Cruising Alaska is a great fun and excitement. Alaska is one of the most preferred cruise destinations around the world as it inspires a true sense of wonder. Where each day is unique and fun filled, as it brings new discoveries, new fascination, awakening the spirit of exploration within you. Vast pine forests and snowy ridges rise into the startlingly blue sky, sounds carry in the crisp, still air: an eagle’s cry, a whale’s song, the distant howl of a wolf and much more to experience here. Some of wonders there could take your breath away and you are bound to carry enough memories in return.
But as compared to Caribbean or other popular cruise destinations, cruising Alaska can be a bit expensive, but at the end you will get value for every single penny spent on there. Generally, seven-day Caribbean cruises start around $800, but the brochure price for an Alaskan cruise on the same ship and same cabin will start about $1000. The cruise season only runs from May through September, and demand is high. Getting to Seattle or Vancouver for embarkation is often more costly than flying to Miami or even to Europe. Summer is the big vacation season in the northwest, and many non-cruisers also choose to head to this beautiful part of the world. Perhaps, the reasons for more expensive cruise here are relatively shorter season and high demand.
Let’s see what are waiting for you. Well, there can be countless wonders and attractions while you are here – for example, the verdant mountains and waterfalls of the Inside Passage, where you’ll find yourself in the company of frolicking sea lions and humpback whales. Similarly, Ketchikan is eager for you to see its Indian totems and feast on its famous salmon. And, the towns of Juneau and Skagway want you to relive the rowdy pleasures of the Gold Rush days…and much more depending upon your individual taste and preferences.
For your Alaska cruise vacation, embark on an unforgettable voyage through Alaska’s Inside Passage. Unquestionably, this 995-mile corridor between Puget Sound and Skagway is one of the world’s greatest cruising experiences. While Cruising Alaska, some of the most preferred ports generally include a selection of Vancouver, Ketchikan, Skagway, Juneau, Sitka, Hubbard Glacier, Tracy Arm or Glacier Bay.
Out of other ports, Glacier Bay can be your most unforgettable one as it is one of the few places in the world where, where you can most definitely get chance to enjoy the most in the lap of nature with a tidewater glacier. Glacier Bay is preserved as a National Monument; and is an extraordinary collection of glaciers in a contained region. Even during the peak summer season only two ships are permitted per day to enter the bay, which is when whales come here to feed. Hundreds of years ago, the ice in Glacier Bay fell as snow on the ice fields in the mountains above.
Compressed by its own tremendous weight, the ice slowly flows through valleys to the sea, where in some cases, it breaks off in great chunks, called “calves,” to float free as icebergs and “bergy bits.”
Glacier Bay is one of the few places in the world where you can get “up close and personal” with a tidewater glacier. Within 1/4 mile you can actually get these glaciers. Along the 60 mile stretch of narrow fjords at the northern end of the Inland Passage, there are six tidewater glaciers. You will first hand witness Mother Nature at work as huge chunks of ice break off the glaciers and crash with tremendous force into the water. This dazzling display is known as “calving.”
Literally there are thousands of wonders present here to take your breath away. You probably can’t enter Glacier Bay without seeing some form of marine life. Glacier Bay is the habitat for a variety of marine life, including whales. The most impressive of the whales is most certainly the humpback as it heaves its massive body out of the water in spectacular leaps, called “breaching”. Humpbacks can grow up to 50 feet in length and weigh up to 37 tons in adulthood. Smaller, but no less interesting are the harbor seals and porpoises, killer whales and sea otters. Other wildlife you may see may include brown and black bears, mountain goats, moose, wolves and over 200 species of birds.
While, Cruising Alaska the six glaciers that you will most likely cruise past will be like, the first brief stop is at Reid Glacier before continuing onto Lamplugh Glacier, which is one of the bluest glaciers in the park, located at the mouth of the Johns Hopkins Inlet. Next is the gigantic Johns Hopkins Glacier seen at the end of the inlet where you are likely to see continuous calving of showering ice. Oftentimes, the inlet is so full of icebergs that ships must avoid the area. Farther north, at the end of the western arm is another quite active glacier, Marjorie Glacier. Located adjacent to Marjorie Glacier is the largest glacier in the park, the Grand Pacific Glacier.
Mainstream Cruises to Alaska:
- Royal Caribbean International
- Celebrity Cruises
- Holland America Line
- Princess Cruises
- Crystal Cruises
- Radisson Seven Seas Cruises
- Norwegian Cruise Line
- Carnival Cruise Lines