There’s a lot of ground to cover in Alaska, from its vast and rugged terrain to the many animals that call it home. Planning a vacation to the Last Frontier can be a tall order; that’s why a cruise is, hands down, the easiest way for you to see and experience the beauty, adventure and culture that travelers rave about when they visit the massive state.
Have your pick of four epic Royal Caribbean ships headed to the 49th U.S. state: Returning favorites Ovation, Quantum and Radiance of the Seas will be joined by Brilliance of the Seas. Each ship offers a variety of seven-night cruises that start in cities like Seattle; Vancouver, Canada; and Seward, Alaska, and what’s in store are experiences in charming villages like Ketchikan and the urban-meets-outdoorsy city of Anchorage, and sights at sea like Endicott Arm and Hubbard Glacier. Plus, on whichever ship you choose, you’ll have plenty of ways to enjoy yourself—imagine skydiving on RipCord by iFly, rock climbing high above the ocean, watching showstopping entertainment and more.
Whether you’re in it for Alaska’s sweeping views, local customs, people and food, or the thrills on board and on shore—or all of it—there’s a Royal Caribbean ship for you.
Read on for a breakdown of the four ships you can choose from to explore the Last Frontier.
The Family Vacation – Quantum of the Seas
The whole family will fall for Quantum of the Seas—quite literally thanks to skydiving simulator RipCord by iFly—on seven-night cruises from Seattle to Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka and more.
What’s on board is something for everyone to write home about. You can catch waves on the FlowRider surf simulator or get active at SeaPlex—the largest indoor activity space at sea—with bumper cars, roller skating and basketball, to name a few. Kids ages 3 to 11 can join the Adventure Ocean youth program, which is both educational and entertaining, while parents enjoy a date at one of 20 restaurants, like sushi and sashimi at Izumi or authentic Italian pasta and charcuterie boards at Jamie’s Italian. And for a night out, get front-row seats for multi-sensory entertainment at Royal Theater and Two70, an innovative venue that combines robotics, live entertainment and physical scenery.
Pro tip: Find adventure after adventure for all ages on land, too, on shore excursions like dog sledding, glacier walks and flightseeing—sightseeing tours taken by helicopter or floatplane.
Explore more of the family adventures that await on Quantum here.
The Extended Experience – Radiance of the Seas
Extend your vacation by as many as six days when you set up a multi-day Cruisetour before or after your seven-night cruise on Radiance of the Seas. These guided adventures give a deeper look at Alaska’s glacial valleys, river canyons and native culture, like by viewing native woodworking traditions. You can also go back in time and visit a former gold mining boomtown like Talkeetna or take a ride on the Wilderness Express, a train with glass-domed carriages that offer unobstructed views.
And if you want to see more, there are “open jaw” cruises that start from one place like Seward and end in another, like Vancouver. Along the way, you’ll visit places such as Juneau, Ketchikan and Skagway. Even better, you could take in great views through Radiance’s 3 acres of glass or enjoy those vistas from the soothing comfort of a whirlpool in the Solarium—the adults-only pool and lounging area.
Pro tip: The amount of time you’re on land and at sea depends on the Cruisetour you choose. You can roughly spend half of your time in each.
Discover more of the immersive experiences you can find when you cruise on Radiance here.
The Nonstop Views – Ovation of the Seas
Looking to reach new heights? Enter Ovation of the Seas. Set sail from Seattle on a seven-night cruise to visit Juneau, Sitka and Skagway. The wilds of Alaska await along the 500 miles of unparalleled coastline called the Inside Passage.
Match up the great views you’ll catch while on land with the best views at sea. You and your travel buddies can scope out Alaska’s beauty from the North Star—the world record-holder for the highest viewing deck on a cruise ship. Royal Caribbean’s signature all-glass observation capsule takes you 300 feet above sea level, where you can spot majestic mountaintops, imposing glaciers such as Hubbard and Mendenhall, and possibly even wildlife like whales and bald eagles. Once you’ve taken in the views, there’s plenty more at your fingertips, from surfing and simulated skydiving to rock climbing and bumper cars. And to recharge? There’s a world of flavors on board, from classic British fish and chips and a hearty lobster roll at Fish & Ships to hand-cut steaks at American steakhouse Chops Grille.
Pro tip: In Alaska, we recommend dressing in thin layers you can easily add or remove when the temperature outside changes. These also take up less room in your suitcase.
Get in on the jaw-dropping views from Ovation here.
The Explorer – Brilliance of the Seas
If you’re seeking unparalleled adventure in the Last Frontier and want to see one incredible sight after the next, look no further than the variety of seven-night cruises on board Brilliance of the Seas. You’ll start off in Vancouver and head out to explore several destinations, including the Inside Passage—hundreds of miles of fjords, glaciers, wildlife and views of the Tongass National Forest—and Hubbard Glacier, one of the largest tidewater glaciers in North America. You can also delve into Tracy Arm Fjord, a natural gem with more than 30 miles of narrow passageways surrounded by glacier-carved cliffs and epic waterfalls.
It’s off to the races on shore, too, when you visit Alaska’s towns of Haines, Juneau, Sitka and Skagway. Choose from all kinds of shore excursions like dog sledding and salmon bakes. You could even retrace the steps of prospectors who looked for gold on the 33-mile Chilkoot Trail during the Klondike Gold Rush. At the end of your action-packed days, you’ll be able to recharge in any way you like on board, whether that’s at one of the pools and whirlpools or enjoying full-scale production shows.
Pro tip: Look out for one of Royal Caribbean’s many GTSC-certified—meaning sustainably operated—excursions, like whale watching.
Take a closer look at the many places and sights you can explore with Brilliance here.
Found your Alaska ship and ready to explore further? Head here to see what’s in store on a Royal Caribbean cruise when you head to the Last Frontier.