John Hopkins Glacier in Glacier Bay, Alaska, USA

Alaska Cruises

An Alaskan Cruise is a different and interesting option for travellers. As the most Northern state in America, it provides a diverse culture and society, that many North Americans are not accustomed to. The scenery also provides an appealing aspect to the traveller; Alaskan cruises are none like any other and will provide a tourist with an absolute breathtaking experience.

Itinerary

Alaska cruise ship boat near glacier

Alaska cruise ship boat near glacier

There are a few different travel itinerary options when taking an Alaskan cruise. The Inside Passage is a seven-night round trip experience departing from Seattle or Vancouver, and a less expensive option (air travel arrangements are made easier, and cheaper than one way excursions). The passage itself is a protected waterway between Pacific coast islands that gives way to beautiful scenery and tranquil waters. The primary ports include Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway, however, some cruises may also stop in Haines, Petersburg, or Icy Strait Icy. Another option is the Alaskan Gulf this is a one-way seven-night excursion that typically ports in: Stika, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Skagway. Tourists will also experience the Inside Passage on this cruise. Some travellers may want a longer cruise itinerary, which is offered by some cruise-liners. These include ten to fourteen nights either one way or round trip. If the traveller is seeking to experience filled with more wildlife and nature on their Alaskan cruises then perhaps a Journey Cruise is the right option. These cruises stray away from the major ports and allow the individual to connect with the natural environment of Alaska. These take place on smaller cruise ships, as they have the advantage of being able to go farther into shallow waters, which the larger big line cruise ships cannot do.

Highlights

Glacier in the Johns Hopkins Inlet

Glacier in the Johns Hopkins Inlet

Creek Street is the main attraction at the Ketchikan port. This used be the city’s red light district, however, it now has cool restaurants and shops aligning its street. It is the gateway port for fishing. In Juneau – Alaska’s capital city – one can hike, canoe or kayak by one of the Glacier’s called Mendenhall. Farther in town a widespread hiking trail option is available for tourists, or be sure to check out the local eatery (The Red Dog Saloon) for some good food and music. Skagway is the ultimate must see for cruise line passengers. One will experience the picturesque trail that was taken by the people in search of gold in the latter part of the nineteenth century, between the constricted gauge of White Pass and Yukon. Stika is home to the Alaskan Russians and the native people before the Tlingit Indians. One may visit the Russian Bishop’s House, the Tlingit Clan House, St. Michael’s Cathedral or the Totem Park. Stika is also home to the Alaska Raptor Center. An essential part to an Alaskan Cruise is scenic cruising. Along with the Inside Passage cruise liners may also visit: Glacier Bay, Hubbard or Sawyer Glacier, Tracy Arm, and Fjord College.

Cruise ship

Cruise ship

Tips to Consider

Columbia glacier

Columbia glacier

Alaska is not just about the at sea adventure; there is much to experience on shore. The one-way cruises have this advantage as they allow the traveler to either book an ashore tour for a few days, or travel about on their own. The most popular places for on shore travel are Fairbanks, Denali National Park, or Talkeetna. Unsteady seas may be a concern for the seasick traveller; one may want to consider this when booking their cruise. The Alaskan Gulf does not provide the tranquil waters that the Inside Passage does, so look into a North set cruise to avoid this by sailing the Gulf at the conclusion of the trip. The weather in Alaska is highly variable and not very predictable. It is, therefore, best to dress in multiple garments so one is prepared for all kinds of weather conditions. Packing a swimsuit and a warm pullover are both essential. To save on costs and avoid the crowds consider cruising on ships that depart off-schedule, as opposed to during high season or even mid-week departures.