Everyone’s Sailing to Alaska in 2018

We’ve written before about what’s in store for the 2017 Alaska cruise season, but even though it’s over a year and a half away, the 2018 Alaska cruise season just might be the best one in decades.

The big reveal: Star Princess, as seen after exiting the tunnel in Whittier. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
More cruise lines than ever are adding to their deployments in Alaska in 2018. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Princess Cruises revealed it will operate more sailings in Alaska in 2018 than ever before; 130, to be exact, all of which will sail from Vancouver, Seattle, Whittier (for Anchorage), San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Coral Princess and her sister Island Princess will operate Princess’s classic Voyage of the Glaciers from Vancouver to Whittier or reverse. They will be joined by Grand-class sisters Golden Princess and Star Princess.

In Seattle, Ruby Princess and Emerald Princess will sail weeklong roundtrip voyages, while longer itineraries will be offered aboard Emerald Princess and Golden Princess from Los Angeles, or aboard Grand Princess from San Francisco.

The 2018 Alaska cruise season will also mark the debut of a brand-new ship, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Bliss. Homeporting in Seattle at Pier 66, the 4,000 passenger ship will make her debut in June of 2018.

“Norwegian was the first cruise line to begin cruising to Alaska from Seattle in 2000 and it’s only fitting that we bring our newest ship, Norwegian Bliss, directly to this incredible location,” said Andy Stuart, President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Alaska is one of the top destinations for our guests to explore and we are thrilled to be the first cruise line to offer our guests the opportunity to experience this coveted destination aboard a brand new, state-of-the-art cruise ship custom designed for Alaska, the first of its kind to ever debut in Seattle.”

Other lines, like Celebrity Cruises, are taking a tried-and-tested approach, with three ships returning to the region in 2018. That’s also good news; after all, just ten years ago the region’s cruise business was on the decline. Now, those numbers are on their way back up to levels that haven’t been seen since 2005.

Not every cruise line has released its 2018 Alaska cruise itineraries, so expect to see some last-minute changes similar to what we’re seeing for the 2017 season, including Holland America Line’s relatively last-minute decision to pull Oosterdam from the Mediterranean and redeploy her to Alaska instead. Homeporting in Seattle for the 2017 season, it’s extremely likely you’ll see her and her Vista Class sisters back in the Pacific Northwest in 2018.

On the luxury side, Crystal Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, and Silversea are all slated to return in 2018, as is Oceania Cruises.

What ship would you like to see sailing to Alaska in 2018? Use the comment form below to let us know!

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