Dear Vacations To Go Customer,

Is this your year to experience the incomparable natural beauty and majesty of Alaska? Right now, it's prime booking season for Alaska cruises and cruise and land tours. If you want to explore this spectacular region on a cruise, I recommend that you call us as soon as possible to get the itinerary, ship, cabin type and departure date you desire -- especially if you require a stateroom that accommodates three or more people or a passenger with special needs, or if you need two adjacent or adjoining cabins or more than four cabins on a single sailing.

I've organized our itineraries by cruise line and departure months below.

To see a list of 2023 Alaska cruises and cruise and land tours by cruise line, click any company name:

Holland America
Royal Caribbean

For a full list of sailings and prices by departure date, click any month:

May cruises in Alaska
May cruise and land tours in Alaska

June cruises in Alaska
June cruise and land tours in Alaska

July cruises in Alaska
July cruise and land tours in Alaska

August cruises in Alaska
August cruise and land tours in Alaska

September cruises in Alaska
September cruise and land tours in Alaska

Next, I'll cover four key factors to keep in mind when planning a visit to America's last frontier: itinerary, weather, wildlife and passports.

There are two types of itineraries for Alaska cruises: Inside Passage cruises that sail round trip from Vancouver, Seattle or San Francisco; and Gulf of Alaska cruises that sail one way between Vancouver and Seward or Whittier (gateways to Anchorage and the interior city of Fairbanks). The Gulf of Alaska cruises include several days in the Inside Passage.

The round-trip cruises offer two advantages: 1) There are many flights daily into, and out of, Vancouver, Seattle and San Francisco, and 2) They require less expensive airfare because no long flight to (or from) Anchorage or Fairbanks is involved.

Air into (and out of) Anchorage and Fairbanks is quite limited and flights fill early with cruise and cruise and land tour passengers, which makes it more risky to wait for a last-minute deal on a one-way Gulf of Alaska cruise.

The biggest advantage of one-way cruises is that they allow the opportunity to explore the interior of Alaska on a pre- or post-cruise land tour. Between one-third and one-half of all Alaska cruisers extend their cruise with a tour of inland Alaska (out of Anchorage or Fairbanks) or British Columbia or the Canadian Rockies (out of Vancouver).

If you are leaning toward one of these cruise and land tours, keep in mind that tour buses, railcars and lodges in Alaska are very limited in supply and can sell out early. I recommend booking soon to ensure availability.

Alaska weather is delightfully unpredictable, but in general, you'll find the warmest temperatures in July and August, when average highs are in the low to mid-60s. Precipitation can rise a bit in late August and early September, but I personally would not avoid that time for that reason.

One of my fondest Alaska memories is of sipping coffee on the cabin balcony as the scenery melted away and the ship slowed to a crawl in dense fog in the Inside Passage, its foghorn echoing off the mountains on either side, warning fishermen of our approach. On another day, we hiked a trail to an alpine lake for a canoe ride to the face of a glacier, in a driving rain. Invigorating does not begin to describe it. Weather is part of the experience in Alaska.

Click here for a list of Alaska ports, and then click a port name to see the weather details for that location.

Wildlife is one of the big attractions of Alaska, and different species are active at various times during the cruising season. Humpback and killer whales are seen throughout the summer in large sounds and straits along the coast as they migrate between their winter homes in the south and their summer homes in the north. Brown and black bears can be spotted in grassy tidal flats starting in May and near salmon streams and berry patches in July and August. Moose and caribou begin calving in May, so look for cow moose and their young near thickets along roadsides and rivers in May and June.

Bald eagles are plentiful and can be viewed at the water's edge through the summer, particularly near salmon-spawning streams. Tufted puffins and other seabirds begin nesting colonies on coastal islands in May. Shorebird-watching is popular in August and September as various species begin their migrations south for the winter.

Harbor seals are visible throughout the season and can be seen with their pups on and around the icebergs of Tracy Arm and Glacier Bay during the month of June. Sea lions start to become visible in September.

Fishermen will be happy to know that at least one variety of salmon -- the prized king salmon -- runs from May through August. Late May through June is the best time for saltwater king salmon fishing, and July through August is best for freshwater king salmon fishing. Sockeye (red) salmon fill freshwater streams and rivers on their spawning run from late June through July.

Saltwater fishing for chum and pink salmon is best in July and August, and freshwater fishing for these species is at its peak in August. Coho (silver) salmon can be found in saltwater areas from late July through early September and are abundant in freshwater areas during September and October. Halibut is most plentiful in saltwater areas from late June through August.

Passports are required for all travelers who enter or re-enter the U.S. by air from any other country, which means that U.S. citizens and residents who fly back to the U.S. from Vancouver or any other Canadian city after an Alaska cruise or cruise and land tour are required to have a valid passport.

Passports also are required for anyone who enters or re-enters the U.S. by land or by sea. There are a few exceptions to the passport requirement pertaining to land and sea border crossings.

First, U.S. citizens on cruises that begin and end in the same U.S. port and travel to destinations in Canada (and select other countries) are able to re-enter the U.S. with proof of citizenship other than a passport, such as a birth certificate and government-issued photo ID. Passports are required for cruises that begin in one U.S. port and end in another.

So, U.S. citizens on cruises that sail round trip from Seattle or San Francisco are not required to have a passport. U.S. citizens who drive to Vancouver for a round-trip Alaska cruise or who cruise one way between Vancouver and an Alaskan port (such as Whittier or Seward) do need a passport.

Next, children under the age of 16 who are citizens of the U.S. or Canada are exempt from the passport requirement for land and sea border crossings. In lieu of a passport, children are able to use a birth certificate as proof of citizenship for entry into the U.S. by land or by sea. Children entering or re-entering the U.S. by air still are required to have a valid passport.

Finally, a lower-cost alternative to the passport, called a passport card, is acceptable for entries into the U.S. by land or sea. Compared to passports, which cost $145 for first-time applicants ($165 for children), passport cards cost $65 ($50 for children). The passport card is not acceptable for air travel.

Several cruise lines require a passport for all sailings, regardless of destination or port of departure. They include these companies that offer Alaska cruises: Cunard, Hurtigruten, Oceania, Regent, Seabourn, Silversea and Windstar.

Even in cases where a passport is not required, Vacations To Go recommends that passengers have them anyway. This is because, while highly unlikely, an emergency could arise in which a U.S citizen needed to disembark early and fly home from Canada, and a passport would be required for that flight.

Passports are required for citizens of all other countries for any Alaska cruise or cruise and land tour.

Next, I'm pleased to tell you about money-saving offers we've arranged with 12 different cruise lines. In addition to deep discounts, these offers may include free amenities or shipboard credits, which are as good as cash on the ship and can be used toward onboard purchases not covered in the cruise fare, like shore excursions and internet packages.

Celebrity has slashed rates by up to 87%. Plus, get shipboard credits of up to $1,100 per cabin and all of the following perks on select sailings: 1) prepaid gratuities, 2) a free Classic beverage package and 3) unlimited internet access. See dates and prices.

Silversea has reduced rates on a variety of cruises by up to 84%, with specially reduced pricing on select sailings visiting Antarctica, Asia, Alaska, Europe and more, exclusively for Vacations To Go customers. Plus, receive shipboard credits of up to $700 per cabin on select departures. Your Silversea fare includes include gratuities, all alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, shore excursions and unlimited internet. See dates and prices.

Princess is offering Vacations To Go customers big discounts -- save up to 72%. Plus, receive exclusive pricing, shipboard credits of up to $200 per cabin. Also, receive free drinks, Wi-Fi and gratuities on select sailings booked at eligible rates. See dates and prices.

Azamara is providing huge discounts to our customers -- save up to 76%. In addition, receive a free upgrade from an inside cabin to a balcony on select sailings, plus exclusive pricing and shipboard credits of up to $1,000 per cabin on select sailings. Rates include gratuities and drinks. Book by December 9. See dates and prices.

MSC Cruises is offering huge discount to our customers -- save up to 80%. Also, receive free drinks and free Wi-Fi on select sailings booked at eligible rates. See dates and prices.

Holland America is offering our customers huge discounts of up to 68% and shipboard credits of up to $300 per cabin on a variety of popular itineraries visiting Alaska, Mexico, the Panama Canal, the Caribbean and more. Plus, on select sailings, receive all of the following perks on cabins booked at eligible rates: 1) a signature beverage package, including alcoholic drinks, for all guests in the stateroom, 2) a specialty dining package that includes up to three meals at select venues, 3) a free Wi-Fi package for two guests and 4) a shore excursion credit of up to $600 per cabin. See dates and prices.

Royal Caribbean is offering our customers huge new discounts -- save up to 87%. Also, receive exclusive new pricing on select last-minute cruises, plus shipboard credits of up to $50 per cabin on certain voyages. Children age 12 and under sail FREE on select departures. See dates and prices.

Regent has provided huge discounts to Vacations To Go customers on a variety of sailings -- save up to 76%. Plus, get exclusive pricing on select sailings and shipboard credits of up to $350 per cabin. See dates and prices.

Oceania is offering Vacations To Go customers discounts of up to 80%, plus newly reduced rates and shipboard credits of up to $600 per cabin on select sailings. See dates and prices.

Windstar is offering our customers discounts of up to 76% on select cruises, with exclusive rates on a variety of itineraries. Windstar specializes in casually elegant sailings on intimate power ships and masted sailing vessels. See dates and prices.

Cunard is offering our customers newly reduced exclusive pricing on select cruises, for savings of up to 52%. Plus, pay a 50% reduced deposit and get shipboard credits of up to $1,000 per cabin, free gratuities and one specialty dining experience for two. Book select suite categories and also receive free drinks on select sailings. Book by December 12. See dates and prices.

Costa has reduced rates by up to 64%, with exclusive pricing for our customers on a variety of upcoming cruises visiting Europe, the Caribbean and more. See dates and prices.

As always, these offers are for new bookings only and subject to availability. Restrictions may apply, and some free amenities and shipboard credits may apply only to eligible rates. Past guests of some cruise lines may see better rates on select sailings.

For those who have not heard, unvaccinated travelers of all ages are now welcome on Azamara, Carnival, Celebrity, Disney, Holland America, MSC Cruises, Norwegian, Oceania, Princess, Regent, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, SeaDream and Silversea, and most of these cruise lines have eliminated testing requirements.

A small number of countries still require visiting cruise passengers to be vaccinated and/or tested and any voyages that visit these countries must follow these requirements. We recommend that you verify the latest rules with your Vacations To Go cruise counselor at the time of booking.

To view all sailings that welcome unvaccinated travelers, click the cruise line name below:

Holland America
MSC Cruises
Royal Caribbean

To keep you abreast of all the latest cruise line policies, we have compiled a summary of pre-cruise testing and vaccination protocols organized by cruise line. You can find them on our home page under the link entitled "Relaxed Vaccination & Testing Rules" or by clicking here.

Finally, if you're holding a future cruise credit (FCC) from a previous cancellation, you can use it on any sailing offered by Vacations To Go (on the same cruise line that issued the FCC) regardless of whether the original cruise was booked through Vacations To Go.

We will keep you up-to-date as cruise line policies change over time.

Here's a list of specialty cruises, discounts and resources we offer. Some are available only to certain types of travelers, and others are available to all Vacations To Go customers. Click the links below for more information:

Age 55+ Rates
EMT Discounts
Firefighter Discounts
Grand Voyages
Hosted Singles Cruises
Interline Rates
Military Rates (U.S. and Canadian)
Past Passenger Rates
Police Discounts
Teachers' Rates
Travelers with Special Needs

Discount programs like these can be issued or withdrawn at any time by the cruise line, and are not normally combinable with one another. Always tell your Vacations To Go cruise counselor if you qualify for a military or interline discount, are a past passenger of the line you are calling about, or if anyone in the cabin will be 55+, so that he or she can make sure to check for any additional discounts to which you may be entitled.

Here are today's Top 10 Cruises, brand-new specials from the world's best cruise lines. Click the FastDeal # for details.

1) Caribbean, 7 nights on Princess, departs Galveston Jan 22, starting at $336, save 66%, FastDeal # 44814

2) Pacific U.S. & Mexico, 7 nights on Celebrity, departs Los Angeles (San Pedro) Jan 21, starting at $291, save 85%, FastDeal # 35037

3) Caribbean, 7 nights on Royal Caribbean, departs New Orleans Jan 21, starting at $451, save 46%, FastDeal # 27634

4) Australia & New Zealand, 14 nights on Holland America, departs Auckland Dec 20, starting at $799, save 51%, FastDeal # 17224

5) Caribbean, 7 nights on MSC Cruises, departs Port Canaveral Feb 19, starting at $348, save 67%, FastDeal # 19756

6) Mexico, 7 nights on Royal Caribbean, departs Los Angeles (San Pedro) Feb 3, starting at $419, save 67%, FastDeal # 17800

7) Caribbean, 7 nights on Norwegian, departs San Juan Jan 15, starting at $479, save 85%, FastDeal # 33624

8) Canary Islands, 10 nights on Norwegian, departs Lisbon Jan 5, starting at $590, save 85%, FastDeal # 10528

9) South America, 10 nights on Azamara, departs Buenos Aires Feb 25, oceanview starting at $1,899, save 80%, FastDeal # 20038

10) Panama Canal, 7 nights on Windstar, departs Colon Jan 21, oceanview starting at $2,699, save 88%, FastDeal # 36783

To search for discounts of up to 82% on cruises, use our Find a Bargain tool.

Once you've found a FASTDEAL, call us at #Session.MainPhoneNum# (US and Canada) and a cruise counselor will attend to your needs. International customers, please email or call us at +1-713-974-2121.

Please email me your comments, suggestions and questions at and I will respond the same day.


Alan Fox
Vacations To Go

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