Best Reasons to Cruise Alaska

by Mary

The following Alaska Cruise musings offer the most obvious advice I’ve ever given on why you should cruise Alaska. Cruising to Alaska is definitely a common denominator on most people’s “bucket list.” Now, I see why. Demographically, it’s the perfect summer vacation. There is something for everyone, families, senior citizens and adventure seekers. The variety of activities, amazing wildlife and incredible scenery all summon you to come and explore.

I must confess I love Alaska. My obsession began on my first Alaska cruise. Therefore, I may be slightly biased but cruising is one of the best ways to see all that Alaska has to offer and in some cases one of the only modes of transportation available for getting there. Picturesque seaside towns, marine wildlife and Glacier Bay National Park are just some of the adventures waiting to be discovered.

In my opinion, these are the best reasons to cruise Alaska:

The variety of shore excursions/tours available in port: Cruising to Alaska is for most of you an experience of a lifetime. The shore excursions available while you’re in port fall into the same category. You’ll love the options for adventure. You can participate in a wide range of activities. Whale watching, bear viewing, sea-plane flights to Misty Fjords National Monument, dog-sledding and even retrace the steps of miners in the gold-rush days traveling the White Pass & Yukon Railroad. All offered and operated in incredibly scenic surroundings.

Weather & Seasons: Alaska’s long, cool summer days are appealing and provide a welcome relief from the often oppressive summer heat of the lower 48 states. Most days are comfortable with coastal temperatures averaging between 60-65 degrees while warmer weather is typical in the interior. Alaska is ever changing throughout the cruise season. The shoulder season offers an abundance of wildflowers, calving glaciers and migrating whales in the mid-season and fabulous fall foliage towards season end.

Marine Wildlife: Both on deck and ashore my traveling partner and I had front row seats. We saw Killer Whales (Orca), Humpbacks and Beluga whales. The opportunity to observe and photograph them in their natural environment was unforgettable. In addition to whales, we were treated to sightings of porpoise, dolphins, seals and sea otters.

Alaska Native Cultures: One of the reasons we travel is to embrace other cultures. I’ve always been fascinated by the history and traditions of Native North American people. Some of the best places to experience this way of life are the ports of call along Alaska’s Inside Passage. Opportunities to discover Native customs and their relevance abound, from engaging storytelling, and Native song and dance to the colorful and amazing examples of Native craftsmanship, the totem pole.

Wildlife: Alaska abounds with wildlife not only in the sea but on land too. It is, perhaps, one of the last remaining areas where thriving populations of North American wildlife can be observed in their original and undisturbed natural habitats. We saw bears (black & brown), to many bald eagles to count, Dall sheep and moose. Opportunities for wildlife viewing lurk around every corner.

Scenic Beauty: The splendor of our 49th state is stunning. The striking beauty and unique variety of Alaska’s landscapes truly capture nature’s artistry. Dazzling waterfalls, soaring snow-covered peaks, delicate wildflowers, mist-enshrouded rainforest, eventually you’ll run out of superlatives to describe it. You’re amid some of the most awe-inspiring scenery on the planet.

Wilderness Experience: As America's last wild place, the Alaskan wilderness offers unsurpassed beauty, purity, and serenity. This isolated treasure makes for a wondrous refuge from the push and shove of modern life.

Glaciers: Nothing compares to the sight of a monumental glacier calving icebergs into the sea. With a boom and a thundering crash, chunks shear from the wall of ice, sending sprays of water hundreds of feet into the air. Glaciers carve an incredible path through the landscape, dropping rocks, shaping lakes and shedding silt. The best way to grasp this phenomenon is to see it firsthand.

Need more convincing to cruise Alaska? Book it, ship out and enjoy your visit. You won't be disappointed.

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