Tag: Vacations

Alaska Cruise Vacations

  • The incredible shore excursions and Alaska tours. When your ship is docked in ports such as Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan, you can participate in a wide array of shore excursions, everything from whale watching to bear viewing to riding in a sea plane through some of the most amazing fjords in the world.
  • The cooler weather. I don’t know about you, but when it’s 98 degrees at my house in the middle of August, the thought of head off to a place where it’s 65 degrees is incredibly appealing. The summer weather in Alaska is generally very comfortable, averaging around 60-65 at the coast and maybe 75 inland. It’s perfect weather for outdoor adventure.
  • The whales. I saw everything from Beluga whales to Orca to Humpbacks, and I didn’t even do on a whale watch. I saw most of them from the shore, and amazingly up close. Seeing these amazing animals in their natural environment is just incredible.
  • The rainforest. You may not know it, but southern Alaska is home to the largest rainforest in North America. It’s temperate rainforest (pines instead of palms), but it’s no less lush or dense than the rainforest you’ll find in the tropics, and no less beautiful. Thanks to the precipitation, waterfalls, streams, rivers, and lakes are literally everywhere. It’s all just so beautiful, it never stops taking your breath away.
  • The native cultures. You’ll have a chance to see everything from live totem pole carving to native dance ceremonies. There is a surprisingly large variety of different native cultures in the region (no, not just “Eskimos”), and these cultures have amazingly vibrant cultures, histories, and traditions.
  • The wildlife. Wildlife is unimaginably abundant. On my first cruise, I saw bears (black and brown), Dall sheep, a fox, deer, and a bunch of bald eagles — all in the wild. Kids will especially love seeing the wildlife. It’s a real treat.
  • The waterfalls. I know I mentioned waterfalls already, but they are so amazingly abundant in Alaska, I think they deserve a ranking of their own. There is an especially incredible number of waterfalls lining the steep walls of the fjords of Glacier Bay and Misty Fjords National Monument. Makes sure your cruise stops at one of these places, preferably Glacier Bay.
  • The opportunities for adventure. If you have an appetite for adventure, you’ll love the options available on an Alaskan cruise. Everything from dog sledding atop a glacier to ice climbing to dry-suit scuba diving. And that’s all just during your days in port. Add on a pre- or post-cruise inland adventure out of Anchorage, and you can go mountain climbing, white water rafting, mountain biking — you name it, it’s available.
  • The wilderness experience. There is something just so refreshing and uplifting about being surrounded by sheer wilderness. When you come back from an Alaska vacation, you are simply relaxed and renewed, and, the odds are, you won’t have a sun burn either.
  • The glaciers. Glaciers are the highlight of any Alaska cruise. There is simply nowhere else that you can see tidewater glaciers like these, up close and in action. Watching chunks of ice the size of five story buildings crash into the sea water is something you’ll never forget. It really does take your breath away.