The 4 Best Princess Cruise Ships for Alaska Reviewed

Note: Our website is reader-supported, that means we may earn a commission on any products purchased through outside retailers (at no extra cost to you).

When you’re standing aboard a cruise ship, the Alaskan sky seems limitless.

The northwestern state allows you views of icy landscapes and snow-capped mountain peaks, with crystal-like glaciers that are enough to steal your breath away.

A popular cruise ship destination, Alaska is especially known for its famed Inside Passage. This popular cruise ship route is a historical route common for coastal ships that thread their way from Seattle to Glacier Bay.

It passes by British Columbia, Canada, and then ends by arriving in Sitka, Alaska.

Princess Cruises has consistently provided cruise ship trips through the Inside Passage for years. An esteemed go-to cruise line since its inception in 1965, it proudly boasts of its ranging itineraries and wide array of onboard activities.

If you want a chance to view Alaskan wildlife and go quick dash around Seattle to see Lake Union or Pike Place Market, Princess Cruises is a perfect choice.

But with its large fleet, there’s a question: What is the best Princess cruise ship for Alaska? Here, by exploring both your needs and your options, you’ll find out.

Top Princess Cruise Ships

The Emerald Princess offers a luxurious experience for those who prioritize space and comfort. It has a slew of on-board activities to satisfy bored passengers. However, it might seem a little expensive for those who are on a budget.

The Coral Princess provides an intimate and unforgettable experience. With its smaller size, you’re free to navigate more remote ports of call and choose which itinerary you like. However, the dining service might leave some passengers unimpressed.

The Golden Princess is a spacious cruise ship that delivers both comfortable accommodation and fun activities. Yet, most of its activities are geared at adults, which may leave younger children a bit bored and uninterested.

The Ruby Princess is another cruise ship that delivers luxury and space. It provides passengers with the OceanMedallion wearable, which you can wear in the top-deck nightclub and casino. However, certain areas in the cruise ship can be crowded sometimes.

The Coral Princess is a perfect fit for those who crave an intimate and fun experience. With the freedom to choose between three itineraries, there isn’t much you’ll miss out on this cruise ship.

4 Enchanting Princess Cruise Ships

Princess Cruise Lines offers a varying range of different cruise ships that pass by Alaska. Whether it’s Royal class, Grand class, or Coral class, you’ll find something that fits your budget and your wants in its impressive fleet.

Emerald Princess — Best for Luxury

Emerald Princess Cruise

Originally debuted in 2007, this Crown-class cruise ship won’t provoke any complaints about space. It accommodates up to 3,080 passengers and an additional 1,200 crew members, with a gross tonnage of 113,561 tons.

Its spaciousness is emphasized with its Suite category cabins. But roominess isn’t the only thing these cabins offer, as Suite category cabins occupiers are granted features like prioritized disembarkation, among other perks.

Getting lost is a nagging concern for families and especially parents with younger kids on a cruise ship as large as this, but it’s one that you could put aside.

The 2020 Emerald Princess cruise now offers a wearable that tracks family members. It also unlocks staterooms and can make automatic onboard payments.

Itinerary

The Emerald Princess offers a 7-night Inside Passage cruise trip. It begins at Seattle, Washington, passing by Juneau, Alaska; Ketchikan, Alaska; and Skagway, Alaska.

The Emerald Princess then continues to Victoria, British Columbia, and finally ends in Cruise Endicott Arm, Alaska.

On-Board Activities

The Lotus Spa offers itself for passengers for a whole day of relaxation and pampering. But first, you might want to break some sweat.

The jogging track is a good place to do that, along with the basketball court and gym. There’s a putting course as well, and even a virtual golf simulator to help you polish your swing before stepping out into a real course.

Duty-free shopping is something you should take advantage of aboard the Emerald Princess. It offers once-in-a-lifetime deals on designer clothes and items that you won’t see all in one place anywhere else.

Once you’ve finished scurrying around, you could finally relax in one of the various hot tubs that are around the Emerald Princess.

There’s an art gallery aboard the Emerald Princess as well, where auctions regularly take place. There’s also a famed wedding chapel that has seen many newly-weds before. Engaged? Tie the knot and enjoy your honeymoon in one go.

If you’re worried about staying connected, you don’t have to anymore. The Emerald Princess has a wireless internet cafe that’ll make sure to keep you connected to the internet 24/7.

Pros

  • Views are plenty; eighty percent of exterior cabins offer balconies

OceanMedallion is available aboard the Emerald Princess

  • Spacious and comfortable for passengers

Cons

  • Dining service may be a bit slow for passengers

Coral Princess — Best for Tight Budgets

Coral Princess Cruise

Originally debuted in 2003, The Coral Princess ship was built to navigate its way around the Panama Canal. This pick is a Coral-class cruise ship with a gross tonnage of 91,627 tons.

The Coral Princess is considered one of the five Panamax ships that Princess Cruises operates. It also hasn’t forgotten to stay up to date, making its last update in January of 2019.

Smaller in size than other contenders on this list, the Coral Princess was made with smaller ports in mind that are trickier to get around with bigger cruise ships.

The Coral Princess size lends welcoming spaces to 2,000 passengers with 700 balcony staterooms. It also additionally houses 895 crew members. That provides one crew member to approximately every two passengers, ensuring an intimate and receptive staff experience.

The Coral Princess joins the Emerald Princess in the availability of OceanMedallion wearables. Although it’s smaller than its fellow Princess cruise ship, it’s still a comfort to have a quick on-hand solution to payments and lost companions.

Itinerary

The Coral Princess’s smaller size allows you the freedom of multiple choices for itineraries.

One 7-night Alaska cruise begins in Whittier, Alaska. It then goes onto Glacier Bay National Park, followed by Skagway, Alaska; Juneau, Alaska; and Ketchikan, Alaska. It finally ends on the eighth day in Vancouver, Canada.

Another 7-night Alaska cruise on the Coral Princess begins in Vancouver, Canada, and then passes by Icy Strait, Alaska; Juneau, Alaska; Skagway, Alaska; Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska; and College Fjord, Alaska. This cruise ends in Whittier, Alaska.

On the other hand, a 14-night Alaska Cruise aboard the Coral Princess provides a whole other experience. This cruise begins and ends in Vancouver, Canada, passing by Glacier Bay National Park, Skagway, and Juneau twice.

On-Board Activities

If you’re thinking about dining, the Coral Princess sports 9 different dining venues for you to try out. It includes two main dining halls, several casual eateries, and one or two specialty diners.

Have you forgotten to bring any personal items with you? The trademark Princess duty-free shopping is also available on the Coral Princess so you can buy what you need without worrying about tax.

Proving that there’s something for everyone, the Coral Princess has both the Universe Lounge and Wheelhouse Bar. These are two perfect getaways for trivia nerds, where you can engage in a game of trivia and even win a prize.

The Coral Princess also features an impressive putting course for those who are interested in golf. Afterward, you could relax in the cruise ship’s Lotus Spa or engage in a poolside theatre experience right under the stars.

Pros

  • Ship’s size allows a more intimate experience
  • Grants passengers the choice between several Alaskan itineraries
  • OceanMedallion is available aboard the Coral Princess

Cons

  • Dining service isn’t up to par with passengers’ taste

Golden Princess—Best for Adults

Golden Princess Cruise

Debuted in 2001 and last updated in 2018, this Grand-class cruise ship has a gross tonnage of 108,865 tons.

Those aboard the Golden Princess should expect comfortable service, as the Golden Princess has a more than adequate crew-to-passenger ratio. It accommodates 1,200 crew members and 2,600 passengers. That’s one crew member for approximately every two passengers.

However, service isn’t the only thing you’ll have to look forward to with the Golden Princess. This cruise ship takes advantage of its space well.

At the end of the day, when you’re looking to relax and wind down in your own space, you’ll be surprised to find how spacious and roomy it is. Regular interior staterooms are between 158 and 162 square feet, while larger suites are between 323 to 932 square feet.

As space grows, the features grow as well. While interior staterooms arrive with mini-fridges and flatscreen TVs, larger suites are supplied with two TVs, an open balcony, and a well-endowed bathroom that includes both a tub and a shower.

Itinerary

The Golden Princess offers a 14-night cruise ship. This is the only cruise ship mentioned that begins and ends in Los Angeles, California. The Golden Princess spends three days at sea following its first day, then arrives at Ketchikan, Alaska, on the fifth day.

Following that, it passes by Icy Strait, Alaska; Juneau, Alaska; and Yakutat Bay, Alaska. On the ninth day, it arrives at Skagway, Alaska, and then continues to Sitka, Alaska. The last stop before arriving back in Los Angeles is Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

On-Board Activities

The Golden Princess is geared more towards adults rather than children with a child-free sanctuary retreat.

However, kids can always go and spend some time in the several youth clubs that are available aboard the Golden Princess.

After you take a stroll tasting wine or sipping on gourmet coffee in the Piazza, there are also the various pools that the Golden Princess houses, besides the poolside theatre.

Breaking some quick sweat at the gym is also an option, along with the onboard Golden Princess spa.

Stocked with more than 2000 books, the library is the perfect place to check out if you’ve spent enough time running around the Golden Princess. It supplies passengers with books concerning their itineraries, providing historical and scientific insight.

The Golden Princess has eleven dining venues that range from luxurious dining halls to casual burger places.

Pros

  • Features a piazza-style atrium
  • Has a 14-night cruise that begins and ends in Los Angeles, California
  • Recently refurbished

Cons

  • Most onboard activities are more targeted at adults

Ruby Princess—Best for Space

Ruby Princess Cruise

Debuted in 2008, the Ruby Princess is our most recent pick. This eighteen-deck Crown-class cruise ship has a gross tonnage of 113,561 tons.

The Ruby Princess is also keeping up with other competitors, with its last refurbishment made in 2018.

Included in the same class as Emerald Princess, this ship also offers space for 3,080 passengers and 1,200 crew members much like its previously mentioned sister ship.

The Ruby Princess shares much of the Emerald Princess’s focus when it comes to space. It has the same dimensions for interior staterooms and larger suits as its sister ship.

A satisfying eighty percent of the exterior cabins are also supplied with windows, offering a generous view. Accordingly, there are 900 balconies through which you get all the views you want.

Passengers of the Ruby Princess, much like with the passengers of the Emerald Princess and the Coral Princess, are also given access to the unique OceanMedallion wearable.

Itinerary

When you’re on the 7-Night Alaska Ruby Princess Cruise, you’ll begin your cruise trip in Seattle, Washington.

From there, you’ll continue onto ports Juneau, Alaska and Skagway, Alaska. You’ll arrive at Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska to enjoy the magnificent sights on the fifth day, and then continue to Ketchikan, Alaska on the sixth day.

On-Board Activities

The Ruby Princess doesn’t cut back on amenities. For golf lovers, this cruise ship offers a nine-hole putting course.

Not interested in golf? You could always go for a quick duty-free shopping spree around the shopping boutiques the ship offers, or check out the karaoke lounges.

As part of a longstanding Princess tradition, a balloon-drop is held on the second formal night. That would be in Juneau, Alaska.

The Discovery at SEA program is as enriching as ever. These are immersive experiences that are unique to Princess Passengers. Depending on your cruise, you could enjoy shore-excursions, star-gazing, or several other activities.

Have you ever thought about how it would be like to see a Broadway production at sea? The Ruby Princess’ main theatre hosts several big production musicals that are sure to lure in crowds.

When not being occupied by musical productions, the Ruby Princess’ theatre is usually used for lectures related to passengers’ itineraries, Alaskan nature lectures, and seminars.

Pros

  • Features the Discovery at SEA program
  • Movies Under the Stars experience
  • Eighty percent of exterior cabins feature balconies

Cons

  • Certain areas aboard could be a bit crowded at times

Conclusion

Alaska is a popular destination for cruise ships and tourists, especially because of its Inside Passage and what it includes. When considering its national parks, small communities, and beautiful frozen landscape, you don’t have to look too closely to see the appeal.

So, here’s a common question: What is the best Princess cruise ship for Alaska? The answer is that depends on your needs.

The Ruby Princess is a good fit if you’re interested in its varying itineraries. Its 14-night cruise trip is especially notable for beginning and ending in Vancouver, Canada, which is ideal for some.

However, the Coral Princess still comes out on top. With its ranging itineraries and long list of activities, this cruise ship delivers the whole package.