Alaska tour news & travel advisory  

What Should I Do If My 2021 Alaska Cruise Is Cancelled?

Published: February 23, 2021

Was your 2021 Alaska cruise just cancelled by your cruise company?

With Transport Canada’s February 2021 announcement banning large cruise ships (100+ passengers) bound for Alaska from operating in Canadian waters and docking in Canada until February 2022, many people are wondering whether they will be able to cruise to Alaska this summer. Even if you are not able to sail through Alaska’s pristine waters in 2021, you do not need to give up on taking a vacation to Alaska, America’s Last Frontier! There are many delightful Alaska land tours available to you which showcase the best of Alaskan wildlife, natural landscapes, rich Native culture and National Parks.

In fact, there many benefits to touring Alaska by land instead of by cruise ship. For example, you have much more control over your itinerary and travel dates and do you can tailor your Alaska summer vacation to match your specific personal interests, budgets, and travel time frame. You can also add more variety into your itinerary by visiting more interior destinations beyond Alaska’s seacoast. And, you will definitely meet members local Alaskan communities, helping small businesses rebound from the pandemic and meeting lots of welcoming residents along the way.

Choosing the Best Land-based Tour Alternative to an Alaska Cruise

Your top match in a land tour is probably going to mirror exactly what you love about cruising:

I enjoy everything being taken care of for me on my Alaska Vacation

Escorted tours by motor coach or bus are a very relaxing way to see the best of Alaska by land. An experienced and knowledgeable tour leader travels with you to ensure your Alaska vacation is hassle-free. Many meals are provided, your luggage is magically whisked from town to town, while you get to kick back and just enjoy the scenery. Much like cruising, you will also meet fellow travelers as you discover Alaska together on your fully or partly guided group vacation.

Our top Alaska Escorted Tour Pick: Alaska’s National Parks Escorted Tour

Insider tip: Add an extra day coming or going from Anchorage to fly out to view bears in Lake Clark National Park!

I want to see Alaska’s Inside Passage and Glacier Bay National Park

The lush coastline and awe-inspiring glaciers of Southeast Alaska draw over a million visitors annually. This year, you may be able to experience this top destination without the crowds! Frequently mistakenly referred to as the “Inland Passage,” the Inside Passage refers to the narrow waterways that separate the many islands and Alaska’s isolated mainland along the Canadian border. Towns like Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, Sitka, Gustavus, and Haines are not connected by roads or trains. Sailing and flying are the only way to travel between these charming communities, which is why cruising is so popular. However, by flying, you can get more than just a cursory visit to these beautiful and historic destinations.

Top pick in the Inside Passage & Glacier Bay: Bears, Whales and Glaciers Land Package

Insider tip: June has the best weather for visiting Glacier Bay National Park.

I got a great price on my Alaska cruise

Not to worry! Alaska land tours can be very affordable. There are many free and low-cost activities for independently-minded travelers. Hiking and biking, visiting museums and cultural sites, participating in local festivities and National Park Ranger-led activities, and fishing and photography from the banks of our rivers and lakes are all excellent opportunities for exploring the state that are also easy on the pocketbook.

Exploring Alaska’s highlights by rental car is usually the least expensive way to sightsee in Alaska on a budget. But don’t feel like you need to figure out Alaska all on your own! We’ll provide you with detailed driving directions, recommended points of interest along your Alaska route, and even restaurant suggestions. Plus, we are always just a phone call away!

Top pick for Budget Land Tours in Alaska: Alaska on a Dime” Self-Drive Vacation

Insider tip: Travel with friends and split the cost of the rental car.

I want to see as much as possible in a week in Alaska

Maybe you were planning on cruising all the way between Vancouver and Seward or Whittier – going to a new port or park every day of the week. Alaska is huge, so even on a week-long cruise, you only see a small portion of the coastline. On a week-long land tour of Alaska, however, you can spend a day on the coast to visit glaciers and watch for marine wildlife, then travel north to the mountains and discover the Interior Region of Alaska. And you can add to the variety of highlights on your land tour just by asking our Alaska Experts to help you customize your vacation to your unique interests.

Top pick for a week-long vacation in Alaska: Alaska Railroad Adventure

Insider tip: Visit Alaska in late August or early September for a fantastic chance to witness the Northern Lights!

I love that I only have to unpack once on my Alaska trip

Although Alaska is usually a touring destination where you move from town to town, city-based vacations are an often an overlooked side-benefit. Choosing one hotel as a basecamp for your Alaska vacation gives your family or group an easy “home-away-from-home”. You can immerse yourself in day trips and outdoor adventures while also exploring popular tourist highlights in and around the area. You have the freedom to be as busy or laid back as you like. You can choose to have a guided activity every day, like a glacier cruise, wildlife tour, photography safari, and kayaking, or simply relax and stroll through the local shops at your leisure.

Top pick: Anchorage Day Tours

Insider tip: Find local hiking groups, quilting clubs, or film festivals to attend for an authentic connection.

My family loves cruising together because we can each do our own thing

We love planning Alaska family vacations, but sometimes grandmas and teenage grandsons want to do different activities and be on a different schedule. An Alaska driving vacation allows you the flexibility to get going as early or as late as you want each day, and to travel at your own pace. Head straight to the next town for time to explore there or stop at every roadside attraction – it’s all up to you! There’s also plenty of free time to add on group activities that appeal to everyone, like dog sledding on a glacier, or your group can choose to split up and pursue whatever they’re most passionate about. Your family can plan a father-daughter “date” to fish for salmon while a thrill-seeking mom and son go zip lining!

Top pick for doing your own thing in Alaska: Alaska Family Fun Driving Vacation

Insider tip: Emails us to discuss the right number of days to spend in each town, based on your group’s wish list.

So save that Alaska cruise for another year, and make 2021 the year you experience Alaska by land!