There is a lot of ground to cover and see when visiting Alaska, from its vast, rugged terrain, to the many animals that inhabit it. Planning a vacation to the 49th state may seem like a daunting task, but with four Royal Caribbean ships sailing to the Last Frontier in 2021—departing from convenient cities in the Pacific Northwest—this bucket list destination has never been more within reach. Your big decision is choosing which ship is right for you!
Whether you’re in it for the views, activities, destinations or an extended experience, every ship offers a little bit of everything, but each has its perks:
The Family Vacation – Quantum of the Seas
Travelers of all ages will fall for Quantum of the Seas—quite literally thanks to the skydiving simulator RipCord by iFLY—when the ship makes its Alaska debut in summer 2021. Quantum will sail seven-night cruises roundtrip from Seattle to Endicott Arm Fjord, Sitka and Juneau, Alaska. There are adventures for the whole family on board, whether catching waves on the FlowRider surf simulator or getting active at SeaPlex, the largest indoor activity space at sea, with bumper cars, flying trapeze, roller skating, basketball and more.
After working up a sweat and eating fresh sushi or hibachi at Izumi or pasta at Jamie’s Italian by Jamie Oliver, guests can jump into the indoor or outdoor pool. While tuckered out young ones hit the hay, parents can top off the day with nightly entertainment at Two70, a venue that fuses performance art and technology for one-of-a-kind live productions.
Explore more of the family adventures that await when you sail aboard Quantum here.
The Nonstop Views – Ovation of the Seas
Guests seeking new heights won’t have to go far when cruising on Ovation of the Seas. Also departing from Seattle, the Quantum Class ship sails through the wilds of Alaska. This includes the 500 miles of shoreline called the Inside Passage, on its way to Juneau and Skagway, Alaska and Victoria, British Columbia during a week-long cruises.
For the best view of these places and more, you and your travel buddies can scope out the scenery from the North Star—the ship’s signature glass-enclosed observation capsule with panoramic views from 300 feet above sea level. Never miss a majestic mountaintop, bald eagle sighting or imposing glacier, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get the thrill of seeing Hubbard Glacier, the largest tidewater glacier in North America.
Sneak a peek at the views available on Ovation here.
The Extended Experience – Radiance of the Seas
For travelers who want to spend more time in Alaska, your cruise ship is undoubtedly Radiance of the Seas. No stranger to the Last Frontier, Radiance is the ultimate Alaska experience offering the option to extend your vacation with a pre- or post-sailing cruisetour. These extended trips can range between seven and 13 nights and even 18-night options. You can see more with “open jaw” itineraries, leaving from one port like Seward, Alaska and returning to another like Vancouver, and stopping at ports like Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan, Alaska.
And what is a cruisetour you ask? A multi-night, land-based adventure that is the perfect opportunity for vacationers to explore the glacial valleys and river canyons further, while also learning more about the state’s cultural past like indigenous woodworking. Plus, it’s all led by an experienced guide. Highlights include seeing where urban meets outdoors in the state’s biggest city, Anchorage, or going back in time at a former gold mining boomtown, or marveling at Denali National Park.
Pro tip: The cruise-to-land breakdown varies per cruisetour, but it’s roughly half time at sea, half on land.
Discover more of the in-depth experiences that Radiance offers here.
The Destinations – Serenade of the Seas
For those seeking an itinerary filled with more ports than you can count, Serenade of the Seas is an adventure in Alaska that you won’t want to miss. This guest-favorite sails seven-night roundtrip cruises from Vancouver, and heads to Skagway, Sitka, Juneau and Ketchikan. The shore excursions are as varied as the destinations, and include dogsledding, salmon bakes, panning for gold and whale watching.
In 2021, the Radiance Class ship will be the only Royal Caribbean ship to visit the wild landscapes and seascapes of Tracy Arm Fjord—a natural gem with more than 30 miles of deep, narrow passageways surrounded by glacier-carved cliffs and epic waterfalls. Guests can continuously marvel at the untamed destinations, wherever they turn, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the ship.
Take a closer look at the destinations Serenade visits here.
Found your fit and ready to explore further? Head here to see what lays in store on a Royal Caribbean cruise to the wilds of Alaska.