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
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+44 1756 706500
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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.

Glaciers

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 2018 / 2019 / 2020

Alaska

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

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  • Glaciers and Gold

    7 Nights - Vancouver to Whittier

    Crystal Symphony Crystal Symphony

    Experience the stunning landscapes and spectacular wildlife of Alaska, from the famous Inside Passage to the beautiful capital of Juneau, on this 7-night luxury cruise on board Crystal Symphony 2019 - Jun, Jul, Sep Book now and save with superb early booking discounts!

    Inside Passage Cruise Only
    From £1717pp
    View Full Details

  • Discover Alaska by Luxury Cruise

    7 Nights - Vancouver to Seward

    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

    Alaska Cruise Only
    From £3300pp
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  • Alaska and the Inside Passage

    11 Nights - Vancouver to Seward

    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 2020 - Jun, Jul, Aug Save £500pp PLUS free gratuities!

    Vancouver Fly Cruise Package
    From £3925pp
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  • Alaska to Canada

    17 Nights - Nome to Vancouver

    Roald Amundsen Roald Amundsen

    This 17-night Alaska expedition cruise from Nome to Vancouver explores the magnificent Inside Passage and the famous Aleutian Islands. Includes overnight hotel stay in Vancouver 2019 - Sep Special early booking savings PLUS exclusive £100pp discount!

    Ketchikan Cruise Only
    From £4202pp
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  • Deluxe Alaska Cruise and Rocky Mountaineer Train

    17 Nights - Calgary to Vancouver

    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 2019 - May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep

    Alaska Fly Cruise Package
    From £4649pp
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  • Alaska Cruise and Rockies Tour

    19 Nights - Calgary to Vancouver

    Volendam Volendam

    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

    Banff National Park Fly Cruise Package
    From £4995pp
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  • Luxury Alaska and Rocky Mountaineer

    17 Nights - Calgary to Vancouver

    Seven Seas Mariner Seven Seas Mariner

    Discover the awe-inspiring natural beauty of Alaska and the Rocky Mountains on this luxury 17-night cruise and stay holiday, including two days aboard the famous Rocky Mountaineer and hotel stays in Calgary, Banff, Kamloops and Vancouver, plus return flights from the UK and private overseas transfers 2019 - May Exclusive Blue Water Package including 2-day GoldLeaf Service Rocky Mountaineer tour and hotel stays in Calgary, Banff, Kamloops and Vancouver

    Banff Fly Cruise Package
    From £6799pp
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  • North Pacific Passage

    24 Nights - Tokyo to Vancouver

    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 free gratuities!

    Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo Fly Cruise Package
    From £7195pp
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  • Rockies Explorer and Alaska Cruise

    19 Nights - Vancouver and Back

    Volendam Volendam

    Enjoy a 9-night luxury tour of Canada including 2 days on the famous Rocky Mountaineer followed by a 7-night cruise through Alaska's stunning Inside Passage, with return flights from the UK and overseas transfers 2019 - Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug Exclusive £200pp discount!

    Banff Fly Cruise Package
    From £7795pp
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  • Rockies and Alaskan Wilderness Adventure

    18 Nights - Vancouver to Seward

    Seven Seas Mariner Seven Seas Mariner

    This once-in-a-lifetime luxury holiday combines an 11-night land tour through the breathtaking Rockies, including two days on board the famous Rocky Mountaineer, with a 7-night all-inclusive cruise taking in the legendary Inside Passage, plus return flights from the UK and private overseas transfers 2019 - Jun, Jul Exclusive Blue Water Package!

    Vancouver Fly Cruise Package
    From £10995pp
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  • Northeast Passage Expedition

    28 Nights - Tromso to Nome

    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 Exclusive £100pp Blue Water Discount!

    Cruise close to walruses Cruise Only
    From £16880pp
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  • Across the Northwest Passage

    23 Nights - Kangerlussuaq to Nome

    Scenic Eclipse Scenic Eclipse

    Embark on a luxury expedition cruise through the legendary Northwest Passage on board brand-new Scenic Eclipse and discover dramatic fjords, see fascinating wildlife and enjoy encounters with Inuit communities. Includes hotel stays in Copenhagen and Anchorage, return flights from the UK, exciting Zodiac outings and the chance to enjoy thrilling submarine and helicopter excursions 2020 - Aug FREE private door-to-door transfers and complimentary hotel stay!

    Anchorage Fly Cruise Package
    From £20395pp
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  • In the Wake of Pioneers

    14 Nights - Nome to Vancouver

    Le Soleal Le Soleal

    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

    Sitka, Alaska View Full Details

  • Luxury Northwest Passage Expedition

    22 Nights - Kangerlussuaq to Nome

    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

    Ilulisaat, Greenland View Full Details

Alaska Highlights

Anchorage

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)

Anchorage

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

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

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

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

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)

Alaska
Land Tours

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 Land Tours

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.

Rocky Mountains Land Tours

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
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