Alaska - Easy Cruise Guide
Posted by Stan Trof
A one-page informative guide to Alaska cruising.
WHAT TO SEE: Legendary beautiful scenery of Alaska- magnificent coastal fjords, rugged glaciers, vast evergreen forests, sky-high mountains, 7 of which are the tallest peaks in North America (to see Mt. McKinley, North America's tallest peak, you'll need to take a tour to the shore into the Denali National Park), abundant land and marine wildlife- moose, kodiak and grizzly bears, caribou, dall sheep, puffin, otters, seals, humpback and killer whales, dolphins, bald-headed eagles and much more. Shore excursions are optional, as well as guided tours in a cruise ship's port of call. They are offered in all Alaska ports and cities and are a great way to enrich your cruise experience with visiting coastal attractions, historical places, challenging yourself in kayaking, helicopter tours, mountain biking,...
CRUISE LENGTH: 7 days on average.There are some 11 and 14 day cruises which include more ports of call and more glacier touring. There are 2 different kinds of cruises available: Inside Passage Cruise: roundtrip departure from Vancouver/ Seattle, usually 7 days long. You cruise the inside passage through the islands offshore from British Columbia and Alaska. Stops usually include Ketchikan, Sitka, Skagway and Juneau. Gulf of Alaska Cruise (or Glacier Route Cruise): You cruise one-way northbound from Vancouver/ Seattle or one-way south from Seward, Alaska. You will see more glaciers on this route and an additional port or two.
WHEN TO GO: The usual Alaska cruise season lasts from early May to late September. Alaskan summers are cool, daytime highs in these months range from 10 to 27 degrees Celsius (50 to 80 Fahrenheit). May and June tend to be the drier months, July is the warmest one. June and July are the best months to watch Humpback and Orca whales, White-Sided dolphins. An additional bonus to an Alaskan cruise vacation is that in summer the days are much longer than they are further south. This is the land of the midnight sun. Your longest days will be in June and July (up to 20-21 hours of daylight) and will offer you many opportunities to enjoy active glaciers. Early and late season cruises (May and September) tend to be slightly cheaper and the ports of call are less crowded. You can check next week weather forecast for Anchorage here.
ALASKA CRUISE TIPS: Northern weather can be unpredictable. Consider taking with you and wearing multiple layers of clothes in response to a wide variety of temperatures and weather conditions. What to pack : waterproof and warm jacket, a sweater, light gloves, rain gear, sun glasses and a warm hat for deck strolling or touring on the shore. You also may find useful binoculars, camera, camcorder, film, batteries and walking shoes. If you need a hair dryer, pack one; not all cruise ships have hair dryers in the cabins. Bargain hunters should look for last minute deals as the last rooms are often sold at very low prices.
Pick the right cruise ship for your style,- some ships are more traditional, other more stylish, elegant, some offer more choices for children, other are more seniors-oriented. The cruise comparison chart below should help you in making the correct choice. Check your cruise itinerary, almost every ship usually includes several formal dress code nights. Dark business suit or a tuxedo would do the thing. Alaska cruises tend to be more casual than other destinatons but items such as cutoff t-shirts, halter tops and torn jeans are still not permitted in the dining area.Tipping is usually $10 per passenger per day. We recommend you to book a stateroom with a balcony. Theview on an Alaska cruise is always changing- mountains, shores, wildlife, marine animals, glaciers, or quaint waterfront communities. You can enjoy it from the privacy of your own balcony, escaping crowded decks.
We wish you a nice and safe cruising!
Visit us at: http://www.travelmake.com/alaska_cruises.html to see our ALASKA CRUISE SHIPS COMPARISON TABLE.
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