If You Have Young Kids
The top cruise lines offer special areas for children, such as Disney Cruise Lines Kids Center and Princesss Adventure Island. In addition, Norwegian, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Carnival operate kids clubs on their ships. Disney takes it a step further, offering to spend time with its popular characters. For example, you may hang out with Dr. Seuss figures on Carnival. On Royal Caribbean International ships, there are DreamWorks personalities ” rel=”nofollow”> Madagascar or the panda from Kung Fu Panda) to interact with during the cruise vacation.
Sip Some Alaskan Brews
As with the rest of the United States, craft brewing has seen a huge spike in popularity in Alaska. Breweries like Denali Brewing Co.,Alaskan Brewing Co., and 49th State Brewing have popped up in recent years, with the one caveat being that you cant find their beers anywhere else in the lower 48. So get your Alaskan brews while you can most cruises have drink menus that are heavy on the local brews so be sure to taste a classic Alaskan Amber before you disembark.
When Is The Best Time To Cruise Alaska: Ultimate Guide
If you are thinking about taking an Alaska cruise vacation or have already booked your trip, youll be happy to know that a cruise ship is the best way to explore Americas Last Frontier. If you havent taken an Alaska trip before, you may be wondering when is the best time to cruise Alaska?
Alaska is a unique cruise destination, unlike the typical Caribbean or Mediterranean getaways you might have sailed in the past. The remote location, picturesque landscapes, and abundant wildlife provide memories unlike anywhere in the world.
The long, cold winters and short summers mean that cruise ships only have a short window to sail the Alaskan waterways safely.
Alaskas cruise season is five months long, from May to September. Youll find noticeable differences in wildlife, weather, pricing, and crowds from one week to the next.
Whether youre looking to spot wildlife, catch a king salmon, or hope to see the northern lights, well help you find the best time to book your cruise to Alaska.
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Get Your Cash Beforehand
You likely want to bring some cash on your cruise. Its best to grab it before you head to the ship. Most accounts have free ATMs if you use your banks machine. On the cruise ship there are cash machines, but expect to pay dearly. Charges of $6 to get out cash are normal. Save the money and bring cash from home. Not sure how much to bring? Heres some advice on how much cash to bring on a cruise.
Lots Of Animals On Alaska Cruises
- #1 Land mammals: There are bears galore in the Northern Lights. Grizzly and black bears and polar bears can be seen. Caribou, moose, and other lesser fur-bearing species like marten, wolves, mink, husky dogs, and Dawes Sheep are just a few of the animals found.
- #2 Water mammals: Humpback whales, beluga whales, bowhead whales, harbor seals, orcas, sea otters, sea lions, and walruses inhabit the San Juan Islands.
- #3 Birds: Ptarmigans, swans, loons, owls, and puffins are just a few birds that may be encountered in Alaska. The most well-known golden eagles and bald eagles are not the only ones found there.
- #4 Marine Life & Fish:Salmon are abundant in the Arctic, mainly since five species of salmon have evolved to thrive in these chilly northern seas.
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Whats The Weather Like
The weather in Alaska can be unpredictable, so its essential to come prepared for all conditions. In the summer months, temperatures generally range from the 60s to the 80s. But it can get cooler at night or during excursions. The fall and winter months are colder, with temperatures dropping below freezing. Its also common to experience rain and snow in these seasons.
Skagway Best Shore Excursion
Skagway is a tiny town with a very busy cruise port! This is as far north as cruise ships go in the Inside Passage . Skagway was put on the map by the Klondike Gold Rush in 1898 and has a colorful history. In fact, the entire downtown is a national park!
The White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad was built during the Gold Rush and remains today as a tour for visitors and I will tell you that in my opinion this is the best shore excursion available in Southeast Alaska! There are several options for the train: you can take a round trip summit excursion right from the cruise ship dock, or you can go one way by train and one by bus giving you additional views of this stunning location. You can also do a hike from the train getting dropped off at Denver or Laughton Glacier as part of a tour.
The White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad gives you the unique opportunity in Southeast Alaska to get up into the mountains and inland and see a completely different climate. There are good chances to see bears and goats on this trip too! Overall I highly recommend this if you only do one shore excursionmake it this one!
Skagway also has lots of great history to explore and several excellent hikes that leave from downtown and you can easily walk to.
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Whale And Orca Watch On A Glacier Bay Cruise
With its horizon brimming with incisor-shaped peaks, calving tidewater glacier tongues and deep-sheltered fjords, Glacier Bay National Park possesses a mystique all its own. Its southeast Alaska at its rawest and home to a succession of lung-fillingly beautiful inlets, lagoons and islands that shape the northern edge of the labyrinthine Inside Passage.
At times, a boat journey here by cruise ship, tour vessel or private charter feels the closest most of us will ever come to the dewy-eyed journeys of polar explorers like Shackleton and Amundsen. While cruising, take a moment amid the mountains to look for cannonballing orcas and breaching humpbacks. They patrol the crystal-blue waters and are so playful you could end up watching the water for days.
Mistake #: Not Going On Shore
Shore days usually lead to an exodus from the ship, with all the passengers leaving for adventure and exploration. Some passengers choose to stay aboard for the day. We get it, it may be nice to have the ship all to yourselves. But you came to Alaska!!
If you want somewhere to escape for some alone time, then skip the dining room for a meal in your room for one night . Dont miss out on the beauty of Alaska that caused you to book the trip in the first place!
Well my friend, there you have it. Everything you need to know about an Alaskan Cruise to make sure you have an unforgettable experience! If you have any questions or anything you want to tell us, or there are some Alaska cruise tips youd like to share, let us know in the comments and we will reply as soon as we can!
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What To Pack For An Alaska Cruise Plus Packing List
Whether your Alaska cruise is on a small ship adventure cruise like Alaskan Dream Cruises or UnCruise Adventures or like most first-timers, on a larger cruise ship like Holland Americas Eurodam, heres what to pack for an Alaska cruise. At the end of the article youll find my Alaska cruise packing list ready to print.
In This Post
What About The Ferry
You might have heard someone refer to the Alaska ferry as a locals cruise or a cheaper cruise and I want you to know that is not accurate! I cringe whenever I read or hear this. The Alaska ferry is absolutely wonderful, but its public transportation and that is how its used by Alaskans. Its also more expensive than people expect and there are lots of hidden costs, such as getting a small cabin and eating in the cafeteria. If youre interested in taking the ferry to or within Alaska, its an amazing experience, but its very different from a cruise! Learn more in my complete guide to riding the Alaska ferry here.
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Appreciate Alaskan Wild Life
An Alaskan vacation would not be complete without taking the time to admire the wildlife. Whether you want to spot a bald eagle or a black bear, Alaska is the place to do it. For some great animal sightings visit Denali National Park, which spreads to a mind boggling six million acres with only a few established trails. For even more history, partake in the 4- 5 hour Denali Natural History Tour, managed and operated by the National Park Service. For those who are not too keen on hiking, another great way to spot some wildlife is on an Alaskan Cruise. Bring your binoculars and head out to the open deck you wont be disappointed in the views! If marine life is more your thing, you’re in luck, whale watching is unmatched in the Last Frontier. Whale watches can be done in places like Seward, Whittier, and Homer.
Canoe & Mendenhall Glacier Hike
Both Liquid Alaska and Above & Beyond Alaska offer the unforgettable experience of a canoe trip to the glacier, followed by a trek near the gorgeous blue ice. Paddling on the lake gives you an incredible vantage point to view the glacier and its enormity. Then, stepping on land, you’ll see the effects of glacial erosion and listen for the movement of this living river of ice.
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Want To Cruise Through Small Towns
If youre interested in cruising to some of Alaskas small towns and villages, or if you want to spend more time in each port-of-call, then an Alaskan luxury cruise might be a better fit. These vessels range from mid-size to small and can often go into places the larger ships cant.
Many offer overnight options in specific ports, toomeaning you could get off the ship and explore for a few hours before re-boarding to relax by your cabins fireplace or enjoy dinner at one of their specialty restaurants. Some luxury vessels also have unique amenities like complimentary helicopter tours over glaciers , hot air balloon rides, kayaking excursions, skiff landings , hiking trails onboard accessible only through small tenders, and more!
If it sounds luxurious enough alreadyyoure right the additional cost is more than standard cruises with big-name lines aboard large ships that typically include fewer extras. But they are often worth every penny when you consider the level of pampering and service youll enjoy and all the unique luxury travel experiences youll have.
Always Wait For People To Get Off The Elevator First
Elevators are the heart of ship and youll likely ride them several times a day. One annoying habit is that many cruisers like to crowd around the doors to get onboard. That means those trying to get off the elevators are stuck while those wanting to get on move out of the way. Just keep things simple and make sure there is no one else exiting before trying to get on your elevator.
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Wild Camp Beneath North Americas Highest Mountain
With its head in the clouds they say Denali only makes an appearance once every three days and feet entrenched amid low-elevation taiga forest and six million-plus acres of backcountry, this colossal national park is the one everyone wants an adventure in. The trick is access. The park is bisected by just the one road, a 92-mile strip given over to narrated tour coaches and transit buses operated by the National Park Service .
This means overnight adventurers need to be entirely self-sufficient, carrying everything with them, and the park operates a strict leave-no-trace policy. There are a handful of privately-owned lodges in the park, of course, but these offer pricey, multi-night packages, including accommodation, meals and excursions. To climb Denali itself, a multi-week expedition to the 20,310 feet summit, its highly recommended to use an .
Q: What Is The 2022 Alaska Cruise Season And When Is The Best Time To Cruise Alaska
A: Cruises will be available between May through September from a variety of cruise lines, with July 2022 being the most popular time to cruise Alaska and September 2022 being the least crowded time to go. When the best time to take an Alaskan cruise is all depends on what you are looking to see and what weather you are willing to endure July experiences some of the longest, warmest days of the region in the Arctic but going up to 70 degrees in Denali), giving you the opportunity to potentially experience the Midnight Sun and plenty of wildlife on the other hand, September is much colder but experiences significantly less crowds and is the best time to cruise Alaska to see the Northern Lights.
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Reserve A Balcony Room So You Can Take In Yakutat Bay And Glacier Bay
Its no Caribbean vacation, of course, but the weather during cruise season here is actually quite nice. June and July give you nearly 20 hours of daylight, and temperatures can often reach the 80s. Perhaps the best way to enjoy the sunny views of Yakutat Bay and Glacier Bay National Park on your cruise is to spring for a balcony room. Theres nothing quite like watching the magnificence of Hubbard Glacier and , some of the largest glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere, while on your own private balcony. Its also a much more comfortable way to watch for calvingthats the thunderous process of large chunks of glaciers falling off into the ocean.
Things Not To Miss On Your Next Alaska Vacation
Alaska is a pretty big state and has a wealth of must-see attractions and activities! Soar across the plains of Alaska taking in the views of the vast Yukon River and the remarkable Trans-Alaska Pipeline on an airplane made for eight. Set your sights on Denali National Park and appreciate the living tapestry of wildflowers, winding rivers, and bountiful wildlife. Or just stay up late and watch the Northern Lights illuminate the dark skies. Whatever it is you plan to do, get ready to discover nature around every corner.
When planning an Alaskan cruise or land vacation, be sure to allow yourself enough time to see all that Alaska has to offer. Like any other traveler, you want to make the most of your trip. Create an itinerary of unforgettable experiences starting with these six things you cant miss out on during your next Alaskan vacation.
CRUISE THE INSIDE PASSAGE
Get up close and personal with the glaciers and fjords while keeping all of the comforts of home. Cruising through the inside passage offers guest unmatched 360 degree views of Alaska. Norwegian Cruise Lines Alaska cruises will bring you right next to all the action. Let the sights take your breath away as you glide through a place untouched by time and watch in awe as the great Hubbard Glacier cracks and calves in to the Pacific Ocean.
SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS OR AURORA BOREALIS
WITNESS THE MIDNIGHT SUN
TAKE AN ALASKA FLIGHTSEEING TOUR
TAKE A SLED DOG KENNEL TOUR
APPRECIATE ALASKAN WILD LIFE
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Things Not To Miss On Your Next Alaska Cruise Vacation
Alaska is a pretty big state with a wealth of must-see attractions and activities! Soar across the plains of Alaska taking in the views of the vast Yukon River and the remarkable Trans-Alaska Pipeline on an airplane made for eight. Set your sights on Denali National Park and appreciate the living tapestry of wildflowers, winding rivers, and bountiful wildlife. Or just stay up late and watch the Northern Lights illuminate the dark skies. Whatever it is you plan to do, get ready to discover nature around every corner.
When planning an Alaska cruise or land vacation, be sure to allow yourself enough time to see all that Alaska has to offer. Like any other traveller, you want to make the most of your trip. Create an itinerary of unforgettable experiences starting with these six things you cant miss out on during your next Alaskan cruise vacation.
Wait Until Port To Pick Up Anything You Forgot
Its inevitable that youll think of something that you forgot to pack while on the ship. Its just the way things are. If this happens to you, wed suggest waiting until you get into port to pick up whatever you needs. Cruise ships sell staples everything from candy bars to cough medicine but there is an insane markup on the prices. Youll save money and have a wider selection if you wait until the ship ports. There will be a small store or two where you can pick up sundries.
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Sail On A Ship With Lots Of Indoor Things To Do
So much of taking an Alaskan cruise is about the scenery, but you cant spend all your hours outside watching nature go by. Thats why its a good idea to book a ship that has a lot of indoor activities and things to do. Given that the weather in Alaska can be rainy and cool, indoor things to do give you a chance to have fun while also staying out of the weather. In general you can find a lot more to do on the bigger and newer ships say those built in the past 10 years.