G'day rice_bd, and welcome to the Alaska forums.
There is not much difference in doing it either way. The best thing to look for is the best itinerary on the cruise for places visited and times in port. Some like to do the busy land leg first and then relax a bit on the cruise afterwards. That makes sense to me and is what we did for touring western Canada before a round trip cruise.
If you go back to the parent Alaska forum, go to the Top Questions at the top right of screen and you will find very detailed information on Alaska cruises of all types.Edited: 06 October 2011, 09:27
In my research, I found that the only real difference is that Northbound cruises are slightly less expensive than the Southbound...but I am not sure why.
There are other subtle differences. Looking at say late June, just look at Diamond Princess for example (although a HAL fan myself) where the NB do the usual three ports and Glacier Bay NP, then College Fjord, while the same ship SB does Hubbard Glacier instead of College Fjord. SB also has more appropriate port time in Ketchikan, while NB have better port time in Juneau, all IMO. Of course the port times are dependant on what a passenger wants to do, and if just looking around the rip-off tourist shops, time in all ports is far too long, but if wanting to do some hiking, that is different. I cannot comment on Hubbard v College Fjord as I have visited neither.
Although a HAL fan, I would take one of the Princess cruises on a one-way for their itinerary. I have not looked at other lines as to me, from looking in the past, the itineraries of all others are not as good as either Princess or HAL, again IMO. My reasoning is that I am a huge fan of Glacier Bay NP, and it is very rare for other lines to get a permit to enter. I know that NCL do on the first and last cruises of the season though.
Vic ricey, the best place to look and compare various cruise options is through the tab top right of this link which says "Cruises":
Thanks everyone. Your assistance will be most helpful. I am really interested in Glacier Bay and so was pleased to get relevant information about that.
You have good taste choosing Glacier Bay NP. One of my photos from our cruise there has been the desktop on my computer ever since.
If you may be interested I put together a short slide show in TripWOW which is here:
Interesting, Frommy. You certainly have done your research! I thoroughly enjoyed your slide show. We came really close to booking HAL but are going Princess next July. That was a great oceanview dining table!
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