Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Alaska Cruise: Round Trip or One Way?

We recently sailed on the Carnival Legend round trip from Seattle, Washington. Two years ago, we took a one way cruise from Whittier, Alaska to Vancouver so I thought this is a good time to highlight the differences between a round trip and one away itinerary.
The big differences are time in Alaska and ease of travel.
Time in Alaska
Sailing one way from Alaska feels like you jump right into Alaska. You immediately see the great landscapes. We even saw otters swimming next to the cruise ship in Whittier.   Many itineraries feature longer time in port. Some one way itineraries add visiting a glacier to your first Sea Day. We visited the Hubbard Glacier on our one way cruise.
Hubbard Glacier

If you do choose a one way itinerary, I recommend adding some time in Alaska. We took a 10 day road trip exploring the interior. It’s a wonderful way to see more wildlife and have some great adventures.

For the round trip itinerary, the first Sea Day is the scenery of the Pacific Northwest entering into the Inside Passage. The time in port in Alaska is shorter than on the one way cruise. You also have to add a stop in Victoria, British Columbia because the United States taxes ships that do not stop in a foreign port. On our cruise, we visited Victoria for a short period of time in the evening.

Ease of Travel

Sailing round trip out of Seattle is a much easier logistically. The flight to Seattle is more approachable than flying all the way to Anchorage. Currently, a passport is not required when you sail and return to the same US port. A passport is required for the one way sailing. Most one way sailings end in Vancouver, Canada so you have the additional step of clearing customs and immigration for your flight home.

Sailing round trip may also alleviate some of the jet lag. When we sailed one way from Alaska, we had terrible jet lag. The sun really doesn’t set in Alaska so we had a terrible time resetting our internal clocks.
In conclusion,

For help deciding which option is best for your vacation, email me or set up a time to chat.  Just a reminder, that travel agent commission is built into the price for cruises. You are already paying for my vacation planning services - why not use them?

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