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Alaska 2015 Small Ship Early Booking Tips

by Todd Smith

Many of our most popular Alaska small ship cruises are already filling up for 2015. If you are planning an Alaska cruise next summer now is the time to begin your planning.

2015 Alaska Cruises

With over 20 years experience in Alaska small ship cruises we know how to get the best price, the best dates and the best cabin on your next cruise. Read our early booking tips then contact our Alaska travel specialists to begin planning your adventure. 

Best Price on Alaska Small Ships

There are very affordable cabins on a number of our most popular Alaska small ship cruises. Some start for as little as $1895 per person for a 7 night/8 day cruise. These cabins are the first to sell out and you must book early, at least 9-12 months in advance, in order to get them.

Entry level cabin categories, such as Navigator cabins aboard the Wilderness Adventurer or Wilderness Discoverer or category A cabins aboard the Baranof Dream, offer some of the best value in small ship cruises. The most affordable fares occur in the early season of May and early June. By mid June through the end of August prices are at their high season peak. Some discounts are available in the late Alaska season of September. 

Luxury adventure cruises such as Discoverer's Glacier Country aboard the 84 guest Safari Endeavour and 22 guest Safari Quest offer early season discounted rates with savings up to $1300 per person. 

Smaller expedition boats often offer discounted exploratory trips in the early season. Inside Passage Cruises aboard the 12 guest Pacific Catalyst II offers a 14 day expedition from Washington State to Alaska and an early season 10 day exploration of Glacier Bay National Park for nearly the same price as their mid summer 8 day cruises. 

Take advantage of Alaska early booking discounts and special offers. Exploring Alaska's Coastal Wilderness aboard the 62 guest National Geographic Sea Bird and Sea Lion offers free air on early season cruises.

Best Dates on Alaska Cruises

Alaska has a short summer season from May through September each year and as such the climate can vary and wildlife patterns change throughout the summer. Migrating humpback whales, bears waking from hibernation, even the calving of glaciers all have season patterns that can influence your trip dates. Trips are discounted in the early season in May through early June when the demand is lower. Find the latest discounted trip date in June for the best combination of price and season. Or wait for prices to come down at the end of August and early September. Because savvy travelers seek these dates they are often the first to become booked, especially the most affordable cabin categories. 

For more tips see How to choose an Alaska Small Ship Cruise

Best Dates on Alaska Cruises

Best Cabins on Alaska Small Ships

Small ships are inherently small and cabin categories are often limited, especially those with an introductory low price. If you are looking for the lowest price cabin you must book early. In general cabins get better as you move to higher decks which are away from the noise of the engines and generators. These cabins often have windows instead of portholes and easier access to outer decks for wildlife viewing. Cabin on the lower decks often have portholes, they open to an interior hallway instead of an outside deck and they can be noisier. Which is why these cabins are less expensive. Sometimes you may find one or two lower priced cabins on the higher decks. These are the ones to look for. Each small ship is unique and each cruise line and deck plan treats cabin categories differently. 

Keep in mind that on Alaska adventure cruise you don't spend a lot of time in your cabin. Days are filled with off vessel hiking and kayaking adventures. Evenings are spent at happy hour in the lounge and attending naturalist presentations. Time in your cabin is often limited to sleeping, showering and changing. With this in mind you don't always need to splurge on the higher end cabins and suites.

When you arrive for your Alaska small ship cruise ask the hotel manager upon check in if there are any upgrades available. Sometime if there are now shows or if the sailing is not completely booked the crew can authorize upgrades at a discount or even free for guests who ask. 

Safari Endeavour Commodore Suite

Alaska 2015 Cruises to Book Now

Un-Cruise Adventure Ships

Eastern Coves Adventure Cruise, Western Coves Adventure Cruise and Northern Passages & Glacier Bay aboard the Wilderness Explorer, Wilderness Adventurer and Wilderness Discoverer are among the most popular Alaska adventure cruises available. Early season dates in May and early June are discounted and among the least expensive small ships available in Alaska.  As such they sell out early and these select dates are already 30-40% booked. The least expensive Navigator cabins are in particularly high demand and are nearly sold out in the early summer. Select May and June cruises have limited space while July and August still have space available. 

Alaska 2015 Small Ship Cruises

Uncruise Luxury Adventure Yachts

Discoverer's Glacier Country aboard the 36 guest Safari Explorer is a yearly favorite for travelers seeking upscale adventure. Mid summer July cruises are beginning to fill up while early and late season are still fine.

Discoverers Glacier Country 2015

Inside Passage Catalyst

This is the right time to book Cabins 1 and 6 with private bathrooms on the Inside Passage Cruise aboard the 12 guest Pacific Catalyst II. Almost all 2015 departures still have one or both of these cabins available, but these are always the first to sell out. The ship visits Pack Creek (with permits) beginning in mid-July and throughout August.

Pacific Catalyst 2015

Lindblad National Geographic

Exploring Alaska's Coastal Wilderness aboard the 62 guest National Geographic Sea Bird or Sea Lion are consistently sold out early and 2015 is no exception. May through early June is getting tight due to a "Free Air" special offer.

National Geographic Alaska 2015

Alaskan Dream Cruises

Like other small ship cruise lines, Alaskan Dream Cruises discounts their early season departures in May and these are often the first cruises to sell out. Booking the 8- day Glacier Bay & Island Adventure aboard the Baranof Dream can save up to $700 per person over high season cruises.

Glacier Bay and Island Adventure

Early Booking Alaska Cruises

We have already booked twice as many Alaska cruises as we had at this time last year. Travelers who wait to book certain Alaska cruises are going to find their options very limited. Call our Alaska small ship cruise specialists to check availability and book your dream Alaska vacation. 

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