What to expect on a cruise in Alaska

As the first cruise ships return to Alaska’s waters, we check out some of the region’s biggest draws

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We Love…

The scenery on an Alaskan cruise is unparalleled, and there’s nothing like experiencing it from the comfort of a ship. There are lots of incredible glaciers on the cruise routes in this region, but the Hubbard Glacier (pictured) is one of the most impressive, towering as high as a 30-storey building. Passengers can observe it from on board or get up closer on an excursion, offered by operators including Holland America Line.

Hubbards Glacier

Make time for…

The capital of Alaska is surrounded by vast wilderness. From the heights of Mount Roberts, where a tram climbs 500 metres up the mountain, to the depths of Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau is an adventure playground, with miles of hiking trails. Princess Cruises passengers can explore an underground mine, canoe round the Mendenhall Glacier or take part in a salmon bake.


Star attraction…

Located along the Inside Passage, Ketchikan is one of the best places to learn about Alaska’s native cultures. The town is home to the largest collection of totem poles in Alaska and is known as the salmon capital of the world. Visitors can explore the town centre and mingle with the locals, or hike into the surrounding fjords. Silversea’s excursions include a visit to the totem heritage centre, Saxman Native Village and a lumberjack show.

alaska star attraction

Don’t miss…

Nestled in an inlet north of Juneau, Skagway provides a real insight into what life was like in the time of the Klondike Gold Rush. The town lies close to the Canadian border and the buildings are restored in the style of the late 1800s. Norwegian Cruise Line offers guests the opportunity to board a vintage car on the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad (pictured) and enjoy the scenery on the way.

Local life…

The small city of Hoonah in Alaska’s Icy Strait Point is home to fewer than 1,000 people, most of whom are Tlingit people, one of Alaska’s native populations. Hoonah has a fishing and logging history and both are still its core industries. Celebrity Cruises’ Hoonah Sightseeing and Tribal Dance Combination excursion gives passengers the chance to explore, before watching a dance and cultural legends performance.

Hoonah Alaska

Culinary delights…

King crab, smoked salmon and Alaskan ice cream are some of the state’s renowned delicacies, and an Alaskan cruise gives passengers the chance to sample the best food from the region. Streams in Alaska are brimming with fish, and Seabourn’s Halibut Fishing excursion at Icy Strait gives guests the chance to lower their line into the freshwater stream and catch their own. If they are successful, they can enjoy their catch back on board, prepared by the ship’s chefs.

Alaskan King Crab legs on platter, served with lemon and butter, on white background

PICTURES: Shutterstock/Thews Photography, Darryl Brooks, emperorcosar, Izabela23, Arst

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