Princess vs Norwegian: Alaska cruises

Planning a cruise to Alaska? Compare Princess and Norwegian cruise lines to see which is best for you.

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Offering views of icy fjords, soaring eagles and 30-tonne whales, Alaskan cruises are some of the most memorable in the world.

Book with the right cruise company and your time will be even more unforgettable.

We compare Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) to see what their Alaskan cruises deliver.

Princess vs Norwegian: Alaska cruises

FeaturePrincess cruiseNorwegianVerdict
Where does it sail to?
  • Alaska
  • Asia
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Caribbean
  • Central America
  • Europe
  • New Zealand
  • South America
  • Alaska
  • Asia
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Caribbean
  • Europe
  • New Zealand
  • South America
  • USA
Both cover a wide range of destinations with Princess offering Central America cruises while Norwegian offers USA cruises.
Does it have Wi-Fi?Yes, at a cost.Yes, at a cost.Both offer Wi-Fi at a cost.
Does it provide towels?Yes.Yes.Both provide towels.
Contact options
  • E-mail
  • Phone
  • E-mail
  • Phone
Contact options are the same.
Is it all-inclusive?No.No, but you can upgrade to an all-inclusive package.Neither is all-inclusive as standard.
How much is the deposit?Deposits start at 5% of the cruise cost.1-6 nights: US$150

7-14 nights: US$300

15+ nights: US$450

NCL’s deposits are fixed fees.
Does it have a gym?Yes.Yes.Both have gyms.
Does it have hairdryers, laundry and irons?All are available. Charges apply to self-service laundry.Hairdryers are available for free while irons and laundry are at a cost.Both offer hairdryers and laundry facilities.
Does it include food?Yes, including Alaskan seafood on Alaska sailings.Yes.Both include food.
Does it have casinos?Yes.Yes.Both offer casinos.
Does it have an ATM?Yes.Yes.Both have ATMs.
Does it have formal nights?Yes.“Dress up or not” nights.NCL’s formal nights are more relaxed.
How much are drinks?US$5-$6 for a beer and US$7-$11 for a wine.Prices onboard are in US$6-$7 for a beer, US$9-$14 for a wine.Prices are similar.
Is it good for families?Yes, including an Alaskan Explorers Youth Program on Alaska sailings.Yes, including Alaska kids’ activities on Alaska sailings.Both are good for families.
Does it have child care?Yes, group kidsitting.Yes, paid for.Both offer paid-for childcare.
Does it have virtual balconies?No.No.Neither have virtual balconies.
Does it have a waterslide?No.Yes, except for Pearl.Most NCL ships have waterslides.
Does it have a promenade?Yes.Yes.Both have promenades.
Does it have free room service?Yes.Yes, but with a US$7.95 convenience charge.NCL charges for room service delivery.
What are my payment options?
  • American Express
  • Carte Blanche
  • Diners Club
  • Discover
  • JCB
  • Mastercard
  • Visa
  • American Express
  • Diners Club
  • Discover
  • Mastercard
  • Visa
Princess offers a couple more ways to pay.
Can I price match?No.No.Neither offers price matching.
Does it allow for cancellations/changes?All fares come with cancellation penalties.Cancellation charges apply 60 days before the booking date.Both have cancellation penalties.
How much are airport transfers to the departure port?Prices vary. Most transfers cost around US$18 for 10 miles.Fly-cruise packages include transfers.

Other transfer costs differ.

Transfer costs differ depending on the journey and destination for both.
How much are gratuities?A discretionary gratuity of US$13.50-$15.50 is added to all on-board accounts daily.Rates start from $13.95 per person per day.Both lines charge daily gratuities.
Has a ship ever sunk?No.No.No ships have sunk with either line.
BookBook a Princess cruiseBook a Norwegian cruise-

Who offers the best price?

Prices for a seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers (Northbound) cruise from Vancouver to Anchorage, Alaska, with three ports of call and scenic cruising through two waterways start at $898 with Princess Cruises. This is a sale price.

  • Prices for a seven-day Alaska with Glacier Bay cruise from Vancouver to Seward, Alaska, with three ports of call and scenic cruising through two waterways start at $1,015 with Norwegian Cruise Lines.

The verdict?

In a similar price and itinerary comparison, Princess Cruises came out on top, however this was due to the fact that the cruise was on sale at the time of writing. In more standard circumstances the prices sit much closer and are highly competitive.


Is this cruise line good?

Emerald Princess, Star Princess and Ruby Princess all sail around Alaska. Their star ratings on cruise review website Cruise Critic are 4.5, 4, and 4 out of 5 respectively. Reviews mention good service and decent food.

Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Jewel and Norwegian Pearl offer Alaskan itineraries. On Cruise Critic they are rated as 4 out of 5. Reviewers note slick service and quality food.


Any other differences worth noting?

Princess Cruises goes all-out on Alaskan sailings and offers Alaskan-themed entertainment on board, from gold nugget arts to Alaskan documentary screenings.


What are the deals like?

Princess Cruises runs deals such as 5% deposits and money off flights. It also puts on regular specials on specific destinations, including Alaska, with deals like US$1,000 onboard spend per couple or low cabin rates.

NCL offers some great discounts on last-minute cruises, bonus freebies such as beverage and dining packages and low $50 deposits to secure cruises.

The verdict?

Both cruise lines run limited period deals on Alaskan sailings that can include anything from low deposits to onboard bonuses. They’re both quite competitive so it’s worth sussing them out to see which “perk” you’d prefer if that’s what it comes down to for you.


Top Princess and Norwegian Cruise Lines deals:

Deal

Up to $4,000 bonus value on 12-night Hawaii cruise with flights

Expires 30 Sep 2021
Available for departure on 21 October 2023 with Norwegian Cruise Lines. Package includes return airfare departing from Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney or Perth, pre-cruise accommodation, onboard meals and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

3+ nights last-minute cruises from USD$180

Available on select travel dates with Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruises, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises and more. Sample rate is for a 3-night Caribbean cruise with MSC. Destinations include Australia, Japan, Vietnam, Italy, Alaska and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Australia and New Zealand cruises from USD$228

Available on select dates in 2021-2022 with Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line and more. Sample rate is for a 3-night cruise with Carnival Cruises.

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