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Cruise Through Wild Alaska

Alaska, the last frontier of the United States, the 49th state and a rugged wildlife haven makes my list as one of the most exciting places to visit! There is never a dull moment in this ultra-beautiful state.

Bordering Canada’s Yukon and British Columbia and just across the Bering Strait from Russia, Alaska is the largest yet most sparsely populated of the United States.

Alaska---Cruise-from-Afar

The views are awe-inspiring!

No matter where you go in Alaska, that wonder of discovery is afoot, especially with the many extraordinary natural phenomena that occur in this region like the midnight sun and the Northern Lights. The most efficient way to see Alaska in all of her beauty is via cruise. Alaskan cruises offer opportunities for experiencing wildlife like whale watching, iceberg spotting and simply observing the natural wonders of our planet like you can see nowhere else. Cruise season begins in late April and ends mid-September. There are two main cruise route options:

Inside Passage Route – A passage carved by glacial ice long ago, this route is typically a round trip (which makes planning flights a bit simpler). It starts and ends in either Seattle or Vancouver, Canada. This type of experience is the most popular and usually more laid-back with a resort-like atmosphere. There will most likely be stops at three or four port towns as well as a day in a glacier area such as the stunning Glacier Bay.  It is a great way to see Alaska’s breath-taking coastline.

Cross Gulf of Alaska Route – One-way cruises that travel either North or southbound, depending on where you start, between Seattle or Vancouver in the South and Anchorage in the North. This option allows more time to explore on land if you would like, typically in Seward or Whittier, which are cities located just South of Anchorage. In this case, you will need to fly one way from your starting and ending points, which may require a bit more planning.
Alaska---Glacier

There are ‘snow’ many beautiful glaciers in Alaska!

Here’s a Pro-Tip: Even though cruise season is in the summer months, remember to pack layers! Between the land and the water, the temperatures can fluctuate without warning.

whale watching in alaska

Willy is definitely free up here!

You will most likely fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Vancouver International Airport (YVR) or Anchorage International Airport (ANC), depending from which port your cruise departs.

During your journey, there are many port cities and towns in which you are likely to stop. Regardless of which itinerary you select, here are some of the most commonly visited ports, from South to North, and what to expect in each:

Ketchikan – A small fishing village known for its Native roots. Keep an eye out for authentic standing Totem Poles, and fishermen returning with their large catches! Here are some things to do while visiting:

  • The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show
  • Misty Fjords Kayak Tours (great for spotting wildlife as well as activities such as hiking, fishing and zip-lining)
  • Pub Crawls downtown

Juneau – Alaska’s capital, and full of natural beauty. It is only accessible by boat and situated nearby the stunning Mendenhall Glacier and Nugget Falls. There is so much to see and do in Juneau. Some suggestions include:

  • Outdoor activities (fishing, biking, wildlife viewing trips and dog sled experiences to name a few!)
  • The Upside-Down Forest of Glacier Gardens
  • Craft beer tasting at the Red Dog Saloon and Tracy’s King Crab Shack for a bite
Skagway – A cute Gold Rush-era town with a lot of jewellery shops! It’s almost like going back in time to 1890’s. The town is small, so an option is to rent a car and road trip to Yukon in Canada. Here are some additional fun activities to do in Skagway:

  • Panning for Gold
  • Rock Climbing
  • Hiking The Chilkoot Trail
bald eagle wild life

You’d have to be an eagle-eye to spot this guy!

Sitka – With Russian roots and rich culture, this working town is home to the largest harbour system in Alaska. The mix of pristine landscape and history is very inviting and perfect for activities like:

  • Visiting the Cathedral of St. Michael
  • Watching Traditional Dance Performances at the Sheet’ka Kwaan Naa Khahidi Community House
  • Taking a Nature Safari
Anchorage

Anchoring down in Anchorage

Anchorage – The perfect combination of urban and wild, this city is home to a majority of Alaska’s artists and musicians, who willingly share the city with an estimated 1,500 moose and other wildlife like beavers, bald eagles, bears, and if you’re lucky, you might spot a lynx!  Here are some fun Anchorage experiences:

  • Take a Trip to Denali National Park
  • Explore Art Galleries and Live Music Shows
  • Enjoy a Sightseeing Flight to see the Glaciers surrounding the city

Here’s another Pro-Tip: If you are traveling at the end of cruise season (September), keep an eye out for the Northern lights while in Anchorage, you can also see this phenomenon on Kodiak Island, located at the Aleutian Trench, should you book to travel so far.

There may also be some time of “Scenic Cruising” during your voyage where you sightsee from the comfort of your ship while sharing a glass of wine with a loved one. These are great times to take it all in from the observation deck or your personal balcony if you have one.

Alaska has some of the most naturally beautiful scenery in the world. The shades of blue in the ice and water, the greens in the dense forests and all the shades of the rainbow in the sky make this a colourful experience you’ll never forget! Combine this natural beauty with the friendly locals, fresh seafood and appreciation for traditional culture and you have the perfect destination to reconnect with the excitement of discovery.

Love,

 

Isabella

 

Juneau you want to cruise in Alaska!
Isabella’s Checklist

 

Ketchikan: https://www.visit-ketchikan.com/

Juneau: https://www.traveljuneau.com/

Skagway: https://skagway.com/

Sitka: https://visitsitka.org/

Anchorage: https://www.anchorage.net/

Juneau you want to cruise in Alaska!

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