Cruises

7 best places to visit during the Alaska cruise

Is your bucket list growing by the day? Do you find yourself daydreaming about far-off places? If you’re ready for an adventure, then an Alaska cruise is perfect for you. With its stunning natural scenery and abundant wildlife, Alaska is one of the most popular destinations for cruisers.

Let’s see what the most beautiful and exciting places to visit in Alaska are.

1. Chugach National Forest

The Chugach National Forest spans more than 700,000 acres in southeast Alaska. It is rich in wildlife and offers hiking trails, camping spots, fishing spots, and scenic views.

Hiking and boating are two of the most popular recreation activities in Chugach National Forest. Hikers are drawn to the forest to experience nature. Boaters are drawn to the woods to explore the waterways and enjoy the scenery.

The trail system includes hundreds of miles of marked trails, some passing through dense spruce and fir forests. Others pass along rocky cliffs overlooking the lake.

In the summer, boaters often venture out on the lakes, surrounded by mountains and glaciers. The lakes are known for their calm waters and abundance of salmon.

2. Wrangell St Elias National Park

The Wrangell St Elias National Park is one of the United States’ largest and most remote national parks. Spanning over 13 million acres, the park is larger than Switzerland and contains nine of the 16 tallest mountains in North America. Despite its vast size and rugged terrain, the park receives relatively few visitors yearly.

It is a region of high mountains, glaciers, and volcanoes. 18-20 m of snow falls every year, feeding the glaciers. At times, volcanic activity at the surface can be very intense.

This park is home to Alaska’s largest river, the fish-rich Cooper River, which is almost entirely fed by glaciers.

Those who do make the journey to Wrangell St Elias are rewarded with unparalleled scenery and wildlife watching opportunities. You’ll find grizzly bears, wolves, caribou, Dall sheep, and more in the park.

Wrangell St Elias is one of the crown jewels of the national park system.

3. Denali National Park & Preserve

Located in Interior Alaska, Denali National Park includes six million acres of largely untouched wilderness and is home to North America’s tallest mountain, Mount McKinley.

The park was originally named Mount McKinley National Park before being renamed Denali National Park & Preserve in 1980. Denali, also known as Mount McKinley, is the highest mountain peak in North America, with an elevation of 20,310 feet.

Mixed forests, tundra, high mountains, and glaciers are part of the subarctic ecosystem preserved by Denali.

Grizzly bears, wolves, caribou, moose, and eagles are just a few of the natural creatures found in the park, and visitors can hike, camp, fish, and enjoy wildlife watching in this magnificent place.

4. Ketchikan

Ketchikan is a small town located in Southeast Alaska. It is the fifth largest city in the state and has a population of around 8,000 people. The town is situated on Revillagigedo Island and is known for its beautiful scenery and its fishing industry.

Ketchikan is a popular tourist destination due to its proximity to natural attractions such as Misty Fjords National Monument and Tongass National Forest. The town is also home to the world’s largest collection of totem poles, which are located at the Totem Heritage Center. Ketchikan’s climate is milder than most of Alaska due to its location, making it a great place to visit year-round.

5. Glacier Bay National Park

Glacier Bay National Park in southeast Alaska contains the vast, multi-branched fjord around Glacier Bay, an international biosphere reserve and World Heritage Site since 1986.

No roads lead into the park; the easiest way to access it is by boat or air. Almost 400 000 visitors visit the area every year.

It is perhaps one of the most picturesque panoramas in the world to see the glaciers floating into the bay from the high mountains. Icebergs break off from a dozen or so glaciers. The most famous is the Muir Glacier, which is about 3 km wide and about 80 m high.

The fjords extend 100 km inland, where 16 glaciers are fed by high mountain snowfields in the national park area.

6. Juneau

Juneau is Alaska’s capital city and located on the Gastineau Channel. It is said to be the best cruise port in Alaska. There are many opportunities for outdoor activities in the Tongass National Forest, which surrounds the city, such as hiking, camping, fishing, bird watching, and so on, that visitors are sure to find enjoyable during their stay in the city. Juneau is also home to the Alaska State Museum, which houses a collection of Native Alaskan art and artifacts.

The Mount Roberts Tramway is a popular attraction in Juneau. The tramway takes you up to an elevation of 1,800 feet from downtown Juneau, where you can enjoy stunning views of the city and the surrounding area. Several hiking trails offer spectacular views in the area as well.

Juneau is also a popular destination for whale watching. The Inside Passage, a popular migration route for whales, is near Juneau. You can take a whale-watching tour and view these majestic creatures up close.

The intriguing thing about Juneau is that it is only accessible via a cruise ship, ferry, or plane, and not by road.

7. Sitka

Sitka is a small Alaskan town that offers a lot. Sitka has something for everyone if you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or an abundance of activities.

Sitka provides many cultural attractions in addition to its picturesque location. The Sheldon Jackson Museum is a must-see for history buffs, while the Sitka National Historical Park offers visitors a chance to learn about the area’s Tlingit heritage. Various hiking, biking, and kayaking opportunities are available for those looking for a more active experience. Sitka has something for everyone, no matter what your interests are.

FAQ on Alaska cruises

What is the best time for an Alaska cruise?

Alaska is a land of extremes, including its weather. Alaska cruises are most enjoyable during the summer when the days are long, and the weather is warm. However, there’s no wrong time to visit Alaska; it’s a beautiful place year-round.

How can you save money on an Alaska cruise?

Alaska cruises can be cheaper if you plan ahead.

First, consider the time of year you want to go. Summer is the peak season for cruising Alaska, so prices will be higher. Shoulder seasons like May and September can be a little cheaper.

Second, book your cruise early. You can pick the dates, itineraries, and best rates.

Finally, consider what you want. Do you want all the bells and whistles of a luxury cruise? Or are you happy with a more basic experience? Prices will vary depending on the type of cruise you choose.

Take advantage of these tips to plan a great Alaska cruise.

Does it matter what side of the ship for the Alaska cruise

There are no real differences, even though some may prefer one over the other. Alaska cruises are generally roundtrips, so no matter which side you start on, you’ll eventually end up on the other side. While you may see some slight differences along the way, ultimately, you will see all the same sights.