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Alaska Cruise Tours:

A cruise tour is a voyage and land tour combination, with the land tour occurring before or after the voyage. Unless otherwise noted, optional services such as airfare, airport transfers, shore excursions, land tour excursions, etc. are not included and are available for an additional cost.

 
 

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Alaska Cruise Tips




Island Princess, Glacier Bay, Alaska ©Princess Cruises

One of the crowning features of an Alaskan cruise, when compared to other destinations, is the fact that you are constantly surrounded by the beautiful landscape. This gives your cabin choice a greater impact on the overall experience of your cruise. If you value a private place to take in the sights of the mountains around you, make sure you consider your cabin’s location. On a northbound itinerary, the starboard side of the ship will be facing the land. Conversely, on a southbound trip, the port side of the ship will be facing the land. In the same vein, if you are able to upgrade to a balcony cabin, your viewing experience will be enhanced even further. The balcony cabins facing the land will book up much quicker than the others on the ship, up to and exceeding a year prior to departure, so make sure to book early in order to get the most out of your vacation. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars!

    Cruising Glacier Bay ©Holland America Line

    The only thing better than getting the best view of Alaska’s mountains and glaciers from the comfort of your cabin is getting an up close and personal view standing directly on top of them. There are many shore excursions that will take you closer to these glaciers by way of helicopter and this is an absolutely unforgettable experience. Flying over the massive ice fields and walking on top of them gives you a tangible idea of just how massive these glaciers are. You will walk near cracks and chasms that are hundreds of feet deep and see the often overlooked water systems constantly running through the glacier. This perspective of one of nature's most powerful is truly incredible and helps show you how the massive mountains of Alaska have been carved out over thousands of years.

      The only thing better than getting the best view of Alaska’s mountains and glaciers from the comfort of your cabin is getting an up close and personal view standing directly on top of them. There are many shore excursions that will take you closer to these glaciers by way of helicopter and this is an absolutely unforgettable experience. Flying over the massive ice fields and walking on top of them gives you a tangible idea of just how massive these glaciers are. You will walk near cracks and chasms that are hundreds of feet deep and see the often overlooked water systems constantly running through the glacier. This perspective of one of nature's most powerful is truly incredible and helps show you how the massive mountains of Alaska have been carved out over thousands of years.

        Cruising Glacier Bay ©Holland America Line

        Up close and personal with a chill seal in Alaska. ©Princess Cruises

        Of course, the glaciers are not Alaska’s only natural points of attraction. The wildlife of Alaska is equally as impressive. Your Alaskan cruise would not be complete without a whale watching tour. Pods of orcas will be in their greatest numbers in May and June and whales from June to September. Juneau and Sitka are two notable ports to take a whale watching tour to get up close to these giants. You will be constantly surrounded by amazing wildlife in Alaska. Bald eagles will soar around you. You can even spot large groups of them in the trees if you have a sharp eye! To get closest to the animals of Alaska, your best bet is to take another step further into Denali on a cruise tour. With dedicated guided nature tours in Denali National Park, there's no beating a cruise tour for getting in touch with the wilderness.

          Ketchikan, Alaska ©Princess Cruises

          Tours and shore excursions are not the only way to experience Alaska. Make sure to leave some time in port to explore the towns on your own. There are uniquely Alaskan experiences available to you by just walking through the cities you dock in. For example, Creek Street in Ketchikan is not only filled with gift shops featuring local crafts and delicious restaurants boasting some of the best salmon you can find, but the entirety of the street is built suspended over running waters. This is also a great place to catch a glimpse of hundreds of salmon swimming upstream!

            Tours and shore excursions are not the only way to experience Alaska. Make sure to leave some time in port to explore the towns on your own. There are uniquely Alaskan experiences available to you by just walking through the cities you dock in. For example, Creek Street in Ketchikan is not only filled with gift shops featuring local crafts and delicious restaurants boasting some of the best salmon you can find, but the entirety of the street is built suspended over running waters. This is also a great place to catch a glimpse of hundreds of salmon swimming upstream!

              Ketchikan, Alaska ©Princess Cruises

              Alaska can be cold and rainy at times, but the scenery is worth it! ©Princess Cruises

              One difficult part of planning a cruise to Alaska is the weather and how to prepare for it. The weather can be unpredictable in Alaska during the summer. Be prepared for a rainy day because you are likely to have one during a week-long vacation. That being said, Alaska is not as cold as you may expect in the summer. A sunny day on your Alaska cruise is likely to be in the 80s. The temperature will likely dip down into the 50s or 60s at night, though, so it is not a bad idea to keep a light jacket handy. The Alaska cruise season does stretch from April to September, so the sailings in April, May, and September tend to be a bit colder and more likely to see rain, but this is counteracted by lower pricing and less crowds. In short, be prepared for a wide range of weather because you will see many sides of Mother Nature.

                Island Princess, Glacier Bay, Alaska ©Princess Cruises

                One of the crowning features of an Alaskan cruise, when compared to other destinations, is the fact that you are constantly surrounded by the beautiful landscape. This gives your cabin choice a greater impact on the overall experience of your cruise. If you value a private place to take in the sights of the mountains around you, make sure you consider your cabin’s location. On a northbound itinerary, the starboard side of the ship will be facing the land. Conversely, on a southbound trip, the port side of the ship will be facing the land. In the same vein, if you are able to upgrade to a balcony cabin, your viewing experience will be enhanced even further. The balcony cabins facing the land will book up much quicker than the others on the ship, up to and exceeding a year prior to departure, so make sure to book early in order to get the most out of your vacation. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars!

                  Cruising Glacier Bay ©Holland America Line

                  The only thing better than getting the best view of Alaska’s mountains and glaciers from the comfort of your cabin is getting an up close and personal view standing directly on top of them. There are many shore excursions that will take you closer to these glaciers by way of helicopter and this is an absolutely unforgettable experience. Flying over the massive ice fields and walking on top of them gives you a tangible idea of just how massive these glaciers are. You will walk near cracks and chasms that are hundreds of feet deep and see the often overlooked water systems constantly running through the glacier. This perspective of one of nature's most powerful is truly incredible and helps show you how the massive mountains of Alaska have been carved out over thousands of years.

                    The only thing better than getting the best view of Alaska’s mountains and glaciers from the comfort of your cabin is getting an up close and personal view standing directly on top of them. There are many shore excursions that will take you closer to these glaciers by way of helicopter and this is an absolutely unforgettable experience. Flying over the massive ice fields and walking on top of them gives you a tangible idea of just how massive these glaciers are. You will walk near cracks and chasms that are hundreds of feet deep and see the often overlooked water systems constantly running through the glacier. This perspective of one of nature's most powerful is truly incredible and helps show you how the massive mountains of Alaska have been carved out over thousands of years.

                      Cruising Glacier Bay ©Holland America Line

                      Up close and personal with a chill seal in Alaska. ©Princess Cruises

                      Of course, the glaciers are not Alaska’s only natural points of attraction. The wildlife of Alaska is equally as impressive. Your Alaskan cruise would not be complete without a whale watching tour. Pods of orcas will be in their greatest numbers in May and June and whales from June to September. Juneau and Sitka are two notable ports to take a whale watching tour to get up close to these giants. You will be constantly surrounded by amazing wildlife in Alaska. Bald eagles will soar around you. You can even spot large groups of them in the trees if you have a sharp eye! To get closest to the animals of Alaska, your best bet is to take another step further into Denali on a cruise tour. With dedicated guided nature tours in Denali National Park, there's no beating a cruise tour for getting in touch with the wilderness.

                        Ketchikan, Alaska ©Princess Cruises

                        Tours and shore excursions are not the only way to experience Alaska. Make sure to leave some time in port to explore the towns on your own. There are uniquely Alaskan experiences available to you by just walking through the cities you dock in. For example, Creek Street in Ketchikan is not only filled with gift shops featuring local crafts and delicious restaurants boasting some of the best salmon you can find, but the entirety of the street is built suspended over running waters. This is also a great place to catch a glimpse of hundreds of salmon swimming upstream!

                          Tours and shore excursions are not the only way to experience Alaska. Make sure to leave some time in port to explore the towns on your own. There are uniquely Alaskan experiences available to you by just walking through the cities you dock in. For example, Creek Street in Ketchikan is not only filled with gift shops featuring local crafts and delicious restaurants boasting some of the best salmon you can find, but the entirety of the street is built suspended over running waters. This is also a great place to catch a glimpse of hundreds of salmon swimming upstream!

                            Ketchikan, Alaska ©Princess Cruises

                            Alaska can be cold and rainy at times, but the scenery is worth it! ©Princess Cruises

                            One difficult part of planning a cruise to Alaska is the weather and how to prepare for it. The weather can be unpredictable in Alaska during the summer. Be prepared for a rainy day because you are likely to have one during a week-long vacation. That being said, Alaska is not as cold as you may expect in the summer. A sunny day on your Alaska cruise is likely to be in the 80s. The temperature will likely dip down into the 50s or 60s at night, though, so it is not a bad idea to keep a light jacket handy. The Alaska cruise season does stretch from April to September, so the sailings in April, May, and September tend to be a bit colder and more likely to see rain, but this is counteracted by lower pricing and less crowds. In short, be prepared for a wide range of weather because you will see many sides of Mother Nature.


                              About the Author: The above piece was written by Jack D., a lifelong cruiser with 2 years of experience in the travel industry.


                               
                               
                               
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