An Alaskan cruise is a journey along the great expanse of the Alaskan coastline, known for its breathtaking scenery, wildlife, and cultures. These cruises typically last between 7 and 14 days and offer a unique opportunity to explore different parts of Alaska in comfort and style.
The most common routes for an Alaskan cruise are either the Inside Passage or Gulf of Alaska. The Inside Passage, stretching from Seattle or Vancouver to Skagway or Juneau, is characterized by a maze of fjords, bays, and lush green islands. Gulf of Alaska routes usually run from Vancouver to Seward or Whittier, showcasing the dramatic scenery of the Gulf of Alaska and includes a trip to a glacier.
These cruises usually stop at various ports along the way giving travelers an opportunity to explore Alaskan towns and cities like Juneau (the state capital), Ketchikan (known for totem poles), and Skagway (famed for its gold rush history). Some cruises even stop at the remote Hubbard Glacier.
Additionally, these cruises often offer a range of shore excursions such as sightseeing tours, dog sledding, sea kayaking, hiking, wildlife watching (eagles, whales, seals, and even bears), and visiting glaciers. Visiting a native Tlingit or Haida village can give you insights into the indigenous cultures of Alaska.
One of the highlights of an Alaskan cruise is the opportunity to see wildlife. Along with abundant sea creatures, you may also spot bald eagles, bears, and moose in their natural habitats.
The Alaskan cruise season typically runs from late April through September, with the warmest weather typically occurring between June and August. Even then, travelers should expect a range of weather conditions and prepare accordingly.
Several major cruise lines operate in Alaska, including Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean International.
Remember, while cruising, the scenic journey is just as important as the destination. Therefore, whether you are standing on the deck viewing the stunning scenery, exploring the port towns, or partaking in various activities, an Alaskan cruise is indeed an unforgettable experience.