You can now book a standby cruise from Vancouver to Alaska for $70 – here’s how it works

If you’ve been wanting to visit Alaska, now’s your chance to book a trip on a budget.

Anyone with a flexible schedule can book a standby cruise from Vancouver to Alaska and it only costs $70, before taxes.

Holland America Line has launched a standby program, which allows travellers to sign up for round-trips between the two destinations.

One week to two days before the cruise departs, the company will review the standby list. If a space opens up for standby bookings, they will let the travellers on the list know to pack their bags.

If they are unable to clear standby bookings, they will notify those on the list no less than two days before departure.

The U.S.-owned cruise line launched the program in August 2023 out of Seattle and now Vancouver is included for the first time.

The company calls it a win-win for its passengers and business.

“Circumstances may arise for booked guests where they must cancel a cruise the week before sailing. The Standby Program allows us to fill those cabins with people who have already committed to going and who presumably live close enough to the port that they can make last-minute travel arrangements,” Adrienne Carter with Holland America Line told Narcity in an email.

“For those guests with flexibility to travel, it means access to an unforgettable cruise vacation at $49 per day (USD) which is an exceptional value.”

The round-trips offered from Vancouver, B.C. are to Whittier, Alaska and there are a few round-trips between San Diego and Vancouver.

The first two cruises leave from Vancouver on April 27, 2024. They include a four-day Pacific Northwest cruise and a seven-day Inside Passage trip.

The cost of these trips is just over $67, not including port taxes/fees. Those will vary depending on the destination and length of the sailing.

Carter adds the first and second guests in a stateroom will pay the $70 fee, while the third and fourth guests sail for free.

Anyone travelling alone will not face a double capacity mark-up and will also pay $70 for their ticket.

Travellers booking through the standby program do not get to choose which cabin they stay in, so they could end up travelling in a variety of cabins, including the cabins marked Inside, Oceanview or Verandah.

“It depends, in part, on where the last-minute cancellations happen. Guests will be confirmed in the order they joined the list within the week of sailing—it could be seven days—or as close as 48 hours to departure,” Carter explained.

You can find a full list of sailings in the standby program on the Holland America Line website.

To join the standby list for your preferred cruise, contact your travel advisor or call 877-724-5425.

This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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