Bucket List Vacations - Cruising Alaska

Updated: Apr 29, 2019

So many of us have dream vacations, but between busy careers and family life, planning the vacation often gets put off. “Next year” turns into 2 years, three years and so on… There is not better time than NOW to start planning your vacations.

I love to help my clients plan vacations beyond the ordinary. Are any of these on your bucket list?

  • Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

  • Visiting Antarctica

  • Snorkeling or Diving the Great Barrier Reef

  • Exploring the Ancient Ruins of Petra in Jordan

  • Capturing the Northern Lights

  • Going on an African Safari

  • Visiting the Galapagos Islands

  • Relaxing in an overwater bungalow and enjoy the waters of the South Pacific

  • Visiting the place of your ancestors

  • Sailing through the Caribbean or Mediterranean

  • Swimming with whale sharks. Ok, that is at the top my bucket list. Check out my blog on 7 places to encounter whale sharks.

  • Cruising Alaska... which is what we are exploring today...

Alaska is considered to be one of the last frontiers of the world an the 49th state in the union. It is a gem of the world and often a bucket list vacation. It is a land of ice, bald eagles, mountains, grizzly bears, and the epitome of the American spirit. One of the best ways to see Alaska is by cruise and there are a couple of different ways to do this. There are a different types of ships to choose from and different areas to tour, the Inside Passage or the Gulf of Alaska.

Large Ship vs. Small Ship No ship is better than the other, they just offer different experiences for their guests. Larger ships have the amenities comparable to an all-inclusive resort and they usually stop in all the most popular ports. They also offer excursions like whale-watching and dogsledding atop breathtaking glaciers. The smaller ships are usually more intimate and tend to spend more time in the wild backcountry of Alaska. For example, it is not unheard of for the guests on smaller ships to visit Glacier Bay for 2 days and explore other areas by kayak.

Inside Passage When a cruise is going along this path it will run from the narrow strip near the Canadian border all the way to the Panhandle (which is the beginning of the Gulf of Alaska). This option runs round trip out of either Vancouver or Seattle. This cruise option is the most popular and many of the sights that you will see on this cruise are going to be very similar to the ones that are included for the Gulf of Alaska option. Sights that may be seen include:

  • Juneau- the capital of Alaska

  • Ketchikan- a great location for fishing and a look into the life of Native Alaskans

  • Glacier Bay National Park

  • Skagway- a gold rush town with a lot of history

Gulf Of Alaska These cruises go through south-central Alaska. There are 3 different start points for these cruises, Seward, Whittier (both are near Anchorage), or Vancouver. You will go through many of the same ports as you would if you were touring the Inside Passage, but these cruises are one way. They travel north or south depending on where you start your trip and lend themselves to land excursions before or after the cruise. Some of the stops on these cruises include:

  • Add a few days before the cruise or after it, either, in Anchorage, the Kenai Peninsula or Denali National Park

  • College Fjord- which is dotted with amazing glaciers

  • Kodiak Island- the largest fishing port in the state

Is Alaskan cruise on your bucket list? There are amazing sights, beautiful landscapes, and experiences that you will not see anywhere else in the world. It comes down to figuring out which itinerary is right for you, what type of excursions you want and the experience you would like to have on the ship. These factors will help determine which ship is the best fit for you.

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