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What's Better for Alaska Cruises: Round-Trips or One-Way Voyages?

By Pauline Frommer

Let's get this out of the way first: No matter how you see Alaska, you're going to be blown away. Alaska was named for the Aleut word alyeska , which means "great land"—and the Aleuts weren't engaging in hyperbole.

But the type of journey you choose will affect how much you pay, how much time you get in the state, and what you get to see. 

Here are some of the issues you should take into account when looking at your Alaska cruise disembarkation options.

What your airfare costs On a per diem basis, there is virtually no difference between the daily cost of a looping route and a one-way cruise of Alaska. Both types of itinerary are offered by all of the major mainstream cruise lines (the luxury ships, with the exception of Oceania, usually only do one-way voyages), and price differences have more to do with your cabin category than your termination ports.

But what you spend on airfare will be very different, depending on the type of itinerary you choose.

Flights that bring you into one city to begin your cruise and out of a third city to return home (in industry terms, these are called "open jaw" flights) are almost always significantly pricier than round-trip fares between two airports.

That's doubly the case in Alaska, because one of the return legs will likely be from  Fairbanks  (which usually requires you to add a stop in Anchorage on the way home); or from Anchorage , which has fewer direct flights to the Lower 48 U.S. states than there were pre-pandemic, according to cruise agency owner Pat Webb of CruiseStar.com .

So if you end your cruise in Alaska, you're looking at additional air travel time—sometimes up to a full day in transit—and, Webb says, you might contend with odd schedules. Many flights from Anchorage tend to happen late at night, which adds to the inconvenience and may necessitate paying for a stay in a local hotel.

How much higher can the prices go than the cost of simply flying home from where you boarded the cruise? It will depend on your home gateway and the flexibility of the airline. In our price checks for summer 2022 airfares that went round-trip to Seattle from Chicago, we found that flights increased by $110 if we wanted to fly back to Chicago from Anchorage instead.

From Los Angeles, the price difference averaged $50, but from Philadelphia it was $152. Those numbers add up when you're transporting a family of four.

What you'll get to see There are exceptions, but in general, round-trip voyages from Seattle or Vancouver will take you to southeastern Alaska. That usually means Ketchikan , Juneau , and either Skagway  or a relatively new port called Icy Strait (it's a small island north of Skagway). For in-depth glacier gazing, you'll either visit Sawyer Glacier or Glacier Bay  (pictured above); there are limited numbers of permits for the latter, so not every cruise ship goes to that famed national park.

On one-way cruises, you'll usually see more Alaskan ports than you can on a round-trip sailing because instead of spending the last few days doubling back to your origin port, you spend that time sailing deeper into the state. So with one-way cruises, you'll usually see the same places as on a round-trip voyage, including either Sawyer or Glacier, but you'll also see more locations north of those, including the area around Anchorage and College Fjord near Whittier (though of course destinations will vary by itinerary). 

How much time you'll have People who choose one-way sailings do so, usually, so they can add a tour of the interior of Alaska either before or after the cruise. They can either buy a land package from the cruise line or simply tour around on their own by car or train. Independent travel is surprisingly easy in Alaska, as I wrote in this piece about the joys seeing Denali National Park on your own.

So which type of trip is better? Webb said he tells his clients to look at the bigger picture and at what they want out of the trip.

"I ask them: How many times are you going to get to Alaska in your life?" he says. "Usually, the answer is 'once,' and when that answer comes out, the choice [to do a tour as well as the cruise] becomes clearer. Alaska is such a spectacular state that you just don't want to give it short shrift."

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One-way Alaska cruises vs. round-trip: Which is best?

Cruise ship at Alaskan harbor

Alaska’s incredible scenery, epic glaciers, and wildlife make it a popular choice for many cruisers. With cruise lines offering such a wide selection of itineraries, it can be tough to figure out which is the best choice for your Alaska cruise vacation. 

One-way and round-trip cruises are two major categories of Alaska cruises that offer different benefits. One-way cruises sail to the splendors of Alaska's far north, while round-trip cruises sail to the calmer waters of the Inside Passage.  

Which is best? The answer is somewhat subjective and depends on what's important for your cruise vacation. These two alternatives visit different ports, offer varied experiences, and can range significantly in price. 

With so many great options out there, here’s what to look for and how to decide whether a round-trip or one-way cruise is the best option for your cruise vacation.  

One-way cruises

NCL Alaska

One-way cruises sail either northbound from ports like Seattle or southbound across the Gulf of Alaska from ports such as Anchorage in Alaska. In addition to visiting the ports of the Inside Passage, they explore the more remote areas of Alaska, wonders such as the Hubbard Glacier and College Fjord, and its incredibly picturesque landscape. 

These cruises (also called open-jaw) can be an excellent alternative for those who want to explore Alaska in more depth. Many passengers like to add a pre or post-cruise land tour to visit places such as Denali National Preserve and Park or maybe spend time in Fairbanks to catch a glimpse at the Northern Lights. Some cruise lines, like Princess Cruises , have an extensive array of one-way itineraries, with options to include land-based excursions. Once guests are done with the cruise, they enjoy scenic rail travel from the ship to the lodge, where they spend three or more nights in exclusive Wilderness Lodges located riverside near legendary national parks, a truly unforgettable experience. 

One-way cruise itineraries can end up being more costly than Inside Passage cruises, as you need to fly in or out of Alaska for the cruise. Another point to consider for some is that the waters can be rougher in the Gulf Of Alaska, although weather is never a certainty in any cruise. But for those who want to spend more time in the Last Frontier , a one-way cruise can be a fantastic vacation.

Round-trip cruises 

Princess

Round-trip cruises to Alaska often sail the waters of Inside Passage, with hundreds of itineraries among the major cruise lines. Sailing along the coastal passage of the Pacific Northwest, round-trip itineraries are among the most popular Alaska cruises, and many are 7 days in length and leave from Seattle or Vancouver, British Columbia. These cruises head north, sailing around the thousands of islands that this region is famous for. A major benefit to cruising in the southern part of Alaska is that there tends to be calmer waters, thanks to protection from the islands. 

With so much demand for round-trip Alaska cruises, there are many choices, with all major cruise lines offering cruises from May through September. In addition to week-long cruises, there are also Alaska “sampler” cruises that can be 4 or 5 days, giving cruisers a taste of what Alaska has to offer. These shorter cruises are also more affordable while still providing an authentic northern cruise experience. It is a good option for cruises who want to try the Land of the Midnight Sun but are not quite sure if it is for them. 

Popular ports of call on this route include stops in places such as Ketchikan , Juneau, and Skagway . These ports are good options as they provide a wide range of activities, such as visiting glaciers, kayaking, exploring historic gold rush towns, and the chance to see plenty to see in terms of wildlife. These types of cruises offer scenic viewing of Tracy Arm Fjord and Glacier National Park, with spectacular views. 

One-way versus roundtrip cruises 

While both options provide excellent opportunities to see Alaska, there are some unique pros and cons to each alternative. 

One-way cruises pros/cons

Fjord

  • Cost is a major factor when considering a one-way cruise. These itineraries can end up being more costly than round-trip cruises, as you need to fly in or out of Alaska for the cruise. Flight prices in Alaska, are signifcnatly higher than southern embarkation ports like Seattle. 
  • Although they can be more expensive, one-way cruises provide the opportunity to explore Alaska in more depth, visiting some hard-to-reach locations accessible only by water. They even provide an opportunity to see the Northern Lights during certain parts of the cruise season. 
  • One-way cruises offer guests the option to add land tours to their cruise vacations, providing a more in-depth Alaska cruise experience. For those who want to spend more time in the Last Frontier, a Gulf of Alaska cruise can be a fantastic vacation. 
  • The waters of the Gulf of Alaska can be rougher than round-trip cruises that sail further south. This can be off putting to some, especially those that suffer from seasickness. 
  •  Most require a passport . 

Round-trip cruises pros/cons

Dog sled

  • Roundtrip cruises, especially those leaving from Seattle, can be a great, affordable cruise to Alaska. Seattle in particular, is a major embarkation point for round-trip cruises, meaning there is a lot of choice in terms of budget and itinerary. This can be the best alternative for those looking for the cheapest cruise to Alaska. 
  • There are many options available for round-trip cruisers, and most don’t require a passport unless they are needed or an excursion. However, a passport will be required for cruisers starting in Vancouver, Canada. 
  • Another major benefit of a round-trip cruise is that the Inside Passage tends to have calmer waters, which can be a major bonus, especially for those who suffer from seasickness.  
  • The main drawback of round-trip cruises is that you tend to visit the busiest places and do not get to explore some of the more remote and spectacular locations, including national parks. 
  • These itineraries also lack the ability to do a land tour, which can be some of the most memorable parts of a cruise to Alaska.   

alaska cruise round trip vs one way

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One-way Alaska cruises vs. round-trip: Which is best?

alaska cruise round trip vs one way

When it comes to aspirational destinations, Alaska tops the list for many travelers. Because points of interest within the 49th state can be difficult to reach, Alaska cruises offer one of the best ways to see several places in one trip. Still, it can be confusing to choose the right itinerary, particularly if you’re unfamiliar with the region or haven’t cruised before.

The first thing you’ll notice when comparing Alaska cruise itineraries is that some are one-way and others round-trip. You can choose a sailing that begins or ends in Alaska itself or one that departs and returns to another location, such as Seattle or Vancouver, British Columbia.

Here, I’ll lay out some of the draws and drawbacks of each type of itinerary, so you can be better prepared to book your Alaska cruise vacation.

For more cruise guides, news and tips, sign up for TPG’s cruise newsletter .

One-way Alaska cruises

A cruise ship in Glacier Bay, Alaska. BALA SIVAKUMAR/GETTY IMAGES

The main perk of one-way Alaska cruises is that they allow you to spend time on land in Alaska before or after you sail.

That could mean exploring on your own or signing up for a cruisetour — a cruise plus pre- or post-cruise travel on land, organized by your cruise line for a fee. Holland America Line and Princess Cruises are known for their cruisetours, which generally involve stays in cruise line-owned hotels or resorts and visits to places like Denali National Park and Fairbanks in Alaska, as well as Dawson City and Whitehorse in Canada’s Yukon territory.

One-way voyages to the Last Frontier also usually have more than just one day of scenic cruising, allowing you to explore the local scenery — including calving glaciers — in more detail.

As for ports, the locations your vessel visits will depend on its size, with smaller ports like Petersburg and Wrangell unable to accommodate most megaships. That’s why so many large vessels tend to visit popular ports like Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan, which are equipped to handle large ships and lots of passengers.

Additionally, if you’re hoping to visit Victoria, British Columbia, a popular port of call on Alaska cruises that’s definitely worth a visit, you typically won’t find it on a one-way itinerary. Because one-way sailings often start or end in Vancouver, they aren’t required to include Victoria to satisfy the Passenger Vessel Services Act .

The biggest downside of one-way sailings — and this applies to cruises in any destination — is that they’re more expensive because you won’t be booking round-trip flights. In this case, you’ll need a one-way flight to or home from Alaska, which has more limited service than Seattle or Vancouver. Routing often isn’t the best, making nonstop options scarce.

Round-trip Alaska cruises

Several large cruise ships docked in Skagway, Alaska. JOHN ELK/GETTY IMAGES

Round-trip Alaska cruises tend to be more affordable than one-way sailings on a total trip cost basis. The voyages leave from and return to the same port, making it easier for passengers to drive to the ship or to save money with round-trip flights.

Most round-trip itineraries leave from and return to either Vancouver or Seattle, with a few scattered sailings departing from California ports. You rarely find round-trip Alaska cruises departing from ports in Alaska (with the exception of small-ship expedition cruises.)

Alaska cruises that sail round-trip from Seattle are required to call on at least one foreign port somewhere along the itinerary, which almost always means a stop in Victoria — a lovely city that offers plenty of rich history, as well as seafood restaurants and a harbor promenade that’s great for an afternoon or evening walk.

Many round-trip voyages visit the popular ports of Ketchikan, Skagway and Juneau. They also feature a day of scenic cruising in places like Glacier Bay National Park or Tracy Arm, but typically can’t offer a second day of glacier viewing or visit the more northern ice fields.

However, because round-trip sailings don’t leave room for additional land-based Alaska exploration pre- or post-cruise, they can’t offer as many options to dive deeper into Alaska’s wilderness, wildlife and native culture.

Bottom line

Island Princess sailing through an ice field near Margerie Glacier in Glacier Bay, Alaska. PAUL SOUDERS/GETTY IMAGES

Book a one-way sailing if you have a large vacation budget and don’t mind taking at least one potentially cumbersome flight so you can explore more of Alaska by land.

If you are limited on funds or time but want to experience some of Alaska’s nature-based and cultural highlights, a round-trip cruise is for you.

Have more cruise questions? TPG has answers:

Banned items: What not to pack for a cruise Man overboard: Why do people fall off cruise ships? What is baked Alaska, and why is it paraded around cruise ships? What are the largest cruise ships in the world? What is a gentleman host on a cruise? What is the Jones Act, and how does it affect cruise ships? What is a lido deck on a cruise ship? What’s a cruise cabin guarantee, and will it save you money? What’s the difference between a cruise concierge and a butler?

8 Things to Consider When Booking an Alaska Cruise

Alaska is a dream destination for many travelers, and a majority of the state’s annual visitors arrive on a cruise ship. Those who cruise Alaska’s Inside Passage marvel at calm waters and spectacular scenery as the ship glides through protected waterways. Along the way, you may see whales, orcas, dolphins, and a host of other marine life from the comfort of your deck chair.

The ships come in a dizzying array of sizes and price points, and the itineraries can combine innumerable ways so that the planning can appear daunting. To help make things easier, here are a few things to know ahead of planning your journey.

The Best Time to Take an Alaskan Cruise

The best time to go depends on whether you're aiming for ideal weather or smaller crowds.

Alaska’s tourism season is short, starting in mid-to-late May and typically buttoning up by the end of September. Volume peaks in June and July, with most destinations seeing the fewest crowds before Memorial Day or later in August.

The weather in Alaska is always unpredictable, but is generally at its warmest and sunniest during the peak months. May can be cool to mild, and chances of rain increase from mid-August onward; as the days begin to rapidly shorten this time of year, temps also begin to cool.

The Best Time to Book an Alaskan Cruise

Book ahead for selection, wait for bargains.

Conventional wisdom for Alaska cruises is to book a year in advance—particularly for travelers who want the best selection of sailing dates and cabins during the June/July peak season. Bargain hunters who are more flexible can often snag deals during the “Wave” booking season in January and February, when cruise bookings for all destinations peak; last-minute deals can also be found as late as June.

Cruise lines tend to price higher for early bookings, with included add-ons like onboard credits or prepaid gratuities to entice buyers. Last-minute offers, on the other hand, are typically cruise-only. It also pays to monitor fares after the initial deposit—many cruise lines will honor lower fares after the initial booking as long as the final payment hasn’t been made. However, lower fares may not come with the same included amenities originally applied.

One-Way or Round Trip?

With a few exceptions, large-ship Alaska cruises typically operate one-way from Whittier or Seward to Vancouver, or round trip from the West Coast ports of Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, or Los Angeles.

Round-trip itineraries are a great way to avoid the often higher airfares associated with flying to different airports to embark and disembark the ship, but that convenience often comes with a higher cruise fare.

Round-trip itineraries are also geographically limited to the Inside Passage, while one-way itineraries cross the Gulf of Alaska and offer additional scenic cruising in College Fjord or Hubbard Glacier. Travelers who are interested in touring Southcentral and Interior Alaska by land before or after their cruise should book a one-way itinerary.  

Cruise or Cruisetour?

Many large-ship lines—including Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, and Royal Caribbean—have significant land operations in Alaska and offer cruisetours, a combination cruise and land tour for a single price.

Specifics vary by company, but in general, cruisetour guests will seamlessly transition between their cruise ship and land, traveling via narrated rail or motorcoach to company-owned lodges. At the lodges, guests can continue booking excursions and activities, similarly to how they would during their cruise. The one major difference is that unlike the more all-inclusive pricing onboard the ship, the land portion of most cruisetours generally doesn't include meals (although some “deluxe” or “fully escorted” itineraries do).

Cruisetours are ideal for travelers who don’t mind a set itinerary and prefer not to deal with the logistics of booking transportation and accommodations (which can be scarce and expensive during peak season) on their own. It’s also worth noting that the cruisetour experience can be difficult to duplicate for individual travelers, as the large cruise companies tend to dominate the landscape for transportation and lodging options, particularly in Denali National Park .

Cruisetours are not the best choice for travelers who prefer to travel away from groups or want flexibility with their schedules. Itineraries often run at a vigorous pace, with some early morning starts and evening arrivals when traveling between cities. It’s also worth noting that the accommodation options at or near Denali National Park are not luxury resorts—they’re wilderness lodges providing what is best described as a “better-than-modest” standard of accommodation.

Travelers wishing to continue their land tours in Alaska should strongly consider purchasing cruise line transfers between Anchorage and Whittier or Seward; cruise passengers comprise virtually all of the traffic between those cities, and alternative options for transfers are extremely limited. Outside of cruisetour packages designed to funnel cruise ship passengers directly to top attractions, most individual touring in Alaska will begin and end in Anchorage—not in the smaller cruise ports.

What Sights Should I Hold Out For?

Most of the top scenic attractions on cruises are capacity limited. Glacier Bay National Park , the banner destination for scenic glacier cruising, cannot accommodate all the large cruise ships each season. So, if Glacier Bay is a must, be sure to select a cruise that features it.

That said, the limited number of Glacier Bay entrance passes means that cruise lines have started calling at Hubbard Glacier and Tracy Arm for scenic cruising, and port calls at gems like Sitka are growing in popularity after years of downturn.

Denali National Park is a major draw for many visitors, but it’s also worth exploring alternative options such as the Kenai Peninsula, Copper River Center (both available on many cruise tours) or Katmai National Park (often booked as a separate add-on from Anchorage).

Should I Book an Outside Cabin or Balcony?

That’s a never-ending debate among veteran cruisers, but if there’s any destination that seems tailor-made for balcony staterooms, it’s Alaska. A significant portion of the time spent cruising in Alaskan waters is incredibly scenic. Book on the starboard (right) side of the ship for northbound itineraries, and on the port (left) side of the ship for southbound itineraries.

Another benefit to balcony staterooms is that travelers can step outside to gauge the weather when dressing for their day. Alaskan weather patterns can be deceptive—viewed through a window, a crisp sunny day can appear warmer than it really is, or a stiff breeze requiring a windbreaker may not be readily apparent.

Big Ship or Small Ship?

Ships sailing in Alaskan waters range from the newest megaships from the world's largest cruise lines to intimate expedition ships that can squeeze through narrower passages and transport passengers to deserted island beaches. On these smaller ships, the destination (and conversation about it) is front-and-center in the onboard experience; however, expedition vessels, while comfortable, lack many of the amenities of large cruise ships. Travelers who simply can’t live without an onboard casino or that chic wine bar are better off booking the larger ship.

An added benefit of small-ship cruises is that cruisers can usually leave their passports at home—the ships are often American-built and flagged, meaning they’ll depart from Alaskan ports and aren’t required to make foreign port calls.

Is a Pre- or Post-Cruise Hotel Room Necessary?

For travelers arriving or departing from Anchorage, almost always. Northbound sailings dock early in the morning, and passengers headed directly for the airport can often get there within a few hours. However, most flight departures from Anchorage for destinations further than the U.S. West Coast are in the early morning (too early for cruise ship arrivals) or around midnight, leaving a full room-less day in the city.

Even the post-arrival excursions that many cruises offer don’t eat up much time, so guests are often stuck in the ticketing lobby at the airport hours before their flight with all their checked luggage in tow (airlines can’t accept checked bags more than a few hours prior to departure, for security reasons).

Hotel rooms in Anchorage are expensive in the summer, but cruisers with more than a few hours to kill may appreciate overnighting in Anchorage (which has much to see and do) and departing at their preferred time the next day.

For departures from West Coast gateways, it’s easier to arrive the day of departure and go straight to the ship, but it’s almost always a good idea to fly in the night before to account for the possibility of delays. Arriving in West Coast ports is much easier than arriving in Anchorage, as there are typically flights available throughout the day.

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No matter which cruise company passengers choose to go with, Alaska’s untamed fjords, snow-capped mountains, and rocky shoreline provide a beautiful background for travelers. Every Alaskan trip includes a minimum of one day of breathtaking sailing in a fjord or by a glacier, as well as stops to Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan.

However, how can you decide between an itinerary that starts or finishes in Alaska on a one-way cruise and a standard round-trip Alaska cruise? We provide a summary of benefits and drawbacks for both round-trip and one-way cruises to Alaska to assist you in selecting the ideal vacation if you’re narrowing down your selections.

Alaskan One-Way Cruises: Benefits

Since sailing only shows you a tiny portion of America’s largest state, the main advantage of beginning or finishing your cruise in Alaska is that guests may combine their voyage with independent travel or land-based activities before or after the cruise.

A greater section of Alaska’s coastline is often covered by one-way cruises. As they move into less-traveled regions where wildlife is more numerous and less disturbed by human activity, they could provide greater opportunity to watch animals.

Alaskan one-way itineraries usually consist of two days of picturesque cruise and more time spent in Alaskan ports, with very few stops in Canada. They usually contain many embarkation and disembarkation ports, offering chances to explore a greater variety of locations and take in a variety of cultures, animals, and sights.

If you don’t mind sailing early or late in the season, several companies now offer one-way repositioning cruises to Alaska. This means that you may pick from lengthier itineraries or locate one-ways from ships that typically only provide round trips.

Many cruise companies, including Holland America Line, Princess voyages, Royal Caribbean, Silversea, Crystal, Regent Seven Seas, and Ponant, provide one-way voyages to Alaska, giving travelers a wide range of alternatives.

Seasonal one-way cruises depart from Vancouver, British Columbia, heading north, or from Seward or Whittier in Alaska, heading south. Travelers taking one-way cruises from Alaska or Vancouver have the option of arriving early at the destination and spending your own time touring before the cruise.

Remember that departing from Seattle gives American tourists an easy (and less expensive) place to fly into, but Vancouver offers more chances to sail the breathtaking Inside Passage.

Alaskan One-Way Cruises: Drawbacks

Westerdam in Yakutat Bay Alaska

The need to reserve separate one-way flights, which results in extra costs, is one disadvantage of choosing a one-way cruise to Alaska, especially because one leg of the trip usually requires flying from Alaska.

Getting to or from Anchorage may include a stopover instead of a direct flight, depending on where you are. Moreover, a lot of one-way cruises skip Victoria, British Columbia, one of western Canada’s most beautiful ports of call. Furthermore, the waters in the Gulf of Alaska may be choppy, especially in the latter half of the cruise season.

Alaskan Round-Trip Cruise: Benefits

Silver Whisper docked in Haines, Alaska (Photo: Jorge Oliver)

The simplicity of leaving from and returning to the same port is the primary advantage of round-trip Alaska cruises, which might be helpful for those who would rather not bother with one-way transit arrangements.

In addition to being more convenient for those arriving by car, this alternative is often less expensive for those traveling by air. If you would want to stay in your departure city before or after the trip, Seattle and Vancouver are attractive, energetic, and less expensive than Alaska. Victoria, British Columbia is another stunning coastline city that is often featured as a port of stop on round-trip cruises rather than one-way ones.

Keep in mind that round-trip Princess Cruises operates certain Alaska cruises out of San Francisco, however most Alaska cruises depart from Vancouver and Seattle.

Cons of a Round-Trip Alaskan Cruise

View from Creek Street in Ketchikan, Alaska

Although the majority of popular cruise lines, such as Disney, Carnival, Royal, and Norwegian, provide round-trip sailings, not all of them do. That isn’t the case, however, with premium labels. The other luxury lines only provide one-way cruises in Alaska; only Oceania offers round-trip cruises.

The fact that you often have less time in Alaska on a round-trip cruise is another significant disadvantage. Round-trip sailings often only visit three ports in Alaska and provide one day of picturesque cruising since Seattle routes must stop in Canada in order to comply with U.S. rules.

On the other hand, one-way cruises may cover four Alaskan ports in a single week and/or provide two days of breathtaking cruising among glaciers like as Hubbard, Sawyer, or College, as well as Glacier Bay and the Inside Passage. There won’t be a port of embarkation or disembarkation in Alaska, therefore you won’t have any time before or after the voyage to visit other Alaskan locations. Finally, if you’re traveling across the broad Pacific Ocean to get to Alaska, you may run across some choppy waves.

In Alaska, One-Way vs. Round-Trip: The Final Say

Carnival Spirit docked at Icy Strait Point, Alaska (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

No Alaskan cruise itinerary will lead you astray, but if you’re still unsure, here’s what we suggest. If price is your first consideration, you want to see Alaska briefly and don’t need or have the time to go further into the state, you’d like to spend a little more time in Canada or Seattle, or all three, then go for a round-trip cruise.

If you’re not on a strict budget, want to see as much as you can, appreciate picturesque traveling, and/or want to take a pre- or post-cruise tour, go for a one-way cruise to Alaska.

Whatever cruise you go on, Alaska offers a unique opportunity to see the region’s natural features, abundant wildlife, and rich cultural legacy.

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The best cruises to Alaska from Seattle for every type of traveler

Gene Sloan

What are the best Alaska cruises out of Seattle ? It depends on what kind of traveler you are.

If you're a parent traveling with teens and tweens, you'll probably want to pick a voyage on one of the big, family activity-filled cruise ships operated by Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line that sail out of Seattle each summer.

If you're looking to get away from families with young children — maybe you're a retiree looking to travel with people your own age — you'd want to check out the itineraries operated by cruise lines that cater more to couples without kids, most notably Holland America and Princess Cruises.

For more cruise guides, news and tips, sign up for TPG's cruise newsletter .

Other cruises might be best for solo travelers or travelers on a tight budget.

Here we list our top picks for the best Alaska cruises from Seattle for six different types of travelers.

Best for families: Ovation of the Seas

alaska cruise round trip vs one way

It isn't easy picking the best Alaska cruise out of Seattle for families. There are four world-class family-focused cruise ships in the market, each of which is a contender for the best for families title: Royal Caribbean 's Ovation of the Seas and Quantum of the Seas, and Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Encore and Norwegian Bliss.

All four ships are loaded with all sorts of gee-whiz family attractions, from bumper car pavilions and skydiving simulators on the Royal Caribbean vessels to go-kart tracks and laser tag courses on the Norwegian ships.

Unlike the Royal Caribbean ships, the Norwegian ships also have epic waterslides on their top decks, which in theory, might put them over the top in any listing of the best cruise ships for families based in Seattle.

However, keep in mind that Alaska can be chilly, even at the height of summer, and rainy, too. For that reason, we discount the value of some of the family-friendly attractions on the Norwegian ships, which are open to the elements, and consider the Royal Caribbean ships the best of the bunch for Alaska cruises from Seattle.

Both of the Royal Caribbean ships sailing to Alaska from Seattle are loaded with attractions that are protected from the elements, including those bumper car pavilions and skydiving simulators. In fact, both Ovation of the Seas and Quantum of the Seas were specifically built to operate in areas of inclement weather.

Of the two ships, which are nearly identical and part of the relatively new Quantum class of vessels, we give the 4,180-passenger Ovation of the Seas the nod for best Alaska family cruise ship sailing from Seattle only because it's a couple of years newer. Newer is almost always better in the cruise world.

Related: The 6 types of Royal Caribbean ships, explained

A cavernous indoor activity area on each of the two Quantum-class ships called the SeaPlex is home to the aforementioned bumper cars, as well as such family-friendly activities as roller skating, basketball and even trapeze lessons. The two-level complex also has upstairs nooks for playing Xbox, ping pong and foosball. It's like one big play zone for families that will keep your kids busy for hours.

Each of the ships also offers one of the most unusual attractions you'll find at sea: A glass-enclosed capsule mounted on a mechanical arm that will take you and your family soaring into the sky for bird's-eye views. It's called the North Star ride.

All the above come in addition to many of the core Royal Caribbean attractions you'll find on most of the brand's ships, including pools, rock climbing walls, casinos, spas and Broadway-style shows, plus lots of eateries and bars.

Related: The 9 craziest attractions you'll find on a cruise ship

Of particular note, given Alaska's weather, is that one of the two main pool areas on each of these Quantum-class ships is enclosed.

Best for budget travelers: Eurodam

alaska cruise round trip vs one way

Our pick for the best Alaska cruises from Seattle for budget travelers may come as a surprise to many cruise aficionados. That's because it's not the Alaska voyages from Seattle offered by the North American cruise line best known for budget sailings — Carnival Cruise Line .

Carnival does offer cruises to Alaska from Seattle regularly with two ships: Carnival Spirit and Carnival Luminosa. However, while Carnival is the low-cost leader in many cruise destinations, that's not always the case in the market for Alaska cruises from Seattle. Often, the lowest starting prices you'll find on cruises to Alaska from Seattle, on both an absolute and per-day basis, are the cruises offered by Holland America .

For the coming year, for instance, as of this guide's posting, there were lots of Holland America sailings to Alaska from Seattle available for under $750 per person for seven nights — some as low as $429 per person for seven nights.

There were very few Carnival sailings available for under $750 per person, with most Carnival sailings starting around $800 per person or more for seven nights.

We suspect the lower starting prices for Holland America ships as compared to Carnival ships on Alaska sailings out of Seattle is because Alaska cruises from Seattle are round-trip voyages. Many Holland America fans who cruise to Alaska choose a one-way voyage to or from the state that lets them add extra days for touring in Alaska at the start or end of the voyage. Such one-way voyages only are available out of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Holland America — the longtime leader in Alaska cruises, along with its sister company Princess Cruises — is particularly known for "cruisetours" to Alaska that combine a one-way cruise to or from the state with multiple days touring Alaska by motorcoach and train.

Holland America bases two ships in Seattle for cruises to Alaska: the 2,104-passenger Eurodam and 1,964-passenger Westerdam. Starting prices for both are relatively similar, but we give the nod for the best Alaska cruises from Seattle for budget travelers to Eurodam as it's a somewhat newer vessel.

Best for luxury lovers: Norwegian Encore

alaska cruise round trip vs one way

No luxury-focused cruise ships sail to Alaska out of Seattle. Still, you can get a variation on a luxury cruise experience on a voyage to Alaska from Seattle on Norwegian Cruise Line 's Norwegian Encore.

Yes, the 3,998-passenger Norwegian Encore is a cruise ship that generally caters to the masses, not the luxury crowd. However, it has its own "ship-within-a-ship" luxury zone that offers a much more swanky experience for those willing to pay.

At the top front of the vessel, this private enclave, called The Haven, is home to dozens of upscale suites; a sprawling, two-deck-high pool area; a private lounge and bar; and a private restaurant. Only the deep-pocketed swells who can afford one of the suites get exclusive access to these areas.

The pool area, a true stunner, comes with comfortable padded loungers, a pool and whirlpools. Its retractable glass roof is perfect for cruises to Alaska when the weather is iffy. Guests can enjoy the deck, rain or shine.

If living large is your goal, you're not going to find anything better than this — other than with a cruise on a similar Norwegian vessel that also cruises to Alaska from Seattle. Norwegian Bliss, also based in Washington during the summer, is part of the same Norwegian Breakaway-Plus class of vessels and has a similar Haven enclave.

Related: How to turn a mass-market cruise into a luxury experience

Why did we pick Norwegian Encore over Norwegian Bliss as the ship offering the best Alaska cruises from Seattle for luxury lovers? Built a year after Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Encore offers one big improvement for the upscale crowd as compared to Norwegian Bliss.

On Norwegian Encore, there's a much bigger version of the exclusive, extra-charge Vibe Beach Club sunning area that's on Norwegian Bliss. Home to a full-service bar, cabanas and two hot tubs, the version of the Vibe Beach Club on Norwegian Encore sprawls across both sides of the ship (instead of just one side on Norwegian Bliss) and extends upward to a partial deck above. It's just $99 or more per day to get in.

It's yet one more stylish and upscale area for cruisers looking for an upgraded experience to retreat.

Note that there is one other option for upscale Alaska cruises out of Seattle: A voyage on Oceania Cruises ' 684-passenger Regatta. While Oceania isn't considered a luxury line on the level of Silversea Cruises or Seabourn Cruise Line , it has an elegant feel. That said, given the ship's age (it dates to 1998) and limited venues, we're still in the camp that favors a Haven stay on a Norwegian ship.

Best for solo travelers: Norwegian Bliss

alaska cruise round trip vs one way

Norwegian Encore and Norwegian Bliss are also our top picks for ships operating the best Alaska cruises from Seattle for solo travelers. Between these two, it's a tossup, though we put Norwegian Bliss in the headline above since, well, we already gave Norwegian Encore a turn in the limelight with the best-for-luxury category.

Notably, both Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Encore boast large private zones for solo travelers — something you won't find on any other cruise ship sailing out of Seattle. It's a hallmark of Norwegian's newest and biggest ships.

On each of the ships, the "studio" zones, as Norwegian calls them, are made up of 82 special solo cabins and a private Studio Lounge where solos can gather for happy hours and other events. Only the studio zone on Norwegian's 2010-built Norwegian Epic is bigger.

Passengers staying in solo cabins get exclusive access to the Studio Lounge (using their keycards), meaning a maximum of 82 people will share the space.

A special zone for solo travelers is a rare concept in the cruise world, where almost all rooms for vacationers are designed for two people and sold with per-person fares that are based on two people occupying the room.

The solo cabins in the studio zones are small (measuring 100 square feet) but are superbly designed to maximize storage space (something I learned firsthand staying in one on Norwegian Epic).

Related: The best cruise lines for solo travelers

Solo passengers on Norwegian Encore and Norwegian Bliss will also find a sometimes rollicking bar scene, with plenty of counter-style seating in bars that are a great place to meet other solo travelers and friendly guests. We recommend the Sugarcane Mojito Bar on Norwegian Bliss. There, the bartender will muddle your mojitos with raspberry, guava, passion fruit or even jalapeno pepper to spice things up when you're sitting with your new solo friends.

One warning if you're considering booking one of the solo cabins: They've become so popular that they often sell out far in advance and at prices that aren't much better than booking a cabin for two.

Best for multigenerational travel: Discovery Princess

alaska cruise round trip vs one way

Looking for the best Alaska cruise from Seattle if you're bringing three generations of your family along for the ride? We can think of nothing better than a voyage on one of the two Princess Cruises ships that sail out of the city, the 3,660-passenger Discovery Princess and 3,560-passenger Royal Princess.

Both ships are almost identical, but we give Discovery Princess the edge only because it's newer than Royal Princess. The two vessels were built in 2022 and 2013, respectively.

Princess has long been heralded as one of the best cruise lines for multigenerational travel, in part because its ships offer a little something for travelers of all ages.

Unlike the Royal Caribbean and Norwegian ships mentioned above, the two Princess ships sailing from Seattle don't have top decks heavily skewed to family fun. Instead, their top decks offer lots of quiet and relaxing pool and lounge areas where you can enjoy the experience of being at sea without much hustle and bustle.

That makes these ships more appealing to an older demographic that doesn't necessarily want to be on a vessel that's loaded to the gills with children's fun zones and the younger family travelers drawn to that. Notably, the average age of Princess passengers is around 57, and you'll usually see many couples on board in their 50s, 60s and 70s.

Still, unlike some lines that cater to an older crowd, Princess doesn't ignore the children's market. Both Discovery Princess and Royal Princess offer an extensive children's program that gets high marks from parents, with dedicated Discovery Channel-themed Camp Discovery areas where counselors supervise free activities daily for children ages 3 to 17.

When sailing to Alaska, these ships also offer other kid-friendly events, such as Puppies on Princess, when dog mushers and their newest sled dogs come on board for meet-and-greets (and photos!). In partnership with the Discovery Channel and Glacier Bay National Park, the line also adds such kid-friendly fun during Alaska sailings as a Junior Ranger Program, totem pole decorating and a "Deadliest Catch-"themed crab sorting challenge.

In addition, an onboard Klondike Festival brings added family entertainment, including gold nugget arts and crafts projects, a naturalist exhibition, harmonica music classes and North to Alaska dance performances.

In short, Princess provides an Alaska product specifically designed to appeal to a wide age range. It's the line you take if you want an affordable ship that'll appeal to your 70-year-old parents as much as your 12-year-old kid.

Best for retirees: Westerdam

alaska cruise round trip vs one way

The best Alaska cruises out of Seattle for retirees, in our view, are the sailings offered by Holland America on both the 1,964-passenger Westerdam and 2,104-passenger Eurodam. We give Westerdam the slight edge for reasons we will explain below.

While Holland America draws some families with younger children, the passengers on its ships skew heavily toward middle-aged and older travelers, including many retirees. If you're nearing or already have hit retirement age and prefer to travel mostly with people who are at a similar stage in life as you, you'll feel right at home on a Holland America ship.

The top decks of Holland America vessels, notably, lack many of the kid-focused attractions found on the top decks of more family-focused ships operated by the likes of Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Norwegian. That often keeps families with younger kids from booking the ships.

What you will find on the top decks of both Eurodam and Westerdam are more serene sunning areas with pools and whirlpools. Depending on your travel style, that might be all you need.

Related: The best cruises for seniors who love to travel

Both Eurodam and Westerdam mostly sail seven-night trips to Alaska out of Seattle. However, for 2024, Westerdam has added an epic new 28-night Alaska itinerary out of Seattle that will include calls in remote areas that most cruise ships never visit. The new itinerary is one reason we give Westerdam the edge among ships when rating the best Alaska cruises out of Seattle for seniors.

It's the sort of itinerary that specifically appeals to retirees with the time (and money) to book such a long trip.

Westerdam is also a slightly smaller ship than Eurodam, and as a result, its demographics on any given sailing are more likely to skew toward a retired crowd. To the extent that families with younger kids book Holland America ships, they are more likely to book one of its larger vessels.

In addition to Eurodam and Rotterdam, two other good choices for retirees considering Alaska cruises out of Seattle are the two Princess ships that sail on such itineraries: Royal Princess and Discovery Princess. Like the Holland America ships, they aren't loaded with kid-focused attractions that draw families.

Bottom line

Nearly a dozen major cruise ships operate Alaska cruises out of Seattle during the summer months, giving cruisers plenty of choice.

What is the best Alaska cruise from Seattle for you? That'll depend on your personal interests and travel style because there are cruises from Seattle that appeal to everyone, including family travelers, budget travelers and retirees.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

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alaska cruise round trip vs one way

I've Taken More Than 20 Alaska Cruises, but I've Never Been More Impressed by My Most Recent Trip — Here's Why

A s Alaska works to bring its Indigenous cultures to the fore, cruise passengers can expect more engaging experiences, on land and at sea.

I was having a fangirl moment at Saxman Native Village. Master artist Nathan Jackson had put down his chisel and was taking a break from carving a totem pole to chat with me and my husband. Jackson, a member of the Chilkoot-Tlingit tribe, has been carving for more than 60 years, and today his red cedar creations are exhibited in museums around the world. Yet there we were, just outside the city of Ketchikan, getting a private audience with the man himself.

Every year, millions of people go to Alaska for the chance to watch a startlingly blue glacier shed a house-size chunk of ice, or to witness pods of humpback whales breaching. But getting to know the state through descendants of its original inhabitants has, historically, been more difficult.

I’ve taken more than 20 cruises through southeastern Alaska, navigating often thronged ports to suss out interesting adventures, such as snorkeling in the chilly Pacific or learning to make salmon chowder. I was still surprised, given how popular Alaska cruises are these days, to have an intimate chat with somebody like Jackson on a cruise excursion — particularly one from our ship, the Holland America Line Westerdam, which can accommodate nearly 2,000 guests.

But momentum is building around Alaska Native tourism . One big step came this year, when information about the state’s 229 tribes and 20 distinctive cultures appeared in a special section of Alaska’s official tourism brochure for the first time.

Another marker of progress is the inclusion of a permanent seat for an Indigenous person on the board of the Alaska Travel Industry Association, a nonprofit. Both efforts were led by Camille Ferguson, an Indigenous tourism expert and economic development director for the Sitka Tribe of Alaska.

“I’m the one that stirred up the pot,” said Ferguson, who is Tlingit, when we met over lunch in the town of Sitka, a popular port for cruise ships. “The state did not have a connection to make sure they were doing it right, which is very essential when you are talking about cultural tourism.”

Alongside her community, Ferguson has worked to “enhance the narrative,” she explained. For example, Tribal Tours , an operator owned by the Sitka Tribe of Alaska, makes a point of developing excursions in partnership with Indigenous elders, who help shape the commentary. “I look at the forest in a different way,” Ferguson said. “You might say, ‘There’s a spruce tree.’ I look at it as the means of creating the basketry that was woven for collecting berries.”

During my visit aboard the Westerdam, I explored Sealaska Heritage , a Native institution in Juneau, accompanied by a cultural interpreter, John Lawrence. Together with a small group, we toured a re-creation of a 19th-century clan house while Lawrence marveled at the fact that schoolchildren in the state capital today take classes in Native languages. That wasn’t an option back when Lawrence was growing up, so he only knows a few words of Tlingit and Haida, the tongues of his parents.

I also had the chance to see how Sealaska Heritage has recently expanded its reach, having raised a dozen totem poles along the Juneau waterfront with funding from the Mellon Foundation. The 12 cedar artifacts, many of which stand alongside the city’s cruise port, were hewn by Haida, Tlingit, and Tsimshian artisans.

Cruise visitors can even learn about Native culture without leaving the ship. These days, brands including American Cruise Lines , Cunard , Holland America Line, and Lindblad Expeditions have agreements with the Indigenous-owned company Alaska Native Voices for onboard cultural seminars and performances. For its part, Holland America plans to do more cultural storytelling in 2024, working in partnership with Sealaska Heritage, says Bill Prince, the company’s vice president of entertainment.

Alaska Native people I spoke with were encouraged by the shift. “This is totem-pole country,” said Tommy Joseph, a master artist who carves and repairs totems at Sitka National Historical Park. “It’s part of our culture, and there’s a whole lot to it. A totem pole is a visual tool for telling a story: our history.”

Seven-day Alaska sailings with Holland America Line from $649 per person. 

A version of this story first appeared in the December 2023/January 2024 issue of Travel + Leisure under the headline “The New Wave."

For more Travel & Leisure news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on Travel & Leisure .

Courtesy of Holland America Line The Holland America Line Westerdam in Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve.

One way vs. Round trip

By Magic Hands , March 30, 2010 in Alaska

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Cool Cruiser

Magic Hands

Hello! We are planning an Alaskan cruise and are trying to decide if it is worth paying the extra money to fly in/out of 2 different cities in order to do the one way cruise? It is cheaper to do the round trip for airfare, but are we missing out on some ports of call that would be worth it? Thanks!

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3,000+ Club

Assateague Island Princes

I'd only do the one-way if I had the extra time to spend on land once in Alaska (an additional 5-7 days would be ideal). Heck, you're already there - make it worth your while!

Or if you have 14 days, check out HAL's 14 day sailings on the Amsterdam - roundtrip from Seattle. It includes the "new" ports of Anchorage (yes, actually sailing up Cook Inlet to the city itself!), Kodiak and Homer, as well as the other usual suspects plus both Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay. I'm on the May 31st sailing - yay! I also understand that Princess is running a 14 day roundtrip, but didn't find the ports as appealing as the HAL itinerary. Both provide an excellent product in Alaska.

Whatever you decide - be prepared to be blown away by the beauty of Alaska! You'll be back, I guarantee it!;)

I forgot to mention we are planning to spend up to 5 days on land as well.

5,000+ Club

Texas Tillie

If you're going to spend time on land (in Alaska) then you have to do a one way. The round trips are all from Seattle or Vancouver - so the only land trip you could do with those would be Washington State and/or British Columbia.

I've done the land trip twice before a southbound cruise and a southbound once with just the night before in Anchorage. Continental has a nonstop from IAH to Anchorage. Also check on the prices for the return ticket from both Vancouver and Seattle. I haven't checked this year, but in the past it was cheaper to take the cruiseline's bus transfer from Vancouver to Sea-Tac and fly back to IAH from there than fly from Vancouver directly.

Oh if you've got the time, Magic Hands, to do 5 days on land - then definitely a one-way!!! And consider sailing from Vancouver to get the great extra scenery that you would miss the first day out of Seattle. Easy enough to get to Vancouver from Seattle - train, rental car, etc., so you don't need to pay the additional airfare that sometimes is necessary when flying to VAN vs. SEA.

I'd certainly do my own self-planned land tour for Alaska versus a cruisetour. Pick an area to concentrate on that meets your interests - Denali or Seward/Homer area, and then pack it w/all the activities that interest you. Realize that your travel time needs to be figured in to getting to and from Denali to/from Seward (or Whittier) where your ship will disembark or embark for the cruise portion. Sometimes newbies think that Denali is right around the corner, and then realize the driving time can be killer if planned in one very long day. If you do the land portion first, plan your trip from Anchorage either south to Seward/Homer or north to Denali - perhaps staying in bed and breakfasts, cabins or small guest houses rather than hotels to soak up the true Alaskan flavor. If you're adventuresome, you might consider renting an RV for the land portion of your trip. So many options, so little time! Do a search on the Alaska threads for land tour planning, etc. for more ideas and suggestions. The fine folks on these boards will be more than happy to share their expertise and offer excellent suggestions.

Have a wonderful trip!

timetravler

timetravler

Choose the cruise that goes to Glacier bay as the number one reason to do a one way cruise. I'm doing a Princess cruise (one way) that goes to both glacier bay and Hubbard glacier this summer. That was what was most important to me. Also if you choose a cruise that ends in Vancouver, or starts there, you can save a bundle by flying out of Seattle instead. You can either rent a car in Vancouver or take a bus to Seattle. Hundreds of dollars will be saved for a family if you do this.

10,000+ Club

I enjoyed our independent land trips as much as the one-way cruises, if not more. I also enjoyed my one roundtrip out of Seattle, and enjoyed our pre and post-cruise stays in Seattle as much as the Alaska cruise.

I hope to return to Alaska in 2011, and I would consider land-only as well as land + cruise. I have done two northbound cruises, so next time I would like to try a southbound cruise.

We did the one way to Whittier and stayed in Anchorage for 4 days. We rented a car and explored the area doing several day trips. We all agreed that was the best part of our trip. I'm spoiled now, I don't think I could do a round trip.

When doing your airfare pricing, make sure to price out "multi-city" pricing. It is usually not that much different than a round trip. In fact I have often found it to be a little less on some occasions. Rarely will two round trips be cheaper, but even on a rare occasion I have found that to be true. Study all your options. Use a site like kayak to help you find some options. Best to book through the airline direct. But these search sites are very helpful to steer you in the right direction

Momma Mojito

Momma Mojito

We are going to be Anchorage for two days before our cruise. Could you tell me what we shouldn't miss seeing or doing. Should we rent a car? Thanks

50,000+ Club

Budget Queen

There is a wide range of touring options. And certainly even with a round trip Alaska cruise, time can be spent in Washington, BC etc for a fantastic time. :)

In my opinion, 5 days is the absolute min. for an interior Alaska add on "tour". Then Denali Park- which is a definate very popular highlight, and Seward can be toured. :)

This is a very short timeframe.

Your options may be to spend the time on a Prince William Sound boat tour, and take the Alaska RR, to Anchorage, day of disembarkment, then day tour Anchorage.'

OR, get yourself direct to Seward from Whittier, with an overnight. Can involve significant costs- but I am always one to see the "costs" of time, just as significant in making the most of any trip.

You have further decisions to make and homework to do. Find out where YOUR interests are and what you are willing to plan-and spend, to do them.

There is almost an endless list of what not to "miss". A significant factor is also your flight time.

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

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alaska cruise round trip vs one way

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  1. Round Trip vs. One-way Alaska Cruises

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  2. One-way Alaska Cruise vs. Round-trip: Which is Best?

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  3. One-way Alaska cruises vs. round-trip: Which is best?

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  4. Round Trip vs. One-way Alaska Cruises

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COMMENTS

  1. Round Trip vs. One-way Alaska Cruises

    The main benefit of round-trip Alaska cruises is the convenience of departing from and returning to the same port, which can be convenient for travelers who prefer not to deal with one-way ...

  2. What's Better for Alaska Cruises: Round-Trips or One-Way Voyages?

    On one-way cruises, you'll usually see more Alaskan ports than you can on a round-trip sailing because instead of spending the last few days doubling back to your origin port, you spend that time sailing deeper into the state. So with one-way cruises, you'll usually see the same places as on a round-trip voyage, including either Sawyer or ...

  3. One-way Alaska cruises vs. round-trip: Which is best?

    Alaska's incredible scenery, epic glaciers, and wildlife make it a popular choice for many cruisers. With cruise lines offering such a wide selection of itineraries, it can be tough to figure out which is the best choice for your Alaska cruise vacation. One-way and round-trip cruises are two major categories of Alaska cruises that offer different benefits.

  4. One-way Alaska cruises vs. round-trip: Which is best?

    Round-trip Alaska cruises tend to be more affordable than one-way sailings on a total trip cost basis. The voyages leave from and return to the same port, making it easier for passengers to drive ...

  5. Alaska cruise guide: Best itineraries, planning tips and things to do

    Related: One-way Alaska cruises vs. round-trip: Which is best? Longer sailings from the West Coast. Finally, you'll find some round-trip San Francisco itineraries — usually 10 or 11 nights long — as well as longer sailings between San Francisco and Vancouver. These cruises are best suited to travelers who love days at sea.

  6. One-way Alaska cruises vs. round-trip: Which is best?

    Round-trip Alaska cruises. Several large cruise ships docked in Skagway, Alaska. JOHN ELK/GETTY IMAGES. Round-trip Alaska cruises tend to be more affordable than one-way sailings on a total trip cost basis. The voyages leave from and return to the same port, making it easier for passengers to drive to the ship or to save money with round-trip ...

  7. Which Alaska Cruise Itinerary is Best For You? 2024 Guide

    Round-Trip vs. One-Way Alaska Cruise Itineraries. When planning your Alaska cruise, one of the first decisions you'll need to make is whether to opt for a round-trip or a one-way itinerary. Each has its own set of advantages and considerations. Round-Trip Itineraries: Convenience: These cruises start and end in the same port. Usually, Seattle ...

  8. The best Alaska cruise for every type of traveler

    Royal Caribbean's 20-year-old ship Radiance of the Seas mainly sails weeklong, one-way cruises between Vancouver and Seward, Alaska, with prices below $100 per person, per night, for inside and outside cabins on many departures. However, its late-season September 2024 sailing from Seward to Vancouver is the cheapest Royal Caribbean Alaska ...

  9. What to Consider When Booking an Alaska Cruise

    Round-trip itineraries are also geographically limited to the Inside Passage, while one-way itineraries cross the Gulf of Alaska and offer additional scenic cruising in College Fjord or Hubbard Glacier. Travelers who are interested in touring Southcentral and Interior Alaska by land before or after their cruise should book a one-way itinerary.

  10. One-way Alaska cruises vs. round-trip: Which is greatest?

    With regards to aspirational locations, Alaska tops the listing for a lot of vacationers. As a result of factors of curiosity inside the forty ninth state might be troublesome to achieve, Alaska cruises provide among the finest methods to see a number of locations in a single journey. Nonetheless, it may be complicated to

  11. Alaska cruise round trip vs. one-way

    4. Re: Alaska cruise round trip vs. one-way. 5 years ago. The main reason to do a one way is because you can visit more places/ports vs. going back to the same departure port which will take up half of the cruise ml. We did a one way cruise from Vancouver to Seward as first experience in Alaska and it was great.

  12. Alaska Cruise: Round Trip or One-Way?

    There are several options when it comes to an Alaska cruise. Determining what is the right option for you depends on what sights you want to see and experie...

  13. Round Trip or One Way?

    On 6/29/2021 at 5:28 AM, Qwltngcruiser said: a round trip that does hit Hubbard Glacier, If you have no/little interest in seeing more of Alaska than along the coast, I would choose the round trip that includes Hubbard as well as Glacier Bay. That way, you will experience two of the best glacier areas that cruises visit.

  14. Alaska Cruises: Benefits and Drawbacks of Round-Trip vs. One-Way

    No matter which cruise company passengers choose to go with, Alaska's untamed fjords, snow-capped mountains, and rocky shoreline provide a beautiful ... Reading: Alaska Cruises: Benefits and Drawbacks of Round-Trip vs. One-Way.

  15. One-way Alaska cruises vs. round-trip: Which is greatest?

    When it comes to aspirational destinations, Alaska tops the list for many travelers. Because points of interest within the 49th state can be difficult to reach, Alaska cruises offer one of the best ways to see several places in one trip. Still, it can be confusing to choose the right itinerary, particularly if you're

  16. Alaska cruise. Round trip vs one way? : r/Cruise

    1 way will take you further north. Alaska for most of my clients is a bucket list type of trip. If you're considering 1 way because of the reduced cost go round trip. Or take an Alaskan cruise tour fully guided. They range from 10 to 14 days and combine a 7 day cruise with a 3 to 7 day over land adventure. If you have to cash to do the cruise ...

  17. The best cruises to Alaska from Seattle for every type of traveler

    We suspect the lower starting prices for Holland America ships as compared to Carnival ships on Alaska sailings out of Seattle is because Alaska cruises from Seattle are round-trip voyages. Many Holland America fans who cruise to Alaska choose a one-way voyage to or from the state that lets them add extra days for touring in Alaska at the start ...

  18. I've Taken More Than 20 Alaska Cruises, but I've Never Been More ...

    I was still surprised, given how popular Alaska cruises are these days, to have an intimate chat with somebody like Jackson on a cruise excursion — particularly one from our ship, the Holland ...

  19. Alaska one way or round-trip plus a few other questions. : r/Cruise

    One of the nice things about the Alaska cruise is that everything is close. You don't have to walk far and wide to see things. The cruise itself is close in to the mountains and other scenery so get a balcony room. It's the one cruise were you ABSOLUTELY have to have a balcony to sit and watch it all go by. Then there are the stops: Ketchican.

  20. One way vs. Round trip

    Hello! We are planning an Alaskan cruise and are trying to decide if it is worth paying the extra money to fly in/out of 2 different cities in order to do the one way cruise? It is cheaper to do the round trip for airfare, but are we missing out on some ports of call that would be worth it? Thanks!

  21. Itinerary help

    139 posts. Itinerary help. Jun 26, 2024, 6:35 AM. hi, I have few questions on following itinerary for our first trip to Alaska, We are two adults who love train journeys and scenic driving. Aug 6th - land in Anchorage, stay in Anchorage 2 nights. Aug 7th - explore anchorage downtown , rest. Aug 8th - Denali star to Denali, stay in Denali 2 nights.