Mother nature takes centre stage on an Alaskan cruise, from icy glaciers to crisp pine forests inviting exploration. If you’re an animal lover, you could be treated to the sight of majestic whales and soaring eagles without even setting foot on land – not to mention the bears and moose that call Alaska home! As the most northerly state in the USA, Alaska offers a culture all its own with a can-do frontier attitude and gateway to learning more about Native American traditions. Explore the pristine wilderness of this scenic state. ...
Glacier Bay, Alaska
Inside Passage, Alaska
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve must be seen to be believed! Part of Alaska’s Inside Passage, it’s framed by Mount Fairweather and formed by seven glaciers. Whether you explore by kayak or cruise ship, you’ll have to navigate the blue-tinged icebergs poking their way out of the water. The main attraction here apart from the scenery is the wildlife – you could spot humpback whales, puffins, and porpoises.
Alaska’s grand waterway, the Inside Passage takes you past majestic fjords, imposing glaciers, and pretty, forested islands along its Pacific coastal route. As you follow the Inside Passage, you’ll spot the unforgettable icebergs of Glacier Bay, plenty of wildlife, and historic gold rush towns like Skagway. Why not take a helicopter tour over Juneau, climb up Mount Fairweather or go salmon fishing in Ketchikan?
The world’s salmon capital, Ketchikan offers a gateway to stirring Alaskan wilderness. It sits at the state’s southern tip, providing a base for excursions ranging from rainforest walks to harbour cruises and salmon fishing. Visit the Totem Heritage Centre to learn more about indigenous traditions, or head to the Misty Fiords National Monument to enjoy ziplining, kayaking, and hiking in majestic surroundings.
Weather can be temperamental in Alaska! The region generally closes to cruise ships during the winter months due to choppy seas and abundant snowfall that make the usual routes impassable. The main cruise season runs between April to September, but if you want warmer weather and a heightened chance of spotting wildlife you should book your journey for the end of the summer. May offers the driest sailing conditions within the Inside Passage, ideal for excursions. September holds its charms as well – although cooler weather starts to set in, you have the chance to see the Northern Lights at this time.
Whether you opt for a typical one-way itinerary through the Gulf of Alaska or an expedition cruise through smaller waterways, Alaska’s natural beauty is always the star of the show. Scenic cruising through the Inside Passage, College Fjord and Glacier Bay offer spectacular landscapes. Visit the wold’s salmon capital of Ketchikan with its Misty Fjords, or go hiking near the Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau. As Alaska’s capital city, Juneau also boasts a lively dining and nightlife scene for a taste of local culture. Follow in the footsteps of fortune hunters during the Gold Rush by visiting Skagway, including a ride on the scenic White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad.
Alaska’s sparkling waterways and lush forests give way to some amazingly fresh seafood, game and produce to try! Don’t leave the region without sampling King Crab legs, best when served fresh with some melted butter for dipping. Fresh fish like Alaskan halibut and wild salmon are served grilled, smoked and seared, or you can enjoy a warming bowl of seafood chowder. For food sourced from the land, try a spicy caribou chili or reindeer steaks, and if you’re feeling brave you can finish the meal with ‘akutaq’, a sweet treat made from caribou or bear fat and mashed berries!
Although you may associate Alaska with frozen tundra landscapes, this region offers an extraordinarily diverse range of scenery! It’s one of the few destinations that includes all seven types of climate zone. This includes tundra in its interior, rainforest along its southern coastline, and high alpine in the mountains. It’s hard not to feel awe-struck when faced with Alaska’s scenery, and this is because it includes some of the world’s largest features whether it’s the 127-mile-long Bagley Ice Field (largest in the Western Hemisphere) or 20,310-foot Denali Mountain (highest in North America). Alaska’s coastline and fresh inlets are teeming with fish, and fishing is a major industry for the state. The majority of America’s crab, halibut, herring and wild salmon come from Alaska, and you can try your hand at catching these local delicacies on a fishing excursion or just learn more about the industry here. Alaska offers one of North America’s best places to spot native wildlife. Head to Denali’s Park Road if you want to catch a glimpse of the state’s ‘Big Five’: grizzly bears, Dall sheep, caribou, moose, and wolves. You can also take a marine wildlife cruise, giving you the chance to spot eagles, porpoises and whales along with harbour seals and puffins.