Cruising is a holiday type unlike any other, and one that is loved by many. A once-in-a-lifetime cruising adventure can take you anywhere across the globe, from the coldest locations to some of the world’s warmest climates.

Two of the most popular cruising locations take you to two opposite corners of the globe, Alaska and the Caribbean. Stark contrasts in many ways, these two locations both offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences; from stunning views and unique cultures to wildlife sightings in abundance. But which location is actually better?

In this article, we dive deep into the facts and figures to bring you the answer to that all-important question: Alaska cruises vs Caribbean cruises: Which is better?

Alaska overview

A cruise ship surrounded by snow capped mountains

Alaska is now one of the most popular cruise destinations in the world and is known for being pure, raw and humongous in scale.

To put the size of Alaska into perspective, it is home to national parks that are the size of entire nations and is home to glaciers that are bigger than some US states. It is the largest state in the US and is seven times the size of the UK, covering more than 660,000 square miles.

Alaska is also the least densely populated state and its vast stretches of unspoilt landscapes are home to northern lights dancing in the sky, crystal clear lakes, calving glaciers, evergreen rainforests and stunning wildlife.

We spoke to some travel bloggers who have visited Alaska before and James Smith from Only By Land felt the state was home to some of the most beautiful places he has seen.

“Alaska is home to some of the most beautiful places on earth. Many of these are glaciers which are best viewed from the sea. I particularly remember Glacier Bay. In fact, one of the most memorable experiences of my life was viewing the snow-capped mountains and huge glaciers from the emerald-coloured water. What's more, the cruise ship captain rotated the ship so not only could I view it privately from my balcony but so could everybody else on board. The visit to Glacier Bay alone warrants cruising to Alaska.”

Christy from The Ordinary Traveler has been on a cruise to the Caribbean as well as Alaska and for her, there was only one winner.

“ I’ve been on cruises in both destinations and as an outdoor enthusiast, I would have to pick Alaska as my favourite. Alaska is one of the few destinations that I feel a cruise might be a better option for many people than travelling by land. I chose a small boat cruise with plenty of adventure activities — including daily hikes, kayaking, SUP and Zodiac tours. Every morning we woke up to the most breathtaking views like glaciers and mountain scenes that looked like they belonged on a postcard.”

The state is also easily accessible as you can book flights to Canada and travel to Alaska from there as well as from the US.

The Caribbean

A hammock between two palm trees on a sandy beach

The Caribbean is a destination on the wish lists of many and one that offers a whole lot more than just warm and vibrant climates and stunning views everywhere you go. It is a location of immense history, abundant wildlife and exquisite cuisines.

We spoke to a selection of travel bloggers who have visited the Caribbean on a cruise, Ben from Cruise Fever was the first to tell us why he loves the Caribbean:

“ The Caribbean is the ultimate location for cruises. It's perfect for those who want to explore the Caribbean and are afraid of flying. It's easily accessible without getting on an aeroplane. You will visit multiple islands, sample different cultures, explore exotic beaches, and the weather is great year-round.”

The Caribbean is often chosen as a top destination due to its wonderful culture and sense of community, those who visit will feel like they are truly welcome. Laura from Cruise Lifestyle Blog agrees:

“ Overall, the Caribbean is a really good destination for first-time cruisers. A Caribbean cruise is what most people imagine a cruise to be and there are many reasons to choose this type of cruise. Island life seems to make people happy and it's always refreshing to meet friendly locals who want you to enjoy your time on their island. I have fallen in love with destinations like Barbados and St Lucia so much that I want to go back and see more. The beauty of a Caribbean cruise is that the islands are relatively close to one another and therefore you get the chance to visit many places in one trip.”

This article compares a set of factors to work out which location is better and more suited to your cruising type. Using fair data, we have compared a number of qualities that make a great cruising location.

Continue reading to find out which name takes the top spot as the best cruising location.

Rocky Mountaineer

Book your dream cruise to Alaska

Both locations are extremely popular, but out of the factors we looked at Alaska comes out on top.

Learn more

Latest Articles

Let's make your dream holiday to Canada a reality

Our expert team have travelled Canada from coast to coast and can't wait to share their personalised recommendations with you.

Get in touch

Our commitment to responsible travel

We are committed to sustainable travel from carbon offsetting to supporting local communities and so much more.

Find out more

Follow Us for offers & inspiration