I have cruised Alaska multiple times. First off Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier are not ports, they are fjords with glaciers to look at and you do NOT get off the ships. The ship sits so you can watch the glaciers. Hubbard is the larger of the two areas but IMHO Glacier Bay is much more beautiful and more dramatic. Hubbard is also so large that sometimes during heavy calving it is hard to get close to really get a good view, I have never had that problem getting into Glacier Bay even though Marjorie glacier does calve a lot.
Skagway is a very small port and is still fashioned with old time buildings that are now touristy type shops. Skagway is where many helicopter tours are taken. It is also where many tours into the Yukon are taken. The White Pass Railway provides many breath taking views. Because many tours go into the Yukon most ships spend a good deal of time in Skagway.
Other ports normally stopped at in Alaska are Ketchikan, Juneau and Sitka.
Ketchikan is a rain forest and you can pretty much count on rain. The totem parks, kayaking, fishing and flight tours are big tours here.
Juneau is great for helicopter tours, Mendenhall Glacier, rafting down the rivers and the best spot for whale watching.
Sitka is known for its Russian architecture and culture and you do tender into Sitka.
As far as September goes for whale watching, there will be some whales but it is also getting towards the end of whale season so many whales will have left. As I said there will still be some so you do have a chance to see whales.
A good thing about September is it is the end of the season so shops will be dropping prices to close out their shops for the winter.
Most any line can do a good job in Alaska but Princess and Holland have been around longer than any of them and really do an outstanding job in Alaska.
The only piece of advise I have for you is do not take the Diamond princess. I have never been to Alaska except by air.But after reading the reports on the diamond princess I would not go with that for free. If the Clebrity Summit is there when you want to go that is a great ship, great service.Holland America is very good but for a little older group,Royal Carribean is also very good,that would be a little younger age group.Any of these are great, depending on the age group of the people traveling with you.
Crystal Cruises has the best shore excursions, food and service for this destination. The Glacier Bay is the one not to be missed out of the ports mentioned. For more information log onto our site at www.DeluxeCruises.com.
We offer the most competitive rates on luxury cruises worldwide.