Alaska is a vast state, with more coastline than all other U.S. states combined. Fortunately, some spectacular sections of that coastline can be seen and explored via cruise ship.
Everyone from school-aged children to seniors will be awed by the majestic scenery, which ranges from lush coastal rainforests to massive glaciers that send newborn icebergs crashing into the sea. The wildlife is just as impressive: delight in watching a family of bears moving along the shore or watch a pod of whales surface in the water.
The grandeur of the scenery, a unique culture and magnificent wildlife maintain Alaska’s position as a top cruise destination. Major Sights And Ports of Call: Inside Passage
- Not a port call but rather a region shaped by the staggering force of massive glaciers.
- An extremely popular route for cruise ships, which slip quietly through the narrow fjords, ideal for watching whales, bald eagles, sea lions and more.
- Set in the lush greenery of the Tongass National Forest.
- A short walk from the cruise ship dock will take you to photo-ready Creek Street, where historic buildings perch on pilings over the tumbling creek.
- A great place to shop.
- Consider taking an excursion to Misty Fjords National Monument, where waterfalls glide over granite cliffs, plunging into narrow bays carved by glaciers.
- Tucked between the water and a range of magnificent mountain peaks.
- On top of the peaks is the Juneau Icefield, which flows into about 30 different glaciers.
- One of these, Mendenhall Glacier, is just a few miles from downtown Juneau.
- Skim over the glacier behind a team of spirited sled dogs – a perfect way to experience Alaska.
- Mount Roberts Tramway is just steps away from cruise ship dock. A six-minute ride takes you 1,800 feet up Mount Roberts for some terrific views.
South Central Alaska/Anchorage
- The Klondike Gold Rush of 1898 feels like it is still in full swing, with many restored Gold Rush-era buildings downtown.
- Starting point for two of the most direct routes to the gold fields: the Chilkoot Trail and White Pass.
- Hike along the Chilkoot Trail and even pan for gold.
- View gorgeous White Pass from the comfort of your seat on the White Pass and Yukon railway.
- Visit Anchorage via Whittier, approximately 65 miles southeast of Anchorage.
- Nestled at the base of the Chugach Mountains.
- Great launching point to visit Prince William Sound and its tidewater glaciers.
Best time to go:
- Solo Travelers
- Nature Travel
- Adventure Travel
May-September Don’t Forget:
- Eyeshades for bedtime due to late sunset/early sunrise
- Clothing you can layer
- More film or digital storage cards than usual – many photo opportunities!
If you want to explore what lies beyond the stunning coastline of Alaska, consider taking a cruisetour.
A cruisetour combines a cruise ship voyage with a land-based tour of Alaska’s interior, providing a wonderful way to see more of this vast and fascinating state. For example:
- Take a 3, 4, or 7-day cruise combined with a stay at a lodge in Alaska’s scenic national parks
- Set your own daily itinerary at the lodge or experience a fully-escorted tour with knowledgeable guides.
- Travel often takes place aboard deluxe, glass-domed rail service or motorcoach.
Great way to experience Denali National Park
or out-of-the ordinary destinations such as historic Dawson City
in the Yukon Territory
To explore all of the options available for your Alaska cruise or cruisetour adventure, talk with Janet Leggat and Barry Fisher