Inspiration Destinations USA 4 Unforgettable Experiences You Can Only Have on an Alaska Cruise 

4 Unforgettable Experiences You Can Only Have on an Alaska Cruise 

November 3, 2023

Curious wildlife, stunning fjords, sweeping mountain terrain and abundant outdoor adventures are sometimes best discovered by sea – especially when in Alaska.

There is something for every traveller on an Alaskan cruise: scenery to wow along the Inside Passage, wildlife encounters in Denali National Park, whale-watching in Juneau, trainspotting in Anchorage and chasing the Northern Lights in Alaska’s north. With so many once-in-a-lifetime experiences to be had and some of the world's best cruise lines sailing through these waters, an Alaska cruise is a voyage you'll be wanting to tick off sooner rather than later.

Ready to book your cruise escape? Check out Luxury Escapes’ Alaskan sailings

1. Marvel at the incredible Inside Passage 

A remarkable 1500-kilometre-long network of passages along the Pacific Northwest Coast, the Inside Passage is a truly awe-inspiring part of Alaska's landscape. Tidewater glaciers are dotted along the water, fjords teem with wildlife, and charming towns cling to the coastline, backed by temperate rainforest.  Sculpted during the last ice age, the Passage once served as a route for intrepid miners during the Klondike Gold Rush. Today, remnants of that heritage are present throughout the local communities and vibrant ports that dot this breathtaking coastal route. 

Sail through the Inside Passage in-suite glamour with cruises departing from Seward.  

2. Get serious about wildlife spotting  

Many people visit Alaska hoping to encounter the Alaskan Big 5: moose, bears, Dall sheep, caribou and grey wolves. A cruise goes one better by offering its passengers a chance to come up-close to Alaska's equally thrilling sea life, such as orcas, dolphins, seals, and humpback whales, while wide open skies are home to majestic bald eagles. For the ultimate Alaskan safari experience, join a shore excursion through Denali National Park to spot moose, go whale-watching in Juneau, or adventure through grizzly bear territory in Ketchikan. 

Answer the call of the wild on cruises departing from Juneau

3. Ride the scenic Alaska Railroad 

Experiencing Alaska's network of railways is an essential part of any adventure to the USA's Last Frontier. Take in the Alaskan scenery from the vantage point of glass-domed railcars or leave your seat momentarily to make your way to the open-viewing platforms between passenger cars for fresh air and capture action shots of cascading waterfalls. Jump aboard one of Alaska’s many coastal train journeys when docked in port, such as the four-hour Coastal Classic from Anchorage to Seward, named a top train ride in North America by National Geographic.  

For those seeking to savour local flavours, dining cars offer the option to taste regional cuisine and beers from local distillers such as the Alaskan Brewing Company. Keep your gaze fixed on the horizon, scouting for moose, while knowledgeable guides share the history of the wilderness whizzing by outside your window. 

Explore further on cruises departing from Vancouver.

4. Chase the Northern Lights 

Armed with warm winter gear and a camera, witness the magic of the Northern Lights as they dance and glow in hues of green and pink. The best month to see the Northern Lights in Alaska while cruising is in September, as the shortened days increase your chances of seeing this natural phenomenon illuminate the evening sky. Peak viewing conditions are between 12.30am and 4.30am, so cosy up on deck with a warm cup of cocoa, tea or coffee as the ship sails away from the city to reveal neon ribbons of luminescence dancing across the night sky.  

Marvel at the flickering lights with Holland America Line

Check out our collection of cruises here.   

Looking for more cruising inspiration? All Aboard: Why a Cruise Should be Next on Your Bucket List.     

About Annabel Fuller
Lover of gelato and all things travel, Annabel is happiest when exploring new places, soaking in the glorious sun rays and scuba diving. When she's not writing about the most glamorous destinations, she's on the lookout for her next adventure.

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