What to Do on Alaskan Cruises

What to Do on Alaskan Cruises

Alaskan cruises offer a unique opportunity to explore the beautiful and diverse landscapes of America’s last frontier. From stunning glaciers and towering mountains to abundant wildlife and charming coastal towns, there is no shortage of things to see and do on an Alaskan cruise. Whether you are a nature lover, adventure enthusiast, or history buff, here are some activities and attractions you can look forward to during your Alaskan cruise.

1. Explore Glaciers: Witness the awe-inspiring beauty of glaciers such as the Hubbard Glacier or Glacier Bay National Park. Take a helicopter tour or a boat excursion to get up close and personal with these magnificent icy wonders.

2. Wildlife Spotting: Keep an eye out for Alaska’s iconic wildlife, including bald eagles, humpback whales, orcas, sea lions, and bears. Join a guided wildlife tour or simply enjoy the view from the deck of your cruise ship.

3. Go Kayaking: Paddle through calm waters and explore the hidden coves and inlets of Alaska. Kayaking offers a unique perspective to appreciate the untouched beauty of the Alaskan wilderness.

4. Visit Native Villages: Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Alaska’s indigenous communities. Learn about their traditions, art, and history by visiting native villages like Ketchikan’s Saxman Village or the Tlingit village of Hoonah.

5. Take a Helicopter Tour: Soar above the scenic landscapes of Alaska on a helicopter tour. Enjoy breathtaking views of glaciers, mountains, and fjords that can only be truly appreciated from the air.

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6. Experience Dog Sledding: Discover the thrill of dog sledding, a traditional Alaskan mode of transportation. Learn about the mushing culture and even try your hand at driving a dog sled team.

7. Go Fishing: Alaska is a paradise for anglers. Try your luck at catching salmon, halibut, or trout in the crystal-clear rivers and lakes. Many cruise lines offer fishing excursions for both beginners and experienced fishermen.

8. Explore National Parks: Visit iconic national parks such as Denali National Park and Preserve or Kenai Fjords National Park. Take a guided hike or a wildlife tour to fully appreciate the rugged beauty and abundant wildlife these parks have to offer.

9. Go Whale Watching: Alaska’s waters are home to a variety of whale species. Embark on a whale-watching excursion to witness these magnificent creatures breaching and feeding in their natural habitat.

10. Visit Charming Coastal Towns: Explore the quaint coastal towns of Alaska, such as Juneau, Skagway, or Sitka. Stroll through their historic streets, visit local shops, and indulge in fresh seafood.

11. Ride the White Pass and Yukon Route Railway: Step back in time and embark on a scenic train ride along the White Pass and Yukon Route. This historic railway offers breathtaking views of mountains, glaciers, and gorges.

12. Take a Glacier Helicopter Landing: Experience the thrill of landing on a glacier and walk on its icy surface. Learn about glaciology and witness the ever-changing landscape of these frozen giants.

13. Enjoy Local Cuisine: Sample fresh seafood, including Alaskan king crab, salmon, and halibut. Don’t forget to try local delicacies like reindeer sausage or freshly picked berries.

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Common Questions:

1. When is the best time to go on an Alaskan cruise?
The best time to go on an Alaskan cruise is during the summer months, from May to September, when the weather is milder and wildlife is more active.

2. How long do Alaskan cruises usually last?
Alaskan cruises can vary in duration, but most commonly range from 7 to 10 days.

3. What should I pack for an Alaskan cruise?
It is recommended to pack layers of clothing, including waterproof and windproof outerwear, as the weather can change quickly. Don’t forget essentials such as binoculars, a camera, and comfortable walking shoes.

4. Are Alaskan cruises suitable for families?
Yes, Alaskan cruises are suitable for families. Many cruise lines offer family-friendly amenities and activities, including kids’ clubs and educational programs about Alaska’s wildlife and culture.

5. Can I see the Northern Lights on an Alaskan cruise?
While it is possible to see the Northern Lights during an Alaskan cruise, sightings are more common in the winter months.

6. Do I need a passport for an Alaskan cruise?
If your Alaskan cruise starts or ends in Canada, you will need a valid passport. Otherwise, a government-issued photo ID and birth certificate are usually sufficient.

7. Are there any age restrictions for certain activities?
Some activities, such as dog sledding or helicopter tours, may have age restrictions. It is best to check with your cruise line for specific guidelines.

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8. Can I book excursions independently or should I go through the cruise line?
You have the option to book excursions independently or through the cruise line. However, booking through the cruise line ensures convenience, as they take care of transportation and timing.

9. Are Alaskan cruises wheelchair accessible?
Many cruise lines offer wheelchair-accessible cabins and facilities. However, accessibility may vary depending on the ship and the specific itinerary.

10. Can I see wildlife from the cruise ship?
Yes, wildlife sightings from the cruise ship are common, especially whales and sea birds. However, joining a guided wildlife tour will increase your chances of spotting a wider variety of wildlife.

11. Are there any opportunities for hiking on an Alaskan cruise?
Yes, many cruise lines offer guided hikes in national parks or other scenic areas. These hikes cater to different fitness levels and provide an opportunity to explore Alaska’s wilderness up close.

12. Are there any opportunities for shopping during an Alaskan cruise?
Yes, many coastal towns in Alaska offer shopping opportunities, including local arts and crafts, jewelry, and souvenirs. The larger towns and cities also have shopping centers and boutiques.

13. What is the best way to capture the beauty of Alaska on camera?
To capture the beauty of Alaska on camera, it is recommended to bring a DSLR or a mirrorless camera with a wide-angle lens to capture the vast landscapes. Additionally, a telephoto lens can be useful for wildlife photography. Don’t forget extra batteries and memory cards.