Alaska is our 49th and largest U.S. state, and its nickname "The Last Frontier" perfectly describes its landscapes and small, historic towns. Some have under 500 year-round residents making these places uniquely secluded vacation destinations with their own natural beauty and character. Alaska's history is filled with gold miners, Alaskan Natives, and wildlife enthusiasts. The state preserves its appeal year round, and offers island escapes, essential salmon fisheries, gold-rush preservation, and every breathtaking outdoor adventure you could want!
One of the best ways to see Alaska is from the water, and there are multiple ways to cruise Alaska including whether you want to tour the Inside Passage or the Gulf of Alaska - all while keeping an eye out for pods of orcas, humpbacks, grays, and beluga whales.
Choosing the Cruise
Various cruise lines offer different on-board experiences for guests. Larger ships have the amenities comparable to an all-inclusive resort, and they stop in all the most popular ports. They also offer excursions like whale-watching, dog-sledding and treks atop glaciers. Smaller ships are more intimate, and they tend to spend more time in the wild back-country of Alaska. For example, it is not unheard of for the guests on smaller ships to visit Glacier Bay for two days and explore other areas by kayak.
A cruise through the Inside Passage will sail from the narrow strip near the Canadian border all the way to the Panhandle, which is the beginning of the Gulf of Alaska. These cruises are very popular and are usually round-trip out of Vancouver or Seattle. Many of the sights along this cruise are similar to those included on the Gulf of Alaska itineraries including:Juneau, Alaska's capital; Ketchikan, a great location for fishing and a look into the life of Native Alaskans; Glacier Bay National Park; and Skagway, a gold rush town bursting with history.
Gulf of Alaska
These cruises go through south-central Alaska and typically start in either Steward, Whittier (both near Anchorage), or Vancouver. You will go through most of the same ports as you would if you were touring the Inside Passage, but these cruises travel one way: north or south depending on where you embark. Visits on these cruises may include a few days before or after the cruise in Anchorage. the Kenai Peninsula College Fjord (dotted with amazing glaciers), or Denali National Park.
An Alaska cruise should definitely be on your travel wish list! Exciting and unique excursions offer surprising American history, spectacular landscapes, wildlife spotting, and experiences you can’t find anywhere else in the world.
Contact me for a special Summer 2020 Land + Sea Holland America cruise with perks just for my clients!