Alaska Cruises Going on an Alaska Cruise

Cruise Ship, Rail, Sightseeing, Scenic, Boat, Sea

From the dramatic edge of Glacier Bay to the heights of Mt Mckinley, Alaska is like no other place on earth. With most of its beauty found along its extensive coastline, Alaskan cruises have become one of the most popular ways of seeing the area. The cruise season in Alaska runs from May to September, with the most popular months being July and August when the weather is at its best.

With over 30 ships from 13 different liners cruising its waters, there is enough variety to find the boat and itinerary to suit you. If you want a wealth of entertainment and luxury then large or mega sized ships would be a good option. Potentially carrying over 2000 passengers, these 'floating cities' are not to everyone's taste. As well as being a little impersonal, these larger liners are not able to get close to some sites and will not be able to travel up some of the smaller fjords. Smaller boats of up to 200 passengers focus more heavily on nature and cultural activities. These would suit the many people who choose an Alaskan cruise in order to experience the wildlife as only the smaller boats can get close enough to the shore to get a good viewing.

The cruise ships follow two major routes, with individual variations between companies. The standard seven day cruise is a Vancouver to Vancouver round trip where the highlights include visits to the capital city Juneau, Glacier Bay National Park and Sitka, the former Russian frontier outpost. The other major route runs between Vancouver and Seward and includes a visit to the College Fjord in Prince William Sound and more dramatic scenery. All cruises offer optional land trips from the ports they visit. This might be anything from landing on the glaciers by helicopter to taking a historic train ride to the foothills of the snow capped Mt Hood. You can visit Hells Canyon, thousands of feet deeper than the Grand Canyon, or see the Palouse River where in 1968, geologists discovered the oldest human remains in the Northern Hemisphere.

The style of ship and the itinerary you choose will determine the kind of Alaskan cruise experience you have. Luckily, there is plenty of variety catering for all tastes and budgets.