Princess Cruises is bringing its largest Alaska deployment ever in 2018, which goes on sale December 1. In summer 2018, seven Princess Cruises ships will sail Alaska’s pristine waters on 130 cruise departures, with more than 75 percent of all voyages sailing to Glacier Bay National Park, departing from Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver, B.C. and Anchorage (Whittier). In addition, Princess has more than 22 cruise tour options, providing guests the opportunity to journey into the interior of Alaska and visiting five custom-built Princess Wilderness Lodges.
New for 2018, Island Princess will feature a full season of calls to Icy Strait Point, a unique and remote wilderness experience, on every seven-day northbound Voyage of the Glaciers itinerary. Also new for 2018, guests looking to cruise round-trip from Los Angeles can choose from two 12-day cruises.
Unique Shore Programs
While on board, guests will encounter a variety of ways to engage in unique Alaskan experiences through the award-winning North to Alaska program, featuring Cook My Catch, an exclusive culinary program allowing guests to return from select Princess fishing excursions to have the chef prepare their very own catch of the day. Also offered is the crowd-favorite Puppies in the Piazza, where real Alaskan sled dog puppies are brought on board for guests to interact with. On land, guests will hear first-hand tales from mountain climbers who have conquered Denali as they tell the exhilarating stories of their journey at the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge.
With 130 departures from Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver, B.C. and Whittier featuring unique ports, there are options abound for exploring Alaska in 2018 aboard Princess ships, including:
- Voyage of the Glaciers – Princess’ most popular Gulf of Alaska sailings between Vancouver, B.C. and Whittier, featuring two glacier-viewing experiences on every voyage, with visits to the UNESCO-listed Glacier Bay National Park, plus either Hubbard Glacier or College Fjord. These cruises are offered aboard Island Princess, Coral Princess, Star Princess, and Golden Princess.
- Inside Passage –This awe-inspiring part of Alaska, known for its lush scenery and pristine fjords, will be featured on seven-, 10- and 12-day round-trip voyages from Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Ruby and Emerald Princess sail on seven-day cruises round-trip from Seattle with all Ruby Princess cruises featuring a visit to Glacier Bay National Park. Grand Princess sails out of San Francisco, featuring five departures visiting Glacier Bay. Two 12-day cruises round-trip from Los Angeles aboard Emerald Princess and Golden Princess will also include Glacier Bay.
In addition, cruise-tours offer flexible ways to delve deeper into the fascinating Alaska frontier. Land tours are combined with a seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise and include the company’s premier wilderness lodges, exclusive Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail service, plus visits to the top two attractions in Alaska – Glacier Bay National Park and Denali National Park.
Princess offers guests more than 22 cruise-tour options in 2018, most featuring multiple nights at the Princess-owned Wilderness Lodges to experience the grandeur of Denali. Guests will once again be able to purchase a prepaid meal package for the land portion of their vacation in 2018. Options include:
- Denali Explorer – The line’s most popular cruise-tour option, these itineraries feature multiple nights at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and/or Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge. Most offer Princess exclusive Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail service between the ship in Whittier and the Denali area all in one day, plus the opportunity to explore Fairbanks and/or Anchorage.
- On Your Own – An affordable option for independent-minded travelers, these itineraries offer a flexible way to see the heart of Alaska. Tours follow similar routes as Denali Explorer options, but do not include any pre-planned excursions, giving travelers the opportunity to customize their own experience.
- Off the Beaten Path – These itineraries are designed to take travelers beyond Denali to sought-after, remote regions of the state such as the Kenai Peninsula and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.
- Connoisseur – The line’s highest level of service, these cruise-tours provide a truly immersive experience. With a professional tour director, most meals included on land and enhanced sightseeing, guests experience the best of the Great Land.
- Heart of the Rockies Plus Rail – This 14-night cruise-tour originates in Calgary and includes daylight Silverleaf rail service on the Rocky Mountaineer. The fully escorted land tour combines with a seven-day northbound Voyage of the Glaciers cruise on Star Princess and Golden Princess and includes most breakfasts and dinners. Spectacular overnight accommodations are offered at Fairmont Calgary Palliser Hotel, Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, and the Four Season Vancouver.
Captain’s Circle Savings
Princess Cruises past guests are eligible for a special promotion when they book before August 31, 2017. Captain’s Circle members booking a seven-day cruise will receive a savings of $50 per person. For those booking 10- to 12-day cruises, a discount of $75 per guest will be applied, and those booking an Alaska cruise-tour will receive a $100 discount (does not apply to third and fourth berth guests).
Club Class Mini-Suites
Summer 2018 Alaska guests can choose a new premium stateroom category featuring VIP amenities and exclusive dining with the new Club Class Mini-Suite. This elevated mini-suite category features select perks including new Club Class Dining, a reserved dining area with expedited seating, and expanded menu options, priority embarkation and disembarkation, complimentary wine, and luxurious bathrobes.
An avid traveler and an award-winning journalist, Ralph Grizzle produces articles, video and photos that are inspiring and informative, personal and passionate. A journalism graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ralph has specialized in travel writing for more than two decades. To read more cruise and port reviews by Ralph Grizzle, visit his website at www.avidcruiser.com.