Monday, July 19, 2010

USA Today confirms my call of several weeks ago: Hardly anyone is cruising AK this summer so the deals are delish

I alerted you several weeks ago to the fact that prices were unexpectedly dropping on Alaskan cruises. I say "unexpectedly" because this was supposed to be the year when fares rose. Many of the cruiselines had pulled ships from these icy waters in favor of sailings in the Mediterranean, the Far East and elsewhere; and it was the conventional wisdom that this hefty drop in the number of available AK cabins would serve to increase prices on the remaining ones.

It didn't happen.

And today, USA Today is reporting what I inferred several weeks ago: that nobody seems to want to go to Alaska this year (at least on a cruise ship; land travel there is apparently slightly up).

According to reporter Gene Sloan, 20% fewer cruisers came to the "Great Land" this May than last. This has had a corellary effect on rental cars (down 3%), the Alaskan railroad (ridership down 12%) and the hotel industry (which is predicted to rake in 8% less this year than last).

But what's bad news for Alaska, is good news for procrastinators. If you can rearrange your schedule to jump aboard a ship in the coming weeks there are some darn good sales available. Best prices, as always, are for one-way sailings (so airfare to the ports will be higher), and for September but there are some discounts even for the peak season of August.  Some examples:
  • August 21:  Diamond Princess, Whittier to Vancouver, 7 days for $599
  • August 27: Celebrity Millennium, Seward to Vancouver, 7 days for $599
  • August 27: RCL's Radience of the Seas, Vancouver to Seward, 7 days for $584
  • September 10: Celebrity Millennium, Seward to Vancouver, 7 days for $499
This is just a taste of what's out there. Visit the website of your favorite cruise discounter (and then visit one or two more, just to make sure you're getting the best rates) and you'll see what I mean. Affordable vacations, ripe for the picking!

(Photo by Rob Evans)


  1. Great article ; not much to add regarding Alaska cruises.

    I just wanted to add one find in the "cheap 7 cruise category", but in warmer climate (and with Princess Cruises):
    Visiting the Caribbean on the Caribbean Princess from San Juan
    at $399 for 7 night (or $57/night) - inside stateroom -excludes taxes.
    Itinerary: San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, USVI; Tortola, BVI; Antigua; Castries, St. Lucia; Bridgetown, Barbados; San Juan, Puerto Rico

    That price is available for the Oct 31, 2010 departure but the same cruise can be bought at $429 for departure on Nov 14 or Nov 28.

  2. Thanks for adding Olivier, that's some deal!

  3. I wonder why people don't want to go to Alaska all of a sudden. Maybe its the Palins.