As many travelers have realized, viewing Alaska’s vast beauty and diverse wildlife by ship is an essential experience to truly immerse oneself in the stunning landscapes of The Last Frontier. Many of the world’s top cruise lines have developed Alaska cruise itineraries that keep passengers coming back again and again, offering specialized dining menus, educational lectures with special guests, and unique onboard activities.
In fact, there is now an abundance of itineraries and excursions available for Alaskan cruising. Perhaps it’s the myriad of options, combined with its captivating landscape, that keep Alaska tourists coming back for more. Here are 9 must-do activities on your next Alaska cruise:
1. Enjoy Views of the Serene Inside Passage
The Inside Passage is the standard coastal route for oceangoing ships en route to Alaska. The vessels weave between Alaska’s coastline and a series of islands boasting fjords, wildlife-rich forests, magnificent mountains, and massive glaciers. When cruising to Alaska, the journey is definitely as worthwhile as the destination!
2. Explore the Last Frontier by Rail
For travelers that have the time to incorporate a land portion to their cruise vacation, venturing inland by rail offers more gorgeous glimpses of Alaska’s scenery. The route will depend on the itinerary and cruise line, but be prepared to soak up 360-degree views as The Last Frontier zips by.
3. Experience Denali’s Majesty
The jewel of the 6-million acre National Park and Preserve is Denali, America’s highest peak. A plethora of wildlife call Denali home, and it’s also a popular park for backpackers, hikers and bikers.
4. Absorb Alaska’s History in Ketchikan
This funky, historic town is the perfect place to watch salmon migrate in the summer. Take advantage of the picturesque scenes on Creek Street, a boardwalk that runs along the east side of the Ketchikan Creek.
5. Check out the Hubbard Glacier
Even the largest cruise ships are dwarfed by the Hubbard Glacier, which soars up to 30 stories high. It’s easiest to appreciate the stunning blues of this six-mile wide giant from a distance, which is why cruise passengers will have the best views!
6. Visit an Iditarod Dog Kennel
Several cruise lines can arrange private tours of Iditarod Dog Kennels, or even experiences riding a sled pulled by a team of huskies! Tours with local guides provide travelers an inside look at what everyday life in Alaska is like, along with the routines of the dogs and their trainers.
7. Spend Time Discovering Juneau
Options for excursions and entertainment are plentiful around Alaska’s capital city. The nearby Mendenhall Glacier is accessible by hike, kayak or canoe, and the Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tram climbs 1,800 feet up a mountainside to give passengers a birds-eye view of the temperate rainforest below.
8. Kitsch It Up in Skagway
Experience the excitement of the Gold Rush in Skagway, where the feel of the good old days remains. As one of Alaska’s most popular ports, there are plenty of tourist shops selling knickknacks, but visitors can steer themselves towards a history lesson at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park Visitors Center or even strike gold themselves by panning at Liarsville Gold Rush Trail Camp.
9. Marvel at Glacier Bay National Park
This UNESCO World Heritage site encompasses some of Alaska’s most lush wilderness, spectacular glaciers, and snow-capped mountains. It also includes a marine park and opportunities to see whales, seals, otters and bears.
If you have your heart set on a bucket-list visit to Alaska, our team is ready to help you plan your voyage!