To date, I’ve been on 8 Alaska Cruises as well as 1 Cruise Tour to Alaska in Fairbanks/Denali/McKinley/Anchorage (You can see my Picture & Video Galleries of all my sailings to Alaska here) and I head there twice more this year… tomorrow & then again in September.
Yes, as I live in Vancouver that’s one of the reasons I keep going back as it’s easy access (think Caribbean Cruises for Floridians) but I also keep going back to Alaska as the people there are Super friendly, it’s BEAUTIFUL, UNIQUE and there is LOTS to see & do in Alaska!!
Since Alaska seems to be busier than ever and lots & lots of clients of mine are taking Cruises up there, below I have compiled the best highlights of Alaska to take part in…but first…
Here is some INSIDER INFORMATION for those of you considering a Cruise to Alaska!
BY FAR, the highest-rated trips that take place in Alaska are “Cruise Tours”… that’s where you do a Cruise (usually 7-10 nights between Vancouver & the Anchorage area) plus some time on land staying in hotels (ideally 6-7 days on Land) in the “Heart” of Alaska visiting places like Fairbanks, Denali, Mount McKinley, etc. as I did during this visit to Alaska: https://gallery.shawnpower.com/CruiseVacations/Princess-Alaska-Cruise-Tour/
Another option is you can simply do a Cruise with NO time on land but keep in mind when you do that, you’re only seeing about 5% of the State in South East Alaska, so the longer you can go for the more “Authentic” of an Alaskan experience you’ll have!
(From a Cruise Ship is the perfect place to enjoy the fresh Alaskan air, Glacial Ice and Turquoise Green/Blue ocean)
If you only want to do a Cruise usually it’s best to simply do a “round-trip” Cruise from Vancouver or Seattle which makes booking your airfare easy and cost-effective…
…whereas the one-way Cruises between Vancouver & the Anchorage area (the ships park 1.5-3 hours away from Anchorage airport) add extra expenses and logistics to worry about and are best only booked if you’re adding a land/”Cruise Tour” component.
FYI, there are literally over 100 “Cruise Tour” options between all the different lines so it can be very confusing trying to figure out which is best for you and, you can trust me when I say, all the Cruise Tours the lines offer are NOT created equally so make sure to contact me to figure out the best “Cruise Tour” option for you.
Not only will I have been to Alaska over 10 times by the end of this year but I’ve sold over 10 million dollars worth of Alaska Cruises & Cruise Tours to my clients so I know the tours extremely well & my clients pretty much do 1 of 2 Cruise Tour options as I know which of them are “the cream of the crop” and include the most important tours & sites, they do the right tour into Denali Park, include the most meals, etc.
Another point I want to make before moving on is that Alaska is the ONE place where you REALLY want to have a Balcony Stateroom!!
Now if you’ve spoken to me in the past you know I’m not someone who tries to push people into booking something beyond what they can comfortably afford. In fact, I tell my clients to stay within their comfort zone when paying for a Cruise but in Alaska it truly is a must to get a Balcony Stateroom unless you truly cannot afford it.
The reason being is because Alaska is one of the most Scenic parts of the world and if you can see an Orca or Humpback Whale breach the water or watch and hear the thunderous roars as building size glacial ice breaks and falls into the water from the privacy of your balcony instead of trying to get your camera high enough over the 100’s of other heads on the top deck who are also fighting for a spot too, you will have a WAY better experience… you don’t want to be frustrated & miss these events as they truly are priceless.
Below are some of the Glaciers & other Beautiful sites I have seen from my private Balconies during my visits… not to mention the other areas you will get to witness as the ship glides through the “Lynn Canal” in Skagway, through the “Tongas Narrows” in Ketchikan, through the “Inside Passage” etc. 🙂
Alright, after all this talk about Alaska Cruises & Cruise Tours you may be wondering why you would want to go to Alaska in the first place… what is there to see & do up there?
After all of my visits to Alaska…
Here’s my list of some of the HIGHLIGHTS of Things to See & Do in Alaska:
An “Up Close” viewing of a Glacier as I experienced on a “Seabourn Ventures” excursion: https://gallery.shawnpower.com/CruiseVacations/Seabourn-Odyssey-Alaska-Cruise/i-RRHRMcQ (FYI, the caption under the picture at that link tells you all about what “Seabourn Ventures” excursions are and the dozen pictures & videos after that one show you some more examples of ways to experience this unique program in Alaska!)
Seeing the Bears feeding on Salmon by taking a floatplane into “Neet’s Bay” (from Ketchikan) or somewhere similar: https://gallery.shawnpower.com/CruiseVacations/Alaska-Hubbard-Glacier/i-Rv5JC9q (FYI, that link takes you to my gallery where you’ll see a dozen or so pictures & videos that show you what that tour was all about) Keep in mind, this AMAZING activity only takes place during certain times of the year so if it’s something you plan to do mention that to me when booking so you don’t go the wrong time of year!
Taking the “White Pass Rail” Train Ride in Skagway: https://gallery.shawnpower.com/CruiseVacations/Holland-America-Koningsdam-Alaska-Cruise/i-8h2Vjt2 (FYI, that link takes you to my gallery where you’ll see a 1/2 dozen or so pictures & videos that show you scenes from that Beautiful Train Ride)
Seeing Wildlife in Denali National Park: https://gallery.shawnpower.com/CruiseVacations/Princess-Alaska-Cruise-Tour/i-MdFjHzr (FYI, that link takes you to my gallery where you’ll see a 1/2 dozen or so pictures & videos that show you scenes from “Denali”)
Whale Watching in Juneau: https://gallery.shawnpower.com/CruiseVacations/Alaska-Hubbard-Glacier/i-XzVLt66 (FYI, that link takes you to my gallery where you’ll see a 1/2 dozen or so pictures & videos that show you some more scenes from Whale Watching in Juneau… and yes, that second pic below of the whale “breaching” out of the water was taken from my own camera/it’s the real deal… amazing site when in Alaska!)
Taking a River Boat ride in Fairbanks & visiting a “Native” Village to learn how to live off of the land: https://gallery.shawnpower.com/CruiseVacations/Princess-Alaska-Cruise-Tour/i-v7sbq96 (FYI, that link takes you to my gallery where you’ll see a 1/2 dozen or so pictures & videos that show you some more scenes from my Fairbanks River Boat ride)
A visit to “Creek Street” in Ketchikan: https://gallery.shawnpower.com/CruiseVacations/Seabourn-Odyssey-Alaska-Cruise/i-3cRg35T (As the picture & the few after it at that link show, not only is “Creek Street” a pretty place to visit with its unique buildings on stilts layout but it’s also where you can see Salmon “running” upstream if you’re there at the right time of year… it’s a VERY cool site!!)
Land on Mt. McKinley: https://gallery.shawnpower.com/CruiseVacations/Princess-Alaska-Cruise-Tour/i-xLJNhtk (FYI, that link takes you to my gallery where you’ll see a dozen or so pictures that show you how Epic of an experience landing on a Glacier can be!!)
Enjoy views of Mt McKinley from your serene lodge: https://gallery.shawnpower.com/CruiseVacations/Princess-Alaska-Cruise-Tour/i-dTxNj38 (FYI, that link takes you to my gallery where you’ll see a dozen or so pictures that show you how Beautiful a place the “Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge” can be to hang out for a couple of days!!)
Eat Alaskan King Crab: https://gallery.shawnpower.com/CruiseVacations/Princess-Alaska-Cruise-Tour/i-XPjm42x
Pan for Gold: https://gallery.shawnpower.com/CruiseVacations/Princess-Alaska-Cruise-Tour/i-DFbCcMK (FYI, that link shows you a couple of more pictures of that fun activity! 🙂
Hike up “Mount Roberts” in Juneau for some amazing views!! https://gallery.shawnpower.com/CruiseVacations/Seabourn-Odyssey-Alaska-Cruise/i-Z9RMppz (FYI, that link & the 1/2 dozen pics & videos after it show you what a Great/exhilarating experience that hike can be!)
Take in a “Lumberjack Show”… I avoided this for many years thinking it’d be corny, but, I finally tried it on Cruise # 6 and as I talk about in the caption under this picture, it ended up being Very entertaining!! 🙂
Enjoy a Scenic Boat Ride & Seafood Fest… all I can say about below is, YUM, it truly was delicious!! 🙂
Feel exhilarated during a “Zipline & Ropes Course” adventure!… I’m not going to lie, I’m not one for excursions involving heights 🙁 but when you’re in Alaska surrounded by lots & lots of Beauty, it takes away from all that being scared stuff as there are so many nice things around you to look at & enjoy to distract you!! 🙂
Not that it’s in Alaska, but you can take a “Rocky Mountaineer” Train Ride from Vancouver which is the perfect add-on to your Alaska Cruise Vacation: https://www.shawnpower.com/rocky-mountaineer-train-alaska-cruise/ (FYI, that link takes you to my detailed review of the “Rocky Mountaineer” Trai Ride)
Well, there you have it…
…these are literally just a FEW of the Unique things you can see & do in Alaska… there’s also kayaking, Salmon bakes, dog-sledding, biking, a lot more hiking, helicopter rides, glacier walks, etc, etc., etc.!!
There’s something for EVERYONE in Alaska so don’t think this is just like the rest of the USA, because that’s the beauty of it- it ain’t!! 🙂
Want more information? Then visit my photo and video gallery to check out my 9 trips to Alaska to get lots of ideas for your next trip there!
AND if you haven’t been to Alaska yet contact me ASAP to get your Cruise or Cruise Tour booked as I’m very confident this is for sure a “trip of a lifetime” that you’re going to absolutely love!! 🙂
Until next time and as always…
I Appreciate You!
Your Trusted Cruise & Tauck Tour Expert!