Ways to Find Great Alaska Vacation Bargains

by Jason W. Van Den Waalt

Until recently, it was quite easy to find cheap Alaska cruise pricing. Now, such bargains are getting harder and harder to find, with demand for Alaska cruises going through the roof.

Just how can one save a bunch of cash on an Alaska cruise? Is it still remotely possible to vacation in Alaska while adhering to a reasonable budget? The answer is YES! You really can still find great Alaska cruise deals — if you know how to look.

Many people assume that the best way to find discount Alaska cruises is to wait until the last minute. But while this method used to work reasonably well (and still works very well for Caribbean cruises, due to the larger number of ships in that region), it is no longer a very effective strategy for Alaskan cruises.

Alaskan cruises frequently sell out well in advance for the months of July and August. Despite their higher cost, balcony rooms tend to be the first to sell out, especially on Holland America cruises. Therefore, if you have year heart set on taking a cruise in the middle of summer, the way to ensure that you get the lowest fare is to book many months in advance. (Alaska cruises can be booked up to 18 months ahead of their sale date.)

Naturally, if you are more flexible about your sail date and/or your room category, you increase your likelihood of finding some great Alaska cruise deals.

The best months for specials are September and May, the start and conclusion of the cruise season in the Alaskan Inside Passage. The lowest priced Alaska cruise fares of all can be found in the very first week of the month of May, at the very start of the Alaska cruise season, when fares can be half the price of mid-summer fares.

Now you can also save money by instead reserving a cheaper cabin category. Inside rooms can be half to a third the price of some of the higher priced cabins on an Alaskan cruise. Inside rooms have no windows and can be a little smaller than ocean view rooms, but they can be a wonderful bargain, especially since many people spend so little times in their rooms anyway.

Of course, if you have a problem with tight spaces then you might not want to book an inside room. Nonetheless, you can still find a great Alaskan cruise deal on an outside room. Rooms located on the outside of a cruise ship can sometimes have partially or even fully obstructed views, usually due to poles or lifeboats which are in the way of the view.

These rooms with obstructed views are frequently far less than regular ocean view cabins. In reality, obstructed view rooms can be nearly as cheap as inside rooms, but they have windows that let in the sun.

So there are still a number of ways to find discount Alaska cruises. Remember, even with rising prices, cruises still represent an incredible bargain. For less than the price of a nice hotel, they include food, entertainment, transportation, and, in Alaska, glacier viewing too.

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Sailing To Cnidus, The Star Of Dorian Hexapolis

If you are looking for a unique yachting holiday or vacation, you should try a sailing voyage to ancient city of Cnidus in Turkey.

Cnidus is an ancient site in Turkey that is being closely studied by archaeologists and historians. Ramazan Ozgan, the archaeology professor of Konya Selcuk University in Turkey, who has been presiding over the excavation studies in Cnidus for 16 years, is working with a group of 22 students; in addition, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ehrhart from Freiburg University also is working to uncover the rich heritage of Cnidus.

Centuries ago Cnidus, originally a Phoenician settlement, was a major Dorian city, celebrated for its temples, theatres, statue of Aphrodite, the world’s first observatory, and medi¬cal school. Around 1000 BC the Dorians invaded the southern part of Caria and established the Dorian Hexapolis with the cities Cnidus (Datça), Halicarnassos (Bodrum), Cos, Kamiros, Lindos and Lalissos. The last three of the cities were in Rhodes. Cnidus was established at the same time as Halicarnassus (now Bodrum) around 800 BC.

Later on, according to Herodotus, a famous Greek historian, who lived around 447 BC, Halicarnas¬sus was excluded from the union of Greek city-states. The Union was then called the Dorian Pentapolis. Cnidus was the centre of this City Union. It had an effective political and economic structure considering the period and was an important city with, colonies in Northern Sicily, from the island of Lipari, to as far as Naukrati in Egypt.

Apollon and Aphrodite were the symbols of the city. The engravings on the Cnidian coins used to bear these symbols. But the most striking symbol of the city were the lions which stood on both sides of the harbour entrance. A colossal figure of a lion carved out of one block of mar¬ble, ten feet in length and six in height, which is believed to commemo¬rate the great naval victory, the Battle of Cnidus, which ended the Spartan hegemony in 394 BC!

Philosophers, architects and the astronomers of the ancient world were attracted to this inspirational meeting point. The statue of Aphrodite testifies to the cul¬tural refinement of the city. One of the greatest mathematicians of antiquity, Eudoxus was born in Cnidus. He discovered the formula to find the volumes of the solids and other mathematical demonstrations. He also devised a geometrical expla¬nation of the motions of the sun, moon and planets along the zodiac.

There’s also Praxiteles who carved the statue of Aphrodite for the people of Cnidus. The statue was so highly valued by them that they refused to sell it to King Nicomedes, who was willing in return to discharge the whole debt of the city. And there’s Sostratus, architect of the Lighthouse of Alexandria. This great lighthouse was one of “the Seven Wonders of the ancient world” .

At one time in Cnidus, there was a statue of a lion set on each breakwater, commemorating the great naval victory won in 394 BC, but in 1857, an Englishman by the name of C.Newton visited the city and carried off a statue of Demeter and some other statues including the lions, which are all now at the Museum except for one of the lions that got broken in transit.

Can Yucel, a well-known master of Turkish poetry has described Cnidus in two sentences:

“Staring at it, looks greener than the algea,

Yet more blue, swimming a stroke.”

Aphrodite bathed in this water, according to the Greek mythology. Although Cnidus is one of the best preserved areas, ignorance has taken its toll on this precious cultural site. Some valuable pieces have been dragged out of the country due to greed and vanity. But what remains still provide a light on the richness of the ancient past. Prof. Dr. Ehrhart is working on the city plan of the ancient site, which, not surprisingly, has never been searched thoroughly before.

Cnidus was known worldwide in ancient times

“I don’t know whether 16 years of study was suffering or pleasure” says Mr. Ozgan while adding that he’s fond of the excavations he discovered with his students. “The Dorians founded these cities around 1200 BC. As the seaborne trade developed, they stored their products in Northern Africa, in a city called Naucratis to sell olive and olive oil to the whole world. And that’s how Cnidus became among the most wealthy cities of the world and became the richest in Anatolia.”

Land of the taxfree

Friends of Julius Ceasar lived in Cnidus, and being friends with him wasn’t only critical in a political sense but was also very important as an economic advantage. This state of affairs gave Cnidus a privilege; Ceasar anounced that this city would be free of tax and this led to great prosperity and the citizens built fountains, schools and temples which can be partly seen today. At least they were helping each other! What have our rich people done to help their cities? How and where do they spend their fortune? Cnidus was also a leading clinical center of the world but again, this fact doesn’t come into prominence.

Pieces are scattered all over the world

The most glorious pieces of the British Museum have been taken from here and damage was done to the ancient sites. The artifacts are easy to carry away via the sea and rumors of smuggling have continued right up to recent years.

Have you dreamed of an enjoyable holiday amidst the quiet of ancient ruins? Wouldn’t this be a perfect vacation? Imagine a land where the fertility of the soil is boundless and from this rich soil comes earthenware pottery from Paleothic Ages, Assyrian metal coins, and statues that decorated the Hittite cities and ancient Greek libraries.

The ideal way to live in the historical sites, is to join a “Blue Voyage” with the comfortable atmosphere afforded by a “Deluxe Gulet” or “Marmaris Yachts”. You can also have an experienced guide in the gulet (traditional Turkish sail boat), whose knowledge of the area is rich and whose personality is warm and humorous. The “Blue Cruise” in the crystal clear waters or “Turquoise Coast” could easily be the highlight of your trip to Turkey.

By: Gurhan Ebren

About the Author:

Gurhan Ebren is a retired naval officer and currently runs El Paso Travel, a Marmaris travel agency specializing in yacht and gulet charters and cruises in Turkey. You can learn more about the blue cruises which visit Cnidus and other sites at http://www.elpasotravel.net/itinaries.htm

What would happen to a cruise ship if there was ever a major earthquake underwater?

Anthony asked:

Lets say there is an earthquake in a specific place under the ocean, and a cruise ship is passing by at that exact moment. What would happen?

Some Like it Yacht

Common Questions About Cruise Ship Vacations

Cruise ship vacations are one of the most exotic and exciting trips that can be made. One of the most exciting parts about a cruise is that passengers travel to several different places in one trip. The passengers get all of the excitement of taking the cruise, and they also get to go on shore to the destinations on the trip.

There are many different kinds of cruises. Some are oriented for destinations, some are for ocean trips exclusively, some are designed to be romantic, some are family friendly, and some are designed for senior citizens. All of this variety makes a cruise vacation right for almost anyone.

If you have decided to take a cruise, you might wonder about how the trip may go and what kinds of things you should bring. The first thing you should make sure that you have is a passport. This is necessary for any international cruise destinations. If you do not have your passport, you will not be allowed into any other country. However, some cruises only travel within a specific country. If it is your home country then you do not have to worry about getting a passport.

Another issue that many people wonder about is money. What exactly is included in the price of the cruise package? Usually the package includes meals, sleeping arrangements, and passage. Everything else will have to be purchased per passenger such as drinks, tips, travel away from the ship, and other items. In many cases the cruise ships run off of a digital system which means that everything is billed to the passenger at the end of the trip.

Another common question about cruise ship vacations is whether or not the passengers have control over their schedules. This really depends on the type of trip. Some cruises are more regimented than others. Some ships only control meal times, while others have scheduled events, and even scheduled tours of the destination cities. If this concerns you then make sure to ask your travel agent about the ship’s schedule before deciding on which cruise to take.

What to wear on a cruise ship vacation often worries people. The best things to pack are clothes that match the climate that the ship will be sailing through. If the destination is a cold place, then pack sweaters and long sleeves. If the destination is in a warm climate, then shorts and tank tops are in order. Ask your travel agent what activities are offered on your cruise and you will be able to pack appropriate clothing from there. Most cruises also have evening activities, so packing something more formal is also a good idea.

There are many different types of cruises that focus on a specific hobby. It is a good idea to look at those kinds of cruises before deciding on which one to take. There are cruises that specialize in water parks, ice rinks, golf courses, rock climbing, swimming, gambling, and more. Each of these cruises offer something different for each person’s different likes and dislikes. Consider taking a specialized cruise if you are very interested in a particular hobby or activity. You can ask your travel agent if there are any cruises that offer the activity that you love best.

For more information on cruises, visit http://www.discountcruise.info.

By: John Parks

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