Chances are excellent that, if you have not yet traveled there, an Alaskan cruise is near the top of your bucket list. As well it should be. With towering snow-capped mountain ranges, colorful villages, incredible wildlife, and unforgettable coastal scenery, there is no other destination remotely comparable that is so easily accessible to North American Travelers. I’ve set out my Favorite Four Reasons to vacation Alaska below:
Few ‘wilderness destinations’ are so easily accessed as Alaska. The 7-night Inside Passage itineraries sailing roundtrip from Seattle are particularly convenient for U.S. travelers and frequently include stops in Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, and Victoria — as well as a day cruise through Glacier Bay or Tracy Arm. One-way sailings between Anchorage and Vancouver –either north or southbound – offer an exciting opportunity to explore part of Alaska’s vast interior. Whatever your choice of embarkation point, you will find multiple, convenient flight options from most major U.S. cities.
Cruise lines typically assign the ‘best of their best’ ships to cover the busy Alaska cruise season. Whether you’re looking for a popularly-priced option with Carnival or Royal Caribbean, a more upscale premium experience aboard Princess or Celebrity, or a five-star luxury product with Regent Seven Seas or Oceania, you will be sailing aboard some of the very best ships in their respective fleets. And coming for the first time in 2013, fans of Celebrity’s popular Solstice-class vessels will be able to sail Alaska on one of these beautiful ships. Celebrity Solstice will sail roundtrip itineraries from Seattle next season.
Whatever your interests or level of fitness, you will likely have difficulty choosing from the incredible array of intriguing port excursions in your ports of call. The perennially popular White Pass Railway provides panoramic views of mountains, glaciers and gorges as it carries you past soaring mountains, glaciers and gorges and a 3000-foot change in elevation from its departure point in Skagway. Wildlife lovers trek after bear, whales and eagles. The more adventurous may choose to land on glaciers with one of the many flightseeing options by plane or helicopter – test their rock-climbing skills – or experience a real-life encounter with The Deadliest Catch by booking The Bering Sea Crab Fishermen’s Tour.
Consider a cruise-tour
Consider including a land tour with your Alaska vacation, even if it means postponing your trip by a year. For most, Alaska truly is a once-in-a-lifetime vacation and wise travelers will want to make the most of it. If you limit your travel to cruise (or land) only, you have lost fully half of the Alaskan experience. Don’t miss the amazing vistas from the glass-domed train from Anchorage to Fairbanks – allow a day or two to explore the raw beauty and incredible wildlife of the Denali Park. Then, board that ship, kick back for those unforgettable coastal views, amazing marine life, and charming port calls. Adding a tour to your cruise is surprisingly affordable – and I’ve never had a client who regretted adding a land tour to their Alaska vacation.
Accessibility, fabulous ships, incredible excursions, and a truly unforgettable destination. Isn’t it time you considered your Alaska adventure? Alaska cruisers frequently book a year or more in advance, so it’s wise to reserve space early while the best staterooms are still available.