Skip to Content

12 Great Reasons To Take A Cunard Alaska Cruise

There’s no better way to experience Alaska’s beauty than on one of Cunard’s Alaska cruises. Cunard Queen Elizabeth is elegantly built and known for their outstanding white star service.

With extended itineraries of up to 13 days, you can enjoy Alaska’s ports, lush green forests, and wildlife a little longer.

On Cunard Queen Elizabeth, you’ll enjoy specialty dishes made from Alaskan seafood. They also carry Alaskan craft beer and cocktails inspired by the Alaskan scenery.

During your voyage, an onboard naturalist gives talks on the beautiful destination. You’ll learn about the Klondike Gold Rush, rich culture, and wildlife which makes the area so unique.

Here are twelve reasons to choose Cunard for your Alaskan cruise.

1. Cunard Is A Luxury Cruise Line

Cunard Queen Elizabeth at Margerie Glacier in Alaska
Like it, PIN IT!

Owned by Carnival Corporation, the Cunard line offers luxury sailings with only three ships, Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary 2, and Queen Victoria.

In 2024, they will add a new ship, Queen Anne. While there are numerous cruise lines in the world, Cunard cruise line caters to sophisticated travelers who enjoy modern luxury and exceptional service.

During our cruise, there was a staff-to-guest ratio of 1:1, resulting in exceptional white star service every day. However, at full capacity, you can expect one staff to every two passengers.

Cunard Alaska cruises evoke a touch of nostalgia with old-world décor of rich mahogany and opulent fabrics over a glitzy interior design. The library, for instance, features a circular staircase right out of a movie set.

Spiral staircase in Cunard's Queen Elizabeth's library
Spiral staircase in Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth’s library

Regardless of your cabin choice, rich textures adorn every stateroom, making them fit for a king or queen. So, travelers who like a more stylish holiday select Cunard for a conservative ocean liner voyage.

2. Cunard Alaska Cruises Are Longer

Most cruises to Alaska from Seattle or Vancouver last seven days, but Cunard offers longer options from Vancouver, British Columbia. In 2025, Queen Elizabeth will sail from Seattle, great for U.S. citizens.

Cunard’s Alaska cruises start at nine days, some exceeding ten days, making them ideal for longer itineraries to southeast Alaska. Longer cruises mean more Alaskan port stops, wildlife sightings, glacier views, and vacation days.

Standard 7-day cruises usually visit three towns and one glacier. In contrast, our 10-day Cunard cruise had five ports, two glacier cruising days, and two sea days. We visited Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, and Victoria.

Cunard Queen Elizabeth docked in Vancouver before cruising to Alaska
Cunard Queen Elizabeth docked in Vancouver before cruising to Alaska

Additionally, Queen Elizabeth cruises to both Hubbard AND Glacier Bay. Some 2024 and 2025 itineraries include Misty Fjord, Endicott Arm, and Tracy Arm.

Glacier Bay National Park, a UNESCO site, is a top destination, especially coupled with Hubbard Glacier or Tracy Arm Fjord.

3. Classic Afternoon Tea

Cunard, a British cruise line, serves a traditional afternoon tea daily in the Queen’s Room from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm. Being British, I had to attend. While Cunard has a dress code, you aren’t expected to dress formally for tea.

Afternoon tea is an event that’s savored slowly. Enjoy the timeless elegance of the Queen’s Room with crisp white linens, china teacups, and background orchestral melodies. Traditional afternoon tea consists of three courses.

Traditional delicate finger sandwiches are featured in the first course, made with crustless bread. It’s followed by scrumptious fresh baked scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam.

Delicate pastries conclude the afternoon event, and all are enjoyed with a good cup of tea.

Afternoon tea on Cunard
Afternoon tea on Cunard

While I am celiac and cannot consume wheat or milk products, Cunard catered to my special dietary needs. Instead of finger sandwiches, I received bun sandwiches instead. However, the gluten-free scones and vegan cream were utterly delicious.

4. Cunard Is More Formal

While the idea of dressing for dinner is no longer popular amongst the majority of cruisers, some still enjoy dressing up for their evening meal. Being half British, I still want the routine of putting on “my Sunday best” before heading to the dining room.

Cunard is definitely the cruise line if you are one of those travelers. Not only can you immerse yourself in the defining art deco elegance and outstanding hospitality, but you’ll enjoy amazing restaurant food in all of Cunard’s venues.

Today, most cruise lines have replaced their formal nights with wording like “evening chic” and “wear your best.” However, Cunard inspires finesse with its formal Gala nights.

Dressed for Cunard's White Ice gala night
Dressed for Cunard’s White Ice gala night

On our 10-day Alaska cruise, we enjoyed two gala-themed nights. The first, “white ice,” celebrated seeing the beautiful white and aqua hues of icy glaciers.

The last, the “roaring 20s,” had women dressed in flapper dresses with feathered headpieces and men in suits and top hats. On one of our gala nights, all guests received a complimentary glass of bubbly.

5. Tea And Coffee In The Stateroom

One of the big bonuses of sailing with Cunard is having a kettle in the stateroom. It gives you that hotel feel, by being able to make a spontaneous cup of coffee or tea whenever the urge arises.

While we know room service is always available, it’s much quicker to make it yourself, and you’re guaranteed to have hotter water.

Tea station in our Cunard stateroom
Tea station in our Cunard stateroom

One of our weekend rituals is to have tea in bed and start our day leisurely. We even pack our favorite tea wherever we go.

On our Alaska cruise with Cunard, we can maintain our homey ritual because every day’s a weekend. Along with the tea station, your room steward leaves daily chocolates, cookies, or shortbread to enjoy with tea.

6. Self-Serve Laundry Is Free

Being a minimalist packer, I prefer to travel light to save on overweight charges. Doing laundry on a sea day allows me to travel with less.

Cunard ships have self-serve laundry rooms, and the best part is that they’re FREE! You don’t even have to bring laundry soap because Cunard provides that too.

Cunard self-serve laundry room
Cunard’s self-serve laundry room

On Queen Elizabeth, laundry rooms were located on decks 4 to 8, near the bow of the ship. During my cruise, the laundrette opened from 7:30 am to 9 pm.

The laundry rooms also have an iron and ironing board, and there was often a lineup to use them before gala nights. Since Cunard offers world voyages, free laundry is a nice bonus. On extended itineraries, they also offer a paid laundry service.

7. Stateroom Extras

Small details make a cruise line stand out. Our Queen Elizabeth balcony cabin was elegantly designed with jewel tones and embroidered cushions.

Cunard stateroom, with embroidered cushions, cozy robes, and slippers
Cunard stateroom, with embroidered cushions, cozy robes, and slippers

We got into our stateroom immediately on embarkation day. Within 30 minutes of boarding, our luggage was there. Our cabin included plush robes, slippers, and a free champagne bottle in the mini-fridge.

We enjoyed suite-level treatment without booking a suite or Britannia Club balcony.

Each night, we received “The Canadian,” a four-page summary of Canadian news, alongside the “Daily Programme.”

The bathroom had full-sized Penhaligon luxury products, a rarity outside of suites on other lines.

Penhaligon bath products
Penhaligon bath products

Alaska’s weather varies greatly, sometimes within a week. In rainy Ketchikan, Cunard provided large umbrellas for disembarking passengers. We had our waterproof jackets, so we didn’t use one.

Cunard also stocked plastic ponchos in staterooms for guests without rain gear. While the onboard shops have jackets, sweatshirts, and other Alaska clothing, guests could suffice with the complimentary poncho.

8. Studio Staterooms

For solo cruise guests, the Queen Elizabeth has studio cabins in the inside and oceanview category, allowing you to forego the double occupancy pricing.

Located on deck two, these solo cabins measure 133 sq. feet to 168 sq. feet, some of the most spacious in the industry.

9. Exceptional Room Service

While most lines have limited the selection of room service food or charge a fee, Cunard has stayed true to their white star service. Guests can request breakfast in their stateroom from 7 am to 10 am.

The menu is comprehensive and includes a full hot meal. I was thrilled to get eggs done my way, with British back bacon, baked beans, hash browns, and grilled tomato.

Cunard breakfast room service
Cunard breakfast room service

Room service is included in your cruise fare. After breakfast, a brunch menu offers a hot meal for those wanting to eat later. Throughout the day, guests can order salads, soups, sandwiches, quesadillas, chicken curry, and afternoon tea.

For a fee, you also can order premium canapes or caviar and champagne.

10. Arts And Enrichment

Express your creative side by learning to paint during a Cunard cruise. Watercolor painting classes are offered on sea days, with all high-quality supplies provided for a small fee.

Two sessions (morning and afternoon) allow plenty of spots for those that want to try something new. If painting isn’t your thing, how about dance lessons?

If you want to learn the Waltz, Rumba, Tango, or line dancing, Cunard has you covered.

Cunard Alaska cruises endeavor to provide an enriching experience that is second to none. Rachel Cartwright, an onboard naturalist, gave a presentation on Alaska.

Guests could learn about wildlife spotting and scenic highlights while sailing Alaskan waters. On deck 9 in the Garden Lounge, a poster board gave updates of what was spotted from the bridge.

Wildlife sightings from the bridge
Wildlife sightings from the bridge

I was shocked to see a total of 20 orcas, 350 Pacific White-sided dolphins, 96 sea otters, and 102 humpback whales.

11. Fantastic Food Choices

Cunard prides itself on providing the finest of everything, including food. Cunard differs from other lines by not having half the menu that stays the same each night. Instead, the whole menu changed, which I enjoyed.

Every course of each meal was beautifully presented and tasted great. The food in the Britannia restaurant was equivalent to what you’d receive in a specialty restaurant on competitive lines.

Even better, their service and food in The Veranda, a specialty restaurant, sang our praises.

After dinner each evening, waiters brought handmade chocolates or sweet treats to enjoy with tea and coffee.

The Veranda restaurant food
Food selections on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth

12. You Won’t Pay More For Shore Excursions

Typically, when you book shore excursions through your cruise line, you pay more than through a vendor. However, you book through the third-party vendor on Cunard, so you’re paying exactly what the tour costs.

You’re guaranteed to make it back to the ship on time by booking with Cunard. During our cruise, Cunard offered gondola tickets in Icy Strait Point and Juneau for USD 5 less than buying in port.

While that may not seem like big savings, when you have several people in your cruise party, the savings add up fast.

So, we booked all our tours with Cunard except one, the e-bike rental with Klondike Electric Bicycles, because it wasn’t offered. The e-bikes were fun to ride and a great option for those on a budget.

Overall, our favorite excursion was the Bering Sea excursion in Ketchikan. This tour is a must if you’ve ever watched the “Deadliest Catch” show.

Wearing the outer shell of my Columbia jacket on an Alaska tour
On the Bering Sea shore excursion

Final Thoughts

Alaska is a top cruise destination and Cunard offers itineraries after an almost 30-year hiatus. While some might think their pricing is out of reach, its Alaska cruise packages have been extremely competitive.

During its inaugural year (2019), I saw many 9+ days cruise deals through the inside passage for under USD 900. For the 2024 season, they offer the lowest pricing, with average cruise prices between USD 700 and 900 for a 10-day journey.

Considering Queen Elizabeth is a five-star Cunard ship, paying less than USD 100 per day is quite the cruise bargain. Their gratuities are the lowest in the cruise industry at USD 14.50 a day.

With a pent-up demand for Alaska cruise season, cruise pricing are rising. Additionally, as each year passes, Cunard’s pricing will probably climb, too, until it gains a loyal following on the west coast.

Cunard Queen Elizabeth Alaska cruise, in Glacier Bay National Park


Thursday 6th of April 2023

Hi! Thank you so much for the detailed explanation of what to expect. This makes me excited for my cruise this summer. Quick and random question...were you able to use a curling purchased in America on board without a converter or did you need a converter?

Forever Karen

Sunday 9th of April 2023

Cunard cruises worldwide so it has international sockets as well as North American plugs.


Monday 1st of August 2022

If you don't mind saying, how much were the shore excursions?

Forever Karen

Monday 1st of August 2022

The shore excursions were booked through a third party. So, the Bering Sea Crab Fishermen's Tour was USD 210, Juneau Mt. Roberts Tram was USD 40 (USD 5 less than at the tram), Icy Strait Point gondola was also USD 5 less, if I remember, dog sledding on a glacier was under USD 600.