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Below is a copy of our current cruise newsletter. To subscribe to our weekly newsletter, absolutely free of charge, please click here. To email this newsletter to friends or family, click here. Please note that the FastDeals are subject to availability and sell out quickly.

Dear Vacations To Go Customer,

Before I get to our latest cruise deals from 11 popular cruise lines, I'd like to tell you all about Alaska cruises. Read on for more information, or scroll down for this week's best cruise deals.

Is 2024 your year to experience the incomparable natural beauty and majesty of Alaska? Right now, it's prime booking season for Alaska Cruises and Alaska Cruise and Land Tours. If you want to explore this spectacular region on a cruise, I recommend that you call us as soon as possible to get the itinerary, ship, cabin type and departure date you desire -- especially if you require a stateroom that accommodates three or more people or a passenger with special needs, or if you need two adjacent or adjoining cabins or more than four cabins on a single sailing.

I've organized our itineraries by cruise line and departure months below.

To see a list of 2024 Alaska Cruises and Alaska Cruise and Land Tours by cruise line, click any company name:

Holland America
Royal Caribbean
American Cruise Line
American Queen Voyages

For a full list of sailings and prices by departure date, click any month:

May cruises in Alaska
May cruise and land tours in Alaska

June cruises in Alaska
June cruise and land tours in Alaska

July cruises in Alaska
July cruise and land tours in Alaska

August cruises in Alaska
August cruise and land tours in Alaska

September cruises in Alaska
September cruise and land tours in Alaska

Next, I'll cover four key factors to keep in mind when planning a visit to America's last frontier: itinerary, weather, wildlife and passports.

There are two types of itineraries for Alaska cruises: Inside Passage cruises that typically sail round trip from Vancouver, Seattle or San Francisco; and Gulf of Alaska cruises that sail one way between Vancouver and Seward or Whittier (gateways to Anchorage and the interior city of Fairbanks). The Gulf of Alaska cruises include several days in the Inside Passage.

The round-trip cruises offer two advantages: 1) There are many flights daily into, and out of, Vancouver, Seattle and San Francisco, and 2) They require less expensive airfare because no long flight to (or from) Anchorage or Fairbanks is involved.

Air into (and out of) Anchorage and Fairbanks is quite limited and flights fill early with cruise and cruise and land tour passengers, which makes it more risky to wait for a last-minute deal on a one-way Gulf of Alaska cruise.

The biggest advantage of one-way cruises is that they allow the opportunity to explore the interior of Alaska on a pre- or post-cruise land tour. Between one-third and one-half of all Alaska cruisers extend their cruise with a tour of inland Alaska (out of Anchorage or Fairbanks) or British Columbia or the Canadian Rockies (out of Vancouver).

If you are leaning toward one of these cruise and land tours, keep in mind that tour buses, railcars and lodges in Alaska are very limited in supply and can sell out early. I recommend booking soon to ensure availability.

Alaska weather is delightfully unpredictable, but in general, you'll find the warmest temperatures in July and August, when average highs are in the low to mid-60s. Precipitation can rise a bit in late August and early September, but I personally would not avoid that time for that reason.

One of my fondest Alaska memories is of sipping coffee on the cabin balcony as the scenery melted away and the ship slowed to a crawl in dense fog in the Inside Passage, its foghorn echoing off the mountains on either side, warning fishermen of our approach. On another day, we hiked a trail to an alpine lake for a canoe ride to the face of a glacier, in a driving rain. Invigorating does not begin to describe it. Weather is part of the experience in Alaska.

Click here for a list of Alaska ports, and then click a port name to see the weather details for that location.

Wildlife is one of the big attractions of Alaska, and different species are active at various times during the cruising season. Humpback and killer whales are seen throughout the summer in large sounds and straits along the coast as they migrate between their winter homes in the south and their summer homes in the north. Brown and black bears can be spotted in grassy tidal flats starting in May and near salmon streams and berry patches in July and August. Moose and caribou begin calving in May, so look for cow moose and their young near thickets along roadsides and rivers in May and June.

Bald eagles are plentiful and can be viewed at the water's edge through the summer, particularly near salmon-spawning streams. Tufted puffins and other seabirds begin nesting colonies on coastal islands in May. Shorebird-watching is popular in August and September as various species begin their migrations south for the winter.

Harbor seals are visible throughout the season and can be seen with their pups on and around the icebergs of Tracy Arm and Glacier Bay during the month of June. Sea lions start to become visible in September.

Fishermen will be happy to know that at least one variety of salmon -- the prized king salmon -- runs from May through August. Late May through June is the best time for saltwater king salmon fishing, and July through August is best for freshwater king salmon fishing. Sockeye (red) salmon fill freshwater streams and rivers on their spawning run from late June through July.

Saltwater fishing for chum and pink salmon is best in July and August, and freshwater fishing for these species is at its peak in August. Coho (silver) salmon can be found in saltwater areas from late July through early September and are abundant in freshwater areas during September and October. Halibut is most plentiful in saltwater areas from late June through August.

Passports are required for all travelers who enter or re-enter the U.S. by air from any other country, which means that U.S. citizens and residents who fly back to the U.S. from Vancouver or any other Canadian city after an Alaska cruise or cruise and land tour are required to have a valid passport.

Passports also are required for anyone who enters or re-enters the U.S. by land or by sea. There are a few exceptions to the passport requirement pertaining to land and sea border crossings.

First, U.S. citizens on cruises that begin and end in the same U.S. port and travel to destinations in Canada (and select other countries) are able to re-enter the U.S. with proof of citizenship other than a passport, such as a birth certificate and government-issued photo ID. Passports are required for cruises that begin in one U.S. port and end in another.

So, U.S. citizens on cruises that sail round trip from Seattle or San Francisco are not required to have a passport. U.S. citizens who drive to Vancouver for a round-trip Alaska cruise or who cruise one way between Vancouver and an Alaskan port (such as Whittier or Seward) do need a passport.

Next, children under the age of 16 who are citizens of the U.S. or Canada are exempt from the passport requirement for land and sea border crossings. In lieu of a passport, children are able to use a birth certificate as proof of citizenship for entry into the U.S. by land or by sea. Children entering or re-entering the U.S. by air still are required to have a valid passport.

Finally, a lower-cost alternative to the passport, called a passport card, is acceptable for entries into the U.S. by land or sea. Compared to passports, which cost $165 for first-time applicants ($135 for children), passport cards cost $65 ($50 for children). The passport card is not acceptable for air travel.

Several cruise lines require a passport for all sailings, regardless of destination or port of departure. They include these companies that offer Alaska cruises: Cunard, Hurtigruten, Oceania, Regent, Seabourn and Silversea.

Even in cases where a passport is not required, Vacations To Go recommends that passengers have them anyway. This is because, while highly unlikely, an emergency could arise in which a U.S. citizen needed to disembark early and fly home from Canada, and a passport would be required for that flight.

Passports are required for citizens of all other countries for any Alaska cruise or cruise and land tour.

Next, I'm pleased to tell you about money-saving offers we've arranged with 11 different cruise lines. In addition to deep discounts, these offers may include free amenities or shipboard credits, which are as good as cash on the ship and can be used toward onboard purchases, like shore excursions and internet packages.

Royal Caribbean is offering our customers huge new discounts -- save up to 82%. Also, receive exclusive pricing and shipboard credits of up to $50 per cabin on select sailings. Children age 12 and under sail free on select departures. See dates and prices.

MSC Cruises is offering huge discounts to our customers -- save up to 75%. Also, receive free drinks, free Wi-Fi and shipboard credits of up to $400 per cabin, plus Kids Sail Free on select sailings booked at eligible rates. Book by December 15. See dates and prices.

Holland America is offering our customers huge discounts of up to 68%, free gratuities on select European voyages, and shipboard credits of up to $100 per cabin on a variety of popular itineraries. Plus, on select sailings, receive all of the following perks on cabins booked at eligible rates: 1) a signature beverage package, including alcoholic drinks, for all guests in the stateroom, 2) a specialty dining package that includes up to three meals at select venues, 3) a free Wi-Fi package for two guests and 4) a shore excursion credit of up to $600 per cabin. See dates and prices.

Oceania is offering Vacations To Go customers discounts of up to 78%, plus newly reduced rates, a free beverage package, shipboard credits of up to $600 per cabin, a shore excursion credit of up to $1,600 per cabin, free specialty dining and unlimited internet on select sailings. See dates and prices.

Carnival is offering our customers discounts of up to 87%. Plus, pay a 50% reduced deposit and get exclusive onboard credits of up to $50 per cabin on select sailings. See dates and prices.

Virgin Voyages is providing fantastic discounts of up to 30% to Vacations To Go customers on a variety of sailings. Also, get a free drink package valued at up to $600 per cabin and a $100 per cabin onboard credit in select categories. Book by December 13. See dates and prices.

Silversea has reduced rates on a variety of cruises by up to 86%, with specially reduced pricing on select sailings exclusively for Vacations To Go customers. Plus, receive shipboard credits of up to $700 per cabin on select departures. Your Silversea fare includes gratuities, all alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, shore excursions and unlimited internet. See dates and prices.

Azamara is providing huge discounts to our customers -- save up to 86%. On select sailings, receive exclusive pricing and shipboard credits of up to $300 per cabin. Rates include gratuities and drinks. See dates and prices.

Costa has reduced rates by up to 87%, with exclusive pricing on a variety of upcoming cruises visiting Europe, the Caribbean, South America and more. See dates and prices.

Crystal offers exceptional voyages throughout a variety of exciting destinations, including the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Alaska, Europe and more. The upfront price of each cruise includes gratuities, unlimited Wi-Fi, butler service in all suites and guest rooms, two complimentary specialty dining reservations, and all alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. See dates and prices.

Emerald Cruises has discounts of up to 75% in destinations like the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and Central America. The upfront price includes gratuities, airport transfers, shore excursions in every port, Wi-Fi and wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner. Book by December 17. See dates and prices.

Explora Journeys has provided Vacations To Go with exclusive discounts and savings up to 75% off. Plus, save up to 5% off the best fare for customers who pay in full at the time of booking. Prices include gratuities, all alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, specialty restaurant dining and unlimited internet. See dates and prices.

Ponant is offering unique expedition and yachting voyages including Alaska, the Great Lakes, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Prices include select shore excursions, gratuities, alcoholic beverages and unlimited Wi-Fi. See dates and prices.

As always, these offers are for new bookings only and subject to availability. Restrictions may apply, and some free amenities and shipboard credits may apply only to eligible rates. Past guests of some cruise lines may see better rates on select sailings.

Make the most of your time in each port of call by booking excursions with Shore Excursions Group, our preferred provider. They offer exceptional shore excursions at prices up to 40% lower than the cost of excursions offered through the cruise line.

Shore Excursions Group delivers a high-quality experience with fewer participants per guide. You'll see some of the world's most beautiful places, and you won't feel rushed. All excursions are backed by around-the-clock support and a guarantee that you'll return to the ship well before the final embarkation time.

After you book your cruise, your Vacations To Go cruise counselor will send you a link to a list of excursions that are available for your trip. You can book online at your convenience. Remember, many excursions sell out quickly so it's best to reserve yours early.

Here are today's Top 10 Cruises, brand-new specials from the world's best cruise lines. Click the FastDeal # for details.

1) Bahamas, 9 nights on MSC Cruises, departs New York (Brooklyn) Jan 6, starting at $329, save 58%, FastDeal # 26163

2) Caribbean, 7 nights on Holland America, departs Fort Lauderdale Jan 6, starting at $499, save 60%, FastDeal # 14635

3) Mexico, 7 nights on Princess, departs Los Angeles (San Pedro) Mar 2, starting at $528, save 56%, FastDeal # 20301

4) Caribbean, 7 nights on Norwegian, departs New Orleans Jan 21, starting at $489, save 85%, FastDeal # 31101

5) Greek Islands, 7 nights on Celebrity, departs Athens (Piraeus) Jun 8, starting at $1,123, save 54%, FastDeal # 37729

6) Australia & New Zealand, 7 nights on Cunard, departs Sydney Jan 15, starting at $999, save 41%, FastDeal # 20448

7) Caribbean, 9 nights on Royal Caribbean, departs Miami Dec 29, balcony starting at $1,618, save 69%, FastDeal # 14219

8) Central America, 7 nights on Star Clippers, departs Puntarenas Jan 6, starting at $1,600, save 65%, FastDeal # 39154

9) Caribbean, 7 nights on Explora Journeys, departs Barbados Feb 9, suite starting at $2,660, save 81%, FastDeal # 18532

10) South America, 9 nights on Silversea, departs Buenos Aires Feb 5, suite starting at $6,850, save 76%, FastDeal # 32869

To search for discounts of up to 82% on cruises, use our Find a Bargain tool.

Once you've found a FASTDEAL, call us at 800-338-4962 (US and Canada) and a cruise counselor will attend to your needs. International customers, please email or call us at +1-713-974-2121.

Please email me your comments, suggestions and questions at alanfox@vacationstogo.com and I will respond the same day.


Alan Fox
Executive Chairman
Vacations To Go