Thinking About Alaska? Here are 7 Cruise Companies that Explore the Northern Frontier

Uncruise's Wilderness Discoverer cruise ship

Uncruise's Wilderness Discoverer cruise ship

We don’t have any plans to dabble in the cruise ship industry (a pineapple painted cruise ship would be fun though), but that doesn’t mean we don’t like to keep tabs on the popular floating cities. After all, our headquarters is located in an area that is the launching point for the very popular Alaska loop that takes thousands of people to the wild north every summer. We’ve even been a favorite spot for cruisers in the know.

But just because we’re familiar with one of Seattle’s top tourist driving forces, doesn’t mean you are, so we wanted to explore a few of the companies that sail from the Emerald City, and what makes them stand apart. Here are a few of the big brands you’ve probably heard of along with a boutique cruise company that just might fit your idea of what an Alaskan adventure looks like:


With its Scandinavian namesake that has an Arctic Circle latitude, just like Alaska, it’s no surprise that Norwegian has more than a dozen different options that head to the great north - most of which embark from and return to Seattle.

Day Range: 7-14

Itineraries: 23

Differentiator: Their newest ship, Norwegian Bliss, has been custom built to maximize views of Alaskan nature while featuring the company’s top dining and entertainment amenities.


Representing a nice blend of big ship comforts but intimate adventure, Oceania’s options are various but not without thought.

Day Range: 7-14

Itineraries: 17

Differentiator: Oceania offers a multitude of off-boat activities, and is the only to feature a Canadian Rockies experience.


When perks and glitzy amenities are winning combinations on your way to and around Alaska, Celebrity has you covered.

Day Range: 7

Itineraries: 3

Differentiator: Celebrity’s standard Alaska route not only knocks out the usual suspects on their northern loop, but also pops into the quaint and vibrant Victoria, BC on their way back to Seattle.


Getting their big break by having their first boat be cast in the television series, The Love Boat, Princess Cruises has taken that luck and run with it to become the third largest cruise company in the world. When you’re that big, that means Alaska has to be part of your offerings.

Day Range: 7

Itineraries: 1

Differentiator: What Princess lacks in route variance, they make up for in quality activities. Their list of extracurriculars includes a conversation with an Iditarod racer, the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show, and dog sledding.


Seattle based Holland America has been cruising for over 145 years. They blend classic cruising traditions with modern fare - all while being environmentally friendly to the waters they sail. On top of the classic maritime agenda, Holland also has options that feature adventures into the Yukon.

Day Range: 7-42

Itineraries: 96

Differentiator: Want to checkout Alaska and then slip over to Russia and Japan? It’s possible - all over the course of a 42 day cruise! This epic option actually starts in San Francisco and not Seattle, but we have a hotel there too!


One of the biggest players in the industry also stakes their claim with voyages to Alaska. Although not bringing as many options to the table as our first two, Carnival still supplies its guest with Alaska’s greatest hits including Glacier Bay and the Tracy Arm Fjord.

Day Range: 7 / 8

Itineraries: 5

Differentiator: With Carnival’s broad offerings across the globe, their pricing is certainly the most competitive while also offering extra savings to loyalty program members.


Care for a little more intimate setting both with passengers and boat? Then UnCruise might be for you. Think of them as a liberal arts college with small class sizes as opposed to the big and broad state schools. They specialize in adventure based cruising, offering passengers a more hands-on experience of Alaska by adjusting the itinerary to what’s most visually stunning at the moment, whether it’s observing a pod of whales or hopping off the boat for a quick kayak or hike.

Day Range: 7-14

Itineraries: 13

Differentiator: Small boat doesn’t mean small sights. UnCruise actually has a crew rule that if an employee sees wildlife, they must inform the captain who will then alert the passengers.

If any of these cruises sound up your adventure alley, we’d love to host you on either side of your voyage at one of our cruise ship terminal friendly locations in downtown Seattle. Rumor has it, our cloud-like European style duvets and afternoon delights even have sea leg healing powers. Who knew?

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