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Cruises in Alaska - smaller ships

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My stepmom would like to do a cruise of the Alaskan coastline and/or inland waterway with the family. We've never been on a cruise before, but know that we don't want to be on a huge cruise ships with hundreds or thousands of other people.

 

Can anyone recommend a good travel agent (ideally in Munich or nearby) specializing in cruises?

 

Thanks!

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I can't help you directly, but as nobody else has replied then I will give my 2 pence worth.

 

Basically, I'm not convinced that being on a smaller ship will help with this feeling. Although there are less people there is also less space, so the amount of space per person is about the same.

 

I have also found that most ships are designed so that there are not big open spaces, and even in locations where there are a lot of people it is not really different to other location on land. Such as the theatre, which was bigger than some I have been to in London & New York, but that was OK. The dining room was big, but laid out so that it did not feel big.

 

For me, when I do a cruise again I will just try to get a ship that is more modern and/or recently renovated as I think this makes a better experience

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Can't recommend any München travel agents, but I know something about boats in Alaska. The sea is rough so the smaller boats stay in bays and don't do long tours (Deadliest Catch is not so far from the reality of the the north pacific).

 

Cheapest is the Alaska State Ferries, they are not tourist boats but they have cabins and a cafeteria and are not at all unpleasant. They are for 'commuters' but you can take a great tour from Cordoba/Valdez to Whittier (near Anchorage) across multiple glacier views into Prince William Sound. Rougher folks will stake out a place/tent on deck for a longer trip.

 

http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/

 

Given time and a lot of dramamine, you could go all the way out to the Aleutians with the ferries. They may also run a boat from Bellingham or Vancouver for a longer tour. (It is a state owned system, who knew the Alaskans believed in the people owning the means of production!)

 

In Glacier Bay National Park (take a plane or ferry from Juneau to Gustavus) there are cruises (1 week or so) on smaller boats 50m+? (I hitchhiked on one in an emergency). The are organized out of Seattle, maybe through REI (rei.com) but I am not sure. We met the staff, bunch of laid back college students on summer jobs to lecture about the GBNP, kayaks, etc for day tours. The park itself should have information about the tours as they need approval from the park to operate there (and that is a good thing).

 

http://www.princess.com/excursion/exlistfordestination.do?portid=GB1&t=A&exType=S

(note I am not sure of the scale of the boat above).

 

There are small day tours out of Seward and Homer, but mostly for glacier viewing or fishing (you can get a 100lb halibut and then try to fly home with it).

 

Most of these are local outfits or from Seattle/Bellingham WA. Best of luck. The germans love alaska so a good agent can probably hook your MIL up.

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I believe they have through Germany Hapag Lloyd agencies, and they are a cruise line, or Thomas Cook, I noticed lots of these agencies around.

There is a cruise company called Un-Cruise Adventures that offer smaller ship cruising in Alaska with a max of 90 passengers. Quark and Linblad Expeditions comes to mind, but I think they do more Galapagos and the Antartic. There is a British company can't think of their name, I'll post when I remember.

If you want more luxurious you could try Silverseas, they have less than 300 passengers.

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Thanks everyone! You've given me some great tips :-) There's a cruise tradeshow coming up in Starnberg, and I'll try to go there.

 

I've never been on a cruise or to Alaska, so I'm excited! It'll be nice to have the family all together for more than an hour or two as well.

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