Are you ready to set out to see the last frontier in style? If you are like one the thousands of people who will be taking a cruise this summer to Alaska, then take some time to know the top three things you should know before you booking. If you are an informed traveler you will be reaping the benefits everyday you are on vacation. no matter who you end up cruising with to Alaska, you will find your adventure breath taking and full of adventure but there are some things each cruise line does differently which can make or break your Alaskan cruise.
First of all, When you are booking your cruise always get an understanding of where your ship will be in port. I find time and time again that people book cruises with out the full knowledge of where they are really going. Now granted cruise ships will not take you to a port that is unsafe, but they will take you to ports some times that are no where near cities, or even to ports cities that are so small there is nothing for you to do, unless you book a tour. Some times this is true in the case of Alaska.
There are some port cities that ships are going to that are not really worth your time, and other that are much better choices. South East Alaska has many different cruise lines charting through its waters that these cruise companies have to find open ports. Most every ship will stop in Juneau at some time during the inside passage run, but not all of them will stop in major cities like Scagway, or Katchacan. These cities have so much to offer, and I would hope that if you do take a cruise you try to find one that has all three of these cities as ports of call.
Secondly, when you are booking your cruise make sure you will have enough time in the ports of call. In the case for Alaska you should try to find a cruise that stays in the major cities all day. Many people will find that the ship they are on will only port in Juneau for half of the day, which gives you very little time to actually see the sights of the city. Ports such as Juneau and Scagway have so much to do and see that you really want to find a ship that will give you adequate time to see as much as you can. This is more prevalent on Norwegian cruise lines. They offer some of the nicest ships in the inside passage, but they only give half day stays when they port in Juneau. If you do end up booking with NCL it would be more beneficial for you to book a ship that will give you the later part of the day in the port cities.
Lastly, if you are looking to save your money on booking you cruise, your best bet is to book at the end of August and in September. Most people will argue that the best weather you will find in the inside passage is during the summer months of June and July but in the last three years south east Alaska has seen more sun in September than in June and July combined. Since this is more at the end of the Alaska cruise season you will save at least $200 per person, and you will find great souvenir prices in every port of call. Booking your cruise at the right time of the year should always be in the back of your mind when you decide where to go, but in the case of Alaska you will more than likely have a rainy day during your cruise, but do not let this stop you from booking your vacation through this amazing place.