Top Highlights of an Alaska Cruise

Top Highlights of an Alaska Cruise

Top Highlights of an Alaska Cruise

Posted on May 24th, 2024.

Alaska cruises offer an unparalleled opportunity to explore some of the most breathtaking landscapes and unique experiences in the world. From towering glaciers to abundant wildlife, an Alaska cruise is a journey into a realm of natural wonder and cultural richness. 

This article delves into the top highlights of an Alaska cruise, ensuring you make the most of your adventure.

Top Highlights of an Alaska Cruise

1. Glacier Bay National Park

An Alaska cruise isn't complete without a visit to Glacier Bay National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts over 3.3 million acres of rugged mountains, dynamic glaciers, and pristine waters. Visitors can witness the awe-inspiring sight of glaciers calving, where chunks of ice break off and crash into the sea, creating thunderous roars.

The park is also home to diverse wildlife, including humpback whales, sea otters, and bald eagles. Cruising through Glacier Bay offers unparalleled opportunities for photography and wildlife observation.

2. Juneau – The Capital City

Juneau, Alaska's capital, is accessible only by boat or plane, making it a unique and charming destination. The city offers a mix of cultural attractions and outdoor adventures. Visit the Juneau-Douglas City Museum to learn about the region's history, or take a tour of the Alaska State Capitol.

For nature enthusiasts, the Mendenhall Glacier is a must-see. Located just 12 miles from downtown Juneau, this massive glacier is accessible by bus or taxi, with trails that offer stunning views.

3. Skagway – Gateway to the Klondike

Skagway is steeped in the history of the Klondike Gold Rush. The town's historic district, part of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, features preserved buildings and wooden boardwalks that transport visitors back to the late 19th century.

A popular excursion is the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad, a scenic train journey that climbs nearly 3,000 feet in just 20 miles. The route offers spectacular views of mountains, gorges, and waterfalls.

4. Ketchikan – The Salmon Capital of the World

Ketchikan, known for its rich Native Alaskan culture and abundant salmon, is another highlight of an Alaska cruise. The Totem Heritage Center and Saxman Native Village provide insights into the art and traditions of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian peoples.

Don't miss the chance to explore Creek Street, a historic boardwalk lined with shops and galleries, or to embark on a fishing expedition to experience Ketchikan's renowned salmon runs.

5. Sitka – Russian and Native Heritage

Sitka offers a fascinating blend of Russian and Native Alaskan heritage. The Sitka National Historical Park, also known as Totem Park, features totem poles and the site of the Battle of Sitka, the last major conflict between Russians and Alaska Natives.

The Russian Bishop's House and St. Michael's Cathedral are important historical sites that reflect Sitka's Russian past. Additionally, Sitka's beautiful landscapes are perfect for hiking, kayaking, and wildlife viewing.

6. Hubbard Glacier – The Giant of Alaska

The Hubbard Glacier is one of the largest tidewater glaciers in North America, stretching 76 miles from its source in the Yukon. This colossal glacier is constantly advancing, providing spectacular views of ice calving and towering ice cliffs.

Cruise ships often linger in Disenchantment Bay, giving passengers ample time to admire the glacier and capture incredible photos. The glacier's vibrant blue ice and the surrounding snow-capped peaks create a mesmerizing scene.

7. Icy Strait Point – Authentic Alaska Experience

Icy Strait Point, located near the village of Hoonah, offers an authentic Alaskan experience with a focus on Native culture and outdoor adventures. The restored 1912 Hoonah Packing Company Cannery serves as the hub for visitors, with shops, restaurants, and a museum.

Popular activities include whale watching, zip-lining through the rainforest, and exploring the scenic trails. The Tlingit culture is prominently featured, with opportunities to learn about traditional crafts and storytelling.

8. Tracy Arm Fjord – A Natural Wonder

Tracy Arm Fjord, located south of Juneau, is a spectacular narrow fjord flanked by cliffs that rise over 3,000 feet. The fjord is home to the twin Sawyer Glaciers, which frequently calve, sending icebergs into the turquoise waters.

Cruising through Tracy Arm offers breathtaking views of waterfalls, lush forests, and wildlife such as seals, eagles, and bears. The sheer walls and serene beauty of the fjord make it a highlight of any Alaska cruise.

9. Anchorage – Urban Adventures in the Wilderness

Anchorage, Alaska's largest city, is often a starting or ending point for Alaska cruises. This vibrant city offers a mix of urban amenities and outdoor adventures. Visit the Anchorage Museum to explore Alaskan history and culture, or take a stroll along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail for stunning views of the coastline and mountains.

Anchorage also serves as a gateway to the wilderness, with opportunities for hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing just a short drive away.

10. Wildlife Watching – A Natural Spectacle

Alaska's diverse ecosystems support a wide variety of wildlife, making it a paradise for animal lovers. From the deck of your cruise ship, you can spot humpback whales breaching, orcas gliding through the water, and sea lions basking on rocky shores.

Onshore excursions offer the chance to see bears fishing for salmon, eagles soaring overhead, and moose wandering through the forest. Each encounter with Alaska's wildlife is a reminder of the state's untamed beauty.

Also read Cruising Confidently: Insider Tips for First-Time Voyagers.

Reach out

An Alaska cruise is an extraordinary journey that offers something for everyone, from breathtaking natural wonders and thrilling adventures to rich cultural experiences and moments of relaxation. As you plan your Alaska cruise, consider these highlights to ensure a memorable and enriching voyage.

If you're ready to embark on this incredible adventure, don't hesitate to reach out to us at You Will Travel. Call us at 321-376-2802 or email us at [email protected]. We're here to help you create the perfect cruise experience.

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