The Alaska cruise season has just begun in 2022, and all this excitement might be the impetus you need to book a cruise to The Last Frontier in 2023.
While some may be able to turn around and book an Alaska cruise for later this season, many families need more time to plan out a trip. Not to mention the financial benefits of booking a cruise to Alaska well in advance.
Being just about a year away, we are in a prime point of the calendar to look ahead to 2023 and reserve an Alaska cruise.
Royal Caribbean will send four cruise ships to Alaska in 2023, and we took a look at the cruise pricing as it stands now to pick out some of the best prices you could get by booking right now.
Just like cruises to the Caribbean and Europe, Alaska cruise prices fluctuate all the time. But, the best prices are usually found when booking a year in advance. The Alaska season is short, so that means limited opportunity (and subsequently cabins) to reserve a sailing.
A look at Royal Caribbean's Alaska 2023 cruise prices
Our methodology is simple: I looked at the price for two adults to go on a Royal Caribbean cruise to Alaska in 2023 and came up with the lowest price for each of the sailings in Royal Caribbean's 2023 Alaska season.
The search was conducted on May 12, 2022 and the prices were accurate as of the time of the search. It's doubtful the price would have changed much, if at all, between when the search was conducted and when the article was published.
In comparing the data across 84 sailings, I wanted to come up with the best possible prices to see what patterns could be discerned.
There also could be various other discounts that could be applied to alter these prices, such as Crown and Anchor, residency, and age discounts.
Cheapest cabin price for 2023 Alaska cruise
- Cheapest possible cabin (inside): Enchantment of the Seas 7-night Alaska cruise April 23, 2023 from Vancouver: $381
- Cheapest possible oceanview cabin: Enchantment of the Seas 7-night Alaska cruise April 23, April 30 or September 17, 2023 from Vancouver: $621
- Cheapest possible balcony cabin: Ovation of the Seas 8-night Alaska cruise May 11, 2023 from Seattle, Washington: $793
- Cheapest possible suite: Enchantment of the Seas 7-night Alaska cruise September 17, 2023 from Vancouver: $2,005
It's no surprise that the cheapest Alaska prices came exclusively during the shoulder season in April and September.
Moreover, the fact the cheapest cabin was found three out of four times on Enchantment of the Seas is not surprise since Enchantment is the smallest and oldest ship offering cruises to Alaska in 2023.
Typically, Royal Caribbean discounts its oldest and smallest ships because there is less demand for these vessels, regardless of where they are sailing to. When compared to the two Ovation Class ships or even Radiance of the Seas, Enchantment has the least activities and things to do onboard.
Average cheapest price for 2023 Alaska cruise
Next I wanted to get an idea of what the average price is for each sailing when comparing the lowest price for each cruise ship cabin category.
Across all ships
- Inside cabin: $744.04
- Oceanview: $896.61
- Balcony: $1,428
- Suite: $2,544
Enchantment of the Seas
- Inside cabin: $757.41
- Oceanview: $907.85
- Balcony: $1451.41
- Suite: $2549.82
Ovation of the Seas
- Inside cabin: $757.47
- Oceanview: $908.51
- Balcony: $1433.81
- Suite: $2565.43
Quantum of the Seas
- Inside cabin: $758.85
- Oceanview: $907.51
- Balcony: $1433.75
- Suite: $2562.33
Radiance of the Seas
- Inside cabin: $765.66
- Oceanview: $916.48
- Balcony: $1452.78
- Suite: $2565.74
Most expensive cheap cabin price for 2023 Alaska cruise
In case you're wondering how much of a deal the cheapest cabin prices were listed earlier, here are the top weeks you can expect to find the highest price among the lowest fares available.
- Inside cabin: Ovation of the Seas 7-night Alaska cruise July 21, 2023 from Seattle, Washington: $1,001.00
- Oceanview cabin: Ovation of the Seas 7-night Alaska cruise July 17, 2023 from Seattle, Washington: $1191.00
- Balcony cabin: Radiance of the Seas 7-night Southbound Alaska cruise July 21, 2023 from Seward, Alaska: $1987.00
- Suite: Ovation of the Seas 7-night Alaska cruise July 21, 2023 from Seattle, Washington: $3423.00
The highest prices for a 2023 Alaska cruise will be found right in the middle of prime season during the month of July.
July is when it is warmest in Alaska and every school is off for summer break. This means the most people possible have the opportunity to take a vacation, and mid July is exactly when we see the highest prices for an Alaska cruise.
Moreover, three out of the four highest prices are found on the newest cruise ship, Ovation of the Seas. Ovation offers the latest features of all the Royal Caribbean ships sailing to Alaska, which carries the highest wide-appeal.
I was surprised to see Radiance of the Seas coming in with the highest price for a balcony cabin given that Radiance is older and smaller than either Ovation or Quantum of the Seas. Plus, Radiance is sailing an open-jaw from Seward to Vancouver, which usually turns off a lot of people. Perhaps the itinerary is particularly appealing to many, along with the fact Quantum Class ships have a higher percentage of balcony cabins.
Should I wait to book a last minute Alaska cruise?
The alternative to booking a year in advance is to wait for a last minute cruise.
There can be good deals for Alaska cruises closer to sailing, but you run the risk of there not being that lucrative of a deal.
If you really don't care about your cabin type or week you sail, you might get lucky with a last minute booking, especially if you can cruise in the shoulder season when many others are unable to go. The months of April, early May and September are in that shoulder season when the temperatures are lowest and school is still in session.
If you look at 2022 Alaska cruise prices, there are some low prices available, primarily on Radiance of the Seas open-jaw sailings. Prices at the time this article was written were as low as $240 per person, although that's for an interior cabin at the end of August. That price jumps to $863 per person if you want a balcony room.
Many cruise fans advocate a balcony cabin is a must-do when sailing to Alaska.
Generally speaking, waiting to book a 2023 Alaska cruise at the last minute is not a great idea, unless you live close to the west coast. Expensive airfare prices alone might offset any savings you get from a last minute cruise fare.