Blue Water Holidays
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
Experts in River and Small Ship Cruising Holidays since 2002
01756 706500 +44 1756 706500
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
01756 706500
+44 1756 706500

Alaska Cruises

Experience spectacular scenery, massive glaciers and amazing wildlife as you explore one of the world's last wilderness areas. Visit historic gold rush towns, catch humpback whales breaching into the ocean, watch soaring bald eagles, spot moose, bears and caribou on land, and see huge tidewater glaciers backed by snow-covered mountains.

The starting point for visits to Alaska is usually Vancouver in Canada, with its stunning bayside setting and a lively cosmopolitan ambience, or Seattle, superbly located in Puget Sound. Since Alaska is in the USA, overseas visitors need an ESTA visa for entry to the USA. The normal cruise length is 8 days – either ‘out and back’ or one-way to or from the ports of Whittier or Seward near Anchorage. It is possible to add land tours which include sections in the Alaska national parks or the Rockies as well as hotel stays and coach or train journeys.

  • See glaciers and mountains from your ship
  • Sailing the Inside Passage - Customer Pic
  • Margerie Glacier, Glacier Bay - Customer Pic
  • Bald eagles are an Alaska sight
  • Humpback whales diving - Customer Pic
  • Vancouver cruise terminal - Customer Pic
  • Float planes are a common sight

About Alaska Cruises

Inside Passage

Journey through the Inside Passage, the coastal waterway extending 1000 miles from Canada, through a maze of bays, fjords and islands on the way to Alaska’s highlights.

Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway

Ketchikan (‘where eagles meet’ – many Bald Eagles are found around here) is noted for its historic Creek Street and large collection of totem poles. From Ketchikan take a floatplane trip to Misty Fjords national monument, perhaps landing on a lake to better experience this wilderness. From Ketchikan follow the Lynn Canal to Alaska’s state capital Juneau. This scenic old gold rush town still boasts its historic and famous saloon bar. From Juneau there are whale watching excursions around the offshore islands, the feeding location of humpback whales, orcas and porpoise. Nearby Mendenhall Glacier gives a first taste of splendours to come. Further along the Lynn Canal is Skagway, with its wooden boardwalks and painted fronted buildings reflecting its gold rush heritage. Follow the route of the gold rush prospectors into the Yukon on the White Horse and Yukon railway.

The less-visited ports of Sitka, Petersburg and Haines are more suited to the smaller ships and feature on fewer itineraries.


Visit the spectacular twin Sawyer Glaciers at the head of the 30-mile long Tracy Arm between Juneau and Ketchikan. The fjord is surrounded by mountains very reminiscent of Norway.

From Skagway a restricted number of ships are permitted to visit the long and narrow Glacier Bay, home to 16 tidewater glaciers, culminating in the Margerie Glacier, over two miles wide and continuously moving – with regular huge cracking and splashing sounds as the glacier ‘calves’ into the sea.

Leaving the Inside Passage for the Gulf of Alaska, it is possible to visit the Hubbard Glacier on the coast at Yakutat Bay. The longest glacier in Alaska – flowing 76 miles from the Yukon – it is 6 miles wide, and one of the few Alaska glaciers which is expanding.

Some options continue across the sea to Prince William Sound and past the many glaciers of College Fjord. Look out for bald eagles or sea lions relaxing on ice floes broken from the glaciers. These itineraries then terminate in either Whittier or Seward, both with connections to Anchorage, Alaska’s largest town.

Wilderness Adventures

From Anchorage the Alaska Railroad makes a scenic journey to Denali National Park and on to Fairbanks in Northern Alaska. Special dome cars gives superb views, and excursions from the lodges at Denali can take you deep into the Park where you may spot grizzly bears, moose, caribou and maybe see Mt McKinley, the USA’s highest peak. Denali can also be reached by road.

Travel Options

Leaving Anchorage or Fairbanks it is usually more convenient to fly to Seattle and then by surface transport to Vancouver. More direct options to the UK are becoming available. Perhaps have a break in Seattle – see Pike Place Market or enjoy its famed coffee, or maybe take the catamaran ferry to Victoria on Vancouver Island. Victoria is ‘more British than Britain’ with English style pubs, a famous Hotel where afternoon tea is served to music, and the renowned Buschart Gardens. From Victoria a bus/ferry journey links to Vancouver, or take a float plane taxi.

Alaska Ships

Small ships are informal in style and more flexible in their exact itinerary. These ships can visit smaller ports and offer a more intimate style with fewer passengers.

Our luxury ships have fewer passengers on board than larger ships but have the facilities and service of a top quality hotel, with dining arrangements to match. Typical of luxury lines visiting Alaska are Silversea, Regent Seven Seas, and Ponant.

Larger ships can only visit the major ports, and get as close as possible to the glaciers and natural attractions. These ships offer more amenities, a choice of restaurants, and provide a wide range of entertainment. Optional excursions at ports cover Alaska's many sightseeing opportunities.

Creek Street, Ketchikan - Customer Pic Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau - Customer Pic Skagway - Customer Pic Hubbard Glacier Alaska scenery Princess ship amongst the glaciers

Cruise Collection


All of our Alaska cruises are shown below. Tick the boxes to filter by date, duration and type.

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  • Voyage of the Glaciers Southbound

    7 Nights - Whittier to Vancouver

    Princess Cruises Ship - Coral Princess Choice of Ships

    This superb voyage from Whittier to Vancouver takes in the mighty Hubbard Glacier, gold rush town of Skagway and Ketchikan, home to the world's oldest collection of totem poles 2018 - May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep

    Voyage of the Glaciers Southbound Cruise Only
    From £749pp
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  • Voyage of the Glaciers Northbound

    7 Nights - Vancouver to Whittier

    Princess Cruises Ship - Star Princess Choice of Ships

    Superb value northbound voyage from Vancouver exploring the stunning vistas of Alaska, with highlights including the famous Inside Passage, awe-inspiring Glacier Bay and picturesque College Fjord 2018 - May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep

    Voyage of the Glaciers Northbound Cruise Only
    From £755pp
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  • Alaska Glaciers and Inside Passage roundtrip from Seattle

    7 Nights - Seattle and back

    Princess Cruises Ship - Ruby Princess Choice of Ships

    This 7-night roundtrip cruise from Seattle explores the magnificent Inside Passage, the Tracy Arm Fjord or Glacier Bay, plus the Alaskan towns of Ketchikan, Skagway and Juneau 2018 - Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep

    Alaska Glaciers and Inside Passage roundtrip from Seattle Cruise Only
    From £765pp
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  • Alaska Glaciers and Coast roundtrip from San Francisco

    10 Nights - San Francisco and back

    Princess Cruises Ship - Grand Princess Grand Princess

    This 10-night roundtrip cruise from San Francisco explores the magnificent Inside Passage, the Tracy Arm Fjord or Glacier Bay, plus the Alaskan towns of Ketchikan, Skagway and Juneau, and Victoria in British Columbia 2018 - May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep

    Alaska Glaciers and Coast roundtrip from San Francisco Cruise Only
    From £1169pp
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  • Glaciers and Gold

    7 Nights - Vancouver to Whittier

    Crystal Cruises Ship - Crystal Symphony Crystal Symphony

    Experience the stunning landscapes and spectacular wildlife of Alaska, from the famous Inside Passage to the breathtaking Glacier Bay, on this 7-night cruise on board luxury ship Crystal Symphony 2018 - Jun

    Glaciers and Gold Cruise Only
    From £2071pp
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  • Discover Alaska by Luxury Cruise

    7 Nights - Vancouver to Seward

    Silversea Ship - Silver Shadow Silver Shadow

    Discover the outstanding natural beauty and pioneering history of Alaska on this luxury voyage from Vancouver to Seward on the luxurious Silver Shadow, taking in the fascinating Gold Rush towns of Juneau and Skagway 2018 - May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep
    Pay in full by 28 Feb 2018 and save 10%!

    Discover Alaska by Luxury Cruise Cruise Only
    From £2880pp
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  • Alaska and the Inside Passage

    11 Nights - Vancouver to Seward

    Viking Ocean Cruises Ship - Viking Orion Viking Orion

    This 10-night Alaska cruise from Vancouver to Seward explores the magnificent Inside Passage and visits the remote towns of Ketchikan, Sitka, Skagway and Juneau. Includes return flights from the UK and shore excursions 2019 - May, Jun, Jul, Aug
    Save £500pp PLUS gratuities included!

    Alaska and the Inside Passage Fly Cruise Package
    From £3925pp
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  • Alaskan Summer

    8 Nights - Vancouver to Seward

    Regent Seven Seas Ship - Seven Seas Mariner Seven Seas Mariner

    Discover the untamed beauty of the Alaskan wilderness, which springs to life during the summer months, on this 7-night all-inclusive luxury cruise on board Seven Seas Mariner, with return flights from the UK and unlimited shore excursions 2018 - May, Jul, Aug

    Alaskan Summer Fly Cruise Package
    From £4379pp
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  • Deluxe Alaska Cruise and Rocky Mountaineer Train

    17 Nights - Calgary to Vancouver

    Titan Hitours Ship - Nieuw Amsterdam Nieuw Amsterdam

    A unique 17-night holiday including a ride on the Rocky Mountaineer train from Jasper through breathtaking scenery to Vancouver, and a cruise taking in the fascinating towns and outstanding natural beauty of Alaska on Nieuw Amsterdam, with return flights from the UK and VIP door-to-door home pick-up service 2018 - May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep
    Save £100pp on selected 2018 departures!

    Deluxe Alaska Cruise and Rocky Mountaineer Train Fly Cruise Package
    From £4399pp
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  • Alaska Voyage and Rocky Mountains Rail Tour

    16 Nights - Calgary to Vancouver

    Titan Hitours Ship - Norwegian Jewel Choice of Ships

    This superb 16-night cruise and land tour showcases the awe-inspiring natural beauty of the Canadian Rockies from the comfort of the famous Rocky Mountaineer, and the ever-changing vistas of Alaska on board Norwegian Jewel, Pearl or Bliss. Includes return flights from the UK and VIP door-to-door home pick-up service 2018 - May, Jun, Aug, Sep

    Alaska Cruise with Rocky Mountains Rail tour Fly Cruise Package
    From £4549pp
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  • Alaska Cruise and Rockies Tour

    19 Nights - Calgary to Vancouver

    APT Premium Cruises Ship - Volendam Choice of Ships

    Combine a tour of Canada's dramatic Rocky Mountains with a 7-night cruise of Alaska' stunning Inside Passage on this premium 19-night cruise and land tour, with return flights from the UK 2018 - Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep
    Save up to £300 per couple!

    Alaska Cruise and Passage Through the Rockies Fly Cruise Package
    From £4645pp
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  • In the Wake of Pioneers

    14 Nights - Nome to Vancouver

    Ponant Luxury Expeditions Ship - Le Boreal Choice of Ships

    Follow in the footsteps of gold miners on this superb luxury expedition to the majestic glaciers, soaring mountains and glistening lakes of Alaska and British Columbia 2018 - Sep
    Save up to 25%!

    In the Wake of Pioneers Cruise Only
    From £6345pp
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  • North Pacific Passage

    24 Nights - Tokyo to Vancouver

    Viking Ocean Cruises Ship - Viking Orion Viking Orion

    Cross the Pacific Ocean from Tokyo to Vancouver on this unique 24-night holiday and uncover the mysteries of Japan, visit remote Russian cities and see mighty glaciers in Alaska's Inside Passage. Includes return flights from the UK and shore excursions 2019 - May
    Save £500pp PLUS gratuities included!

    North Pacific Passage Fly Cruise Package
    From £7195pp
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  • Luxury Northwest Passage Expedition

    22 Nights - Kangerlussuaq to Nome

    Ponant Luxury Expeditions Ship - Le Soleal Le Soleal

    This once-in-a-lifetime luxury expedition voyage on mega-yacht Le Soleal follows in the footsteps of famous Arctic explorers through the legendary Northwest Passage. Includes charter flight from Paris to Kangerlussuaq, and return flight from Nome to Seattle 2018 - Aug

    Luxury Northwest Passage Expedition Cruise Only
    From £11235pp
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  • Northeast Passage Expedition

    28 Nights - Tromso to Nome

    Hapag Lloyd Ship - Bremen Bremen

    Luxurious expedition ship, Bremen, navigates the legendary Northeast Passage, which connects Europe to Asia and takes in the vast wilderness of the Russian Arctic, on this incredible, once-in-a-lifetime expedition. Includes thrilling Zodiac rides and charter flight from Nome to Vancouver 2018 - Aug
    Save 5%!

    Northeast Passage Expedition Cruise Only
    From £16129pp
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  • Rocky Mountain Tour and Alaska Cruise

    16 Nights - Seattle and back

    Titan Hitours Ship - Norwegian Jewel Choice of Ships

    A guided Rocky Mountains coach tour from Calgary via Banff and Kamloops to Seattle is followed by a Seattle roundtrip NCL voyage visiting Alaskan ports and the twin Sawyer Glaciers, ending with a 3-night stay in Vancouver

    Rocky Mountain Tour and Alaska Cruise from Seattle View Full Details

  • Northwest Passage Explorer

    32 Nights - Anchorage to New York

    Crystal Cruises Ship - Crystal Serenity Crystal Serenity

    Follow in the footsteps of intrepid explorers on this once-in-a-lifetime luxury expedition through the unparalleled landscapes of the legendary Northwest Passage, with included Zodiac excursions, enriching lectures and overnight stop in lively New York City
    Book now to save £640pp!

    Northwest Passage Explorer View Full Details

Alaska Highlights


Seward is the southern terminus of the Alaska Railroad. The picturesque harbour with its colorful wood-frame houses and background of soaring cliffs looks out on Resurrection Bay. From downtown Anchorage you can view two active volcanoes, the highest point on the continent of North America (Mount McKinley), and six major mountain ranges.

Anchorage (Seward, Alaska)


The small town of Whittier sits below the Chugach Mountains and is the gateway to the spectacular Prince William Sound, Blackstone Glacier and the city of Anchorage 60 miles away via the new Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel. On arrival, the waterfront facilities include restaurants, shops and cafes. Prince William Sound is one of the world's most scenic areas of tidewater glaciers, stretching for 3000 miles and supporting large populations of migratory birds and marine life.

Anchorage (Whittier, Alaska)

College Fjord

At the northern end of the Inside Passage, College Fjord has some of the best glacial scenery on the Alaskan coast. There are five tidewater glaciers which calve large chunks of ice into the sea, and dozens of smaller ones named after Ivy League colleges by the Harriman Expedition which discovered College Fjord in 1899. In the summer, humpback whales feed in the waters.

Denali National Park

Denali National Park and Preserve is a sub-arctic wilderness area of 6 million acres dominated by 20,000-foot Mt McKinley, North America's highest peak. Crossed by broad rivers and lakes and with hardy plant life, the scenery is spectacular. The variety of wildlife which can be spotted includes grizzly and black bears, moose, wolves, golden eagles, snowshoe hares and dall sheep.

Denali National Park (Alaska)

Glacier Bay

A Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Glacier Bay National Park protects a unique ecosystem of plants and animals within a changing glacial landscape of deep-water fjords, freshwater lakes, all backed by the snow-capped mountains of Mount St Elias. When ice blocks tumble from the glacier into the sea the sound is like thunder and the impact shoots water hundreds of feet into the air. Glacier Bay has more actively calving tidewater glaciers than anywhere else in the world.

Glacier Bay (Alaska)

Hubbard Glacier

The 76-mile long Hubbard Glacier is the longest tidewater glacier on the American continent, and is one of Alaska's few advancing glaciers. 'White Thunder' is the Tlingit name for its creaks and groans as it calves huge ice blocks into the sea and moves forward. Its sheer edges rise up to 400ft above the sea and 300ft below, and ice floes carry along resting seals and sea otters.

Hubbard Glacier (Alaska)


Juneau is the capital of Alaska, and has the Alaska State Museum, rustic shops and excellent restaurants, but it is the scenery which is the main attraction. Located at the foot of grand mountain peaks on the Gastineau Channel, the massive, 12-mile long Mendenhall Glacier and the immense Juneau Icefields are at Juneau's back door. Inland is the lush Tongass National Forest, and the Mt. Roberts Tramway which takes passengers up to mountain hiking trails.

Juneau (Alaska)


Ketchikan is situated inside Tongass National Forest, and its charming wooden boardwalk, Creek Street, is one of America's finest, housing restaurants and galleries exhibiting work from local artists. The town is known for its totems, and Totem Bight State Park and Saxman Village give interesting insights into traditional native culture. Misty Fjords National Monument is a pristine stretch of saltwater surrounded by towering cliffs and waterfalls where the wildlife includes black bear, mountain goats, killer whales and porpoises.

Ketchikan (Alaska)


Sitka began as a Tlingit Indian village. It has a distinctive Onion-domed church, St Michael's Orthodox cathedral, a reminder of the days when Sitka was a Russian fur-trading port. Totems line the trail through Sitka National Historic Park. Its gift shops sell native arts and crafts and Russian giftware and restaurants serve up a varied cuisine, including Russian, Mexican, Italian and Chinese. The coast is the habitat of hump-back whales, sea otters and puffins, and brown bears are a common sight on land.


Skagway is a busy port at the northern end of the Inside Passage, well-known for the historic Klondike Gold Rush National Park, the Arctic Brotherhood Hall, decorated with driftwood and founded by gold prospectors, and the White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad. The route climbs 3000 feet in 26 miles and was carved out of the mountains to serve the Gold Rush during 1898 in a remarkable feat of engineering. The Klondike National Park has restored buildings housing lively saloons and dance halls harking back to the Gold Rush era.

Skagway (Alaska)

Tracy Arm

The long fjord of Tracy Arm is one of Alaska's major sights, dominated by the twin, blue-tinged Sawyer Glaciers which calve large chunks of ice into the fjord with dramatic effect. Seals bask on large icebergs, and kittiwakes, Arctic terns, seals and sometimes humpback whales can be spotted, along with bears and mountain goats which live around the granite canyons, waterfalls and forest where the ice has retreated.

Tracy Arm (Sawyer Glacier, Alaska)

Land Tours

Alaska Landtours

There are two main options for land tours. One option is to go further north from Anchorage in Alaska into the National Parks. Most common is a tour into Denali National Park, perhaps including a tour into the wilderness to see mooose, caribou and perhaps a brown bear. The other main option is to include a Rocky Mountain tour across the Rockies calling at scenic highlights en route.

Wilderness Landtours

These tours are ofen integrated into the itinerary, but Princess and Holland America specialise in tour add ons to their one-way cruises between an Anchorage port and Vancouver.

Step off the Princess Voyage of the Glaciers at Whittier, south of Anchorage and onto a Direct to the Wilderness train. On these Wilderness Land Tours stay in Princess's custom built lodges with waterside locations, superb views, and a range of dining venues. A wide range of excursions is available ' wilderness tours in search of bears, moose and caribou or perhaps white-water rafting.

On some itineraries the Direct to the Wilderness rail service with its glass domed observation cars travels through superb scenery all the way between Anchorage and Fairbanks ' you may see beaver dams and salmon in the rivers. Often stay at Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge overlooking the Nenana River. A two-night option here give a full day to explore the wilderness on an optional excursion.

Many tours travel across the Park to Mount McKinley Princess Lodge with views of North America's highest mountain ' 'Denali' in the local language. Tour options include a continuation to Fairbanks in central Alaska for a stay on the banks of the Chena River.

Overlooking the Kenai River, the Kenai Princess Lodge is a wilderness retreat deep in an emerald forest whose guest bungalows feature wood burning stoves. Alternative tours can travel to Copper River Princess Lodge set amongst the spectacular mountain scenery of Wrangell-St Elias, the US largest National Park.

Anchorage visits may include a hotel night and time to explore Alaska's largest town. These tours are normally also available pre-crusie for southbound Whittier to Vancouver itineraries.

Click the on link to download the Princess Cruise land tours pdf.

Rocky Mountains Landtours

From Vancouver or Seattle, a popular choice is a Canadian Rockies land tour. Some include the luxury of the Rocky Mountaineer Train and domed observation cars. There is a choice of accommodation ' 3-4 star hotels, or renowned word-class mountain resorts such as the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Many tours travel the Rockies between Calgary and Vancouver.

typical itinerary starts from Calgary and its authentic western feel, travelling to Banff National Park with sights such as Bow Falls, Surprise Corner and the Hoodoos. Enjoy the blue waters of Moraine Lake and travel into Yoho National Park, perhaps for stay at Chateau Lake Louise. Tour stunning scenery then into Jasper National Park along the Colombia Icefields Parkway to the Athabasca Glacier.

At Jasper some tours board the Rocky Mountaineer Train to Kamloops. View the natural wonders of Pyramid Falls and Little Hell's Gate. Continue on the Rocky Mountaineer through Thompson and Fraser River Canyons to reach Vancouver for a city tour and overnight before joining the cruise.

Alternative routes may travel to Sun Peaks or the famous mountain resort of Whistler. Some tours may cross to Vancouver Island to visit Victoria and its renowned Bushart Gardens.

Direct to the Wilderness train Denali National Park Wilderness Tour Fairmont Chateau, Lake Louise, Rockies Rocky Mountaineer train through the Rockies Bears salmon fishing in an Alaska river A shy moose in Denali National Park