Terminus of Mendenhall Glacier
Danny Lehman  /  Corbis
Terminus of Mendenhall Glacier, near Juneau, Alaska.
updated 10/30/2008 9:22:56 AM ET 2008-10-30T13:22:56

The Real Deal: Seven nights' accommodations aboard a cruise ship and all meals, from $999 per person—plus taxes and fuel surcharges of about $255.

When: Depart May 9, 16, 23, 2009. Add $100 for June 6, 13, 20, 2009.

The fine print: The additional per-person charges break down to $178 in taxes and a fuel surcharge of $11 per night ($77 for the entire cruise). Based on double occupancy; single supplement is $999. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Book by: No deadline; based on availability.

Contact: Online Vacation Center, 800/329-9002, onlinevacationcenter.com.

Why it's a deal: The price, including taxes, breaks down to $179 per person per night, and that includes all your meals. You'll stay in a balcony stateroom at the $999 price. We found a similar cruise (seven nights to Alaska) on Princess Cruises, and to stay in a balcony stateroom on that cruise, you'd pay $1,312. That's a savings of $313 before taxes.

Trip details: The Alaska Inside Passage cruise sets sail from Seattle, where you'll meet fellow passengers for a 4 p.m. Saturday departure on Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Star.

The lowest rates are based on a balcony stateroom; you'll have two beds (not bunk beds), a small sitting area, and sliding glass doors that open onto a private balcony, where you can enjoy the views.

The Norwegian Star has 14 decks full of amenities to keep you busy. You'll find the Star Club Casino—with 158 slot machines—three pools, six hot tubs, a movie theater, a teen club, a spa, and a library. The Stardust Theater has Vegas-style shows before and after dinner. All meals, nonalcoholic drinks, and activities are included—except the gambling.

The seven-night cruise makes stops in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, and Prince Rupert, in British Columbia, Canada. Break out the cameras for one (literally) big highlight: Sawyer Glacier in the Tracy Arm Fjord just south of Juneau.

Shore excursions are not included but can be added on to your itinerary at an additional cost. If you prefer to plan your own activities at each port, Alaska's official tourism site is a good resource.

Expect temperatures in Alaska in May to top out at 55 degrees Fahrenheit, with lows in the upper 30s.

Getting there: The cruise begins and ends in Seattle. In a recent Kayak search, we found these round-trip airfares in early May 2009: $179 from Portland (Alaska), $300 from San Diego (Delta), $335 from Fort Lauderdale (AirTran), $349 from Denver (Delta), $360 from Boston (Delta), $379 from New York City (American, Alaska), $380 from Detroit (AirTran), and $457 from St. Louis (American).

Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.

Photos: Amazing Alaska

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  1. Mendenhall Glacier

    Located in Mendenhall Valley, the Mendenhall Glacier is a massive glacial system that stretches 120 miles. It is approximately 12 miles long, and 1.5 miles in width at the face. It is located 12 miles from downtown Juneau. (Danny Lehman / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Bald beauty

    A bald eagle dives for dinner in one of the many remote lakes within the Tongass National Forest. With almost 17 million acres, the Tongass is the nation's largest national forest covering most of Southeast Alaska, surrounding the famous Inside Passage. (Ron Sanford / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Scenic adventure

    Experience the panorama of Juneau and the Inside Passage from 1,800 feet above the city on the Mount Roberts Tramway, one of the most visited attractions in Southeast Alaska. (Stuart Westmorland / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Bright nights

    A cruise ship floats on Auke Bay near Juneau, Alaska. The summer sky is still bright at 11:00 p.m. (Bob Rowan / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Flying high

    Take a scenic flight over the 1,500 square mile Juneau Icecap. Flight-seeing tours are the only way to see the glaciers and fields that make up the fifth-largest ice field in the Western Hemisphere. (Lee Cohen / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Awe inspiring

    A humpback whale shows its fluke during a dive while a fishing boat cruises by. Humpbacks may be seen at any time of year in Alaska, but during spring, the animals migrate back to Alaska where food is abundant. Whales seen in Alaska during the summer months are from Hawaii. (Buddy Mays / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Kobuk Valley National Park, Alaska

    Less than 2,000 visitors last year, but almost 500,000 caribou each spring and fall. In other words, the only crowds you’ll experience at Kobuk will likely have antlers and four legs apiece. In fact, this roadless expanse, just north of the Arctic Circle, is so remote that the U.S. Geologic Survey still hasn’t named some of its river drainages. But for those who are prepared for a true wilderness experience, rafting the Kobuk River, hiking the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes or climbing among the Baird and Waring ranges that ring the park can be the adventure of a lifetime. (Tom Walker / AccentAlaska.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Cool city

    A winter view of the Anchorage skyline with the Chugach Range in the background. The Chugach Range forms a 300-mile crescent outside the town of Valdez, Alaska, east of Anchorage. (Robert Olsen / ACVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Majestic mountain

    Denali, North America's tallest mountain at 20,320 feet, is visible from Anchorage even though it's 140 miles to the north. (John Brecher) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Reindeer games

    Mel Leskinen, left, talks as Albert Whitehead walks his pet reindeer Star along 4th Avenue in downtown Anchorage, Alaska, Feb. 2, 2005. Half of the nation's population thinks most of Alaska is covered in ice and snow year-round. One out of every eight believe that the 49th state is either a separate country, a U.S. territory, a commonwealth or just aren't sure. Thanks to a poll commissioned by Gov. Frank Murkowski, Alaskans know a bit better the misperceptions Americans have of their neighbors to the north. (Al Grillo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Lighten up, moose

    A bull moose with Christmas lights tangled in its antlers rests in a field in Anchorage, Alaska, on Dec. 25, 2005. The lights, which did not seem to bother the moose, could pull off as the he wonders through Anchorage neighborhoods. (Al Grillo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Wow, that's a snowman!

    A young boy poses in front of a 16-foot tall snowman in a residential neighborhood of Anchorage, Dec. 24, 2005. Thousands of people trekked to the house to see the creation. (Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. A refreshing ride

    A windsurfer rides the wind as he jumps across waves in the Turnagain Arm south of Anchorage, Alaska on May 18, 2006. (Al Grillo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. The Iditarod

    Mitch Seavey mushes past a patch of open water on the Yukon River after leaving Ruby, Alaska on Friday, March 12, 2010 during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. (Bob Hallinen / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Glacial beauty

    An iceberg from the Portage Glacier is locked in the frozen Portage Lake south of Anchorage, Alaska in this Jan. 6, 2004 photo. The glacier, which is a major Alaska tourist destination near Anchorage's southern edge, has retreated so far it no longer can be seen from a multimillion-dollar visitors center built in 1986. (Al Grillo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Artistic awe

    Alaska's favorable climate makes ice carving a popular activity and spectacle for visitors. (Anchorage CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Flight of freedom

    Tom Melius, with the Fish and Wildlife Service, left, Lisa Pajot, second left, and Gary Bullock, second from right, with the Bird and Treatment and Learning Center, and Pat Lampi, with the Alaska Zoo release a bald eagle in Anchorage Alaska Sept. 25, 2006. The eagle was cared for by the Bird and Treatment and Learning Center after it lost its tail feathers and was released after the feathers grew back. (John Gomes / AP file) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Snow-plowed

    Two snowmobiles collide, knocking one rider off, as they race around the track during the Fur Rendezvous Sno-X races in Anchorage, Feb. 26, 2005. The 17-day winter festival includes the World Championship Sled Dog races, dog weight pull, snow sculptures and other events to break up the long Alaska winter. (Al Grillo / AP file) Back to slideshow navigation
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