Top Tips for Cruising Alaska

Top Tips for Cruising Alaska

Cruising through the breathtaking landscapes of Alaska is an experience like no other. As you plan your adventure to the Last Frontier, you're in for a world of wonder, from towering glaciers to majestic wildlife. To ensure you make the most of your Alaskan cruise, we've compiled a list of essential tips that will help you create unforgettable memories. Let's set sail and explore the beauty of Alaska together.

Choose the Right Cruise Line:
Alaska offers a range of cruise lines with various itineraries. Before booking, consider your preferences, such as cruise duration, budget, and the type of experience you want. Some cruise lines cater to luxury travelers, while others focus on family-friendly adventures. Holland America and Princess have been cruising Alaska for the longest and both have a significant presence in Alaska, both on the sea with their cruise ships, and on land with their railcars, lodges and busses. Family-focused cruises may enjoy what Disney Cruise Line offers in the Last Frontier!

Plan Ahead:
Alaska's cruise season is relatively short, typically running from May to September. To secure the best deals and itineraries, plan your trip well in advance. Many travelers book their cruises a year or more ahead of time, so don't wait too long.

Pack Layers:
Alaska's weather can be unpredictable, so be sure to pack plenty of layers. This will allow you to stay comfortable whether you're exploring glaciers or relaxing on the ship. Don't forget waterproof gear and sturdy hiking shoes for on-shore excursions. Alaskan summers could range from 90’s and sunny to 30’s and rainy. As your cruise gets closer, check the local weather and adjust accordingly!

Book Shore Excursions Early:
Alaskan cruises offer numerous shore excursions, including wildlife tours, glacier hikes, and cultural experiences. These can fill up quickly, so book your desired excursions early to ensure you get the experiences you want. You can also think outside of the box when it comes to shore excursions. One of our favorite things to do is rent a car while in port and explore on our own.

Bring Binoculars and a Camera:
Alaska is known for its breathtaking scenery and abundant wildlife. To fully appreciate the sights, make sure you bring binoculars and a good camera with a zoom lens. You won't want to miss capturing a humpback whale breach or a grizzly bear in the wild. Sitting on deck on your ship while looking for animals on the shoreline nearby is an incredibly relaxing way to enjoy your cruise.

Respect the Environment:
Alaska's natural beauty is fragile, so be a responsible traveler. Follow the Leave No Trace principles, stay on designated paths, and dispose of waste properly. Your actions can help preserve the pristine landscapes for generations to come. If you pack it in, make sure you pack it out so that we can preserve the natural beauty of Alaska. One of our Alaska anti-littering slogans is, Don’t Trash Alaska.

Taste the Local Cuisine:
Alaska offers unique culinary experiences. Don't miss the chance to savor fresh seafood, like wild-caught salmon and king crab. Additionally, explore the local food scene in port towns to get a taste of Alaskan flavors. From a reindeer hot dog to a pound of fresh Alaska King Crab, the food here never disappoints!

Buy Local:
With so many shops and shopping opportunities in Alaska, it can be hard to know if the items you’re buying are local, or mass produced overseas.  Look for the “Made in Alaska” logo on items and don’t be afraid to ask if a store is locally owned and if the art you’re buying is made by local alaskan artists.

Enjoy the Scenic Cruising:
One of the highlights of an Alaskan cruise is the scenic cruising. Spend time on deck to admire the breathtaking views, especially as you sail past impressive glaciers. Dress warmly, bring a blanket, and savor the moment. Alaska is a place that consumes you. Take time to stop, breathe, and listen to the land as is passes by.

Stay Informed:
Lastly, stay informed about the ports you'll visit, the wildlife you might encounter, and the history of the region. On-board naturalists and experts offer informative talks and presentations that can enrich your Alaskan experience.

Cruising Alaska promises to be a remarkable journey through some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes on Earth. By choosing the right cruise line, planning ahead, packing appropriately, and respecting the environment, you'll be well-prepared for an adventure filled with breathtaking scenery and incredible wildlife encounters. Make the most of your Alaskan cruise by following these tips, and prepare to be captivated by the beauty of the Last Frontier. 

Til next time, friends-
Adam + Sherri Legg