Regarded as the America’s last boundary, Alaska surprisingly and deservingly is the topmost choice of those visitors who are crazy behind cruising. Do you know why Alaska is that famous? A glacier trek, dogsled ride, and rainforest adventure all in just few days featuring the Alaska cruise itinerary makes Alaska a hot favorite cruising destination. And on our planet, there are only a handful of such cruise destinations out of which Alaska is the journey recommended to be taken at least once in a lifetime. Further, many of the Alaska’s cities and sites are not reachable via road and that the cruise ship offers you an opportunity to explore its natural wonders that are not accessible via land. So, I am sure you would not like to miss this type of vacation. Check its following details now!
Selecting an Itinerary
You are provided with three basic itineraries to pick from for sailing. Based on what is most interesting to you, you make the choice of the preferred itinerary. No matter which one you pick from a wide variety of specialized cruises, all Alaska cruises are for minimum of 7 nights.
The Inside Passage is where the roundtrip from Vancouver or Seattle to the southeast Alaska panhandle is included. On this type of journey, ships normally take you to the popular Glacier Bay National Park boasting 16 spectacular glaciers. The Inside Passage refers to a channel between the Pacific Ocean and the mountainous scenery. This one is a must pick option for those who are seeking convenience as these journeys start and end at the same port indicating cheap airfare cheaper too. Small ship cruise ships such as the Cruise West Spirit of Yorktown provide their service in the Inside Passage of Alaska due to much calm waters and less distance. Other small ships such as Cruise West, American Safari Cruises, Abercrombie & Kent, and Lindblad Expeditions start from Juneau or Ketchikan.
The Gulf of Alaska itinerary is for those who wish to spend more time in exploring Alaska with fewer days at sea as compared to an Inside Passage trip and more time at port. It starts north from Vancouver, which is the south central coast of Alaska. The cruise ships sail without roundtrip between Vancouver and Seward, the nearest port to Anchorage. So, the main difference here is that most of the Gulf cruises have different embarkation and disembarkation points, but the benefit here is that you get to see more Alaska sceneries such as the glacier-clad Gulf of Alaska and the Hubbard Glacier. Check out for the large and mid-sized ships such as the Regent Seven Seas’ Mariner for this cruise itinerary.
If you choose the Bering Sea Cruises, these expedition ships take you to the historic sea located between North America and Asia. But kindly note that most of the larger cruises would not go so far in north.
Do also take a note that several cruise lines will have packages of “add-on” in your scheduled journey. It can be anything from some few days to over a week and might also offer a trip to inland Alaska like Denali National Park, home of Mt. McKinley, and so on. You might also consider staying for some more days to explore more of this great area of North America. In short, no matter whatever may be your Alaska cruise tour, you will never experience such a cruise vacation anywhere else!
Cruise Tours and Excursions
Ok, I know that one can explore the natural wonders by being on the deck of a ship. However, this experience is totally different when you actually go closer to explore the Alaska’s stunning landscapes, plant species, and animal life. Cruise tours including land and sea sites offers you a complete exciting package – glacier hiking, helicopter rides, wildlife tours, rafting, and much more. Even after booking the cruise or boarding the ship, you can go for these shore excursions. However, I recommend avoiding this option as it is better to book them while registering for the cruise as attractions on land are as beautiful and plenty as on the water and so go for a complete package to explore of the two. And yes, you have the opportunity to save some money too.
When to go
Many of them say that the Caribbean is a paradise no matter when you come, but Alaska has a different tract in that matter. The Alaskan landscapes are more stunning in January. However, the Alaska cruises are mostly scheduled to be on tours from May to September of which May is the most famous month because it is the driest month in the year ensuring suitable conditions for sailing. But, you can still expect to get a bit frosty even in the summer months. So, you are expected to dress in layers.
Picking a Cruise Line
Holland America, Princess, and Celebrity lines offer many options of itineraries that are scheduled to be for two weeks long.