Alaska on Sale

May 15, 2009
Special Feature

Money may be tight, but perhaps you don't feel like taking a vacation close to home to save cash. Lucky for you, cruises and tours in Alaska are going at deeply discounted prices.

Money may be tight, but perhaps you don’t feel like taking a vacation close to home to save cash. Lucky for you, cruises and tours in Alaska, America’s “Last Frontier,” are going at deeply discounted prices. Hotels, cruise lines, and tour operators, who had expected an influx of tourists celebrating the state’s 50th anniversary of statehood this year, are looking at bookings that are as much as 50% below last year’s levels. Overall, the number of tourists visiting Alaska this summer may be down by as much as 20%.

The bargains come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Among the deals being offered are 25% off rooms and cabins at some tourist resorts and 30% to 50% off cruises. As additional deal sweeteners, some cruise lines are throwing in free airfare from selected cities in the Lower 48, as well as free side tours. Alaska Airlines is cutting fares to Alaska cities like Juneau, Ketchikan, and Fairbanks. There are also cruise lines offering two-for-the-price-of-one bargains that will let you bring a friend for free; others are easing their deposit requirements, cutting them by as much as 50%.

To get in on many of the bargains, you must finalize your vacation plans by the end of May, but other deals may be extended throughout the summer tourism season and into next year as well. To see what’s available, check out the websites of individual airlines and cruise lines. For a one-stop listing of many of the Alaska travel deals, go to www.travelalaska.com.