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Here's how you can sail on dozens of Vancouver cruises for $49 a day

Save hundreds of dollars on your next trip.

Travellers looking for a cheap Alaskan cruise from Vancouver have a new option for under $50 a day before taxes. 

Holland America Line (HAL) has launched a program that allows flexible travellers to sign up for its standby program enabling them to sail on most routes for a fraction of the regular price. 

HAL Spokesperson Adrienne Carter said the program is ideal for people who live in Vancouver and can take a last-minute cruise from the Canada Place terminal. 

Hundreds of cruises visit the downtown terminal annually, offering dozens of opportunities for possible standby options through HAL's program. While most of these options visit Alaska, a few others journey down the Pacific Coast to California. 

The cruise line has a list of cruises that are eligible for the Standby List Program.

How much does the standby program cost?

HAL's standby program costs US$49 per person per day or US$98 per stateroom per day before port taxes and fees, regardless of the itinerary. This means you can experience any applicable sailing at a low-cost price. 

Standby guests cannot select a cabin and may be assigned any stateroom category up to a veranda stateroom, based on availability.

Solo travellers won't be charged a double-capacity premium, meaning they only need to pay the $49 fee. If they travel with third or fourth guests, they'll stay free (but they must pay taxes and port expenses). 

For example, a seven-night Alaskan cruise that departs from Vancouver on June 1 and sails through the Inside Passage making stops in Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan before returning home regularly costs $855 for the seven-night sailing before taxes and port fees. However, it is on sale, so travellers can find prices as low as $722. The taxes, fees, and port expenses are an additional $356.73 for this cruise, so the final price works out to $1,078.73 with the sale.

Standby guests can sail for $49 a day for seven days or $343, so the final price is $699.73 with taxes and port expenses. This is an overall savings of $379.

All guests who sail with HAL must pay an additional $17 per diem for "crew appreciation" (gratuities). 

Saturday, June 1Vancouver, B.C., Canada
4:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 2Inside Passage, AK (Cruising)

Monday, June 3Tracy Arm (Twin Sawyer Glaciers), AK (Cruising)
Service call only. Access to shore limited to shore excursion guests.

Monday, June 3Juneau, AK1:00 p.m.10:00 p.m.
Tuesday, June 4Skagway, AK7:00 a.m.8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, June 5Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve, AK (Cruising)

Thursday, June 6Ketchikan, AK11:00 a.m.7:00 p.m.
Friday, June 7Inside Passage, AK (Cruising)

Saturday, June 8Vancouver, B.C., Canada7:00 a.m.

When will I be notified if space becomes available on a sailing?

Prospective passengers will be notified a week to two days before embarkation if they have been accepted for the cruise. 

HAL will notify people who have added their name to the program no less than two days before departure. 

Guests are charged when they sign up for the Standby List. If they are not selected, HAL will process a refund within four to six weeks. However, people who chose not to sail but signed up for the program will not be refunded.

What other kinds of destinations can I visit on the standby program?

Aside from round-trip Vancouver Alaskan sailings, and ones that go from Whittier, Alaska to Vancouver, travellers can also find numerous options across North America. 

Three sailings from San Diego to Vancouver feature five-, six-, and seven-day itineraries and make stops in places like Catalina Island and San Francisco. There is even a 20-day option that departs from Fort Lauderdale and sails through the Panama Canal en route to Vancouver. 

There are also options from other ports across the continent but locals would have to include flights to and from these destinations to take advantage of the standby option.

Cruise options will be added to the Standby List weekly.

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