Alaska

What should I pack for a cruise to Alaska?

In:
Category: 
14Jan2020

An Alaska cruise will take you to some of the most beautiful scenery on the world.  It is filled with breathtaking views, new discoveries, and trails to awe-inspiring views.

The Last Frontier is known for glaciers, wildlife spotting, and the Norther Lights. With so much to see and do, packing for this kind of a bucket list adventure is no easy task.

There are a few important things to know about what to pack for an Alaskan cruise, so here are the basics.

This post contains affiliate links, however, all opinions expressed are exclusively are my own. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Layers

If there is one mantra about Alaska that is absolutely true, it is the idea of "layering".

Essentially, the weather changes a lot during the day in Alaska.  It may start out cold and rainy, then the sun comes out and warms things up, followed by a breezy afternoon and perhaps rain again.

Cruise experts will tell you want to have three basic layers while in Alaska:

  1. Base layer: t-shirt and jeans
  2. Warm layer: Fleece or down jacket/sweater
  3. Waterproof layer: Thin waterproof jacket suitable for when it rains

The idea is you can take off or put back on any of these layers at any given time. 

Base Layer

The base layer is suitable for when you are on the cruise ship, or when the sun is shining while outdoors.  This is essentially the kind of clothing you would wear in the early spring or fall back at home, where it is warm, but not hot, outside.

You should plan to pack primarily t-shirts or other casual mostly warm weather shirts as your base layer. Plan on having one for every day.

Warm layer

This is the layer you put on when temperatures start to go down and it gets chilly.  

It seems like most people opt for fleece jackets or pullovers from brands such as North Face or Columbia.  Brands aside, you want something that will keep you warm without resorting to something too "poofy".  Parka jackets, need not apply.

I invested in a quality fleece jacket, and also packed one or two hoodies that I can swap out interchangeably. You do not need one for each day, but should have a back up option or two just in case.

Waterproof layer

This is what you put on when it rains.  Rain in Alaska varies, and is often misty and light, but definitely occurs off and on sporadically.

Just like the warm layer, you do not want something bulky, because more than likely you will be carrying around this layer with you just in case it rains. 

A windproof rain jacket is a solid bet. Be sure to get one that is lightweight.

A popular choice are three-in-one jackets that have the warm layer and waterproof layer bundled together, and can be taken off as needed. 

Regardless of what rain jacket you opt for, you want to make sure it is light enough to put in a backpack to carry around without being a nuisance.

Shoes

There is a lot of advice when it comes to the proper footwear in Alaska, and I believe the proper footwear depends on what you plan to do on your shore excursions.

At the very minimum, you need sneakers or other closed toed shoes suitable for walking and perhaps light hiking (as in going up a paved trail).

If you plan on doing real hiking, where you will be going into the brush and going off-road, then water-resistant shoes/hiking boots are the way to go.  Unless you are the Bear Grylls type, hiking boots are likely overkill, and waterproof hiking shoes are a more practical bet.

Binoculars

Something you would (likely) never pack in the Caribbean are binoculars, and there is definitely good reason to bring one.

Whether on sea or land, you will be surrounded by beautiful landscapes filled with wildlife spotting opportunities. Binoculars with a great ability to zoom is what you want, and quality is important here.  

I will caution that you do not need to get binoculars, and should not spend a great deal of money in a pair that you may never use again. Ideally, borrow one from someone else, or perhaps look for a sale.  But if the price is too high, this is one area I think can be left off.

Clothing accessories to keep you warm

In addition to the layering advice earlier, you may want to pack other items to keep you warm(er).  These are items that help with keeping your extremities warm, including:

Backpack

 

You want to bring a high quality and durable backpack for your time on shore in Alaska. 

Your backpack will need to carry your personal documents, water bottle, rain jacket (if not wearing it), warm layer (if not wearing it), snacks, sunscreen, bug spray and more.

Ideally, you will want a water resistant backpack in case it rains all day.

Alternatively, some people prefer a lightweight, water-resistant crossbody bag. Regardless, you will need a means of carrying your supplies.

Bathing suit

Yes, seriously.

While it may not seem like you will swim, your Royal Caribbean ship still has a hot tub and you would be surprised how many people end up going for a swim.

Odds are you already own a bathing suit, so throw it in your bag just in case you find the desire to go.

Sunscreen

 

Yes, seriously. The reflection of the sun off snow or ice on a glacier is a recipe for getting sunburnt easily.

This is especially true on faces, so pack some to avoid paying ridiculous prices for it in Alaska or on your ship.  

Camera

If you have been wanting to upgrade your camera for a while, a cruise to Alaska is the perfect excuse.

Not only do you want a high-pixel camera that can take the kind of photos you would want to humble brag about on Facebook, you are going to want a a good zoom lens to go with it.

Be sure to also invest in plenty of memory cards to ensure you never run out of space for photos. Quite often, you will be snapping photos in rapid succession in hopes one of them came out well. 

A DSLR camera is not for everyone, so if you prefer something more compact, consider a higher-end point-and-shoot camera.  I really like the Sony RX series of cameras for this purpose.

If you are going to rely on your phone, you can purchase phone lens attachments to enhance your photo taking capability.  

Insect repellent

Mosquitoes in Alaska have a nasty reputation (where don't mosquitos have a bad reputation?), especially in the summer months.

Be sure to pack insect repellent and apply liberally to avoid becoming a walking Windjammer for the official state bird of New Jersey.

What is the best time to cruise to Alaska?

In:
Category: 
21Dec2019

Finding the cheapest time for an Alaska cruise will depend on your vacation budget, how much time you can dedicate to the cruise and weather considerations. To help pick the best time of year to cruise, we have a comprehensive look at what you need to know about taking a cruise to Alaska.

The Alaska cruise season spans the months of May through September. Nearly all of Royal Caribbean's cruises are seven nights sailings, although there are land tours you can tack onto the cruise to expand the adventure.

May

 

May is the early part of the Alaska cruise season, and it is the time of year when things begin to truly thaw in Alaska after winter. The average high temperature in Juneau in May is 56°F. May is also one of the driest months of the Alaska cruise season, which means less of a chance of being rained on during your shore excursion.

May is also one the best values for cruising to Alaska, with the lowest fares of the season. In fact, May is part of the "shoulder season" because of the lower temperatures and the fact school is still in session, so bargain hunters will want to target this month. To that point, you will generally find lower crowds in Alaska during this month.

June & July

  

The summer cruise season is during the months of June and July, and is one of the most popular times of the year to go on a cruise to Alaska. You will find the most daylight hours (14 to 18) during this time of year. The average temperatures range between 62°F - 65°F in June and July. The weather can still be a little drier in early June, but that will change by July.

July is the warmest month of the Alaska cruise season, with average highs around 65°F. Predicting the weather in July is difficult, as you can experience rain, hot temperatures and everything inbetween. 

In terms of crowds, you will find peak cruising season begin in mid-June, and extend through much of August. In short, this is peak cruising season, so deals and low fares are few and far between.  Bargains can still be found in early June, but the closer you get to July, the higher those prices.

If wildlife is of interest, then early June is a great time for whale watching because this is around the time of year where whales reach Alaska waters and active near or at the surface.

It is also worth noting that peak Mosquito season is from mid June though about the end of July. The good news for cruisers is that mosquitoes are not seagoing and they do not like wind at all. Moreover, mosquitoes tend to be worst in Northern Alaska, so it is less of a concern for cruise ship guests.

August

August is another busy time of year for cruises to Alaska, but it also represents the tail end of the peak cruise season. The closer to the end of the month, the better prices you will find on cruises. In general, prices in August tend to be lower than June or July, making it a more affordable time of year to cruise.

August averages about 16 hours of daylight, so this means daylight hours are at their peak. Most of the month is still quite busy from a crowds standpoint. Rainfall is at its highest in August, with around half the days in August experiencing rain.

The Alaska berry picking season is anywhere from late August to late September. In addition, bears are quite active in August due to the great salmon spawn. Whales are also active in August, as they start their migration south.

September

September culminates with the end of the Alaska cruise season, and it is a shoulder season for sailings. As a result, you can find some of the best deals of the year for Alaska.

Autumn arrives early in Alaska, and that means leaves changing colors and cooler weather. Temperatures are usually closer to the beginning of the cruise season. The average rainfall is still rather high.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game says moose, caribou and muskoxen all mate during this time, so they are active in open areas while they search for a mate or spar for dominance within the herd. Bears, however, tend to begin their hibernation during this month.

Which month to choose

To pick the right time of year to cruise for you, you will have to weigh cruise costs, weather, and what you are most interested in seeing. Alaska cruise prices are lowest in May or September. The least amount of rain is typically in May or early June. June, July and August offer the warmest temperatures and some of the most active wildlife spotting opportunities.

  • Best value: May or September
  • Best time for whale watching: June or July
  • Best time for bears, moose and other animals: August

The bottom line is a cruise to Alaska is rarely disappointing. Regardless of which month you choose, Alaska is a fantastic place to explore and each month provides some intriguing benefits.

Royal Caribbean releases 2021 Alaska, Hawaii & Transpacific sailings

In:
06Nov2019

For the second consecutive year, Royal Caribbean will bring three ships to Alaska, as the cruise line opened up bookings for its 2021 Alaska itineraries.

New Alaska, Hawaii and Transpacific sailings are now available to book, with three ships offering varying 7-night itineraries sailing from Seattle, Vancouver, British Columbia; and Seward, Alaska.

Beginning in April 2021, Radiance of the Seas will offer a 17-night Transpacific Tahiti & New Zealand cruise.  It will begin in Brisbane, Australia and visit destinations in New Zealand, Tahiti and French Polynesia before arriving in Oahu (Honolulu), Hawaii.

Similarly, Serenade of the Seas will sail from Sydney, Australia in April 2021, and embark on a transpacific cruise that will go to Hawaii.

Ovation of the Seas will sail from Tokyo (Yokohama), Japan, and begin a 14-night Japan, Russia & Alaska cruise.  It will conclude in Seattle, Washington.

In May 2021, Serenade of the Seas will offer an 11-night Hawaii cruise that begins in Oahu (Honolulu), Hawaii and will visit a few Hawaii islands before concluding in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  Radiance of the Seas will offer a similar sailing, a 10-night Hawaii cruise that begins in Oahu and ends in Vancouver.

The 2021 sailings to Alaska show three ships will offer sailings: Ovation of the Seas from Seattle, and Radiance of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas from Vancouver.

 

At the conclusion of the Alaskan cruise season, Radiance of the Seas will offer a 10-night Hawaii cruise that begins in Vancouver, and then concludes in Oahu (Honolulu), Hawaii.

All three ships will debut Royal Caribbean’s spa staterooms. The brand-new lineup of balcony accommodations will allow guests to relax in between adventures with an array of amenities and perks, including priority spa reservations, lush bedding and bath products, tranquil décor, daily delivery of tea, water and coffee; and priority boarding at embarkation.

Be sure to consult the Royal Caribbean website or your travel professional for further assistance with itinerary options and booking.

Spotted: Royal Caribbean begins scheduling stops in Glacier Bay National Park

In:
Category: 
15Jul2019

It appears after recieving permission to sail to Glacier Bay in Alaska, Royal Caribbean has begun re-scheduling select itineraries to visit the National Park.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader KJ1231 shared an update for a Radiance of the Seas 2020 sailing where a scheduled stop in Skagway was replaced with a visit to Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska.

The change means Royal Caribbean will offer cruises to Glacier Bay National Park for the first time in over 20 years. The park sits on about 3.3 million acres of natural wonder.

Earlier this year, Royal Caribbean was awarded access to Glacial Bay for the 2019-2029 cruise seasons by the National Park Service (NPS).

Review: North Star Alaska Experience on Ovation of the Seas

In:
23May2019

Royal Caribbean has introduced a new Alaskan experience on it’s newest and largest ship to visit Alaska Ovation of the Seas.  The North Star Alaskan Experience is offered in addition to the customary and complimentary North Star Experience offered to guests on some Quantum class ships.  The new North Star Alaskan Experience is offered when the ship calls on Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier during the summer Alaska cruise season. 

The Alaskan edition of the North Star Experience is offered at an additional charge and timed to occur during the ship’s visit to Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier.   Unlike the complimentary North Star experience the Alaskan experience ride extends over the sides of the ship giving participants unparalleled views of the ship and the surroundings.  Float over the side of the ship as pieces of glaciers float by below you.  

The North Star Alaskan Experience begins with complimentary hot chocolate in an exclusive area of the North Star Bar for participants while they wait for their North Star Alaskan Experience.

The initial offering of the North Star Alaskan Experience is priced at $49 per person for adult or child with up to fourteen guests per ride. The experience is shared with any other guests who book the same time.

The North Star Alaskan Experience lasts approximately 15 to 20 minutes and begins by rising to a height of approximately 250 feet above sea level where the North Star turns and extends over the side of the ship.  This position is held for a few minutes giving participants an incredible view of the ship and surroundings before the North Star climbs to a height of approximately 300 feet above sea level.

 After several minutes the North Star lowers and extends over the opposite side of the ship at approximately 250 feet above seal level before eventually returning to center and gently lowering back to it’s starting position.

 

The North Star Alaskan Experience is available while the ship is within Endicott Arm during the approach and departure from Dawes Glacier and it is available while the ship is at Dawes Glacier.  Both offer a unique and different perspective.  On the Ovation of the Seas initial visit to Dawes Glacier the rides starting between 9am and 10am offered views of Dawes Glacier while the rides before and after featured views of Endicott Arm.  This will vary from sailing to sailing depending on time of arrival and ice conditions.

Guests interested in the complimentary North Star Experience will find the North Star available based on reservations at certain times and purely on a walk up basis at other times.  A standby line is available during reservation based times for last minute guests on a space available basis.  The complimentary North Star Experience does not extend over the sides of the ship.  

Limited reservations are usually offered in the Cruise Planner before sailing while the majority of North Star reservations are offered only on board once the cruise has started.  Reservations can be made by visiting the temporary Box Office kiosks upon boarding on embarkation day.

The North Star Alaskan Experience is only offered on Ovation of the Seas and it’s a unique perspective to an Alaska cruise available on no other ship or cruise line.  

First look: Ovation of the Seas visits Alaska glaciers

In:
21May2019

Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas has begun sailing her inaugural season in Alaska, and she is the first Quantum Class ship to offer cruises in the region.

When you combine the natural splendor and beauty of Alaska with one of the world's most advanced cruise ships, the result is a fantastic view.

Royal Caribbean crew ambassador Stephen Burke snapped these photos of Hubbard Glacier from Ovation of the Seas on her recent visit.

With the highest vantage point on any cruise ship, the North Star – the ship’s signature glass observation capsule with panoramic views from 300 feet above sea level – is the “best seat in the house” for guests to take in the majestic mountains, eye-catching glaciers and diverse wildlife native to the state’s stunning landscape.

This year marks Ovation of the Seas' first season offering cruises to The Last Frontier, with 7-night itineraries to destinations from Juneau to Victoria, British Columbia

Ovation will return to Alaska in 2020 for her second consecutive season to offer cruises through the region’s untouched wilds on 7-night itineraries from Seattle, Washington.

Royal Caribbean receives permission to sail to Glacier Bay

In:
Category: 
29Mar2019

The National Park Services has awarded a new ten-year concession contract to Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd to provide cruise ship services in Glacier Bay National Park, beginning October 1, 2019.

Royal Caribbean has been awarded access to Glacial Bay for the upcoming 2019-2029 cruise seasons by the National Park Service (NPS).  Every ten years NPS contracts are awarded allowing selected cruise lines to operate with the the Park.  Each cruise is allowed a specific number of visits in the Alaska summer cruise season plus additional visits in the Alaska shoulder cruise season, including May and September.

The Parks Service asked each cruise line detailed questions about the impact its ships would have on the park's ecosystem. A panel of technical experts reviewed each proposal package submitted by various cruise lines, and Royal Caribbean was among seven cruises lines that were awarded a contract.

"We are excited to welcome seven cruise lines to Glacier Bay. The very competitive process resulted in some of the highest cruise tourism environmental standards and best visitor experience quality seen in the world," said park superintendent Philip Hooge.

Covering 3.3 million acres of rugged mountains, dynamic glaciers, temperate rainforest, wild coastlines and deep sheltered fjords, Glacier Bay National Park is a highlight of Alaska's Inside Passage and part of a 25-million acre World Heritage Site—one of the world’s largest international protected areas. 

Video: Alaska cruise mistakes to avoid!

In:
07Feb2019

Are you planning a Royal Caribbean cruise to Alaska and looking to avoid some easy pitfalls? After taking our first cruise to Alaska, we have a few of the things we wish we did differently.

A cruise to Alaska should be at the top of any cruisers' must-do list, and we loved our time visiting the Last Frontier, but we definitely learned a few lessons from our first Alaskan cruise. For our next cruise, we will definitely change things up and we are sharing our lessons learned in this brand new Royal Caribbean Blog video!

And if you love this video, we have lots of other great cruise videos to watch on our Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube Channel!

By the way, have you subscribed yet? Be sure to subscribe to our channel and never miss a single episode!

If you have cruised to Alaska, what mistakes would you avoid the next time? Share your ideas in our comments!

Top 10 tips for planning your Alaska cruise

In:
Category: 
17Jan2019

If there is a cruise destination worthy of anyone's bucket list, it has to be Alaska. Royal Caribbean is one of the biggest cruise operators that offers regular service to Alaska and it is one of the top destinations in cruising today.

Here are the fundamentals of planning a cruise to Alaska to kickstart your approach and ensure a great trip to the last—and vast—great frontier.

Invest in clothing essentials

Even though your Royal Caribbean cruise will take you to Alaska during the warmer months of the year, it can get downright cold (and wet) during your Alaska cruise.

Given its northerly position and varied geography—from mountains and oceans to glaciers and tundra—you can experience several microclimates in a short amount of time, which can mean extreme temperatures in one place, and mild conditions in the next.

There are plenty of great packing choices to consider, but here are the top things to have before heading to Alaska:

Pro tip: If buying an all-new wardrobe sounds expensive, consider buying clothes on eBay.  A quality jacket is an especially costly item, but buying a gently used one from eBay can save lots, especially for kids.

Pick the right cabin (without overpaying)

One of the lessons we learned from our first Royal Caribbean cruise to Alaska was that while a balcony cabin is nice to have, it is not nearly as essential as others lead us to believe.

If a balcony stateroom is in your budget, then definitely book one and enjoy the opportunity to have a private area to enjoy the natural beauty of Alaska anytime you see fit.  There is no denying having that easy access and private space, especially when near a glacier is a lovely perk.

However, you can still have an amazing Alaska cruise by depending on public areas to enjoy the view.  Royal Caribbean's ships feature ample deck space to enjoy the view, any time of the day.  Even when near a glacier, you ought to find great viewing opportunities.  Moreover, the price of a balcony room may be so much more expensive from a interior room, that we think it is a better investment to book the cheaper room and use the money saved to invest in an amazing shore excursion.

The bottom line is consider all room categories, but do not assume you have to get a balcony room.

Pro tip: If possible, book your stateroom as early as you can.  Prices for Alaska cruises tend to only go up over time, so book early.

Book your excursions in advance

An Alaska cruise places extra emphasis on the importance of your shore excursions.  Traveling to Alaska means getting out there and experiencing the natural wonders on foot!

Unlike Caribbean cruises where you can largely "wing it" when it comes to making on shore plans, you definitely want to research and plan your shore excursions ahead of time.  There are a ton of excursion choices, both from Royal Caribbean and third-party providers, so you will need time to consider each one and read about what others have done.

Be aware that some excursions can, and do, fill up. So if there are any that you know you definitely want to do, be sure to sign up in advance online.

Pro tip: You can get first-hand shore excursion reviews and recommendations from other blog readers in our Shore Excursions message board.

Research local food

One big mistake we made on our Alaska cruise was not taking the time to research where to eat in the various ports you visit. Alaska has some amazing local cuisine, but there are a lot of pretenders alongside the great stuff.

Each port you visit will take you to some terrific spots to eat, so don't rely purely on your Yelp app once in town.  Figure out the restaurants and bars you want to go to before you leave home, especially if you are interested in enjoying the best crab, salmon and beers of Alaska.

Try not to worry about the weather

News flash: it will rain while you are in Alaska, but it is also not the end of the world.

Weather forecasts do not always match you will experience. Be prepared for changing weather daily. Be prepared with varying clothing options (i.e. wear layers).  And when it does rain, just give it a few minutes, it generally does not last long. Take it all in. And remember, many excursions go rain or shine!

Pro tip: Despite the rain, do not pack an umbrella. Instead, make sure there’s a hood on your all-weather jacket. And it is worth noting that a hood takes up far less space than an umbrella, leaving more room for your gear and adventure essentials.

Bring binoculars

Alaska is all about what you see around you, and often the very best of Alaska's natural beauty and wildlife is best seen through a pair of binoculars.

You do not need to go crazy with the fanciest binocular on the market, but being able to zoom in on a bald eagle resting, or sea lions swimming is worth every penny of a binocular.

Fly into your departure port a day early

This tip can be applied to any cruise vacation, but flying into your departure port (Seattle or Vancouver) at least one day early is a really, really good idea.

If you are flying in from somewhere east, you will have to contend with a long flight and a different time zone.  Getting in a day early allows you to rest up before a busy first day on your cruise, along with more time to adjust the time zone change.

Pro tip: Speaking of your embarkation port, pick a hotel nearby the many local attractions so you can explore these exciting and beautiful cities.

Take advantage of port lectures

Royal Caribbean offers complimentary lectures presented by higher education staff on the history and culture of the ports your cruise will visit.

It is easy to overlook these type of offerings with so many other activities and things to do onboard your Royal Caribbean cruise but do yourself a favor and check these out. The lectures provided onboard offer important context for the adventures you will take on shore later in your visit.

These lectures may not offer money saving tips or pitfalls to avoid, but they do offer the kind of insider look at these ports that I think helps improve your appreciation of each city when you go to visit them later.

Alaska cruises are not like Caribbean cruises

 

If you are used to cruising in the Caribbean, going to Alaska is going to surprise you in some ways with the different approach and experience it offers.

Cruising to Alaska is a port intensive itinerary with shore excursions that cost significantly more money and far fewer party events.  Unlike the Caribbean where the places you visit can sometimes be secondary, an Alaska cruise is all about where you visit and the onboard experience can almost become an afterthought. 

Pro tip: Always walk off the ship when in any port you visit. Even if you have nothing booked, be sure to get off the ship at every port. Sometimes the piers are a little longer in Alaska but the port towns are pretty small and easily walkable making them nice for self-guided tours. 

Consider a cruisetour

In addition to the cruises, Royal Caribbean offers expanded journeys into Alaska with its cruisetour program.

A Royal Caribbean cruise tour will take you to even more incredible destinations that no cruise ship can visit. From the coastline to the heart of the frontier, a Royal Caribbean Alaska Cruisetour land and sea package delivers all the must-see sights by ship, train, and multi-night land tour. 

Either before or after your Royal Caribbean cruise, you can book a cruise tour that combines a cruise and a land tour, which usually runs three to seven nights. Popular destinations include Denali National Park (for wildlife viewing), Talkeetna (best place for Denali views) and Fairbanks (Alaska pipeline). 

Every Royal Caribbean Alaska Cruisetour includes knowledgeable Adventure Specialists who act as guides, historians and concierges. They are by your side for the entirety of the land tour, providing insider tips and local perspective.

Your thoughts

What are your top Alaska cruise tips? Share them or any questions you have about these tips in the comments!

Royal Caribbean planning its biggest deployment ever to Alaska in 2020

In:
07Nov2018

Royal Caribbean announced today it plans to send three ships to Alaska in 2020, marking the cruise line’s biggest presence in the region yet.

Ovation of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas will offer sailings to The Last Frontier in 2020. Before arriving to the Last Frontier, Ovation and Radiance will island-hop along Hawaii, while Serenade sails the Panama Canal and Golden Coast on her way west. 

Ovation of the Seas will return for its second consecutive season to offer 7-night itineraries from Seattle, Wash. 

For the first time since 2009, Serenade of the Seas will head west as it repositions from a winter in the sunny Southern Caribbean to Vancouver, British Columbia, making 2020 Royal Caribbean’s first summer season with three ships in Alaska. Serenade will sail 7-night itineraries through the 500 miles of shoreline that is the Inside Passage, calling on Ketchikan, Juneau and Icy Strait Point, Alaska.

Radiance of the Seas will once again offer 7-night, open-jaw itineraries between Vancouver and Seward, Alaska.

In repositioning to their seasonal summer homeports, all three ships will chart their own course through exotic and off-the-beaten-path locales to discover cultural treasures. Serenade of the Seas will sail through one of the largest and legendary engineering projects ever undertaken as she makes her way from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. to Los Angeles, Calif. on a 15-night Westbound Panama Canal sailing departing May 4, 2020. Along the journey, guests can encounter the charming cultures of Central America with visits to Cartagena, Colombia; Colon, Panama; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; and Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. On May 19, 2020, Serenade will then head over to Vancouver, British Columbia to navigate the Pacific Coast on a 7-night sailing.

Both Ovation and Radiance of the Seas will say aloha to the islands of Hawaii. Ovation will embark on its 12-night cruise from Honolulu, visiting Maui (Lahaina), Kailua Kona and Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii, on May 7, 2020. Also sailing from Honolulu and departing on May 5, 2020, Radiance will offer a 10-night itinerary to the Last Frontier with ports of call including Maui (Lahaina), Kailua Kona, Hilo and Kauai (Nawiliwili), Hawaii.

Royal Caribbean’s 2020 Alaska cruises open for bookings on Thursday, Nov. 8; Crown & Anchor Society loyalty members are able to book one day prior.

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