Budget

Best Cruise Deals Around the World

by Brook Wilkinson

Alaska

Conde Nast Traveler

Lindblad Expeditions
Ships: National Geographic Sea Bird, National Geographic Sea Lion
Best for: Amateur scientists and wildlife enthusiasts who value rare access over high thread counts
Why it's a good value: Exploring Alaska by small ship is both the easiest way to go and the best way to see the knockout scenery
Length: 7 nights
Departures: August 2009 and May through August 2010
Number of Passengers: 62
Cost: From $5,390

Nearly every stop on this itinerary is extremely difficult to get to by land and too small to accommodate the big cruise ships, which means you're likely to have most ports all to yourself. What's more, these small expedition vessels are designed to take full advantage of their privileged access—they're outfitted with underwater audio and video equipment and with kayaks so that you can paddle among the icebergs. Their National Geographic affiliation also means that you'll find top-notch naturalists on board, professional wildlife photographers on certain departures, and a captain willing to change plans midcourse and send passengers out in the Zodiacs if he spots whales off the bow (800-397-3348; expeditions.com).

Value Cruises: Alaska

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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