What’s on your bucket list? What are those places you dream of traveling to and exploring? My bucket list is rather extensive, and a good portion of the list is made up of cruise destinations I hope to visit one day. (I don’t think this is a surprise to anyone!) In this series, I will be exploring those destinations. Let’s see what they have to offer. Our first stop: an Alaskan cruise!
An Alaskan Cruise: The Last Frontier
Alaska is known as The Last Frontier. It is a land of adventure, abundant wildlife, beautiful natural scenery, and cold. I can do without the cold, but everything else would make it worth the trip!
When I see photos online and read of other people’s Alaskan cruise adventures, I can’t help but be in awe of the entire experience. Instead of drinking a banana daiquiri under the Caribbean sun, guests on a cruise to Alaska enjoy hot cocoa as their ship traverses icy waters. Forget a beach day; in Alaska you might explore a glacier! You won’t be swimming with dolphins in Alaska either; instead, you’ll go whale watching. As you can see, everything about a cruise to Alaska is so different than the typical Caribbean cruises I’ve been on. This is why Alaska is #1 on my bucket list!
The Cost of Getting to Alaska
Cost is the biggest reason I won’t be traveling to Alaska any time soon. Whenever I entertain the idea of an Alaska cruise, I find the cost of a 7-day Alaskan cruise is usually double the cost of a Caribbean cruise. Factor in cross-country airfare and my Alaskan dream quickly falls out of reach!
Cruise-tours are popular additions to Alaskan cruises. These are land-based extensions of your cruise vacation. When I finally get to go to Alaska, I would love to do a cruise-tour to get a more in-depth look at The Last Frontier. As you can imagine, this will only add to the cost of an already-expensive vacation! This is completely optional, but if I’m heading up North I want to make the most of my time there!
Speaking of cost, you can’t go to Alaska without taking some (pricey) excursions! (Well you can, but that’s no fun!) There are so many things to see and do in Alaska, but not nearly enough time to do it all on one cruise. On my dream Alaska cruise, here are some excursions I’d love to do:
- Hiking a glacier – Without a doubt, this is at the top of my Alaskan shore excursion list. Of all the things you can do in Alaska, this is probably the most unique. It’s not cheap, and it’s not easy. But from the photos I have seen, hiking a glacier is totally worth the cost and effort. It’s a great way to burn those cruise calories too!
- Whale watching – The quintessential Alaskan tour! This is on the opposite end of the effort spectrum from glacier hiking. You sit on a boat and watch the surrounding waters to catch a glimpse of a whale breaching the water. There is no guarantee you’ll see any whales, but when you do it must be quite a sight!
- Rain forest hike – I have hiked the rain forests of central America and the not-so-rainy forests of the northeastern US. So it only makes sense I hike through the rain forests of Alaska. This would be an awesome way to get an up-close and intimate look at the pristine nature and wildlife of Alaska.
- Train adventures – Sometimes the easiest way to take in all the beauty a place like Alaska has to offer is to just sit back and take it in from a distance. I close my eyes and envision the beautiful, postcard landscapes visible from the railways. The glaciers, rain forests, and pristine waters. Talk about hitting the Instagram jackpot!
Other Sights to See
Excursions are fun, but you can still experience a lot of what Alaska has to offer at no additional cost! Most Alaskan cruises will take special routes so everyone on board the ship can catch some truly special sights. Whether you’re cruising Tracy Arm Fjord or sailing through Glacier Bay, some of Alaska’s most stunning vistas are on display right from the comfort of your ship.
When I visit Alaska, I also look forward to exploring the port cities. Ketchikan, Skagway, and other ports-of-call up North seem so charming. Visitors always mention how friendly the locals are too. What better way to learn about life in Alaska than to walk the streets and chat with the residents?
I hope to make it to Alaska one day soon. And when I do make it there, I hope I can write a more extensive review that will inspire others to make the trek to Alaska! For now, I ask everyone who has visited Alaska: What are your recommendations for me and anyone else who has put Alaska on their bucket list? What are your dos and don’ts, and what’s on your must-see list?