i wasn’t that impressed with skagway, and the glaciers were the best part.
what cruise line?
well it depends. if you want more getting off the cruise/touristy stuff go with the seattle trip. skagway is pretty boring, but glacier bay is gorgeous and victoria is really cute with tons of little shops (just remember that victoria is in canada). Hubbard Glacier is awesome, but i do have to admit that i have never been to icy strait point. i’m guessing that that trip is more ‘look at the pretty ice’ than touristy. whatever you choose, you’ll love because alaska is one of the prettiest places on earth!
icey straight point was just added to the cruiselines last year. it is ok, great to see some natives and how they live. i liked skagway, very touristy—very old time, mining town. i liked ketchican most. don’t skrimp on the itineraries: get up in the air and see it by float plane or helicopter. i did the dog sled run, it was the most awesome experience ever!
i took a celebrity cruise, which is of the higher end of the commercial lines. i would reccoment them, but talk to your travel agent. different lines cater to different age groups, or if you have kids, etc.
try to choose one with Sitka on the itinerary if you can – prettiest town in the Southeast. June/July are the best times for a cruise here. August is the start of the really rainy season, so bring a warm, waterproof, windproof coat if you’re going soon!
I actually spent 95% of my time on the land – on a trip organized by REI. It was great. We camped along the way from Anchorage to Denali. Actually hiking or kayaking to the glaciers instead of viewing them from afar on a cruise ship.
I’m not a cruise kind of guy. We did do a day cruise from Seward which was great.
I’m not really the cruise type either, but I’m taking my mom on her last trip before cancer takes her. She’s not strong enough to go camping. She’s always wanted to go to Alaska & I think in a cruise ship she can rest whenever she needs to but still enjoy the scenery.
I’m sorry to hear that. Sounds like you’ve made the right choice. Good luck!
I would highly recommend going on one of the cruises offered by Cruise West. They use only smaller (100-200 ft) boats so you get a lot more up close and personal with the glaciers and wildlife. I took their Prince William Sound cruise and it was an experience I will never forget; you simply cannot have the same experience on one of the large-ship cruise lines. Check out their website, everyone loves the company; it is run by very good people. Go with Cruise West, you won’t regret it! Bon Voyage!!
When I went to one of the talks on the ship, I was told that the make lots of changes to the itinerary each year.
I would definatly make sure you have a chance to see Glaciers.
If you want to go Salmon fishing go to Sitka or Juneau.
Some people like to add the land tours at the beginning or the end of the trips.
You may want to leave out of a city that you want to explore like Seattle or San Francisco.
Hi there! Alaska is INCREDIBLE regardless of the itinerary. Personally, I prefer the cruises out of Vancouver – it is a beautiful city and destination in & of itself and can be enjoyed pre or post cruise. Skagway doesn’t have much to offer in town but it is a perfect opportunity to take a neat shore excursion. My husband & I went to a Husky Camp here where they train dogs for the Iditarod and we were pulled by the team on a training sled (on wheels vs. blades), had a lecture from a racer, and got to play with the puppies. We even got a bonus because we saw two brown bears on our way out to the camp!
I have been to Alaska 6 times and still would go back every year if I could! I agree with the person who suggested going with Cruise West or another small ship company (Majestic America is another line that does these). They give you an up close & personal experience that cannot be had on major cruise liners, although they are not for everyone since the ships are very small with limited activities. I sent two different clients on these in the last month and they came home RAVING about their experience!
I am a travel agent so if you would like any assistance with checking on rates or would like to discuss this in more detail feel free to contact me directly at Laina.Todd@AmericasVacationCenter.com or #800-308-0073.
The main thing on this trip is the view while cruising. If you can, get a balcony cabin. Juneau, Skagaway, Ketchikan, all nice, but really no big deal, especially compared to what you see on the way. Out of all the stop-over ports, I liked Ketchikan best. Glacier Bay- Incredible! We got a good camera just for the trip and it was well worth it! I went with my wife’s family last year having previously been on only Caribbean cruises and just completely enjoyed myself. Will definitely do it again. We went on Royal Carribean’s Serenade, a very nice ship; I’m in the remodeling business and was in the U.S. Navy so I’m always nit-picky about Hotels and Ships and I haven’t a single negative to report. The food was great and the service excellent.
Our trip started and ended with Vancouver, and we spent a couple of days there after, very nice, with the exception of an Area around West Hastings and Abbott where it seems all the junkies hang out, we bugged out of there with a quickness, but that’s really ANY large metropolitan area, you go a couple of streets over from the downtown tourist area and oops, gotta go. If you have never been to Seattle, I think the cruise that goes there and Victoria would be good, Victoria’s Beautiful and Seattle, I hear is a lot of fun. Just don’t miss the Glacier Bay thing, take binoculars, and a good digital camera, (I took over 4 gig of pictures)…just scrolled up and saw my wife has made an entry(Miahowl). Look out! a travel agent has just discovered 43 Places!
Back to Alaska: Go! however you do it, Go! but be careful, we came back and came very close to selling all and moving there,(the concept of Winter brought us back to our senses- we live in Fort Lauderdale).
For a shoe string budget, I took a ferry from Horseshoe Bay in B.C. to Nanaimo, hitched north to Port Hardy, then took another and longer ferry to Prince Rupert. Similar view to much of the SE Alaska. I think you might also catch a ferry from Port Hardy or one from Victoria to Juneau.
In my humble opinion, ’tis all good. Just try one. I could pass my whole life in Alaska, British Columbia, the Yukon, Northwest Territories. ’Tis all grand, ’tis. Gather your kit & kiboodle, and on you go! Tally ho!
Kathy Larkin Clark
I would recommend the Seattle Route.
Victoria is an awesome town, you feel as though you just went to England.
Skagway and Glacier Bay are true Alaska, don’t miss them.
I really enjoyed Juneau, but wished I could have spent more time there. Ride the Tram and look at the area from the sky.
Ketchikan is another interesting town, so truly Alaska with lots of history, and awesome scenery. I love the downtown area.
It is so awesome that you are taking your Mother on this Trip of her Dreams. You will be so happy you spent this time with her.
I took my Mother to Hawaii not too long before she died with Brain Cancer and I am so glad we did that together. It meant so much to her and to me and my daughter.
I regret we didn’t do a cruise together before it was too late.
well i went on a royal cariean cruise from vancouver and enjoyed the trip esp. the glaciers…skagway is a nice old place…enjoyed all the excursions offshore…the sea plane for misty fjords…..a helicopter ride on the top of a glacier….icy strait was a pretty island plus the adventure of getting of the ship onto lil boats and reaching the island but no great shakes…keep umbrellas handy.this place has unpredictable rainfall. took a train ride to yukon.a great cruise to take.cheers . enjoy
In my opinion the highlight of Alaska is Glacier Bay. I also enjoyed taking the Whale watching excursion but dress warm for both of these. The colder it was the better the event! Have fun!
We lived there – YEAH! I have not cruised there and not sure if I’d want to. I’m more of a land person – I would not rule it out though. Anyway you can – enjoy Alaska!
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