cruise up the Alaskan coastline has become “the”
vacation to take for people from all around the world. The
spectacular views, encounters with wildlife (from the safety
of the ship) and getting a taste of the native culture are
just a few of the reasons so many flock to this frozen wonderland.
Although there are several different methods people use to
make their way up the Alaskan coast, the outcome is always
the same…the trip of a lifetime.
larger cruise lines offer voyages that begin in Seattle, Washington
and make their way up the Canadian coast to Alaska. These
trips are generally 8 or 14 day voyages that make several
stops at the larger Alaskan cites. Passengers on eight day
cruises usually disembark at Juneau and fly back to Seattle,
or board in Juneau and do the trip in reverse. A 14 day trip
will return passenger to Seattle by ship.
Most of the larger cruise lines are restricted from entering Glacier Bay. However, smaller touring companies will shuttle tourist into this mystical place where icebergs seem to be gigantic clouds floating silently below the towering glacier cliffs. Other ports-of-call along the coast take “cruise ship day-trippers” into the history and culture that make Alaska great.
that choose to travel with the larger cruise lines spend their
days at sea enjoying the many amenities available on the ship.
Casinos, dance clubs, movie theaters, spas, swimming pools
and much, much more can be found on these floating cities!
Not to mention the gourmet meals and amazing snack bar treats
served throughout each day.
cruising companies offer a more intimate look at the Alaskan
coast. Guests of these large yachts will be treated to stops
in some of the smaller towns as well as the larger seaports.
Some of the ports-of-call on these voyages will include National
Parks and native tribal villages. The days at sea may be less
exciting, but most of these tours include Alaskan wilderness
and wildlife experts who will host discussion groups each
day in the common area of the vessel. The meals may not be
gourmet, but they are tasty and provided to passengers as
part of the tour.
of the smaller cruise lines offer wilderness excursions and/or
adventure tours to their clientele. Imagine kayaking in Glacier
Bay, or riding in a small boat next to a pod of humpback whales.
Those interested in fishing can book fishing cruises, while
those interested in nature can reserve tours that focus on
the natural wonder that is Alaska. There are also “extreme”
Alaskan adventure tours available for thrill seekers.
For the budget minded traveler there is always the ferry system. Tourists can catch ferries in many of the seaports in Alaska and one even leaves from northern Washington. Traveling by ferry is not only less expensive, but it allows travelers to explore Alaska in their personal or rented vehicles. Some of the ferries offer what is called a roomette at a nightly rate. These are small rooms with a bed and no private bathroom. More adventurous travelers may choose to pitch a tent or simply roll out a sleeping bag on the deck of the ferry.