Covid-19 Cruise Information
  • Over 1.5 Million Happy Cruise Customers

  • Rated Great
  • ATOL Protected

Cruise Blog

Best time to cruise Alaska

2nd December 2019

With so much to do across the Last Frontier, you may be wondering when is the best time to make the journey. Whether you’re eager to hike or are hoping to spot some whales, find out the best time to cruise to Alaska in our helpful guide. [More]

The Best Cruise Destinations for Wildlife

19th March 2018

Our world is home to an incredible array of flora and fauna. Landscapes are teeming with millions of species, and some of the creatures you spot on a wildlife cruise could even date back millennia. The ever-changing environments of the world give life to weird and wonderful creatures, and new species are constantly being discovered. Often the best way to see these is by cruise – on which there are usually plenty of excursions and exploring opportunities. Here are some of our top wildlife-viewing destinations.

Amazon River Cruises

One of the most well-known rivers in the world, the Amazon river reaches just less than 7000km, through Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and Brazil. It’s home to over 50,000 plant and tree species, over 430 mammal species, and over 1000 species of amphibians. Not to mention the various reptiles, birds, and fish. In the Amazon animals need to disguise themselves from prey, so to spot wildlife you’ll often have to be very quiet and patient. If you’re lucky you could catch sight of the pink river dolphin, the three-toed sloth, or the squirrel monkey to name a few. Spot the powerful jaws of a black caiman as it chows down on its prey, and watch in awe as the bright and colourful macaws swoop past. Cruise lines like Cunard and Viking often cover parts of the Amazon when passing through Brazil or South America in general.

 

 

Indonesia

Indonesia might not be your go-to destination for a wildlife cruise but the creatures here are incredibly diverse; from the great apes to the legendary Komodo dragons. With so many different islands offering hugely different habitats, you’ll rarely see the same animal from one isle to the next. That means cruising is one of the best ways to see several different parts Indonesia. On Kalimantan you could spot orangutans swinging in trees, or on Papua try to glimpse the elusive tree kangaroos. In Sumatra, you’ll actually be able to witness tigers, rhinos, elephants, and orangutans living together – the only place on earth! And you’ll surely fall in love with the wide-eyed Tarsius Tarsier (owl monkey) in Sulawesi.

 

 

Galapagos

The remote Galapagos Islands are an excellent showcase of biodiversity, boasting species that are unseen anywhere else in the world and hold an almost mythological status. A major highlight of any visit here is the chance to see the legendary Galapagos penguins - the only penguins to live north of the equator in the wild. The islands are also well-known for the giant Galapagos Tortoise, which can famously live for several centuries and is the largest species of tortoise in the world. Other highlights include the red-footed and blue-footed booby birds, flightless cormorants, the waved albatross, and a huge diversity of marine life. Silversea Cruises and Celebrity Cruises are two of the only cruise lines to venture into this remote region with specially designed expedition ships. Curious about the best time to go, or just looking for some helpful hints? Check out our top Galapagos cruise tips.

 

 

Alaska

Alaska is a true bucket list destination and it’s not hard to see why; surrounded by soaring snowy peaks and an abundance of wildlife it offers an experience unlike any other. You can often catch a glimpse of eagles hungrily surveying the coastline, or humpbacked whales playing in the icy channels. Spot a moose with her calf with the sound of a wolves howl in the background, or catch a grizzly emerging from its den. Locations like the Sitka Heritage Park and Icy Strait Point offer prime wildlife viewing opportunities for the likes of sea otters, whales, and bears, and most cruise lines that traverse Alaska will offer a range of fantastic excursions to give you more chance to see these. Princess Cruises and Holland America Line even offer optional land programmes with stays in wilderness lodges, putting you right in the heart of Alaska’s wildlife.

 

 

Antarctica

Find yourself in one of the most remote areas in the world, surrounded by vast white horizons and oceans brimming with icebergs, glaciers, and marine life. On a cruise to the Antarctic you’re likely to dock in several locations on the continent, giving you an unbelievable up-close experience with all sorts of different wildlife. Come face to face with colonies of penguins, seals, whales, and a stunning array of seabirds. It’s possible to take an exhilarating expedition cruise here with Hurtigruten, Scenic Cruises, and Ponant. Onboard a carefully crafted Anatarctica cruise ship, you'll be able to get to the very heart of the destination.

 


Princess Cruises' Alaskan Treehouse

14th February 2018

Regarded by many as the experts of cruising in Alaska, Princess Cruises are constantly finding new ways to immerse their guests in the beauty and spirit of this part of the world. Their latest innovation certainly helps to achieve this – allowing visitors the opportunity to be up close to the wilderness and enjoy the vast views. Welcome, the Denali Treehouse.

 

 

Built at their Mount McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, the treehouse boasts some incredible views of the surrounding Denali National Park. At around 500 square feet there is ample room for guests to mingle and relax with a hot chocolate, or don a pair of binoculars to watch the local birdlife. The treehouse is also the venue for various hosted activities;

• Meet and Greet with Todd Huston – join world-record holding Todd as he recounts the stories of the first successful ascension of nearby Mount Denali while you make the short hike to the treehouse. Here you’ll be able to mingle and absorb the views with hot drinks and doughnuts.

 

 

• Sappy Hour – a wonderfully informative event in which guests will be taught about local products made with nearby spruce and birch trees. Sample a taste of the unique rare birch syrups.

• Trivia – each day an Alaska-themed quiz will be held in the treehouse, where you can get to know fellow travellers, as well as this rich North American land.

The treehouse has been built with reclaimed Alaskan wood from Ketchikan and Palmer, and was featured on Animal Planet’s Treehouse Masters TV show.

Take a look at our range of Alaska cruises with Princess Cruises.


The Best Time to Cruise in Alaska

5th January 2018

Cruising season in Alaska tends to run for just five months, from May to September, although some cruise lines might offer itineraries from late April to early October. In this time, the experience you’ll have in Alaska can be greatly varied, so it’s important to consider what you want to see and do, when deciding when to cruise. To help you decipher the different opportunities, take a look at our month by month guide.

 

May

An early time in the season, May is when you’re likely to get some great deals on cruises to Alaska. That being said, it’s still important to book as early as possible, as Alaska is becoming ever more popular as a cruise destination. Notorious for rainfall, those who want to avoid the wet weather as much as possible would do well to visit in May, as the average is just a 25% chance of rain. The temperature generally ranges from 3.5 – 12°C, and there are around 17 hours of daylight. The cold temperature means that the trees are not yet in bloom, making it easier to spot birds and other wildlife living in the trees.

June

June tends to be a slightly more expensive time to cruise in Alaska, however this month is still before the peak of the season, meaning crowds and families are still fairly minimal. Daylight hours are now at around 19, however on June 21st – the summer solstice – you can expect almost a full 24 hours! This is a fantastic and fascinating experience that everyone should have at least once. This month sees an increase of rainfall, and also in temperature; lows of around 8°C, and highs of 16.5°C. This warmth unfortunately means mosquitoes, so be sure to pack some insect repellent at this time of year. June can offer the chance to spot baby moose, as this is their birthing season.

 

July

Right in the middle of the season, July is certainly the busiest month to visit Alaska, and tends to be the most expensive as well. Temperatures range between 10 and 18.5°C, and rainfall remains high. Visitors will experience around 19 hours of daylight, and will have the opportunity to see plenty of wildlife. July sees an influx of salmon, which also means a higher chance of seeing bears and various birdlife. It tends to be now that many sea lions are born in Alaskan waters, so be prepared with your camera on the top deck of your ship. Like most areas of North America, Independence Day is celebrated in Alaska with great gusto – the fireworks display in Anchorage is a particular highlight.

August

Those who aren’t fazed by wet weather should consider cruising in August, when there is over 50% chance of rain each day. Temperatures are between 9 and 17°C, and daylight hours return to around 17. Not yet considered the end of the season, visitors remain in great quantity, and prices are still quite high. It’s a great time of year for seeing salmon, bears, and impressive bald eagles. The Alaska State Fair is also held in August, in a pretty town called Palmer, around one hour north of Anchorage. Stock full of fun fair rides, live music, food, and other entertainment, this is truly a fun day out for all the family.

 

September

The final month of the season, September is certainly much less busy, and it tends to be quite a bit cheaper for cruising. While there is still over 50% chance of rain, temperatures will decrease to between 5 and 12.5°C, and daylight hours are down to around 14. Visitors at this time of year tend to have more luck when it comes to sighting the Northern Lights if you’re heading towards the north. September is also mating season for moose, goats, caribou and musk ox, giving you a higher chance of seeing these creatures.

 

 

No matter when you decide to cruise to Alaska, you can rest assured that your chances of seeing some stunning wildlife – as well as scenery – are high. Cruise ships tend to stay close to the shore, meaning that you will be able to see all kinds of flora and fauna from the ship, with minimal effort. All that remains for you to do is keep your camera nearby! If you want to find out more about what you can do during your time in Alaska, be sure to check out our guide to the top Alaska shore excursions.

 

Sail to Alaska onboard Norwegian Bliss

 

Norwegian Cruise Line’s 16th ship, Norwegian Bliss, will be embarking on some amazing cruises to Alaska in the summer of 2018. The latest NCL ship will boast some brilliant, innovative features when it comes to entertainment, dining, and facilities. After an invigorating day exploring Alaska, return to your ship for some delicious cuisine at Q, an all-American steak house, and then finish your evening in The District Brew House, where you’ll find 24 different draught beers, and 50 bottled. And with onboard activities like laser tag, the largest at-sea race track, and a beautiful spa, you can rest assured that any downtime during your cruise can be filled with fun. Find out more about cruising onboard Norwegian Bliss.


What can be seen on an Alaska Cruise?

18th October 2017

For many people, Alaska remains a far-off land full of mystery and intrigue, and as such, it can be found on many a bucket list. Thankfully, more and more cruise lines are introducing Alaska itineraries, bringing this fascinating destination closer than you might think.

If you have booked, or are thinking of booking an Alaska cruise, you might be wondering just what this northernmost American state has to offer. It is well known that the scenery here is spectacular, but what exactly are you likely to see?

 

 

Stunning Wildlife

Alaska is home to some beautiful creatures, both on land and in the surrounding waters. When cruising in Alaska, ships will stay close to the shore, allowing you the optimum chance to see all kinds of wildlife.

As soon as you begin to approach Alaska, keep your eyes peeled for fantastic animals such as humpback and killer whales, dolphins, porpoises, puffins, and bald eagles. Then, when you get closer to the shore and on any days spent exploring on land, you might see mountain goats, grizzly, brown, and black bears, wolves, moose, porcupines, and salmon among others.

 

 

To see Alaskan wildlife in its natural habitat is a truly wonderful experience. Sightings will help you to appreciate the complexities of the different interactions within the Alaskan environment.

Beautiful Landscapes

Supporting all these creatures is a majestic land which boasts some incredible vistas. Aside from the crystal clear waters that border the region, visitors will come across some very pretty lakes, rivers, and streams – many of which have waterfalls.

 

 

In Alaska, your average view – whether in town or in the countryside - will generally contain commanding mountains, pine tree-filled forests, or extensive green plains, if not all of them. Even when in the centre of a busier area, such as the capital city Juneau, the pretty and colourful buildings only serve to complement the wider scene.

True Wonders of Nature

Visitors to Alaska are often blessed with the sight of some real natural spectacles. There are over 600 official glaciers found all over the state, but in fact, there are an estimated 100,000 altogether. These are breath-taking to see, and it is sometimes even possible to see great portions of ice cascading away. You might also see floating icebergs in the seas around Alaska, which are remarkable to watch.

 

 

Some lucky tourists are fortunate enough to see the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. It is thought that the best time for this is between September and April, and of course, they can be seen on land or from your cruise ship.

Considering everything that can be discovered in this enriching part of the world, it is no wonder that so many people feel the need to explore it. If you are among these, have a look at our Alaska cruises today, or for more information, sign up to receive our new Alaska brochure.

 

Let Norwegian Cruise Line show you Alaska

 

Among the cruise lines visiting this alluring destination is the fantastic Norwegian Cruise Line. This family-friendly line offer a range of itineraries in Alaska across their fleet, with the youngest – Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Joy – among these.

 

 

These state-of-the-art vessels are sister ships and boast many of the same onboard facilities. From a wealth of dining choices to some world-class entertainment options, there is certainly plenty onboard to suit all tastes. Here’s a snippet of what you can find;

 

  • Laser Tag. An activity for cruisers of all ages, laser tag is a great way to meet fellow cruisers or even compete against those you’re travelling with!
  • Aqua Park. Not only will cruisers love the spacious pool area and hot tubs, but it’s also possible to let loose in this fun waterpark complete with slides and a drench bucket.
  • Mandara Spa & Salon. One for the grown-ups, this luxurious space provides the perfect setting to indulge and unwind. The salt room and snow room are particular favourites.
  • Food Republic. One of many restaurants onboard, Food Republic is a great option for a group with a variety of tastes. You’ll find scrumptious cuisine from all over the world.
  •  

    Of course, in addition to enjoying all these onboard treats, your cruise itinerary will incorporate plenty of chances to enjoy the incredible setting that is Alaska. Excursions can include experiences like dog-sledding with Alaskan Huskies, and kayaking to explore glaciers and spot wildlife.

    See our range of Norwegian Cruise Line Alaska itineraries, or talk to our sales team to find out more.


    Book with Confidence

    We are ATOL Holders and members of ABTA for your financial protection.


    Price Match Guarantee
    Search Cruises
    Your Shortlist

    You do not currently have any cruises in your shortlist.


    What our customers say


    "I booked a Fred Olsen cruise with IGLU last month and was so impressed by the service I received. The staff member I spoke to was Kimberley and she was exemplary. Capable, kind, professional, patient, friendly and knowledgeable. She went through every step of the way calmly and thoroughly. IGLU were recommended to me by friends and I have no hesitation in passing the recommendation along. Well done IGLU and thank you. "

    Christina
    (March 2019)

    "So easy to deal with, I studied the Cruise I wanted, did my research with different company's and returned to Iglu. I had three quotes matching Iglu’s cost, but with one phone call they beat the price themselves by £40 without me even asking, how easy was that! "

    Gary
    (February 2019)


    Read more feedback


    Are you rebooking a cancelled cruise due to Covid-19?