RCI Celebrates 25 Years of Alaska Cruises

RCI Celebrates 25 Years of Alaska Cruises

Royal Caribbean International has announced its 2014 Alaska cruise and cruisetour season, which will mark 25 years of delivering the Alaskan frontier on land and sea.

The recently revitalised Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas will return to Alaskan waters and offer 34 sailings on seven-night itineraries from Vancouver, British Columbia, and Seattle, Washington. On board, guests can enjoy up to 11 dining options, new and breathtaking entertainment, as well as family activities such as the award-winning Adventure Ocean kids and teen programme, and the new Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, catering to Royal Caribbean’s youngest guests, age six to 36 months old.

RCI Radiance Class

In ports of call, guests can choose from an extensive range of shore excursions to further explore the untamed Alaskan frontier. At Icy Strait Point examples include riding the world’s longest ZipRider zip line – 5,300 ft long – that accelerates up to 60 miles an hour over a lush forest to the beach 1,300 ft below. Or enjoy a dogsled team on Dog Sledding on the Mendenhall Glacier by Helicopter from Juneau.

For the whole family, the Gold Rush Sled Dogs and White Pass Train Adventure in Skagway offers an exciting ride on the world-famous, narrow-gauge White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad, followed by meeting a veteran Iditarod musher and his dogsled team with a chance to pet some pups, or the opportunity to go off-roading through Tongas National Park and canoeing in Lake Harriet Hunt on Backcountry Jeep & Canoe Safari from Ketchikan.

“Royal Caribbean International has been unfolding the wonders of the Alaskan frontier for a quarter of a century and we continue to deliver this amazing destination like no other cruise line,” said Lisa Bauer, Executive Vice President of Global Marketing and Sales. “Guests can explore this awe-inspiring destination while sailing aboard our recently revitalised ships that are truly ‘Designed for WOW’. To further immerse themselves, travellers also can choose an unforgettable Royal Caribbean Alaska cruisetour combining the best of land and sea in the region and without having to worry about any of the planning.”

In addition to witnessing the majesty of Alaska by ship, guests also can explore Alaska’s interior on a variety of exciting Royal Caribbean Cruisetours, which combine a sailing aboard Radiance of the Seas with a three- to six-night land tour adventure. RCI takes care of all the planning, transportation and accommodation on fully escorted tours that spend at least one night in Denali National Park and one leg on the Wilderness Express, a plush, glass-domed train cars that offer panoramic views of the grand Alaskan frontier.

A 10-night, family-friendly cruisetour will feature a three-night land tour that includes a behind-the-scenes visit to the Alaska Sea Life Center to learn about the region’s natural habitat and the centre’s wildlife rehabilitation and conservation efforts, and wildlife spotting in Denali National Park at the Murie Science and Learning Center.

Okanagan Wine Valley

Holidaymakers also can combine a Radiance of the Seas or Rhapsody of the Seas’ Alaska cruise with one of four pre- or post-cruise land tours throughout the Canadian Rockies and – new for 2014 – the Okanagan Wine Valley. For a comprehensive Alaska and the Canadian Rockies adventure, the Ultimate Cruisetour combines both region’s land tour programmes with a seven-night cruise aboard Radiance of the Seas for a 19-night grand adventure on land and sea.

Recently revitalised in 2011 and 2012, respectively, Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas now offer guests a range of new dining options, breathtaking entertainment, and contemporary features that live up to the cruise line’s Designed for WOW marketing platform. Each ship now features some of the most popular dining options and activities that were first introduced aboard the world’s largest and most revolutionary ships, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.

New signature concepts aboard these ships include a new dance club experience in the modernised Viking Crown Lounge. On Rhapsody of the Seas guests are surprised and delighted throughout the day by a series of heart-pounding, aerial-acrobatic entertainment experiences in the four deck-high Centrum, which also features the new retro R Bar. Guests enjoy choices from 11 different dining options on Radiance of the Seas and nine on Rhapsody of the Seas, including the Park Café gourmet deli, Izumi Asian Cuisine, Giovanni’s Table Italian restaurant, and the exclusive Chef’s Table, some for an additional cover charge.

Both ships offer bow-to-stern wi-fi service, a refresh of all public spaces and updated staterooms with flat-panel televisions. An oversized LED movie screen overlooking the main pool provides entertainment to guests, and new Concierge and Diamond lounges on-board each ship further recognise Royal Caribbean International’s loyal Crown and Anchor Society members and suite guests.

Radiance of the Seas will alternate between north- and southbound seven-night itineraries from Vancouver and Seward, respectively. Guests will cruise the Inside Passage and the monumental Hubbard Glacier, as well as call at Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, Juneau and Skagway, Alaska.

Radiance of the Seas’ Alaska season will start and end with a seven-night itinerary, sailing from Vancouver on 9th May 2014 and 5th September 2014, calling at Icy Strait Point, Juneau, and Ketchikan, and cruising up Tracy Arm Fjord to see Sawyer Glacier.

Rhapsody of the seas will sail seven-night cruises to Sawyer Glacier from Seattle, Washingston. Guests will cruise the Inside Passage and call at Juneau, Skagway, and Victoria, British Columbia. Two similar seven-night itineraries that call at Ketchikan instead of Victoria will sail from Vancouver to Seattle on 16th May and vice versa on 29th August 2014.

For a range of short webisodes about Royal Caribbean International’s Alaska experience, please visit

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, editor and proofreader for 53 years, and ITTN's News & Features Editor for 43 years. His travel blog is at

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