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Why are Alaska cruises so expensive?

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Hubby and I are booked on a 14 day Caribbean cruise the end of the month and are also booked on a 7 day Alaska cruise in May 2020.  The Alaska cruise costs the same as the 2 week Caribbean cruise.  We are booked in the same balcony type on both cruises.  Can anyone tell me why Alaska is so much more costly?

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Posted (edited)

Basically supply vs demand. Caribbean has significantly more ship capacity and competition among the various cruise lines.  While your direct port taxes and fees may not be higher, the cruise lines have more restrictions on where and how they can sail in Alaska and I believe have to pay higher right of way fees . For example, the US NPS only allows one ship at a time sailing by the major glaciers at Glacier Bay. Caribbean is also year-round, while Alaska only has a 5-month sailing window.  2.5 months are peak season periods when school is out, so your passenger demand per ship sailing ratio would be higher (in other words the ships tend to be more full than an average Caribbean sailing). You also can't really compare a Caribbean sailing in the summer with an Alaskan sailing at the same time period, since summer is sort of the start of the off-season for the Caribbean. 

Edited by vicd1969

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One reason is Glacier Bay. I remember hearing that the cost for the permits is expensive. They also pay a per person fee and are limited to how many times they can go in.

I copied the following from an old post - 

"The answer is actually pretty easy. All the cruise lines use complex "Yield Management" programs coupled with management expertise to price cruises. The idea is to get the most revenue per passenger (from all sources) which is just good business sense. Since there are a limited number of cruises that can enter Glacier Bay and apparently the demand is projected to be relatively high, the line sets a higher price. If they err and sales are not as healthy as expected then they will drop the prices (often inside the final payment period) or offer some kind of promotion. If demand exceeds expectations then you can expect to see the price increase on the remaining cabins."

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One word, demand.

They get the increased prices they set and they still sell out their cruises.

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I agree with Keith. The reason Alaska cruises are more expensive is because people will pay the price requested.

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52 minutes ago, MauiLvrs said:

Taxes, fees, and clean fuel

Bazinga !

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There is a whole world of cruising outside the Caribbean. Except for Mexico, it seems all other destinations are more expensive than the Caribbean.

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Since your cruise is scheduled for May 2020, there may be sales and price drops during the pre-cruise months.

Keep an eye on the particular cruise pricing on the Princess web site. If there is a decrease in price ,call your TA or Princess direct and the new pricing will be honored.

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Posted (edited)

We booked Alaska first trip of the season no real break on price, but good value because we did 10 nights for the 7 night fare on NCL. Not gonna do NCL again loved them in Hawaii but mediocre at best for Alaska, not the destination just meh. (see sig)

Early season in Alaska was great weather and prices are a little better.

Edited by CaboWabo62

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Mexico 10 day Balcony around $1500.00. Norway Iceland 14 day. Balcony 5k. Only 1 cruise this year to that itinary. Very expensive. 

 

Cheapest are crossings but but you don’t go anywhere. Few ports, rough weather possible. Not for me. My sister loves it. 

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Have you looked at HAL.  They have some good rates.  There is one that I am looking at for this year.

It is 21 days and starts at $1,299.  It sails in May and June.  Maybe they have it next year too.

 

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It all boils down to the law of supply and demand.  When the demand is high (Alaska) and the supply is low (getting into Glacier Bay is very hard) the price goes up.  The Caribbean is the other way around in that there are many many ports and itineraries with dozens of ships competing with each other so the supply is plentiful and the price goes down.  Princess like all companies price their cruises so that they can make money.  Princess is as it always has making a very handsome profit on AK cruises.  

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9 minutes ago, satxdiver said:

It all boils down to the law of supply and demand.  When the demand is high (Alaska) and the supply is low (getting into Glacier Bay is very hard) the price goes up.  The Caribbean is the other way around in that there are many many ports and itineraries with dozens of ships competing with each other so the supply is plentiful and the price goes down.  Princess like all companies price their cruises so that they can make money.  Princess is as it always has making a very handsome profit on AK cruises.  

The law of supply and demand at its best. Our cabin on the Ruby last June was $1650 each higher than a comparable mini on a coastal cruise aboard the Royal for this May. Some of our party stayed in an Ocean View and paid $450 more than our coastal's Mini suite coming up.

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Alaska IMHO is more beautiful than the Caribbean.  You don't see poverty in Alaska, only serene landscapes and clean cities.  There's plenty to see and do in Alaska, and we will pay the price to see Alaska.  It's one of our favorite cruises.  I hope to book a cruise to Alaska this season.  Health issues are keeping us home for the time being.

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2 hours ago, elliair said:

Alaska IMHO is more beautiful than the Caribbean.  You don't see poverty in Alaska, only serene landscapes and clean cities.  There's plenty to see and do in Alaska, and we will pay the price to see Alaska.  It's one of our favorite cruises.  I hope to book a cruise to Alaska this season.  Health issues are keeping us home for the time being.

 

Apparently you have only seen Alaska from a cruise ship.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Thrak said:

 

Apparently you have only seen Alaska from a cruise ship.

I agree with Thrak.   and what about prices for New England cruises;  they only sail there a few months a year.

Edited by AF-1

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57 minutes ago, AF-1 said:

I agree with Thrak.   and what about prices for New England cruises;  they only sail there a few months a year.

We didn't see it in the outback on fishing expeditions.  Ever been on one Thrak?  You don't see poverty in Alaska like we see it in the Caribbean.  Heck even Hawaii is getting a bad reputation now with all the homeless wandering around.  We look at prices, but that isn't the only factor we look at when booking a cruise.  We won't do the Fiji Islands again.  Sydney was fine for 4 days of sightseeing, but they have their share of problems as well.  No where is Shang-ra-la.  Get on the ship or stay at home, it's called the free market industry.  BTW, we saw plenty of poverty on our Panama Canal cruise, that's not a cheap cruise either.

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Simply because of limited season and great popularity.  Or in economic terms, the law of supply and demand.   Lots of people want to see Alaska but there are not as many cruise ship’s berths there as exist in the Caribbean. 

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The Caribbean cruise you booked for the end of the month is basically drop and sail price. If you book the Alaska cruise for May of 2019 the price would be a lot cheaper. 

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Alaska is just expensive (overpriced IMHO). For a price of 7 day Alaska cruise in early June, I was able to book 11 day Baltic (on sale plus 3/4/ free and OBC's) for the same time. The pricing for 3rd person in cabin for Alaska is sometimes even higher than 1 / 2nd guest price, it is just obnoxious. I was ambivalent on Alaska, but am super excited about Baltic. 

 

 

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On ‎3‎/‎19‎/‎2019 at 9:55 PM, oskidunker said:

Cheapest are crossings but but you don’t go anywhere. Few ports, rough weather possible. Not for me. My sister loves it. 

 

And even crossings aren't "cheap" any more! When I did my first TA, the fare, even as a solo, was a real deal. I was able to get an inside cabin for a little over $100/day.  Nowadays, with the  rise of increased popularity of TAs, they are far from cheap, and I would not even consider doing one as a solo cruiser in an inside cabin because those fares have at least doubled.

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