Mickey on Disney cruise to Alaska

Best Prices for Disney Cruise to Alaska: When to Book!

There’s no question that a Disney vacation will be epic. And if it’s a Disney cruise to Alaska, you combine the best of a low-key Disney vacation with possibly the most romantic, enchanting scenery in the world. But the best prices for Disney cruises to Alaska can be all over the map. When should you book for the best Disney cruise deals?

When we booked our Disney cruise back in January 2020, SO many people said to wait for price drops. But (wonderful!) bloggers said Disney cruise prices only go up. I wanted to discover the truth for myself! 

So, every month since January, I recorded the lowest prices for popular Disney cruises: 

  • 3-night Disney cruise to Bahamas from Port Canaveral; 
  • 7-night Disney cruise Eastern Caribbean from Port Canaveral; and, 
  • 7-night Disney cruise from Vancouver to Alaska. 

And now I can share what I’ve learned with you!

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Disney cruise to Alaska, best prices and when to book

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CONTENTS:

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About Disney Cruises to Alaska

In case you don’t love doing all the research like me, here are some key things you need to know about Disney cruises to Alaska before we dig into price comparisons. Here we cover: your options for Disney cruises to Alaska, your itinerary, your Disney cruise ship and the range of prices.

Disney cruise to Alaska passes lighthouse near Skagway

Lighthouse near Skagway, Alaska. Photo credit: Geoff Brooks from Unsplash.

When Does Disney Cruise Go to Alaska?

You can take a Disney cruise to Alaska from mid-May to early-September. 

Each season, you have three types of Disney cruises to Alaska:

  • 9-night Alaskan cruise from Vancouver: 1 sailing per season; it departs the last Monday in June and returns the following Wednesday.
  • 5-night Alaskan cruise from Vancouver: 1 sailing per season; it departs on the Wednesday that the 9-night cruise returns, and returns on the following Monday.
  • 7-night Alaskan cruise from Vancouver: 15 sailings per season; it departs and returns on Mondays; the first sailing is the third Monday of May and the last sailing departs the first Monday in September, with two weeks break for the 9-night and 5-night sailings.

*Given that the 7-night Disney cruises from Vancouver to Alaska are by far the most common, the analysis below focuses solely on these 15 cruises.

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Itinerary for 7-night Disney Cruise to Alaska

Your 7-night Disney cruise itinerary from Vancouver to Alaska includes:

  • Day 1: Boarding in Vancouver by 3:30 p.m.
  • Day 2: Day at Sea
  • Day 3: Dawes Glacier, Alaska (while called a port, you do not disembark)
  • Day 4: Skagway, Alaska
  • Day 5: Juneau, Alaska
  • Day 6: Ketchikan, Alaska
  • Day 7: Day at Sea
  • Day 8: Disembark in Vancouver by 8:00 a.m.

Dawes Glacier, Alaska is known for impressive cliffs, waterfalls and wild animal sightings. Your Disney cruise ship floats through icy Endicott Arm fjord to reach the massive Dawes Glacier, at over 600 feet tall and a mile wide. Of its 600-foot presence, 250 feet are below water.

Skagway, Alaska is known as the “Gateway to the Klondike” during the Gold Rush, but is now a sleepy town full of small-town fun. Depending on when you’re here, you can hike, canoe, raft, snowshoe, zipline, ride horseback or dog sled. Search for wildlife. Gold pan. Experience an historic saloon. A classic activity is taking the historic White Pass Route on an authentic steam engine, along rugged mountains, glaciers, gorges, waterfalls, tunnels and trestles.

On your return trip to Vancouver, you’ll stop at Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska.

Juneau, Alaska is the largest capital in area in the USA and the only one located right on a border (with Canada). Enjoy boutique shops filled with Alaskan furs, lacquered boxes and nesting dolls (yes, with a strong Russian influence!). Take the tram up Mount Juneau for an incredible view. Explore the salmon hatchery or 50-acre glacier botanical garden. Or, hop on a dog sled, go whale-watching or explore glaciers by seaplane or mountaineering.

Ketchikan, Alaska is dubbed teh “Salmon Capital of the World.” So, naturally you can do anything from fishing to wilderness dining! Ketchikan also has the world’s largest collection of totem poles from the 1800s, featured in three parks and a heritage center. Choose from a variety of low-key to adventurous adventures.

Disney cruise to Alaska, Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau

Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau. Photo credit: Rod Ramsell from Unsplash.

What Disney Cruise Ship Goes to Alaska

Disney Wonder does ALL Disney cruises from Vancouver to Alaska. Disney Wonder is the second oldest of the four Disney cruise ships and one of its smallest, with 875 staterooms (2,400 passengers maximum) compared to 1,250 staterooms (4,000 passengers maximum). 

From reading Disney cruise reviews of all the ships, Disney Wonder doesn’t seem to lack any of the magic of the bigger and newer Disney cruise ships. Its maintenance and customer service are stellar, as is its spectacular Broadway-style Frozen. Disney Wonder has the same signature restaurants on all Disney cruise ships, including Animator’s Palate and the premium Palo, but it also has the magical Tiana’s Place. 

And while you’re enjoying several lounges in the After Hours adults area, spa and adults-only pool area, kids are having a blast in the kids club. They can train at the Marvel Super Hero Academy and transform into a princess, pirate or knight at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.

When doing a Disney cruise ships comparison, Disney Wonder is more quaint and intimate. Its indoor coffee shop on the top deck is actually larger compared to Disney Magic (the oldest and other smaller ship), so more passengers can enjoy the beautiful Alaskan views out of the wind and colder air. 

Disney cruise stateroom features are largely the same, although one reviewer commented that some small things, like the hairdryer, are noticeably older. 

And although it doesn’t have the popular AquaDuck or AquaDunk waterslides, Disney Wonder has a highly-rated pool deck with splash areas and the signature Funnel Vision that screens Disney movies throughout the day.

Range of Prices for Disney Cruise to Alaska

So, how much are Disney cruises to Alaska? A 7-night Disney cruise to Alaska ranges from $3,380US to more than $22,000US, based on 2 adults. The cheapest price is for the cheapest inside cabin at the cheapest time you can book it, and the most expensive is the priciest concierge cabin at the most expensive time you can book it (so far!). And it’s based on data collected on Disney cruises to Alaska for 2021 sailings.

When to Book a Disney Cruise to Alaska

Given this wild range of prices for Disney cruises to Alaska, when in the world should you book? Great question! I’ll break it down for you below.

*Note: Since I started recording prices in January 2020, I will continue to collect them until March 2021. This will give me an entire cycle’s worth of data to compare prices for Disney cruises to Alaska. And then I’ll update this analysis as needed.

Disney cruise to Alaska, Juneau scenery

Juneau, Alaska. Photo credit: Kayti Coonjohn from Unsplash.

Cheapest Time to GO on a Disney Cruise to Alaska

When is the cheapest time to GO on your Disney cruise to Alaska? The cheapest time to take your 7-night Disney cruise to Alaska is the last sailing, second-to-last sailing and first sailing of the season. 

As you can see in the table below, the September 6, 2021 sailing is the cheapest Disney cruise to Alaska in 2021. This is true across ALL cabin types at the time of recording these prices (March 2020, which was when these sail dates were released).

*Note: Prices below are in US Dollars and for 2 adults/2 children.

TABLE: 2021 Disney Cruises to Alaska (CHEAPEST/MO USD)

 MAY 17JUN 7JUL 26AUG 30SEP 6
AS OF MAR 2020
INSIDE$6,126$7,903$8,324$5,227$5,104
OCEANVIEW$6,809$8,827$9,514$5,925$5,703
VERANDA$9,310$12,042$13,149$9,027$8,848
CONCIERGE$14,263$19,334$20,857$14,456$14,053

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Most Expensive Time to GO on a Disney Cruise to Alaska

The most expensive time to GO on your 7-night Disney cruise to Alaska is mid July. Of all 7-night Disney cruises Vancouver to Alaska in 2021, the most expensive sailing is July 12. And as of August 2020, this is true across ALL cabin types. 

*Note: Prices below are in US Dollars and for 2 adults/2 children.

TABLE: 2021 Disney Cruises to Alaska (Most Expensive USD)

 JUN 21JUL 12JUL 19JUL 26
AS OF AUG 2020
INSIDE$11,382$11,917$11,769$11,142
OCEANVIEW$12,913$13,762$13,449$12,784
VERANDA$19,557$21,107$20,683$19,169
CONCIERGEN/A$42,846$30,943N/A

Cheapest Time to BOOK a Disney Cruise to Alaska

When we were deciding whether or not to book our Disney cruise in January 2020, SO many people told us to wait. “Cruise prices always get cheaper,” they said. BUT all my research at the time (i.e. a lot of great blogs out there!) said, “NO! Disney cruise prices only go UP from their release price.”

And they were right.

So, the cheapest time to book your Disney cruise to Alaska is in March when Disney releases dates for the following year.

Have prices for Disney cruises to Alaska ever dropped since I’ve been recording them? Yes, but typically only in the veranda and concierge cabins, and after first surging in price. There were slight drops in the cheaper cabin types in February and March 2020; I wish I recorded if these drops were for regular or restricted cabins. But, Disney cruise price drops later on were never below the original release price. 

Most Expensive Time to BOOK a Disney Cruise to Alaska

If you missed the cheapest time to book your Disney cruise to Alaska, what’s the worst time to avoid booking? I’m sorry to say that this is much more difficult to predict.

Disney cruise prices are very closely tied to demand. This applies to both the sail date and the specific cabin type. So, as the demand for a particular cabin type in a particular sailing goes up, so do Disney cruise prices. And while the cheaper cabin types don’t fluctuate that much over time, the pricier veranda and concierge cabins fluctuate a lot.

For example: 

  • July 6, 2020 Sailing: Concierge cabins went from $22,123 in January 2020, to unavailable in February 2020, and up to $30,433 in March 2020. All other cabins were virtually unchanged.
  • Aug 31, 2020 Sailing: Over this time, concierge cabins went from $20,460, to unavailable, and then dropped to $15,448. All other cabins were virtually unchanged.

*Note: Prices below are in US Dollars and for 2 adults/2 children.

TABLE: 2020 Disney Cruises to Alaska (CHEAPEST/MO USD)

 MAY 18JUN 1JUL 6AUG 31SEP 7
AS OF JAN 2020
INSIDE$6,405$7,580$7,610$6,320N/A
OCEANVIEW$7,105$8,350$8,590$7,244$6,865
VERANDA$10,288$13,642$14,143$10,646$11,387
CONCIERGE$21,457$25,444$22,123$20,460$15,053
AS OF FEB 2020
INSIDE$6,405$7,378$7,610$6,362N/A
OCEANVIEW$7,105$8,330$8,590$7,384$6,809
VERANDA$9,563$11,690$14,143$10,870$11,387
CONCIERGE$21,457$25,424N/AN/A$20,193
AS OF MAR 2020
INSIDEREMOVEDREMOVED$7,593$6,334$6,179
OCEANVIEW$8,573$7,384$6,809
VERANDA$14,126$9,792$10,561
CONCIERGE$30,433$15,448$20,193

Now, a lot happened in March 2020. Disney released dates for 2021 sailings, but then travel was restricted due to COVID-19 and cruise travel in particular received very poor media coverage. But despite all that was going on, it was interesting to see that Disney cruise prices really didn’t change that much.

If you plan to sail in a pricier cabin during peak season (June to early August), the worst time to book your cruise seems to be February/March of the same year and June/July the year before. After January, availability drops and prices increase, since January is a popular month to book summer vacations. The same seems to be true after May the year before.

That said, prices for the inside and oceanview cabins are much more stable. Prices for these cabins generally increase only a bit as time goes on. 

And after any cabin type surges in price, it’ll typically be unavailable very soon.

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When to Get the Best Disney Cruise DEALS

While you typically won’t see many Disney cruise deals directly from Disney Cruise Lines, they do offer a few. Here are four that may apply to Disney cruises to Alaska:

  • 50% deposit: Offered in January to mid-February on new reservations (4+ nights), for bookings between June of the same year through May of the following year.
  • 25% Canadian reduction: Typically offered when new sail dates are released, but for higher-priced sail dates in the same year and specific cabin types; occasionally for Vancouver to Alaska cruises, but for pricier sail dates (late June/July).
  • Military rate: Typically offered when new sail dates are released, but for higher-priced sail dates in the same year and specific cabin types; occasionally for Vancouver to Alaska cruises, but only on the first four sailings of the season.
  • Up to 25% on select sailings: Offered periodically, but typically for shorter cruises in the Bahamas and Caribbean and for specific cabin types with restrictions. This means that they choose the room for you, you must pay in full when booking, payment is non-refundable, and both the sail date and stateroom category can’t be changed. I still haven’t seen this deal for Disney cruises to Alaska, but I’ll keep checking.

Benefits of Booking with a Disney Cruise Travel Agent

Disney cruise to Alaska, night sky over Juneau

Juneau at night. Photo credit: Steve Halama from Unsplash.

Before I get to the Summary and Resources, I first want to comment on whether you should book your Disney cruise to Alaska with a travel agency. The benefit of booking through a Disney cruise travel agent is that they offer Disney cruise deals above what’s offered by Disney Cruise Lines. And all Disney Cruise Lines offers mentioned above are also available through travel agents that sell Disney cruises. 

Now, I’ve discovered that travel agencies are prohibited from undercutting Disney Cruise Line prices. So, you won’t find a better Disney cruise price anywhere compared to Disney Cruise Lines. But what you will get are incentives from travel agencies for booking through them

Typically, Disney cruise travel agents will offer their incentives in the form of an onboard credit based on your booking cost. Now, pay attention to what’s included in your “booking cost,” as some of these things can bump you up to the higher onboard credit. For example, most travel agencies credit the insurance, transfers and hotels you book with them. But, only some travel agencies credit you the taxes. 

Also, some incentives may be specific to things like shore excursions, or a gift basket of cruise essentials. 

Which of these Disney cruise deals that’s best for you will depend on a few things, including:

  • Your specific booking cost (including insurance, transfers, hotels and taxes);
  • Where you expect to spend the most, above the cabin price (e.g. gratuities, alcohol, shore excursions); and,
  • Whether you’re already a Costco member.

Use these factors to compare offers from Disney cruise travel agents and make the best choice for you.

Disney cruise travel agents seem to offer their best Disney cruise deals in January and then in March when Disney releases new sail dates to Alaska.

Summary and Resources

So, when should you book your Disney cruise to Alaska? If you’re looking for the cheapest Disney cruise to Alaska, reserve the first or last sailing of the season, and book immediately when it’s released – March of the year before you sail. The first sail date in May and the last sail date in September tend to be the cheapest. And ALL sail dates and cabins are cheapest in March when first released.

Also, I highly recommend booking your Disney cruise to Alaska through a travel agency. Although travel agencies are prohibited from undercutting Disney Cruise Line prices, they can offer Disney cruise deals above what Disney Cruise Lines offers as valuable onboard credits.

The most valuable resources you’ll find for your Disney cruise to Alaska is obviously the Disney Cruise Line website. Here you’ll find all the specifics on sail dates, cabin prices, and Disney Wonder features. Plus, this is where you’ll manage all your bookings for things like excursions, spa appointments and childcare. 

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Disney cruise to Alaska, tram to Mount Juneau

Tram to Mount Juneau. Photo credit: Fernando Jorge from Unsplash.

If you’re ready to book, I suggest checking out Disney cruise deals at three places:

  • Costco Travel: If you’re already a Costco member, they might have the best Disney cruise deal for you. Instead of an onboard credit, you get a Costco gift card. Their online interface is great, immediately showing you how much your gift card will be, based on your sail date and cabin type.
  • Cruise Direct: A very popular, well-established website for booking cruises. Their search function is fantastic, including ship features and customer ratings. Quickly compare cruise prices, sailings and companies. Cruise Direct also offers competitive onboard credits, no booking fees and flexible payment plans.
  • Dreams Unlimited Travel: Where I booked our upcoming May 2021 Disney cruise, because they clearly include taxes with their onboard credit. This bumped us up to the higher onboard credit. Plus, they offer a gift basket with cruise essentials, which I think is a nice touch. Their website isn’t nearly as easy to use as Cruise Direct, though, so I mostly did my research elsewhere. So far, I’ve had excellent personal customer service.

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Disney cruise to Alaska, best prices and when to book

Featured photo credit (cruising Mickey): Kyle Desantis from Unsplash

 

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