Alaska is a region of stark beauty, diverse animals, marine life and the frontier spirit. Cruises in the Great Land are extremely popular, thanks to a landscape that presents breathtaking beauty and natural wonders on a grand scale — all of which can be seen from your cruise ship balcony. In fact, the Last Frontier’s majestic landscape is best viewed on an Alaska cruise, especially for first-time visitors.
On cruises to Alaska, marine life often accompanies ships sailing from Seattle or Vancouver. The vessels range from small ships carrying as few as a hundred passengers to large “resorts at sea,” capable of carrying a few thousand passengers — all intent on seeing Alaska’s largely unspoiled landscape.
In port towns and cities along the Alaska coast, sightseeing options include salmon fishing, helicopter tours, flight-seeing, salmon bakes, glacier treks, panning for gold and scenic rail excursions. Of course, it’s enough just to watch the scenic wonders of Alaska unfold.
Highlighting many Alaska cruises is Hubbard Glacier of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. On some Alaska cruise vacations, College Fjord, Tracy Arm and Mendenhall Glacier are featured, along with calls at such popular shoreside destinations as Juneau, Skagway, Sitka and Ketchikan.
Ships calling at Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier bring some of nature’s most awesome beauty up close. Passengers cluster on deck to experience the thunderous echo of glaciers calving a short distance from the ship.
Those who opt for a up-close encounter with nature will love the small ships, which cruise right up to sea lion colonies and cliffside bird rookeries and show passengers whales up close.
Research shows that most people planning a trip to Alaska want to see two places: Glacier Bay National Park and Denali National Park. You can get to Glacier Bay aboard a cruise ship and admire the national park’s stunning scenery from the comfort of your balcony stateroom. But to get to Denali (a.k.a. Mt. McKinley), you’ll have to get off the ship, lace up your hiking boots, and trek inland. That’s where a cruisetour comes in.
Many passengers,in fact, opt to extend their cruises with an Alaska cruise tour that includes a visit to Denali by glass-domed train, stays in mountain chateaus and wildlife tours.
Cruisetours combine a cruise voyage with a fully escorted stay on land. The cruise lines have streamlined their product so that you’ll pay one price in exchange for two vacations — one at sea, and the other on land in the Alaskan interior.
You’ll also enjoy two completely different travel experiences. While at sea, you’ll gaze out at glaciers, fjords, and lots of marine life. While in the interior, you’ll see snow-capped mountains (on a clear day, you may want to “fly by” Denali, North America’s tallest peak), wildlife, and what some have called “the real Alaska.”
While a cruise offers travelers an excellent taste of Alaska, a cruisetour serves up the complete five-course dinner — the total Alaska experience. It’s easy to combine both for the perfect Alaska experience.
Passengers also get two travel experiences. While at sea, they gaze out at glaciers, fjords, and abundant marine life. In interior Alaska, those same passengers get up close to snow-capped mountains, wildlife and what many believe is “the real Alaska.”
Alaska Ports Of call
Avid Cruiser Posts, Photographs and Videos Featuring Alaska.
- Your Alaska Questions Answered, Plus Our 2014 Alaska Guide
- Simply Presented: Royal Princess In 15 Slides
- Avid Cruiser Voyages: The Transpacific Crossing
- Avid Cruiser Voyages: Pacific Coast Cruises
- Is Norway’s Coast More Beautiful Than Alaska’s? Judge For Yourself On Hurtigruten
- Epicurean Adventure: Final Day Aboard Holland America’s Oosterdam
- Into the Wild—Ketchikan: Day 6 Aboard Holland America’s Oosterdam
- Thrills and Chills in Sitka: Day 5 Aboard Holland America’s Oosterdam
- Whale of a Tale: Day 4 Aboard Holland America’s Oosterdam
- State of Wonder: Day 3 Aboard Holland America’s Oosterdam
- Splendor of the Sea: Day 2 Aboard Holland America’s Oosterdam
- Summer Of Fun: Running Through Airports, The London Olympics, River Cruising In France, Traveling With Teens
- Aboard National Geographic (Lindblad) Expeditions in Alaska
- Avid Cruiser Voyages: Alaska’s Glaciers
- Going Native with Alaskan Dream
- Avid Cruiser Voyages: Alaska’s Inside Passage
- Longer Stays In Port: Cruising Into The Heart Of Anchorage, Alaska
- Three Choices For Cruising The Great Land: Alaska In 2012
- Going to the Dogs in Alaska
- 2011 Family Cruise Vacation Shopping Guide
- Alluring Alaska
- Remembering Cruise West: On An Alaska Cruisetour – Wildlife Sightings in Denali
- Kids On Cruises: Assessing Holland America Line For All Ages
- From My Balcony… Admiring The Beauty of Alaska In A Bathrobe
- Four Favorite Cruises: The USA’s Best Cruise Itineraries
- Before Setting Sail To Alaska: Six Seattle Sleeps
- Expert Advice On Choosing An Alaska Cruisetour
- Alaska Cruises: Shoulder Season Can Be Sweet, Top Reasons To Cruise Alaska Off-Peak
- ‘Awesome’ Alaska: The Great Land Through The Eyes Of A Kid
- Magical Moments On Alaska Cruises
- Alaska Cruisetour: Total Immersion
- Cruise Value: Off-Peak Alaska Cruises
- Alaska Cruisetour: Deep in Denali at Kantishna Road House
- In-Depth Alaska: Cruise + Tour = Cruisetour
- Alaska Cruisetour: John Martin, One Of The Last Tlingit Speakers
- Alaska Cruisetour: Haines Brewing Company
- Vintage Video: Tom Choate on the virtue of Small Groups
- Vintage Video: Exploration Leader Tom Choate On Seeing Denali
- Vintage Video: Tom Choate, Exploration Leader and Climber
- Big Ship, Small Ship: Envy En Route To Fairbanks
- Alaska Shore Excursion: Fly By Denali
- When Is The Best Time To Book Your Cruise?
- Fairbanks, Alaska Shore Excursion: Howling With The Huskies
- Fairbanks, Alaska: Mary Shields Personal Tours
- Alaska Shore Excursion: Meeting Mary Shields, First To Finish Iditarod Sled Dog Race
- Cruise West: Bering Sea Voyage
- NCL’s Top Ten Shore Excursions Worldwide
- Alaska’s golden anniversary of statehood deserves special Princess treatment
- Airfare included with Inside Passage itineraries from Holland America
- Top Seven Scenic Cruises
- Overnights In Glacier Bay
- Cruise West: On An Alaska Cruisetour