as a personal suite stewardess for special requests. Each of the Seaborun Odyessy’s staterooms has its own living space and bedroom, as well as a fully stocked bar, flat-screen television, walk-in closet, and bathroom with tub, shower, and dual sinks.

Delicious eating options, world-class entertainment, and enriching activities are available every day onboard. Technogym equipment is available in the Fitness Center, and the ship provides a variety of complimentary classes, including yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi. Visit the salon for a Fire and Ice Manicure and Pedicure, which combines therapeutic cooling gels and hot stone massage.

If you do manage to pull yourself away from the ship’s amenities to set foot on Alaskan soil, you can book one of the many available excursions. In Ketchikan, you can enjoy an exclusive small-group eco-tour adventure that includes a seafood tasting. When you get to the Inian Islands, you can look for humpback whales on a zodiac tour.

  • Sails from: Vancouver
  • Duration: 14 day
  • Cruise line: Seabourn
  • Itinerary: Vancouver, Ketchikan, Sitka, Glacier Bay, Inian Islands, Icy Strait Point, Haines, Juneau, Wrangell, Rudyerd Bay, Misty Fjords, Prince Rupert, Alert Bay, Vancouver
  • Website

Best Alaska Cruises: Frequently Asked Questions

Cruising the Last Frontier

There you go, this was the top 15 best Alaska cruises to choose from. You can’t go wrong with any of these cruises.

I recommend booking on one of the smaller ships that go to the more quaint ports like Sitka. While Juneau and Ketchikan are, of course, lovely destinations, Sitka will give you a better feel for true Alaskan life. And don’t forget to pack layers!

A cruise is one of the best ways to explore this magnificent region, and there are many options available for different preferences and interests.

Whether you’re a senior looking for a more relaxed and comfortable experience, or a couple seeking a romantic and adventurous getaway, I have created specific guides tailored to your needs. Make sure to check out my Alaska cruises for seniors and Alaska cruises for couples guides for more detailed information and recommendations.

And if you’re curious about how fast a cruise ship can go, check out the linked guide.