Best Alaska Cruises 2023

Our comprehensive guide to Best Alaska Cruises 2023 includes our picks for the best Alaska cruise ships and itineraries of the year.

Majestic Princess Alaska Cruise Review

There is no better time than now to start planning the ultimate Alaska cruise. If you are looking to book that bucket list cruise, we have put together our list of the Best Alaska Cruises 2023.

Even if you are not planning to book your trip of a lifetime this year, our list will give you a good starting point to begin researching your vacation for next year.

Considerations for Best Alaska Cruises 2023

When picking your Alaska cruise, there are a few considerations:

  • Alaska cruise budget
  • Alaska cruise departure point
  • Alaska cruise itinerary
  • Your travel party

Your cruise budget will be the primary factor into determining which of the best Alaska Cruises 2023 you pick. The list ranges from family-friendly cruise lines to more all-inclusive, luxury cruise lines. Of course, even within a cruise line, the price can vary based on time of year you travel, the type of cruise cabin you pick, and other factors.

Along the same lines, you will want to consider your travel party. The selections for best Alaska cruises 2023 vary in terms of ship size and amenities. If you are cruising with kids or a multi-generational family, you will want to ensure the ship has activities that will interest everyone. Yes, Alaska cruises are a great vacation for the whole family!

Another key factor when deciding on an Alaska cruise is the departure point. Are you looking for a roundtrip itinerary or a one-way itinerary? Most roundtrip itineraries depart from either Seattle, Washington or Vancouver, British Columbia. Of course, travel expenses related to your departure point will also impact cruise budget.

Finally, you should consider the Alaska cruise itinerary. As already mentioned, the majority of Alaska cruises are roundtrip, but some are one-way with southbound and northbound routes. These itineraries will venture further north beyond your typical ports in southeast Alaska.

Also, not all cruise ships have the privilege to cruise through Glacier Bay National Park. Is this a must on your Alaska cruise?

Finally, are you looking for a typical 7-day Alaska cruise or do you want something a bit longer? Would you consider booking a land and sea option which combines a cruise with an additional land tour?

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Now that you are better equipped to decide which of these Alaska Cruises 2023 is right for you, let’s dive into our picks. If you want more planning tips, check out our complete guide to planning an Alaska cruise.

WATCH OUR LATEST VIDEO ON THE BEST ALASKA CRUISE SHIPS AND ITINERARIES

Best Alaska Cruises 2023

Royal Princess

It is tough to pick the best Alaska cruise for 2023 among the 7 Princess Cruises’ ships planned to sail in the region this year.

Given that we are partial to mega-ships, and really enjoy the scenic cruising through Glacier Bay National Park, our pick goes to Royal Princess.

Royal Princess is sailing the Inside Passage roundtrip from Seattle in 2023. The itinerary will visit all the popular stops, Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, and Victoria as well as cruise through Glacier Bay.

Alaska Cruises 2023

This 142K gross ton ship has a capacity of close to 3,600 guests (at double occupancy). This ship features a large inviting Piazza, a variety of culinary treats, and signature entertainment.

When not sightseeing, guests can unwind in the adult-only Sanctuary, enjoy shows in the main theater and Princess Live!, and dine at one of the many complimentary or specialty venues. Further, you won’t be able to beat the views from the SeaWalk, a 60-foot glass walkway extending 28 feet off the side of the ship.

Of course, Princess Cruises offers a personalized and effortless vacation as well, with the use of its MedallionClass technology.

Royal Princess also has two sister ships cruising the region this year, Majestic Princess and Discovery Princess.

Discovery Princess is the newest ship in the Princess Cruises’ fleet. She will be cruising roundtrip from Seattle as well. The itinerary will visit similar ports of call with scenic cruising in Endicott Arms and the Dawes Glacier.

Majestic Princess will also be cruising the region again in 2023. This year, the ship will feature one-way itineraries from either Anchorage (Whittier), Alaska or Vancouver, BC. Visiting typical southeast Alaska ports of call, the ship also cruises though Glacier Bay and either College Fjord or Hubbard Glacier.

Carnival Luminosa

Making her debut in Alaska this year is Carnival Luminosa. Given that we love “new” ships, she definitely makes our list of best Alaska Cruises 2023!

Carnival Luminosa will sail mostly 7-night cruise roundtrip cruises from Seattle. The itinerary includes Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, and cruising Tracy Arm Fjord. There is also a brief evening stop in Victoria, BC.

Carnival Luminosa is a nearly 93K gross ton ship carrying just over 2,800 guests (double occupancy). This ship sailed as part of the Costa Cruises’ fleet since 2009. Combining elements of the Spirit Class and Vista Class ships, Luminosa transferred and began cruising Australia as part of the Carnival fleet in November 2022.

Carnival Luminosa Itineraries Open For Sale

Carnival Luminosa features many FUN ship favorites, with Carnival favorite bars, restaurants, the Cloud 9 Spa, the Serenity adult-only area, and several family-friendly activities. Some of these include the Alchemy Bar, Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, RedFrog Rum Bar, Piano Bar 88, and The Punchliner Comedy Club.

Guests will also be treated to a few unique features on the ship. Carnival Luminosa includes a sliding sky dome over the pool deck allowing the area to be used in all types of weather in Alaska, a unique bronze Botero sculpture serving as the centerpiece of the atrium, and a Sunset Bar.

This makes Carnival Luminosa a great ship for families traveling to Alaska.

Carnival Spirit will join Carnival Luminosa in Seattle sailing 7-day roundtrip cruises. Additionally, Carnival Miracle will operate 10-day cruises to Alaska from its seasonal homeport of San Francisco.

Norwegian Encore

Norwegian Encore is making her return to Alaska in 2023. This ship will sail the popular 7-day roundtrip itinerary from Seattle. It will feature stops in Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, and Victoria, BC. It will also cruise the spectacular Glacier Bay National Park.

There is even the option to extend the trip with a pre-cruise land tour with overnights in Fairbanks, Denali, and Anchorage making this an unforgettable 13-day Alaskan adventure.

Norwegian Encore Cruise Review - Top Alaska Cruises

Sister ship, Norwegian Bliss, will be joining Encore in Seattle again this year. Norwegian Bliss will offer similar 7-day cruises to Alaska. Some itineraries will feature Icy Strait Point and Sitka as well.

Norwegian Encore is a 169K gross ton ship carrying close to 4,000 guests at double occupancy. As the final ship in NCL’s Breakaway Plus Class, Norwegian Encore is very similar to her sisters.

NCL Encore includes attractions like waterslides, two pools, a Waterfront promenade, a racetrack, laser tag, and the virtual reality complex Galaxy Pavilion. We love that this class of ship has plenty to offer all types of travelers, making it a great option for multi-generational families.

Additionally, the ship features slight design and décor changes from her predecessors to places like the Local and the Observation Lounge. Norwegian Encore boasts a few unique features of her own too, like the specialty restaurant Onda by Scarpetta. Sadly though, Kinky Boots is no longer one of the signature entertainment options onboard the ship.

Of course, cruisers can still enjoy NCL favorite bars and restaurants, as well as the brand’s signature Freestyle approach to dining while cruising way up north.

Ovation of the Seas

As another one of the largest ships to cruise in Alaska, Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas also offers some of the most innovative features at sea. Making it easily one of our picks for best Alaska cruises 2023!

Ovation of the Seas will sail roundtrip from Seattle as well. Most of the ship’s itineraries will feature stops in Sitka, Skagway, Juneau, and Victoria, with scenic cruising in Endicott Arm.

Ovation of the Seas is nearly 169K gross tons and features several thrills for all ages along with a variety of dining and entertainment options. This ship carries over 4,100 passengers at double occupancy.

Built for cold water cruising, the ship’s SeaPlex is a massive indoor complex featuring bumper cars and roller skating. There is also the innovative North Star. This aerial gondola extends 300 feet above sea level for one of a kind views of the Alaskan landscape.

best alaska cruises 2022

The ship also has a sky diving simulator and distinct entertainment in several venues including Two70 and the Music Hall.

Loyal to Royal cruisers will find signature bars and restaurants on Ovation of the Seas as well. These include the English pub, Schooner Bar, Chops Grille, Izumi, and the Windjammer buffet. Not to mention, there’s the indoor Solarium, plenty of whirlpools, and an outdoor pool to enjoy while soaking in the views.

Sister ship Quantum of the Seas will cruise Alaska in 2023 as well with a similar itinerary.

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Holland America’s Koningsdam

Sailing in region for over 75 years now, Holland America Line has six ships scheduled to sail in Alaska for the 2023 cruise season.

On this list is Koningsdam. This Pinnacle Class ship will be sailing 7-day roundtrip cruises from Vancouver, British Columbia. The itinerary will visit Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan, as well as cruising through Glacier Bay National Park.

There are also several different cruise and land tour packages from Vancouver to Anchorage available ranging from 9 days to 14 days. These land tours include visits to the Yukon, Denali, and more.

Holland America’s Koningsdam debuted in 2016 and weighs in at slightly under 100K. With 2,650 passengers, Koningsdam is the perfect mid-sized ship for your Alaska cruise.

top alaska cruises

When you are not exploring the Last Frontier, Koningsdam offers plenty of top-notch amenities, entertainment, and dining as well. There’s theater performances on the World Stage, BB King’s Blues Club, Billboard Onboard, and Lincoln Center Stage showcasing amazing musicians.

Cruisers can also indulge in Pacific Northwest cuisine at the intimate Pinnacle Grill as well as Italian, Asian, and French dishes at other specialty restaurants onboard the ship.

There’s even live cooking shows and BBC Earth Experiences to bring you closer to nature through concerts and films.

Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam

If you are looking for other options to cruise Alaska with Holland America in 2023, Nieuw Amsterdam is another great pick.

This ship will sail one-way itineraries in 2023 to/from Vancouver and Whittier, AK. During these Northbound and Southbound journeys, cruisers will enjoy stops at the usual ports of Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway. The ship will also cruise Glacier Bay National Park and College Fjord or Hubbard Glacier for some amazing scenic vistas.

Of course, you can also bucket your cruise on Nieuw Amsterdam with a pre-cruise or post-cruise land tour to Denali National Park.

Holland America Line Announces Plans to Restart Cruising to Alaska in July

Nieuw Amsterdam is a nearly 87K gross ton vessel with just over 2,100 passengers at double occupancy.

Nieuw Amsterdam boasts several complimentary dining venues. Among them are the poolside Dive-In Burger, a pizza window, the Lido Market buffet, and the main dining room. Not to mention, Holland America Line offers 24-hour room service and some of the best specialty restaurants at sea.

When it comes to onboard activities, the cruise line offers a traditional series of cruise activities and enrichment, nighttime entertainment, EXC talks, live music, and more.

With personal service, well-executed dining, and diverse entertainment, Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam is an ideal backdrop to the amazing vistas of the Alaskan wilderness.

Celebrity Eclipse

Celebrity Eclipse is another one of our picks for best Alaska Cruises 2023. Cruising roundtrip from Vancouver, these 7-day itineraries visit Juneau, Ketchikan, and Icy Strait Point, along with cruising Hubbard Glacier, the longest tidewater glacier in North America.

Celebrity Eclipse is a 122K gross ton vessel that is part of Celebrity Cruises’ beloved Solstice Class of ships. This ship carries just over 2,850 passengers at double occupancy.

On Celebrity Eclipse, you can play some bocce ball at the Lawn Club or partake in a Hot Glass Class. You can also enjoy some amazing views in the Sky Observation Lounge or sip a cocktail at the aft-located Sunset Bar if the weather permits.

After a long day exploring the Alaskan wilderness, you can relax in the Solarium or the Spa, join in on the fun at the Martini Bar, indulge in some fine dining at Murano or Tuscan Grille, or take in a show at the theater.

Not to mention, there’s other favorites like Cafe al Bacio for morning coffee or afternoon snacks and the World Class bar for one of a kind cocktails.

Sister ship Celebrity Solstice will also be sailing in Alaska in 2023 making roundtrip journeys from Seattle visiting similar ports and cruising Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier.

Norwegian Spirit

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Spirit will also be featuring Alaska cruises in 2023. This newly revitalized ship be will sailing one-way itineraries to/from Vancouver and Seward, AK.

These itineraries will feature stops in Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, and Valdez along with cruising the Hubbard Glacier. There is also the option to add-on a Cruisetour with visits to Anchorage, Denali, Fairbanks, or even Homer.

In early 2020, Norwegian Spirit underwent a $100 million renovation, the most extensive bow to stern makeover in the company’s history. The ship emerged from dry dock with renovations to all dining venues, staterooms, and public areas, as well as new hull art. 

Conditional Sail Order

Norwegian Spirit is just over 75K gross tons and carries roughly 2,000 passengers at double occupancy.

Some of Norwegian Spirit’s enhancements include a larger Mandara Spa, complete with a new thermal suite and relaxation area. The ship also features the newer Onda by Scarpetta specialty restaurant.

Other new additions to Norwegian Spirit include an extra main dining room, the 24-hour Local Bar and Grill, and the adults-only retreat Spice H2O.

If you don’t need all the bells and whistles of the larger mega-ships, the Norwegian Spirit might be perfect for you. The ship still offers a classic Freestyle NCL experience but with less crowds and less up-charges.

Disney Wonder

If you are looking for an Alaska cruise in 2023 with a little bit of extra magic, look no further than Disney Wonder. That’s right, even Disney Cruise Line cruises way up north to Alaska!

Disney Wonder will sail 7-day roundtrip cruises from Vancouver this year. The ship will visit popular ports in southeast Alaska including Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan, as well as cruising Stikine Icefield for glacier viewing.

Disney Wonder is one of Disney’s five cruise ships weighing in at 83K gross tons and carrying 2,400 passengers at double occupancy.

Disney Wonder features plenty of Disney touches in its décor, dining, and entertainment. With character meet and greets, the only cruise line with fireworks at sea, and first-run Disney movies, there will be plenty to keep the whole family busy between ports of call.

There’s also Disney staples like its rotational dining with three main dining rooms, including Triton’s, Animator’s Palate, and Tiana’s Place, as well as the adult-only Palo specialty restaurant.

Not to mention, it’s Disney Cruise Line’s Silver Anniversary at sea. So, there are sure to be many other surprises along the way.

As the only Disney cruise ship sailing the region, this is a must for all the Disney fans out there. However, Disney cruises do come with a higher price tag than some of the other contemporary cruise lines though.

Windstar Cruises’ Star Breeze

If you want to visit Alaska but the larger cruise ships mentioned above don’t really appeal to you, then you should consider traveling with the small ship cruise line, Windstar Cruises.

We sailed Windstar Cruises’ Star Breeze in Tahiti last year and had a great time. Thus, this ship also makes our list for best Alaska Cruises 2023.

Star Breeze will sail a variety of one-way itineraries ranging in length during the 2023 Alaska cruise sesason. There is also the option to include a land tour with your cruise.

Windstar Cruises' Star Breeze Makes First Call in Australia

This 13K gross ton ship recently underwent a major update in 2020 as part of the Star Plus Initiative. During this process, the ship was lengthened by 84 feet. This all new section includes a number of new cabins, as well as new public venues, in addition to several other improvements throughout the ship.

The 8 deck Star Breeze holds just over 300 passengers, making it the perfect ship to access lesser visited areas in this region. While smaller in size, the ship still offers plenty of cruise staples. From a pool, whirlpools, and a spa to bars, lounges, and a variety of dining options, cruisers will still have plenty to enjoy when not taking in the beautiful scenery.

Viking Orion

Offering another small ship experience in Alaska, Viking also features an ocean ship sailing in the region this season.

Viking Orion will offer an 11-day Alaska and Inside Passage Cruise in 2023. This itinerary will sail from either Vancouver, British Columbia or Seward, Alaska.

Viking Orion will visit Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Sitka, Icy Strait Point, and Valdez. This itinerary also includes scenic cruising of the Inside Passage and Yakutat Bay. Further, there are several pre-cruise and post cruise extensions available.

The best part is this trip includes seven guided tours. Thus, Viking is our pick of the top Alaska cruises 2023 for luxury travelers.

Best Alaska Cruises

On a Viking Ocean cruise, you receive a free tour in each port of call, WiFi, no up-charges for specialty dining, and complimentary room service. Guests can also enjoy included beer, wine, and soft drinks at meals, specialty coffees and bottled water, access to the thermal suite, and more without any nickel and diming.

This 930-passenger, 47.8K vessel also boasts state of the art technology and all veranda staterooms. These destination-focused itineraries compliment the unparalleled service and inclusive nature of the cruise line.

Of course, the ship also offers upscale dining that is all included in the cruise fare, bars and lounges with live music in the evenings, and enrichment opportunities to fill your time between ports of call. You can even warm up with afternoon tea in the Wintergarden after a long day ashore.

Ruby Princess

Finally, since Princess Cruises is known as one of the best cruise lines in Alaska, it’s no surprise another Princess Cruises’ ship makes our list of the best Alaska cruises 2023.

If you are looking for a unique departure point for your Alaska cruise, Ruby Princess will offer 10-day roundtrip voyages from San Francisco with two slightly different itineraries.

top alaska cruises

One itinerary includes Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, and Victoria, in addition to cruising Glacier Bay National Park, while the other itinerary cruises Endicott Arm and the Dawes Glacier instead.

Ruby Princess is a 113K gross ton ship and carries just over 3,000 guests.

Onboard Ruby Princess, guests will find familiar favorites for the cruise line. Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria and the Crown Grill specialty restaurants will tempt your palette. While Movies Under the Stars, live music, and nightly theater productions will keep you entertained. There’s also the popular Good Spirits Bar showcasing local ingredients and one of a kind cocktails.

Further, you can relax in the adults only Sanctuary and rejuvenate on the Princess Luxury Bed before another full day ashore exploring all that Alaska has to offer.

Not to mention, Ruby Princess also offers the latest MedallionClass technology.

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The Best Things to Do in Alaska Ports of Call

When you finally decide on a ship from our best Alaska Cruises 2023, that’s just the beginning of the excitement. You will then want to start exploring all there is to do in your ports of call. You can start by reviewing some of our guides listed below for popular ports of call.

Whatever you choose, you won’t be disappointed. There is so much natural beauty, rugged landscapes, and wildlife waiting for you in Alaska.

You might also want to review some of our top Alaska Tips and our Complete Alaska Cruise Packing Guide to ensure you are fully prepared for your bucket list trip to this magnificent destination.

Comments

Have we convinced you to book a cruise to Alaska? Have you sailed on any of these great ships? Drop us an anchor below to share your picks for the best Alaska cruises 2023.

Heidi is a physical therapist by profession, cruise enthusiast at heart, and Princess all the time! She is a self-confessed thrill seeker, obsessive planner, and over-packer. She is always looking for the latest and greatest adventures onboard and ashore, enjoys researching top things to do in ports of call, and loves dressing up for formal nights.
Heidi Bucolo
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  1. Looks like the Royal Carib. is your pick if wanting to dock in Vancouver?

      Hi Sue, Royal Caribbean does offer some great cruise options if you want to depart from Vancouver, British Colombia. We haven’t sailed with the cruise line in Alaska, but the ships get great reviews. Let us know if you have any other questions. Happy Cruising.

    We are 4 families, plus two sets of parents, and young children under 11 years. Which cruise ship would you recommend for July 2019 from Seattle?

      Hi Amit,
      Depends on what your preferences are for travel. We would suggest you investigate Norwegian Bliss. That ship offers plenty of diverse activities for cruisers of all ages. Other options out of Seattle also include Royal Caribbean, which tends to be family friendly as well.

    Trying to decide between Holland America vs Princess?!?! Doing Denali and cruise of inside passage…

      Tough choices! We have not sailed on either line in Alaska, so difficult for us to provide suggestions. Both cruise lines receive strong ratings, and it depends on a number of factors such as price and time of year you plan on cruise.

    Grandmother & 20 year old Grandson, would like to take an Alaskan Cruise in early September-2019. What do you suggest. We are not the black tie style of people. We just want to explore & see Alaska.

      Our suggestions tend to lean toward Royal Caribbean or Norwegian Cruise Lines, which appeals to cruisers of all ages.

    My wife and i have not been on an Alaska cruise before but have been on several other. One thing we would really like to do is an Alaska cruise within the next year or two.
    Not sure what would be the best ship for us. We will both be retired.

    My husband and I want to take an Alaskan cruise with a change to take a train ride in or to Denali and would love to see the glaciers. What do you recommend and what time of year is the best time to go? We are fancy . We are simply down to earth enjoying life .

    What is your view on coral princess which is the only one with the return trip by Vancouver BC?

      We have never sailed on Coral Princess, but it does receive strong reviews from cruisers.

    So many questions with no answers. Is this website monitoring anything?

      Hi Debra,
      Thanks for the comment. Happy to answer any questions you have about this post.

    Looking for G pa, Daughter, and two grand kids cruse. Like one way to alaska. No Black tie, and free kids would be great. Timing open and {other than Alaska} if its better for the G kids.

      Sounds like one of the Norwegian Cruise Line. They are one of our favorite Alaskan cruise lines. Happy cruising!

    Viking Alaska Cruise vs Holland America?

    One has Denali land tour, the other top notch services and food.

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