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Best Small Ship Expedition Cruises to Alaska

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The remote wilderness of Alaska beckons, and we’re here to help you plan your trip with our guide to choosing the best small ship cruise for your visit to this natural northern paradise. Home to grizzly bears, eagles, wolves, caribou, moose, and other majestic creatures, small ship cruises give you a more up-close encounter with the amazing wildlife on breathtaking backdrops of mountains, endless fields, and evergreen forests. 

Plus, unlike many major cruise lines, on a small ship cruise you can count on unparalleled service, freshly prepared meals, and well appointed accommodations. Our hand-selected itineraries and cruise lines visit the most remote destinations and feature exciting adventures and activities. 

UnCruise
Exciting daily activities, close-up cultural experiences, and wildlife are at the heart of UnCruise Alaska cruises. With a fleet of small ships and yachts designed or refurbished especially for Alaskan cruises, travelers will be able to enjoy itineraries that only small ships can afford, anchoring in ports where bigger ships could not navigate. Activities you will have a chance to participate in may include stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, and nature exploration, led by expert naturalist guides. A few of our favorite Alaska vessels are:
Alaskan Dream Cruises
Owned, operated, and guided by a family of life-long Alaskans, Alaskan Dream Cruises offer among the most authentic experiences of any Alaskan wilderness cruise, with itineraries that give guests a personal touch that includes interaction with local people and indigenous cultures and fascinating evening presentations. All accommodations, meals, certain drinks, ground transportation, and standard shore excursions are included. Want to know what we’re dreaming of? Check out these great yachts and ships: Baranof Dream, Chichagof Dream, Admiralty Dream, Alaskan Dream. Misty Fjord and Kruzof Explorer are much smaller more luxurious yachts inviting guests to enjoy unparalleled service, attention, and appointments.

Lindblad Expeditions
You might know Lindblad as one of the pioneers in ecotourism and adventure cruising, and they are still committed to this mission as they welcome travelers to experience the wilds of Alaska, but a partnership with National Geographic makes their expeditions truly marvelous - giving explorers the chance to experience nature along with the world renowned expedition team that has been captivating us in documentaries and magazines for decades. With expeditions to the most remote destinations around the world, Lindblad’s slate of Alaskan adventures offers the same excitement and adventure. Explore the National Geographic Quest and National Geographic Venture for a look at a few of their best Alaska cruise ships.

Heritage Expeditions
This family-owned and operated adventure cruising company hosts a number of exciting itineraries each year to Alaska and other destinations like Antarctica and the Arctic. With accommodations for a small number of travelers, Heritage Expeditions pairs their Alaska cruises with their cruises of the Russian Arctic for a unique experience. 

Silversea 
A familiar name to seasoned adventure cruisers, Silversea offers a full slate of expedition cruises to some of the most remote destinations of the Arctic and Antarctica, and their Alaska cruises are no exception to these exciting luxurious adventures. Among the larger of the small ship options cruising Alaska, Silversea gives guests a mix of comfort, space, and gourmet food without sacrificing that personalized experience that travelers should expect on a small ship cruise. Daily excursions make for exciting itineraries led by expert guides.

Ponant
Reflective of its French roots, the chic megayachts of Ponant feature both classic cruising experiences between Juneau and Vancouver or our personal favorite - the expedition style itineraries that take you to the remote stretches of the Alaskan wilderness, where guides will take you into the verdant wilds of this bountiful land. Majestic landscapes, gourmet meals, and comfortable accommodations are all part of the Alaskan experience with Ponant. 

Whether you decide to start your Alaska trip in Nome, Anchorage, British Columbia, Seattle, Ketchikan, Sitka, or Juneau.   Adventure Life's Alaska cruise experts will help you craft the perfect trip crafted to your precise interests, budget, and schedule.
 

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Mendenhall Glacier with field of Fireweed in Juneau, Alaska
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