Don’t Bet On Wildlife
Everything is unpredictable in the wild. One minute, you will spot a soaring bald eagle or the spouts of beluga whales then you may see nothing but wind and rain for two days straight. Although Alaska is a bucket list trip for some, there’s nothing that can be done to account for nature. Don’t have your heart set on seeing wildlife. That way, you’ll avoid major disappointment and it makes it that much more special when you do see a moose or a bear.
Best Cruise Lines Revealed In World Of Cruising’s Wave Awards 2021
World of Cruising today revealed the winners of this year’s Wave Awards celebrating the very best of the best in the cruise industry.
The cruise industry was feted for its achievements this evening at World of Cruising’s glamorous Wave Awards 2021 held in central London.
The Wave Awards celebrate excellence and innovation in the cruise sector, recognising cruise lines, travel agents, tourist boards and ports.
As ever it was tough competition but it was only body per category who could take home the trophy… So who won?
Best Expedition Cruise Line was revealed to be Hapag-Lloyd Cruises while Saga Cruises won Best for Solo Travellers as well as the Best Value for Money Cruise Line.
Royal Caribbean International also received a double win by triumphing in the Best Family Cruise Line category.
Best Premium Cruise Line was Cunard and Best Specialist Cruise Line was Hebridean Island Cruises.
Lastly, in the cruise line categories, MSC Cruises ship MSC Bellissima was crowned Best New Ship Launch.
Also in the 2021 Wave Awards were Industry categories, Ports & Destinations and Passenger Favourites.
These are all the winners of this year’s Wave Awards.
Russian & Tlingit Heritage Discovery
Ill be honest: Im a little bit uncertain if the companies Ive identified as offering this Sitka cruise excursion below are all offering the same tour. Several companies offer cultural tours, but they all seem to sample different destinations and experiences across Sitka.
In any event, this is a great excursion for history and culture vultures. Over the course of the 2.5-hour tour, youll learn about Alaska Native Tlingit culture as well as the history of Russian-American culture in Alaska.
Who Offers This Excursion?
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Holland America Line Names Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet Of The Netherlands Godmother Of Rotterdam
Holland America Line announced today that when Rotterdam is named next spring, Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands will be the ships godmother, carrying on a tradition that began in the 1920s.Holland America Lines connection to The House of Orange goes back nearly a century to Prince Hendrik launching Statendam III in 1929. Since then, members of the Dutch Royal Family have
Appreciate The Great Outdoors At Chilkoot Trail Or Misty Fjords National Monument
Alaska is, of course, an outdoor adventure wonderland, and each port of call offers plenty for those who want to stay active on vacation. Hike the famous Gold Rush-era Chilkoot Trail in Skagway, kayak to the banks of the Mendenhall Glacier, zipline through the rainforests near Ketchikan, or snorkel the calm waters of Mountain Point, southeast Alaskas prime snorkeling destination. Less active outdoor adventures also await, from riding the rail to the Klondike Summit in Skagway to sailing into the gorgeous Misty Fjords National Monument to riding a Zodiac from Saxman Native Village through Nichols Passage in Ketchikan.
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Klondike Rock Climbing And Rappelling
Port where available: Skagway
If youre like me, you may be a little terrified at the idea of climbing the sheer face of a rock cliff. But dont let that scare you away from this 3 1/4-hour tour. Its a hoot.
Experienced climbing guides will meet you at your ship and drive you up the Klondike Highway to an area of granite cliffs thats the perfect playground for beginner and more seasoned climbers alike. Upon arrival, the guides provide you with all the gear you need climbing shoes, helmets and harnesses for a safe scramble up a 70-foot-high wall. Theyll also offer plenty of instruction plus a snack of trail mix and hot chocolate.
If it all sounds a bit daunting, know that you dont need any experience at climbing to do it . There are multiple routes up the cliffs, some perfect for beginners. After making it to the top, youll rappel back down an entirely different kind of thrill.
Take Advantage Of Ocean Now
One of the newest innovations from Princess Cruises is Ocean Now. With Ocean Now, guests can order their favorite food and drinks to be delivered to them just about anywhere on the ship.
Using the wearable Ocean Medallion technology, staff can pinpoint your location on the ship to provide the most personalized cruise experience. Guests can simply use the Medallion Class app to order beverages, food, or even stateroom amenities. Then, just sit back and wait for it to be delivered.
The Ocean Now technology also allows for Crew Call assistance. In essence, you can chat with staff via the app instead of visiting Guest Services.
Now, everything you need on your sailing with Princess Cruises in Alaska is at the touch of your finger tips.
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Misty Fjord Floatplane With Landing
With huge granite cliffs rising straight up from the sea and the sheer beauty of the area, Misty Fjords offers a unique Alaskan flightseeing experiencevery different from other Inside Passage areas like Juneau or even a Denali flightseeing tour. This is a great chance for a truly Alaskan experience: to ride in a floatplane and land on a pristine wilderness lake.
Begin with an aerial overview of Misty Fjords National Monument and those granite cliffs. Just beyond is a series of small, remote mountain lakes that would be next to impossible to reach on foot. Your pilot picks out one of the lakes, lands the floatplane, and turns off the engine. You can step out on the pontoon, breathe in the fresh air and listen to the silence.
The Best Alaska Itineraries
My first visit to Alaska started in Anchorage, where we took the Alaska Railroad to Whittier to board Regent Seven Seas Mariner to explore Prince William Sound, Kodiak and the remote Dutch Harbor before heading to Russias Kamchatka Peninsula and the northern islands of Japan.
What I saw in Alaska took my breath away, and weve returned several times since. While that particular cruise was aboard a pricey luxury line, there are ships in all price ranges sailing a variety of itineraries, so dont let budget stop you from visiting.
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Who Offers Alaska Cruise Excursions In Sitka
In my research, I found that 19 of 21 cruise companies operating in Alaska offered a port stop in Sitka. Of those 18 companies, 10 have listed Alaska cruise excursions in Sitka for the 2020 season: Carnival Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Disney Cruise Lines, Holland America, Oceania Cruise Lines, Princess Cruise Lines, Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean, and Viking Cruises. Several other cruise companies also list that they have Juneau cruise excursions but no details on their site: Alaskan Dream Cruises, Azamara, Cunard, Lindblad, Ponant, Seabourn, Silversea, and UnCruise.
Holland America Line offers the greatest number of Sitka cruise excursions. They have 31 different excursions available several are wheelchair accessible alternatives to others. Princess Cruises offers the next greatest number, with 26 excursions in Sitka.
Its tough to say which company has the best excursion options based on my list below However, Princess Cruises is the only company that offers all of the Sitka cruise excursions I consider the best. So if you want the greatest number of options, consider booking with them!
Best Glacier Bay Excursion
Our next excursion doesnt even require you to get off the ship youre going to Glacier Bay, Alaska for scenic cruising!
If you arent familiar with Glacier Bay, heres what Princess shares about it
Princess is one of a select few cruise lines permitted to cruise the pristine waters of Glacier Bay, the highlight of our 7-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise. Just west of Juneau, this breathtaking national park and preserve boasts some of the worlds most spectacular tidewater glaciers, such as Margerie Glacier, which often drops colossal chunks of ice into the sea. Not surprisingly, Glacier Bay National Park and its epic ice giants are part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprising Alaskas magnificent park system.
Glacier Bay is breathtaking. And you get to spend most of your morning there. And just like in other national parks, there are park rangers. Park rangers come aboard the ship, narrate your time there and answer questions.
And there is coffee, hot chocolate and kicked up coffee and hot chocolate.
Glacier Bay is another reason you should GET THE BALCONY ROOM! While you can see Glacier Bay from pretty much everywhere on the ship that has decks or windows, its kind of dreamy to have a four-course champagne breakfast on your balcony while marveling at glaciers. CRUISE EXCURSION TIP: Get the balcony room!
Watching glaciers calve is surreal and bittersweet. But it is an unforgettable sight to see.
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Shore Excursions From Princess Cruise
Book independently. Princess adds their commission when booking through them and usually gets a discount from the operator on top of that.. I just had an interesting conversation about this last night. I can’t mention any names but I was told if a company is contracted with Princess they HAVE to quote the rate Princess shows if they mention they are on the ship. Bottom line…don’t tell operaters your with a cruise ship till afterwards.
how do i book indpendently? thx
1st you need to know what port you’ll be at and what times. Then you could request a vistors guide from the local chamber of commerce or do some more researching to find out what’s available.
Another great sister site to here is www.cruisecritic.com
One of my favorites for Seward is Godwin Glacier helicopter with a landing on the glacier and a ride in a dogsled on real snow.
You might be interested in a couple discount books available.
You don’t give any specifics on your cruise or if your thinking about some land travel.
White Pass And Yukon Route Railroad In Skagway Alaska
Skagway is another popular cruise ship port of call when you head way up north to Alaska. This historic town was made famous by the 1898 gold rush, which lead to the discovery of about $30 million worth of gold. Now, Skagway is largely supported by tourism. Much of its population is seasonal.
Given the towns rich history and magnificent landscapes, a ride on the White Pass Railway is routinely rated as the most popular excursion in Alaska. The 28-mile ride on this narrow gauge railway between Skagway, Alaska and Fraser, B.C. is sure to provide you with a historical narrative, scenic views, and breathtaking photo opportunities. You will get to see portions of the original Trail of 98, among other notable sites.
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Tips From A Princess Cruisetour In Alaska
If you’re thinking about traveling to Alaska, a cruisetour is a comprehensive — albeit fast-paced — way to cover a ton of ground . I’m back from an 11-night Princess cruisetour of the 49th state, and it’s different than any other trip I’ve taken in my life. Living on the East Coast, everything I saw seemed to be turned up a couple notches: the sheer size of the mountain ranges the dumbfounding expanse of glaciers, tundras and rainforest the diversity and intensity of the wildlife the free spirit of the indigenous cultures and year-round inhabitants and being able to touch upon each one of those earth-shattering elements with tours and excursions.
The following are 11 tips from my Princess cruisetour experience.
Wild Arts Artist Walk: Hot Italian Glass
On this 2.5-hour excursion, you’ll walk through the small city of Sitka, once known as the “Paris of the Pacific,” with a guide, stopping at various art galleries and artisan ateliers along the way. Witness everything from wood-carving and ceramic work to jewelry-making and glass-blowing, before trying your hand at the ancient art of Venetian glass-blowing yourself. You’ll also have free time at the end to browse a gallery and to shop for souvenirs. This tour is ideal for anyone who wants to take a short excursion and still have enough time left in the day to explore Sitka on his or her own.
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Salmon And Halibut Fishing
There’s good fishing off Sitka, and with this full-day, small-group excursion, you hit the waters in search of king, silver or chum salmon, as well as halibut. The captain will take you to known fishing spots where various techniques — weather permitting — are employed for salmon fishing and halibut fishing. You should be aware that being on a small boat on the open sea subjects you to swells and wind chop.
Note: You need to buy a one-day fishing license from the captain of the small boat for $25 cash, as required by Alaska law. Also, in May and June, you need an additional $15 king salmon stamp. If you catch a fish, you can have it packaged and shipped home for an additional fee note your catch will not be permitted back onboard the ship. Lunch and snacks are provided on this excursion.
Misty Fjords By Floatplane
Misty Fjords National Monument is a must-see, and on this flightseeing tour, you view the magnificent scenery with a bird’s-eye view from the air on a seaplane. The pristine park encompasses nearly 2.3 million acres, where you’ll gaze upon sheer granite cliffs, imposing waterfalls, sparkling fjords and thick forests. The seaplane will also briefly land on water within the park to give you a taste of the serenity down below.
The tour is not only narrated it’s also set to inspirational music. You’re not likely to see any scenery prettier than this, and you’ll stand a good chance of spotting wildlife including eagles, bears, mountain goats, deer and wolves.
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White Pass Scenic Railway
This is a must-do tour, especially on a clear day. Take a round trip ride on the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad, a historic narrow gauge railway built into amazingly rugged and beautiful terrain some 120 years ago. It follows the same Trail of ’98 route taken in the late-19th century by a steady stream of gold prospectors looking for Yukon gold â¦ except they did it on foot and often, in wet, muddy conditions or frigid temperatures.
You travel in the comfort of old-fashioned rail cars, and the route takes you up the 2,865-foot summit of the White Pass, through tunnels and over sky-high trestles, past remote valleys and such sights as Bridal Veil Falls, Inspiration Point and Dead Horse Gulch — so named because so many miners lost their horses there.
For those seeking a more active way to see the White Pass, we highly recommend you book the White Pass Train & Bike Tour. You take the train up the Pass and then get off at Fraser for an additional 15-minute van ride to the White Pass summit. You’ll then bike 15 miles down the Klondike Highway on a guided summit-to-sea tour back to Skagway — and we mean down, down, down. Your hands will likely hurt from hitting the handbrakes so much. Along the way, you stop at waterfalls and other spectacular overlooks.
Vancouver: Vancouver Highlights Tour
- Who Offers This Excursion? You can book this Vancouver cruise excursion with Celebrity, Holland America, Princess, Royal Caribbean, or Oceania.
- Find 5 other excursion options on my guide to the best Vancouver cruise excursions.
Like Seattle, Vancouver is a cruise terminal youll visit at the beginning or end of your Alaska cruise. If you only have a few hours in Vancouver, the Vancouver Highlights Tour covers the must-see attractions in the citys downtown core.
This excursion offers an experience that hits key Vancouver sights via bus in a 2-3 hour tour. You will drive through the heart of Vancouver including the historic Gastown neighborhood with its narrow cobbled streets and the unique Chinatown area, which is over 150 years old. The standout experience is a stop in spectacular Stanley Park, one of the largest urban parks in North America. Be sure to pack your camera for photo ops with the First Nations Totem poles.
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