When people think of taking a cruise, they most often think about traveling to a tropical destination, boarding a ship and stopping in warm ports of call. If this sounds like the cruise of a lifetime, you may want to reconsider? Taking an Alaskan cruise is just as amazing, and often more so. Here are five great reasons to cruise Alaska instead of the Caribbean:
Cruises to Alaska are offered aboard a wide variety of ships. From the extremely large to the comfortably small, vacationers have their choice. Almost every major cruise line offers an excursion to Alaska, from Holland to Disney. If you’re looking for a huge ship with plenty of activity and fantastic tours, a large ship is what you’re looking for.
On the other hand, if you desire something a bit more personal, you may want to choose one of the smaller lines. Smaller ships offer a completely different experience and are more tailored to off-board activities. You’ll skip major tourist stops and explore hidden corners of the state, and enjoy a wealth of educational enrichment.
Nowhere else in the U.S. can you see such a vast array of wildlife for free. From marine life to land life, animals can easily be seen in every season. Killer whales, humpbacks, dolphins, seals, sea otters, bald eagles, bears and moose call Alaska home. Rather than pay entry fees to a zoo or aquarium, simply step out onto the deck and peer out at the ocean. Better yet, if you’re game, take a specialty cruise and go on a whale-watching excursion.
Glaciers and Scenic Beauty
Alaska is an absolutely stunning state. Not only can you see snow-covered mountaintops – but also delicate flowers, amazing waterfalls and miles of rainforest as well. This variety is something you won’t find in the tropics.
While you may have seen glaciers on the latest documentary, nothing beats seeing them in person. These natural monuments rise majestically from the water, dropping chunks of ice with a thunderous boom. Glacier activity is truly something amazing to behold.
Avoid Tourist Traps
It’s easy to get caught up in the pricey tourist destinations when you land in a port of call, but an Alaskan cruise offers you the chance to do your own thing without feeling like you’re missing out. There is such a wide variety of things to do in the state that you’re guaranteed to get a good feel for all Alaska has to offer.
Whether you’re a hiker, biker or shopper, going off on your own is entirely possible. Take a ride into the mountains or drive along the Klondike Highway; the choice is yours. Stay off the beaten path or ride right down its center, you’ll not be disappointed with either.
There are things you can do on an Alaskan cruise that you won’t be able to do anywhere else in the country. Take a helicopter ride to a glacier, ice-trek or observe bears in their habitat. If the mood strikes, hitch a ride on a dogsled or go crab catching with local fishermen. Sure, you can swim with dolphins in the Bahamas – but can you meet an Iditarod dog or take a trip to a gold mine?
While you’re sure to enjoy yourself on a cruise no matter its destination, an Alaskan cruise has its benefits. If you want to take a cruise that is uniquely “you,” consider one of the dozens of Alaskan cruises. You’ll return home with amazing stories for your family!
Sandy Alvarez is an avid traveler and suggests cruises to Alaska for additional interesting notes on this subject.