End-of-season Alaskan cruises, from $509

/ Source: Sherman's Travel

Book by: ASAP
Travel by: September 2008

The deal
September brings the close of the Alaskan cruise season and savvy travelers know it’s a great time to score savings, if you don’t mind the cooler temps. Potential benefits of shoulder-season sailings include vistas with fall colors, more wildlife sightings, and fewer fellow visitors. We found a trio of late-August/early-September excursions with significant discounts compared to high-season travel. Interior cabins start at just $509.

Seward to Vancouver from $509
Celebrity Cruise Lines has a stellar deal on a weeklong southbound cruise. Departing from Alaska’s Seward, the Celebrity Millennium makes stops at Hubbard Glacier, Juneau, Skagway, Icy Strait Point, and Ketchikan before taking the Inside Passage to Vancouver, British Columbia. If you book the September 12 trip, you’ll save $340. Inside cabins on the last sail of the season, departing on September 12, start at $509. Even oceanview cabins are affordable, at just $699.

Vancouver to Seward discounted 66 percent
Prefer a northbound route leaving British Columbia? Holland America’s seven-night Glacier Discovery cruise sails August 31 from Vancouver. Aboard the Zaandam, you’ll have one day at sea before the first stop of Ketchikan. Other ports of call include Juneau and Skagway. You’ll also cruise Glacier Bay and College Fjord before arriving in Seward. Interior rooms normally priced at a whopping $1,619 are going for $549. You’re saving more than half off rack rates.

Round trip from Seattle from $669
For a roundtrip jaunt up the Alaskan coast, Norwegian Cruise Line offers two September sailings with savings of up to 44 percent. Departing Seattle, the Norwegian Star navigates the Inside Passage before heading to Ketchikan. Next stop is Juneau, then Skagway, as well as cruising the Sawyer Glacier between the two. There’s one more port of call in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, plus a day at sea. Inside rooms on both the September 6 and September 13 trip are just $669 — marked down from a steep $1,199.

The dollars
All quotes are per person, based on double occupancy and include port charges, meals and some beverages. As always, taxes, fees, alcohol and off-ship expenses are your responsibility.

The catch
Getting to your point of departure and home again may be more expensive than the cruise itself.

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