The waters of Alaska are an enchanting place, and one of the most popular ways to see this part of the world is to float through it on a cruise ship. How much an Alaskan cruise costs in total depends largely on the cruise line. Like hotels, cruise lines vary greatly in the amount of luxury afforded to their guests. For a seven-day cruise, you can expect a base price of $600 and $2,000 per person on a mass-market ship. For luxury vessels and private accommodations, this can rise as high as $5,000. These prices include all of your meals on the vast majority of cruise lines. But there are still other extras to plan for.
The first and biggest additional expense to think about is airfare -- the cost of transportation to and from the departure and final-destination ports. The most common ports for Alaskan cruises are Vancouver, British Columbia, and San Francisco. Airfares are always in flux, so check airline and travel websites.
Port Fees and Taxes
While port fees and taxes are sometimes included in the price of the cruise, most of the time they are an added expense. If they are not included, plan on $100 to $200 for this expense.
Alaskan cruises offer a lot of nature-oriented shore excursions for an additional fee. Depending on the excursions and the cruise line, these can run anywhere from $40 to $400 per person.
Most on-board shows are included in the base price of the cruise, but certain lines may charge extra. You will also find casinos and spas aboard many ships; these will cost extra.
Just because your meal is included in the price of the cruise does not mean that your martini is, too. The vast majority of cruise lines charge extra for alcoholic drinks consumed on board, with or without a meal. Some charge for non-alcoholic drinks as well.
Each day you are on your cruise, you will encounter cruise line employees you should tip -- from bartenders and waiters to the friendly people who carry your bags. As a rule, plan to spend $5 to $10 per person per day on tips.