Mid-May and June, for fewer crowds and more affordable fares
Princess offers voyages along the Inside Passage (seven nights from $799) on the 3,082-passenger Crown Princess and Ruby Princess. You’ll stop at Glacier Bay National Park, where regulations limit ship traffic.
Consider adding a land tour: Holland America Line’s itineraries combine a cruise from Vancouver to Anchorage on the 1,432-passenger Zaandam with a rail trip to Denali National Park (12 nights from $1,699).
Ponant’s small, luxurious ships are often chartered by tour operators like Abercrombie & Kent. It makes its Alaska debut with L’Austral sailing the Inside Passage (seven nights from $3,700, all-inclusive).
THE TRANSATLANTIC CROSSING
July and August, so you can soak up the sun on the pool deck
Cunard helped pioneer transatlantic cruising—and its fleet is the only one to offer regular seven- and eight-night sailings across the pond. On July 2, the Queen Mary 2 (12 nights from $2,813) will make a commemorative voyage from Southampton, England, to New York, nearly 175 years to the day after Cunard’s first ship, Britannia, made its maiden voyage. The QM2 then returns across the Atlantic to Southampton on July 14 (eight nights from $1,735) and offers more sailings throughout July and August.