How do I plan the ultimate ocean cruise throughout Alaska to experience the epic journey to the biggest state? And, will Alaska cruise excursions provide me fortuitous sightseeing opportunities to bask in the culture and cities truly?
A cruise via a large brand cruise carrier is an excellent way to capture the magic of the last frontier, a bit of the wild west, and plentiful adventure opportunities.
But, what might make an Alaskan adventure of this magnitude even more mighty is that you unpack only ONE time, and you will discover a pristine piece of the continent that will beckon your inner adventurer to awaken.
Dream big (we are), travel bigger, and then sail to Alaska!
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Tips For Planning The Ultimate Cruise Throughout Alaska
We are planning this journey to Alaska, researching, reading, and talking to everyone we know who has taken an epic or a failed cruise because not every cruise delivers epic and iconic experiences.
Choose the wrong carrier, and you might see more of your room from over-indulging on the party boat and less of the actual Alaskan frontier you came for.
- Your initial planning step is figuring out which cruise line is the best for you.
- Take control of your travel budget, and look into the cruise carriers’ offerings, inclusions, and exclusions.
- Talk to everyone and anyone you know about their experiences, and then book.
Then, once you have decided which ocean cruises in Alaska fit your first set of criteria, you move on to the next step.
This step is different for everyone.
As for me, my adventurous side is led by bouts of curiosity about destinations, and I’ve got plenty of travel experience; I am like a human sponge I want to suck up more and more.
When I look at the cruise options and itineraries, I look for a nice mix of coach tours, walking tour options, wildlife adventures, local experiences, and regionalized experiences to experience the iconic area and feel fulfilled when I leave.
I will share a lot more insight below because, as a travel writer, I carefully plan each destination to the point that I will see, tour, and feel fulfilled. Still, I leave plenty of time to act on impulse and see and experience more; I’ll show you how too.
Keep reading. We’ve got more insight on the ship cruise land tour!
Basic Tips For Use When Planning Alaskan Cruise Vacations
Putting a little perspective into an Alaskan cruise wishlist, we want to remind you to be flexible when looking at the many cruise and available journey options.
Planning an Alaskan ocean cruise requires a bit of legwork online:
- a generic wishlist (train ride, what sites to hone in on, cities most relevant t
- general knowledge of the cities you want to see
- searching through cruise lines that sail through Alaska
- Deciding which Alaska Ocean cruise offers your specific excursions
- flexibility in planning your adventures in Alaska
- A mindset that recognizes: Alaska is the biggest state, and you won’t see everything, but you can sample a lot if you choose the right ocean cruise brand.
- reading a lot of reviews on the cruise ship, the cruise brand, and the experiences of past guests
- Understanding your travel budget and what the Alaska cruises offer for your spend
Alaska Ocean Cruise Carriers (a few options)
- Oceania Alaska cruise
- Norwegian Alaska cruise
- Viking Inside Passage cruise
- Princess Alaska Cruises
Make That Iconic Adventures in Alaska Wishlist But Stay Flexible
For instance, walls of ice that sparkle against the sun, wildlife, flora, fauna, and spectacular views are all part of many Alaskan cruisers’ visions.
Still, you will see all the aforementioned, so use the Alaska cruise excursion offerings to further your vision.
- sites of glaciers
- pan for gold in Skagway
- Visit Gold Dredge 8 in Fairbanks
- Pristine wilderness
- White Pass
- Yukon Route Railway
- Sightings of Alaskan bears in the natural habitat
- Viewing bald eagles in the crispest environment
- Rushing on snow on a sled (we did this in Banff, and I loved it)
- Fly fish for salmon (I’ve experienced fly fishing on a dude ranch, and it’s+98+ excellent)
- viewing migrating humpback whales (an enchanting experience)
- Visiting Denali park
- Take a ride on a riverboat sternwheeler.
- Ride in jeeps, SUVS, trains
- Experience ocean-table meals
- Consider foodie experiences
Now each option is just a spattering of what is available, and the options are for specific Alaskan cruises, but you get the idea.
The ocean cruise throughout Alaska provides the ultimate chance to visit preserved life and wildlife without boundaries other than time, which you will never have enough of unless you physically vacation in Alaska.
Alaska Cruise Excursions Are All About Iconic State
Alaskan cruise excursions, wildlife, culture, and sightseeing provide epic and iconic moments that are the souvenirs our hearts will forever treasure. You might unearth something wild within yourself as well.
Ingratiating yourself into the adventures, excursions, and tours will bring you a feeling of oneness with the destination.
We are specifically looking at a 10-day Inside Passage (with Glacier Bay National Park), a roundtrip from SanFransisco, California. We will be referring to that throughout our options for Alaska cruise excursions. (Yes, the passage roundtrip is our idea of perfection)
Note there are 4, 5, 10, and 11 14 days Alaskan Cruises on Princess Cruises, and each differs with offerings and itineraries.
Areas that the ocean cruise for Alaska will cover are:
- Prince Rupert, B.C.
Compare Each Set Of Excursions For Each Port Of Call
Once you look at each of the ports you will be stopping in, you will want to scour the Alaska cruise excursions.
Understand how long you are in port and how long each excursion is to put your time spent into perspective and properly set expectations.
- Do any of the excursions seem the same in each port?
- Do you visit the same port more than one time?
- Are there two different times you could take the excursion in a specific port
For instance, if there is salmon fishing in Juneau, are there 2 different times you could go that day?
Or does the option for salmon fishing also appear in Ketchikan, a different port of call?
If it does, you will want to look at the other optional excursions, research what area is better for salmon fishing (if that is your dream excursion), and book that excursion.
You might have started with the want to kick off your trip fishing in Juneau, but keeping an open mind and looking at each daily excursion itinerary option provides flexibility, and then you can try something else.
In the same manner, if shopping is important, and you have a particular item on your list, figure out which port of call shopping will reign supreme for you to benefit the most.
The key to your itinerary and exploration on Alaskan cruises is:
- keeping a handle on time curfews
- keeping your expectations within manageable parameters
- Googling the most popular things to see in each port of call you will visit.
- Use previous guest ratings for offered excursions to decide whether you should go.
- And remember, you are on vacation; it is not a job; relax.
Once you do that, everything else will fall into place.
Experiencing The Most That You Can On Alaska Cruise Excursions
Now, it’s a very true statement that everyone takes a cruise for their reasons and that we ALL have things we like and don’t, which is why there are so many options.
Do keep an open mind to some of the once-in-a-lifetime experiences that will be presented to you on the ocean cruise throughout Alaska, such as the excursion lists.
To encompass the most that you can on a cruise of this magnitude to such an iconic state, consider planning your excursions list like this:
- One Alaskan port of call for shopping
- An excursion that provides a wildlife adventure in some way
- a cultural experience: a food tour or a farm-to-ocean experience
- Sightseeing experience, whether by boat, SUV, or Jeep, you get the idea
- Figure out what port of call you are at the longest and then attempt to use a personal bucket list that day
This gives you something for each day, and you can reserve one stop for either a walking tour (but do note, not all areas are walkable, so you need to read and plan so you are not disappointed)
What is the average cost for an Alaskan cruise?
You best answer your question. There are cruises for every budget, and each differs in length of time, and where they roundtrip from (some do not roundtrip, FYI), so you will need to look at your trip on your cruise brand of choice that you plan to cruise to Alaska.
What is an Alaskan Inside Passage cruise?
There’s no short answer to Alaskan Inside Passage, but: it’s a breathtaking series of passages through tranquil waters, towering walls, and seaside towns beyond picturesque and unending shorelines. Inclusive of Puget Sound, the B.C. coast, and the Gulf Of Alaska.
Is Alaska Inside Passage worth it?
If you want to be blown away and in absolute awe of your surroundings, the Inside Passage is like a right of passage when you take an Alaskan cruise.
What ocean do you cruise to in Alaska?
This is hard to answer as it depends on where you depart from. Do note that the Gulf Of Alaska provides mostly the Inside passage, so your water is more tranquil overall, but you will need to determine where you are departing from to answer this question. The Pacific ocean is rough.
Plan your Alaska Inside Passage Cruise 2023 now to experience the passage roundtrip and the iconic waterways of Alaska.
Dana Vento is an accomplished travel writer who has written award-winning articles for Niagara Falls, USA, and Cabarrus, NC, and won IG photography for Southern Delaware beaches. Her best stories are on the pages of her passport. Dana offers tips for travel to help you have the best adventures!
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