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North/Southbound cruise....or a loop?

Somerset
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North/Southbound cruise....or a loop?

Trying to choose which cruise to do here and I'm wondering if it's worth doing the northbound/southbound tours that take in the Hubbard Glacier and up to Seward or whether any of the 'loop' cruises that cover places like Icy Point Strait, Tracy Arm and part of Hubbards are just as good? The one-way cruise is obviously more expensive on flights, so is the extra cost and hassle worthwhile?

Thanks!

Greater Sydney...
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1. Re: North/Southbound cruise....or a loop?

I might be wrong, but the only difference as I see between a one-way and a round trip from Vancouver, beside the cost of flying back from Anchorage, is that the round trips do not go to Hubbard Glacier. HAL for 2010 visit Tracy Arm and Glacier Bay National Park. Some people prefer GBNP and some others prefer Hubbard. I loved GBNP.

I would always recommend a one-way if people have time to spend on the ground in south central Alaska.

Edited: 06 January 2010, 03:05
Knoxville, Tennessee
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2. Re: North/Southbound cruise....or a loop?

Would the r/t cruise you are considering be 7 days? 14 days? That would affect the cost significantly also of course so I assume both cruise options would be a for a 7 day trip.

We felt like a one way cruise was better for us and were surprised at the airfare in October for our trip in June for the 'open jaw' flight was only $480 (incld taxes/fees) per person into Seatle and out of Anchorage for us to fly out of New Orleans. It wasn't nearly as high as we expected and was within a few dollars of r/t into Seattle alone. We do have to take a train or coach to Vancouver but that's only $40-50 pp but that was far cheaper than flying directly into Vancouver. I realize fares change all the time but I susupect you'll find them to be approximately the same now.

We wanted to spend time inland withing Alaska seeing Denali and a few other areas after our cruise and not just see the state from the decks of the ship and on short excursions.

Just for info I have found that rental car rates fluxuate wildly from time to time. There are 5 adults on our trip and we wanted to use a mini-van to have plenty of room. In October we found a weekly rental with Alamo for the van for just $286 plus $111 taxes so I locked it in. Since then we've seen the same rental change from $500 to over $1100 per week. So watch the rates for some time before renting.

We've used on of the popular online travel reservations sites for both bookings and not directly with the airlines or car rental car company.

Somerset
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3. Re: North/Southbound cruise....or a loop?

Thanks for your info. We'd be looking at a 7-day cruise, with return flights to Seattle from London, so the one-way flight between Anchorage and Seattle is about $250 each. From what I gather, the main attraction of the one-way cruise is a land trip (+ Hubbards), would that be fair?

Corona, California
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4. Re: North/Southbound cruise....or a loop?

I would agree with the previous poster that Glacier Bay is not to be missed if you are a first time cruiser to Alaska. I have done 5 Alaskan Cruises of 7-12 days. Princess and Holland America have the most cruises in Glacier Bay as only 2 ships are allowed per day and they have locked in permits many years ago. If you are an avid photographer, as I am, or just enjoy nature it is a great experience.

My personal preference is Princess as I think their passenger average is younger in age and we are not Seniors. But Alaska Cruises in general do not attract as many very young people as a warm water cruise would attract.

I have done both North and Southound and its pretty much if you want to do a land portion before or after your cruise. If cost is an option, I would select the round trip on Carnival or Norwegian...both cruiselines that do a great job. I have been on both, just not in Alaska.

Hope this was of some help.

5. Re: North/Southbound cruise....or a loop?

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