Explore up close and in style aboard our curated selection of the best Alaska luxury cruises. Alaska is one of the world’s most popular cruising destinations with glaciers, whales, bears, eagles and rugged scenic landscapes. Cruising aboard a small ship or luxury yacht is critical to experience true Alaska up close, venturing in majestic fjords, in front of massive glaciers and remote wilderness inaccessible by large cruise ships. On a luxury Alaska cruise, view amazing wildlife and explore further on shore hikes, Zodiac excursions and sea kayak explorations. Do not trade comfort for adventure, you can have it all on a luxury Alaskan cruise.

What is the best luxury Alaska cruise? Below our experts tell you all you need to know about luxury Alaskan cruises, including which ships offer them and what sets luxury apart from more mainstream cruises. We helped pioneer small ship cruising in Alaska and are your personal resource to find the best luxury cruises in Alaska.

The Alaska Luxury Cruise Experience

What do Alaska luxury cruises offer? All of our Alaska small ship cruises provide a comfortable vessel with a focus on exploring wilderness landscapes and incredible wildlife through daily guided shore excursions and off-vessel explorations. As you cruise Alaska, expect to experience wildlife up close on a variety of itineraries. In the sea, look for humpback and orca whales, sea lions, sea otters and seals, porpoise, dolphins and more. Cruising close to shore reveals brown and black bears, moose, mountain goats or even a rare wolf or wolverine. Birders will appreciate over 500 resident species including bald eagles and colorful puffins.

Why Choose a Luxury Alaska Cruise?

How are Alaska luxury cruises different from typical cruises? When you choose a luxury Alaska cruise expect fewer passengers and the finest staterooms and cabins that are larger than typical ships and yachts. These boats have exceptional view windows and many rooms have private balconies. Expect the best itineraries, gourmet cuisine, the finest amenities, beautiful public spaces, superior service and top-rated naturalist guides with a high crew-to-guide ratio. Many luxury cruises are all inclusive with activities, excursions and even alcohol included in the price. Our selection of luxury Alaskan cruises is hand picked and personally inspected by our experts to bring you only the finest vessels and experiences available in Alaska.

View our Alaska small ship cruise finder to view all of our Alaska cruises and compare them to each small luxury cruise in Alaska found on this page. Our How to Choose Your Alaska Cruise and Alaska by Month guides are also great resources. But the best route to your luxury Alaskan cruise is contacting one of our luxury Alaska cruise specialists, who are here to help compare, contrast and provide you with personalized recommendations for the best luxury Alaskan cruise based on your interests and timeline.

We are award-winning Alaska experts who helped pioneer small ship cruising in Alaska, here to help you find the right luxury Alaska cruise at the best price. Our continually updated list of Alaska small ship cruise deals will help our specialists find your optimal luxury Alaskan cruise at a great rate. All our Alaska luxury cruises are custom arranged, and you will work with a dedicated Adventure Specialist with expertise to help you research, book and prepare for your cruise. Our crew will handle all the arrangements including permits, park fees, transfers, flights, pre or post hotel arrangements and custom Alaska land tour extensions. Consider adding one of our luxury land tours to Glacier Bay, Denali National Park, Kenai Fjords or Alaska’s Arctic. Or contact our experts to customize your own private luxury land tour.

Alaska Luxury Ships

Your Alaska luxury cruise experience will be profoundly impacted by the vessel you choose. What is the most luxurious small ship cruising in Alaska? Each Alaska small ship on our luxury list has its own amenities and personality and the perfect ship for you will depend on your interests. Our crew will help you narrow down the options to focus on the best luxury Alaska cruise ships to suit your wishes. For instance, the 100-guest National Geographic Venture and National Geographic Quest are state-of-the-art, purpose-built luxury expedition ships with all the usual upscale amenities. In addition, the National Geographic ships feature thoughtful design considerations such as open decks with a tiered system for optimal wildlife viewing and specialty tools for exploration like an underwater rover, hydrophone, video microscope and splash-cam. The 84-guest Safari Endeavour offers unique amenities usually found aboard a yacht such as hot tubs, an intimate wine bar and memory foam mattress bedding. The 36-guest Safari Explorer is sometimes referred to as a Goldilocks of small ships: not too big, not too small, but just the right size. 

Alaska Luxury Yachts

Small luxurious yachts in Alaska provide the most intimate experience available. Clients often ask us what is the most luxurious Alaska yacht? Each yacht has features and amenities that makes it unique and we pride ourselves on helping guests find the perfect match. The 22-guest Safari Quest is a top choice with a casual elegance and upscale amenities including memory foam mattresses, heated tile floors and private balconies in Captain category cabins. The 12-guest Kruzof Explorer is a dedicated luxury Alaska cruise ship, a former crab fishing boat meticulously converted with modern renovations and elegant furnishings resulting in unparalleled seaworthiness and performance that stands alone in Alaska. The 8-guest Golden Eagle, another ship only operating Alaska luxury cruises, was originally built for the Budweiser Brewing Company for use by executives and important clients and now boasts Ozzy Osbourne among her past charter guests in recent years. At 100 feet long she is a spacious mega yacht with a high crew-to-guest ratio. The 8-guest Westward is a classic yacht that makes it on to our luxury list because of her history and charm. Arguably Seattle’s most historic yacht, she launched in 1924 and hosted distinguished guests such as Bing Crosby, Walt Disney and John Wayne.

Alaska Luxury Charters

All our Alaska luxury small ships and yachts are available for a full boat charter. There are a number of benefits to booking an Alaska yacht charter. Full boat charter rates will cost less per person than booking individual cabins. A charter offers added exclusivity, intimacy and safety of your own private group. Finally, a charter allows you to custom craft the experience and itinerary to fit the interests and abilities of your group. For more tips, see our posts on How to Charter a Yacht in 7 Steps and How Much Does it Cost to Charter a Yacht.