How About an Alaskan Cruise?

Summer is the time to cruise to Alaska and witness for yourself this extraordinary state that is still witness to a sprawling wilderness made up of animals and scenery. Alaska has 17 of the 20 highest points in the United States as well as the highest mountain, Denali. As for birds, the bald eagle makes its home in Alaska alongside larger-than-life salmon and huge glaciers.

Cruising to Alaska is easy because one of the best ways to get to the state is by water. The waterway is 1000-miles long known as the Inside Passage. All sizes of ships cruise the Alaskan waterways from ocean liners to coastal cruisers. Whatever cruise you choice make sure it offers the special touch that will make your vacation complete.

The advantage of the bigger ship is that it can sail farther from shore and allow you the chance to visit the larger ports such as Juneau and Skagway. The smaller, specialty cruisers tend to concentrate more on the coastline taking advantage of the phenomenal wildlife and scenic attractions.

When to Cruise Alaska

The time to enjoy an Alaskan cruise is from late-May to late-September. One never knows exactly what to expect with the Alaskan weather, however May and June are the driest months with temperatures ranging in the 50s and 60s, July and August in the 60s and 70s and September back down to the lower 60s. If you do opt to go during the fall shoulder season of September an added benefit will be gorgeous autumn colors with occasional early snowfall and the possibility of seeing the northern lights.

Packing for Alaska

As on all cruises, bring a sweater and raincoat because you just never know. Personally, I think using a layering technique is a must — if you wear a sweater in the morning and get warm in the afternoon you can peel the sweater off no matter where you are.

On the larger ships there will be a formal dinner or two so bring a nice evening gown and for men a suit and tie.

Ports of Call

Some of the more popular ports of call when taking an Alaskan cruise are Anchorage, Glacier Bay National Park, Juneau, Ketchikan, Prince William Sound, Seward, Skagway, Vancouver, British Columbia and Victoria, British Columbia.

Shore excursions at these ports range from helicopter glacier trekking to salmon bakes to canoe trips to sled dog rides to city tours. There’s something for everyone and if you don’t want to get off the ship, that’s fine too.

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