Are luxury ships the best value in Alaska cruising?

By Gene Sloan, USA TODAY 

Thinking about a cruise to Alaska in 2011? Don’t rule out a voyage on a luxury line just because you think it’ll be a lot more expensive.

That’s the word today from deal savvy Erica Silverstein of, who offers up a lengthy online comparison between the cost of cruising in Alaska on the Celebrity Millennium, a mass-market ship, and luxury line Regent Seven Seas’ Seven Seas Navigator.¬†

Noting that Regent’s all-inclusive luxury formula means everything from taxes and gratuities to air travel and on-board drinks are included in its fares, Silverstein concludes that a cabin on the high-end, 490-passenger Navigator could end up being less expensive than a suite on the 1,950-passenger Millennium and not all that much more than even a basic balcony cabin on the ship once all the extra-charge items that are de rigueur on mass-market vessels are taken into account.

In an item-by-item breakdown of costs, Silverstein shows that a seven-night cruise on Millennium in a balcony cabin with a base fare of $1,825 for two easily could end up costing more than $3,800 in total once gratuities, shore excursions, drinks and other extra-charge items are added to the tab. A cruise in a suite on the Millennium could end up costing more than $5,000. Compare that with an all-inclusive cabin on the Navigator that goes for $4,799 for two.

“When you add up all your vacation costs, the total price of a luxury or premium cruise may be a lot more affordable than you ever thought,” Silverstein notes.

Cruise Loggers, take a look at Silverstein’s cost comparison and then come back here to discuss the topic. Do you consider luxury ships when booking a cruise?

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