Alaska has long been a favorite cruise destination, consistently ranked among the top five domestic vacation destinations. The 49th state’s spectacular scenery – perhaps best seen from a ship – is a consistent draw.
There are two common Alaska cruise itineraries. One focuses on the Inside Passage, the waterway that threads between the coastline of the southeast panhandle and a string of barrier islands. This is a popular choice for a seven- or eight-night, roundtrip cruise from Seattle or Vancouver. The scenery is breathtaking and the towns you might visit – Ketchikan, Skagway, Sitka, Juneau – are historic and interesting.
The second typical itinerary also sails the Inside Passage but takes in some of the Gulf of Alaska, too, giving you more of the glaciers, mountain peaks and wildlife that make Alaska so memorable. These are often one-way cruises, meaning you’ll embark and disembark in different cities. For example, you might go from Seattle or Vancouver to Seward, the closest port to Anchorage. You can sail most of these one-way cruises from south to north or north to south.
That said, two standard paths for Alaska cruising does not mean your choices are limited – there are lots of cruise lines and itineraries to choose from. Here are just a few:
Princess Cruises provides options for its week-long Alaska cruises. One itinerary takes you roundtrip from Seattle to the lovely city of Victoria, British Columbia, then on to Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Glacier Bay. Another departs from Vancouver and sails further north, visiting beautiful College Fjord and ending in Whittier, near Anchorage.
Azamara Cruises offers a 10-night voyage from Seward with stops at Hubbard Glacier, where 400-year-old ice calves into Disenchantment Bay. You’ll also visit Sitka, first occupied by Tlingit and then Russian settlers, plus Juneau, Ketchikan and Victoria before you disembark in Vancouver.
Windstar offers an 11-night voyage that takes in the mountains and fjords of the Kenai Peninsula, as well as Sitka, Tracy Arm, Haines, Juneau, Wrangell and Ketchikan before arriving in Vancouver.
When you cruise Alaska, you may want to see some of its inland wonders, too. Several cruise lines offer a combination of cruise and land tours. Many of these “cruisetours” take you to majestic Denali National Park, while other destinations in Alaska and the Yukon are available, too.
Talk with Ainta, your professional travel advisor, about your options for discovering Alaska via cruise or cruisetour.
Follow & like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/AtthetaTravel