Friday, October 9, 2009

Alaska Cruisetour Experts Introduces New Alaska Cruisetour Designed With Families In Mind

Family Fun Tour Adds Value with Variety of Included Extras and Discounted Fares

With its stunning scenery, abundant wildlife, and plethora of active adventure opportunities, Alaska offers the perfect family vacation. To make it easier for families to plan a trip to the 49th state, Alaska Cruisetour Experts ( ) and Princess Cruises have added a fun new cruisetour option designed especially with family groups in mind.

The 12-night cruisetour offers the best of Alaska by land and sea and includes a variety of special features not usually included in a cruisetour package. Families will have the opportunity to travel on a jetboat, pan for gold, take an interactive tour of Denali National Park, and experience what Alaska is like in the winter when it's many degrees below zero.

The cruisetour appropriately numbered: FUN is offered at a 25 percent discount for all berths, so all members of the family are included in the special pricing.

The Family Fun cruisetour includes a seven-night Voyage of the Glaciers cruise plus a five-night land tour featuring one night at Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, two nights at Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and two nights at Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge. At sea, families can also take advantage of Princess' many onboard programs especially for children, including a special Junior Ranger program in Glacier Bay National Park.

"Alaska is a wonderful travel destination with kids, so we wanted to make it easy and affordable to plan the perfect Alaska experience for everyone in the family."

In addition, the following special extras are included in the tour:

Daily Breakfast - Everyone in the family can start their morning off with the most important meal of the day.

Direct-to-the-Wilderness Rail Service with Lunch - Princess' acclaimed Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail service gets families to their wilderness lodge faster, and includes lunch aboard the train.

Three Rivers Jetboat Tour (Mt. McKinley) - An exhilarating alternative to taking a motorcoach to Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, this tour travels from Talkeetna to the lodge by jetboat, with stops along the river to view historic encampments and learn about the native wildlife.

Arctic Blast (Denali) - Family members can experience winter in Alaska - in the summertime. This special chamber is chilled to wintertime temperatures, so visitors can find out what happens to hot water when it is thrown in the air and whether soap bubbles can survive the cold.

Music of Denali Dinner Theater (Denali) - This rollicking musical comedy tells the legend of the first expedition to the summit of Mt. McKinley, accompanied by a hearty, family-style meal featuring smokehouse ribs and Alaska salmon.

Experience Alaska with Alaska Geographic Tour (Denali) - A more intimate tour of Denali National Park, this special experience includes a variety of interactive experiences, including an enhanced view of the Denali ecosystem and current research taking place. The narrated bus tour takes guests 15 miles into the park to a beautiful river valley where they embark on a short walk to the historic Savage River Camp, where they can participate in a number of hands-on experiences.

Denali Sourdough Expedition Breakfast (Denali) - While fueling up for the day with a family-style, Alaskan roadhouse-style breakfast, guests experience an unforgettable journey up Denali through breathtaking images in Laurent Dick's Climb Denali. Participants have the opportunity to meet this real mountain climber and ask questions about mountain climbing.

Riverboat Cruise and El Dorado Goldmine Tour (Fairbanks) - Families can enjoy traveling on an authentic sternwheeler for a fully-narrated cruise along the Chena River and try their hands at gold panning at the El Dorado Gold Mine, where they will learn about Alaska's gold mining history.

"This is really the ultimate family vacation"

Alaska Cruisetour Experts are offering fares for the Alaska Family Cruisetour (#FUN) that start at $1,743 per person for the first and second berths, and $1,191 per person for the third and fourth berth passengers.

Alaska Cruisetour Experts and Princess offer a variety of land/sea Alaska experience with itineraries ranging from three to eight nights. All cruisetour options feature at least two nights in the Denali National Park area, stays in Princess' own riverside wilderness lodges, and a seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers sailing with Glacier Bay National Park.

Additional information about Princess Alaska Cruises and Tours is available through a Certified Alaska Expert, by calling 800.365.1445, or by visiting the company's website at

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Budget Cruise Deals

Cruising is growing around the world and the current economic climate provides one of the best opportunities ever to find a budget cruise. Cruise lines are identifying gaps in the market and making changes to attract more people to the cruise holiday experience. Cruise ships are being designed to provide more inclusive entertainment and activities that are on par if not better than some major holiday destinations. The larger mega-ships are taking resort style holidays onto the seas. The growing number of cruise ships means more competition and fortunately for us lower prices. Even some of the more luxurious cruise lines are feeling the pinch of the economy, so you can even find a budget cruise on board some of the world's luxurious liners.

There are heaps of deals around you just have to look and ask for them. If you are after a budget cruise deal you really need to do your homework. Once you know the sort of experience you are looking for and the amount you are willing to spend, it's time to shop around for deals. Don't be afraid to negotiate a good price, cruise operators need to fill cabins so there is a bargain to be found.

When looking for a travel agent to deal with, definitely find one that specializes in cruises. Cruise specialist companies are popping up everywhere and they know the cruise market well. Some of the larger companies definitely have more buying power. I highly recommend joining their mailing lists so you can receive up to date cruise deals and special offers. Set up a free email account that solely deals with cruise information and check it regularly. There's nothing worse than realizing you missed an email with a great cruise bargain because it was lost in all your other incoming mail.

One of the key things to finding a budget cruise is to either book early or book late. Some of the perks when you book early include: early bird discounts, free cabin upgrades, onboard ship credit and a better selection of cabins. If you are wanting to travel in peak season, have your heart set on a particular itinerary or are wanting a cabin with a balcony, then it pays to book at least 6 months ahead. If you know ahead of time when you want to travel, take advantage of early bird cruises.

Booking late also has its advantages. If you have flexibility in travel dates you can often pick up a bargain cruise two to three weeks prior to sailing. Often travel brokers pre-book cabins and stand to lose money if they don't sell, so they have to sell them at ridiculous prices to get their money back. There are also last minute cancellations which provide cabin openings closer to sailing date which is the perfect opportunity to find a great cruise price.

If you are after a budget cruise the best time to sail is during off-peak and shoulder seasons. Ships are not filled to capacity, so prices are reduced to entice more customers. If you don't mind the weather uncertainty during these seasons then this will be a sensational cruise deal. Be on the lookout for repositioning cruises. During off-peak seasons, cruises relocate to warmer climates. These cruises generally have more sea days than port days and are usually of longer duration. Generally you have to book early but last minute repositioning cruises are possible to find.

So before you go on your first cruise take the time to decide what sort of holiday experience you would like and when you want to travel. There are some amazing budget cruises to be found out there. You just won't want to miss out on.

For some of the best cruise deals visit Cruise Direct Online, or Cruise Search Online


Top 10 Tips For First Time Cruisers

A cruise vacation can be an extremely expensive vacation but if you follow these tips you could save money and make your vacation even more special.

1. Board the ship way before you set sail. Although everybody knows that you have to be on the ship 30 minutes before sailing not everybody knows that you can board it quite some time before you sail. Take advantage of all the ships amenities before you even set sail. Eat, drink, and play. You could even have a sleep in your cabin. Why sit around for hours in the port where there is usually very little to do.

2. Eat in the dining room rather than the buffet. It can sometimes feel a bit like feeding time at the zoo. The dining room is a welcome break from standing in line for your food. There is not as much choice but it can be a lot more civilized and the food will be of just the same high standard and you will be waited on for a change.

3. The popular classes will have a surcharge that you may not be prepared for but there are plenty of ways to keep in shape aboard the ship. The ship is huge, even covering these large distances on foot can burn a few hundred calories. For the more enthusiastic passenger there may be a running track around the top deck which provides lovely ocean views while you have a run or a brisk walk.

4. Most ships have a great social scene. Take advantage of it and try to join in wherever you can. Everything from art auctions to chess to wine tasting events will be on offer. The ship is specifically designed to be a sociable environment so even if you are traveling alone there is no need to be alone, get out of your cabin and have some fun! If non of that seems great then there's always the ship spa.

5. Be prepared to tip. The average ship worker gets paid peanuts and they do rely on their tips to survive. Tip anybody who gives you a service. This includes everyone, waiters, room service etc.

6. There are usually additional charges for soft drinks and alcohol but the juice stations and soft serve ice cream machines are included. Take advantage of the limitless juice stations, it will save you dollars.

7. You r daily bulletin will show the days drinks specials, these can be a great deal but only if you don't also order the souvenir that usually comes with it.

8. Room service is available 24 hrs a day. There will not be an extra charge for it but remember to tip!

9. There is more than one pool on the ship. If your pool is too busy, the other ones will be the opposite. Hunt the ship for a pool that is the right level for you. You want to be able to relax.

10. Making telephone calls on board is very expensive. It is much cheaper to use the Internet café and email your friends and family....Even cheaper is to wait until you are in port and find an Internet café.

Bonus Tip: Try to book your shore excursions before you leave home, it will be much cheaper.

Use these tips to get the most out of your cruise and make it much cheaper.

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