Best Alaska Shore Excursions | Cruise Critic (2022)

Best Alaska Shore Excursions | Cruise Critic (1)

Kayaker in Alaska (Photo: Holland America)

Best Alaska Shore Excursions | Cruise Critic (2)

Kayaker in Alaska (Photo: Holland America)

Best Alaska Shore Excursions | Cruise Critic (3)Best Alaska Shore Excursions | Cruise Critic (4)

Elissa Garay

Contributor

(Video) top 5 shore excursions in Alaska

Alaska shore excursions are a blend of soft adventure, cultural explorations and tours focusing on stunning scenery and wildlife. The best Alaska cruise excursions involve all of those aspects to create a surprising experience that ticks off all of your bucket-list expectations. Think: flightseeing over Misty Fjords in Skagway, a ride on the White Pass Railway, visit to the Sitka Raptor Center or a thrilling Alaska glacier helicopter tour?

Alaska attracts a wide mix of cruisers, so cruise and excursion companies offer a blend of active itineraries -- hiking, biking and kayaking -- in addition to tours for history-lovers, those interested in Indigenous culture and those looking for pure entertainment. There is truly something for every taste.

Read on for our favorite Alaska shore excursions at some of Alaska's most visited ports.

Juneau Excursions

Best Alaska Shore Excursions | Cruise Critic (5)

Alaska Helicopter Tour: Four Glaciers and Dogsled Adventure

Juneau shore excursions span a wide range on the wow-factor scale, but this combo glacier helicopter tour is undeniably a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As if the ride in a helicopter over glaciers and landing on an actual glacier weren't exhilarating enough, you can also pretend you're in the Iditarod by getting on a real dogsled.

This shore excursion flies over the massive and impressive Juneau Icefield and see the advancing Taku Glacier up close. You might also see the cascading Hole-in-the-Wall Glacier, the floating Dead Branch Glacier or the river-like East Twin Glacier before landing on Norris Glacier, home to a mushing camp. From the helicopter, you could also spot bears, moose, mountain goats and other wildlife.

Once you land, your guide will take you on a dogsled ride over the snow-covered glacier and describe the 1,000-mile Iditarod race from Anchorage to Nome.

Related: Everything You Need to Know for a Perfect Alaska Adventure

Rainforest Canopy and Zipline Adventure

The Juneau zipline glides above the treetops on Douglas Island (accessed by a high-speed channel crossing from Juneau aboard an expedition craft, which is an adventure of its own). And if you dare to look down, you'll also see the flora and fauna of a rainforest and the remains of an old gold mining operation.

This is a real adventure experience. You are hauled up a mountain in a 4x4, geared up with a harness, gloves and a helmet, and with the direction of trained guides are sent to glide down a mountain on a zipline that runs between tree-top platforms.

(Video) The Best Alaska Cruise Shore Excursions

The experience feels a lot like flying. You have a little (but not much) control of your speed and can more or less steer yourself into the platforms. Be aware that once you are above the trees, there is no getting off the track. And just when you think, "Wow, I've done it," you have to rappel down a rope to reach the ground.

Helicopter Flightseeing and Extended Glacier Trek

This combo tour in Juneau includes both a helicopter tour and glacier trek. On this adventure, you'll check out the local terrain from above with a helicopter flightseeing experience. But the real action begins when you learn to climb up and rappel down glaciers using special equipment. The best part is that no experience is needed; a guide will instruct you in the use of the provided mountain gear, which includes boots, an ice ax and crampons. It's not easy, but the experience is otherworldly.

Skagway Excursions

Best Alaska Shore Excursions | Cruise Critic (6)

White Pass Railway

The White Pass Scenic Railway is one of the most popular Skagway shore excursions, especially on a clear day. It’s a historic narrow gauge railway that was built into amazingly rugged and beautiful terrain some 120 years ago. It follows the same Trail of '98 route taken in the late-19th century by a steady stream of gold prospectors looking for Yukon gold. Those prospectors did it on foot and often, in wet, muddy conditions or frigid temperatures.

These days, you'll travel in the comfort of old-fashioned rail cars, and the route takes you up the 2,865-foot summit of the White Pass, through tunnels and over sky-high trestles, past remote valleys and sights like Bridal Veil Falls, Inspiration Point and Dead Horse Gulch -- so named because so many miners lost their horses there.

For those seeking a more active way to see the White Pass, we highly recommend you book the White Pass Train & Bike Tour. You take the train up the Pass and then get off at Fraser (which is in British Columbia, Canada -- so bring your passports) for an additional 15-minute van ride to the White Pass summit. You'll then bike 15 miles down the Klondike Highway on a guided summit-to-sea tour back to Skagway. Along the way, you stop at waterfalls and other spectacular overlooks.

Related: Six Tips for Cruising Alaska on a Budget

Musher's Camp and Sled Dog Experience

You'll begin this trip with a 35- to 40-minute bus ride to the remnants of the nearby ghost town of Dyea, which was Skagway's biggest competition during the gold rush days. It's now set within the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park as the site of a dog musher's camp. Once there, you'll board an all-terrain vehicle called a Unimog, which will take you up a rugged mountain road to where the mushers keep their dogs.

There, you'll be assigned to a special wheeled summertime sled (there's no snow at this time of year), where you'll grab a seat and prepare to have a team of eager huskies speed around a mile of twists and turns in the crisp mountain air. Your assigned musher will introduce you to the dog team, fill you in on the sport of sled-dog racing and snap some photos of you along the way.

After your sledding experience, you'll have a chance to play with sled dog puppies. This is also a nice (and more affordable alternative) if you're unable to take the glacier dog-sledding flightseeing excursion in Juneau.

Skagway Glacier Point Wilderness Safari

Board a custom-built enclosed expedition boat for a 60- to 70-minute ride through fjords and rainforests with an abundance of wildlife and spectacular views. Upon your arrival at Glacier Point, a remote beach, you'll set out on a short drive and hike, before boarding a 31-foot-long canoe for a paddle up to the face of Davidson Glacier. Consider this excursion if you'd like to see a glacier up close without spending the money on a helicopter tour.

Icy Strait Point Excursions

Best Alaska Shore Excursions | Cruise Critic (7)

ZipRider Zipline Adventure

The Icy Strait Point zipline is 5,330 feet long and with a vertical drop of 1,330 feet. But this excursion begins with a narrated bus tour through the Indigenous Tlingit village of Hoonah and up a mountainside. Once you've reached the launching area, you'll be harnessed for your ride down the mountain in a seat attached to a thick cable. (There are six cables side by side, so up to a half-dozen participants can do the ride at the same time.)

Check out the views if you dare to open your eyes as you literally zip down the mountain at speeds of roughly 60 miles per hour. Screaming is, of course, not required (but just might make the ride more fun). At certain points, you are 300 feet above the forest floor and might also catch views of Port Frederick, Icy Strait and your cruise ship.

The ride takes only 90 seconds before your gentle, brake-activated touchdown on the beach. For even more adventure, some tours combine the Icy Straight Point zipline with an ATV ride.

Related: What I Learned on My First Cruise to Alaska

Cooking in Alaska's Wildest Kitchen

Aspiring chefs can spend one-and-a-half hours learning about Alaskan seafood, local fishing and cooking techniques on this interactive foodie outing. A local fisherwoman/"wilderness chef" will lead a demo on fish fileting, then bring you outside where you can learn to grill the day's catch over a large wood grill. While you listen and cook, nibble on salmon and halibut dishes, as well as local veggies. At the end, you'll have newfound culinary knowledge to take home as a souvenir. Plus, it leaves plenty of time for further exploration in Icy Strait Point.

Sitka Excursions

Best Alaska Shore Excursions | Cruise Critic (8)

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Sitka Raptor Center and Indigenous Tales

The Sitka, Alaska Raptor Center is home to view birds of prey, including bald eagles, up close. Sitka is also noteworthy among Alaska towns for its strong Russian and Tlingit heritage. This tour combines the work done at the raptor center with Sitka's cultural side.

In Sitka, you can see St. Michael's, the first Russian Orthodox cathedral in America and visit the forested Sitka National Historical Park (where in 1804 the Battle of Alaska was fought between the Russians and native Tlingits). Today the park houses a collection of totem poles. Castle Hill, where the post-Alaska Purchase flag was first flown by the U.S. in 1867, is another popular spot, while Tlingit stories and songs can be seen in a traditional-style clan house in Sitka.

Wild Arts Artist Walk: Hot Italian Glass

On this two-and-a-half-hour excursion, you'll walk through the small city of Sitka -- once known as the Paris of the Pacific -- with a guide, stopping at various art galleries and artisan ateliers along the way. Witness everything from wood-carving and ceramic work to jewelry-making and glass-blowing, before trying your hand at Venetian glass-blowing yourself. You'll also have free time at the end to browse a gallery and to shop for souvenirs. This tour is ideal for anyone who wants to take a short excursion and still have enough time left in the day to explore Sitka on their own.

Related: The Best Time to Cruise Alaska

Salmon and Halibut Fishing: Catch and Ship

There's good fishing off Sitka, and with this full-day, small-group excursion, you hit the waters in search of king, silver or chum salmon, as well as Sitka is known for its salmon and halibut fishing trips. With this full-day, small-group excursion, you hit the waters in search of king, silver or chum salmon, as well as halibut. The captain will take you to known fishing spots where various techniques -- weather permitting -- are employed for salmon fishing and halibut fishing. Be aware that small boats on the open sea can make swells and wind chop feel all the stronger.

You'll need to buy a one-day fishing license from the captain of the small boat for $15 cash, as required by Alaska law. Also, in May and June, you need an additional $15 king salmon stamp. If you catch a fish, you can have it packaged and shipped home for an additional fee, though your catch will not be permitted back onboard the ship.

Seward Post-Cruise Excursion

Best Alaska Shore Excursions | Cruise Critic (9)

A Seward Glacier Cruise: Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise and Alaska SeaLife Center

This excursion combines a scenic cruise through Kenai Fjords National Park with a visit to the Alaska SeaLife Center. It's a full-day outing. At the SeaLife Center, get up-close views of seals, walruses, sea otters and seabirds. Then, it's off for a 5-hour, park ranger-led sailing through the national park's Resurrection Bay, where you can view Bear Glacier and wildlife like whales and bald eagles. An all-you-can-eat salmon and prime rib lunch buffet is also included.

Like Whittier (farther below), Seward is most often used as an embarkation and debarkation port. As such, this is an excursion that's also limited to participants who are sailing on back-to-back cruises to/from Seward if you buy through the line. It's also open to those who are ending their sailing in Seward with a late-night flight out of nearby Anchorage (or with an overnight stay in the city), in which case the tour includes an airport transfer, too. Unlike Prince William Sound in Whittier, note that those with motion sickness should take precautions since the Resurrection Bay waters can be a bit choppy.

Ketchikan Excursions

Best Alaska Shore Excursions | Cruise Critic (10)

Ketchikan’s Misty Fjords Flightseeing by Floatplane

Misty Fjords National Monument is a Kethickan must-see, and on this flightseeing tour you view the magnificent scenery with a bird's-eye view from a seaplane. This pristine park encompasses nearly 2.3 million acres of sheer granite cliffs, imposing waterfalls, sparkling fjords and thick forests. The seaplane will also briefly land on water within the park to give you a taste of the serenity down below.

The tour is not only narrated; it's also set to inspirational music. You're not likely to see any scenery prettier than this, and you'll stand a good chance of spotting wildlife like eagles, bears, mountain goats, deer and wolves.

Bering Sea Crab Fishermen's Tour (The "Deadliest Catch" Tour)

Fan of the Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch" (or just enjoy seeing fishermen in action)? Then Ketchikan's Bering Sea Crab Fisherman's Tour is the shore excursion for you. Those who book it will ride along on Aleutian Ballad, a fishing boat featured in the second season of "Deadliest Catch."

While sailing the calm, protected waters of the Inside Passage (as opposed to the more treacherous fishing ground of the Bering Sea), you'll witness part of a day in the life of commercial fishermen, as they haul in their latest catch of Alaskan king crab, halibut, octopus, shrimp and more.

Related: Your Cheat Sheet to Alaska Luxury Cruises

Saxman Native Village

Your experience of Alaska should include a healthy dose of Indigenous culture and history. This two-and-a-half-hour tour takes you to an Indigenous village just a short ride from Ketchikan where the Tlingits welcome guests and offer a taste of their culture. After a tribal ceremonial greeting and short video program, you enter the Beaver Clan House for a song, dance and storytelling presentation.

You then head to Saxman Totem Park, home to one of the largest collections of authentic totems in the world, where your guide will help explain the stories and meanings behind the poles. Poles are still created here at the Village Carving Center, where expert craftsmen pass along their skills to apprentices. Indigenous art and souvenirs are offered for sale.

Mountain Point Snorkeling Adventure

It's true: You really can snorkel in Alaska. You'll start out with a quick trip to the dive shop, where your guides will outfit you in head-to-toe wet suits thick enough to make even the most frigid waters comfortable (though temperatures here can reach as high as 65 degrees in summertime).

Once you're geared up, it's on to the shallow tide pools of Mountain Point, where you'll snorkel with your guides over kelp forests, through schools of fish and past sea stars and sea cucumbers -- with ample time to ask questions. After about an hour in the water, you'll head back to the dive shop, where a hot beverage caps a perfect day.

Haines Excursions

Best Alaska Shore Excursions | Cruise Critic (11)

Wilderness River Adventure

The Wilderness River Adventure is a great Haines shore excursion for wildlife enthusiasts. The excursion begins with a narrated bus ride along the Haines Scenic Byway. You then transfer to the glacially carved Chilkat River on a flat-bottom boat where you will traverse a remote section of the renowned Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. The goal of the guided boat ride is to spot as many bald eagles as you can (keep an eye out for nests in the trees) and -- if you're lucky -- bears, moose and other wildlife as well. Lunch is served in a heated pavilion, and staff also stoke a roaring campfire to help you beat the chill and relax.

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Whittier Post-Cruise Excursions

Best Alaska Shore Excursions | Cruise Critic (12)

Whittier Glacier Cruise

This five-hour, high-speed catamaran trip runs out of Whittier into the wilderness of Prince William Sound. Look out for 26 different glaciers en route, along with wildlife on land (like bears and mountain goats), sea (sea otters, seals, porpoises, sea lions and whales) and sky (look out for eagles and visit a bird rookery). Park ranger narration is included, as is a hot meal.

Though Whittier -- set about 65 miles southeast of Anchorage -- is most commonly used as an embarkation/debarkation port, the glacier-filled sound is well worth making time to explore. Just note that if you're booking the tour through your cruise line, it's only open to cruisers on back-to-back voyages that both end and then begin here, or for passengers ending their cruise in Whittier, followed up by either a late-night flight out or overnight stay in Anchorage.

Accordingly, passengers can opt in for a version of the excursion that includes a post-tour motor coach transfer to Anchorage hotels and its airport.

Updated June 23, 2022

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FAQs

What are must sees on an Alaskan cruise? ›

10 Things to Do on an Alaska Cruise
  • 01 of 10. See Whales. ...
  • 02 of 10. Ride the White Pass and Yukon Route Railway. ...
  • 03 of 10. Visit Glacier Bay National Park. ...
  • 04 of 10. See Bald Eagles on the Chilkat River. ...
  • 05 of 10. Ride in a Helicopter. ...
  • 06 of 10. Go Dog Sledding. ...
  • 07 of 10. Ride the Alaska Grandview Train. ...
  • 08 of 10.
May 28, 2020

Where is Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier? ›

This narrow fjord is located approximately 50 miles southeast of Juneau and is part of the Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness area. Breathtaking Endicott Arm extends over 30 miles long, with nearly one-fifth of its area covered in ice.

Which side of ship is best on Alaska cruise? ›

Northbound Alaska cruises sail up the coastline through the Inside Passage and along Hubbard Glacier, so your best view of Alaska's scenic landmasses are likely on the starboard side of the ship.

What is the best month to go on an Alaska cruise? ›

Traditionally, July and August have been considered the best time to cruise to Alaska, as these months offer warm sun, long days, and abundant wildlife.

What tours to take in Alaska? ›

The 23 Best Alaska Tours
  • Phillips Cruises – 26 Glacier Cruise.
  • Ketchikan Kayak Company – Kayak Eco-Tour.
  • Alpine Air Alaska – Glacier Landing Tour.
  • Rust's Flying Service – Discover Denali National Park.
  • Lazy Otter Charters – Best of Prince William Sound.
  • Alaska Wildlife Guide – Arctic Circle & Northern Lights Tour.
Apr 28, 2021

Do you have to do excursions on an Alaskan cruise? ›

From kayaking near glaciers to ziplining through the rainforest, exploring the state's vast wilderness is a must-do while on an Alaska cruise. It's a good idea to research your Alaska cruise ports in advance to see what excursions and opportunities are available.

What kind of excursions are available in Icy Strait Point? ›

Best Icy Strait Point Tours & Excursions:
  • Whale Watching.
  • Bear Viewing on Chicagof Island.
  • Tlingit Canoe Tour.
  • Hoonah.
  • Stream Fishing.
  • Yaakw Kahidi Cultural Center.

Can you walk from cruise ship to Ketchikan? ›

It's an easy walk from the Cruise Ship dock. If you're on the town's free shuttle bus, it's stop K. Potlatch Park was built on the old fishing grounds of the Tlingit Natives of Southeast Alaska, just 10 miles north of Ketchikan.

Can you walk around Ketchikan? ›

Getting around Ketchikan

Ketchikan is an easy place to navigate without a car and I wouldn't recommend having one for a visitor. You can walk everywhere downtown and there is a surprisingly good bus system for such a small town! Anywhere you can't walk to or take the bus to, you can get to in a short taxi ride.

Is Ketchikan worth visiting? ›

Sightseeing. Ketchikan is a small town of only 8,000 residents, it is full of fun things to see. You might even come across some of the beautiful wildlife residing in the surrounding forest, like bears and bald eagles, or whales and seals in the ocean.

Is Dawes Glacier worth visiting? ›

It offers guests the opportunity to wake up every morning and witness soaring cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and wild animal sightings. One of the most popular portions of an Alaska cruise is scenic cruising through the Tracy Arm Fjord or the Endicott Arm Fjord.

Which is better Tracy Arm or Glacier Bay? ›

Tracy Arm, know that Glacier Bay is a sure win. Scenic cruising down Tracy Arm is easily canceled if the number of icebergs floating in the fjord are deemed too dangerous for ships. Some ships might make it partway down the waterway, but have to turn around before reaching the glaciers at the end.

Is Glacier Bay a must for Alaska cruise? ›

Since access to Glacier Bay is tightly controlled, only a limited number of cruise ships are allowed to visit Glacier Bay National Park each season. Spending a day in Glacier Bay is a must for an Alaska cruise, whether it's your first time visiting Alaska or your tenth voyage there.

Is Icy Strait Point worth visiting? ›

It is absolutely worth the experience to walk at least one way to town. The town is small, so it won't take too much time to visit, but it is worth the effort.

Can you see whales from shore at Icy Strait Point? ›

Whale sightings are guaranteed on Icy Strait Point's Whale and Marine Mammals Cruise. We've never had to give a refund, btw, so your chances of seeing humpback whales on a whale watching tour in mid-May are extremely high. Orca may also be seen but they're much more mobile so seeing them is less predictable.

Is Icy Strait the same as Glacier Bay? ›

Glacier Bay is the principal tributary to Icy Strait-Cross Sound, a large passage that links the northern waters of the Alexander Archipelago to the open sea. Secondary inlets join this waterway from the north and south.

How do I spend a day in Ketchikan? ›

Best Things to Do in Ketchikan in a Day
  1. Walk Around the Waterfront. ...
  2. Visit a Former Bordello (Dolly's House Museum) ...
  3. Admire the Native American Totem Poles. ...
  4. Take a Boat Trip Through the Misty Fjords. ...
  5. Have Lunch at the Fish Pirates Saloon. ...
  6. Go Salmon Fishing With the Locals.
Sep 22, 2021

What makes Ketchikan unique? ›

Ketchikan is home to the highest zip code in the U.S.: 99950. Ketchikan is home to the world's largest collection of standing totem poles. Most are located in Saxman Totem Park, Totem Bight State Park, Potlatch Park, and the Totem Heritage Center, and you can see some throughout the town.

Do you need a car to get around Ketchikan? ›

Ketchikan Travel is easy and can be accessed in a variety of ways, especially if you're not bringing a vehicle. If you are driving to Ketchikan, the only option is the Alaska State ferry. The common joke around here is that there are two ways to get in (air or boat) but only one way to get out....

Is Uber available in Ketchikan Alaska? ›

Reserve a ride with Uber in advance at Ketchikan International Airport. Complete your plans today by reserving a ride with Uber to Ketchikan International Airport. Request a ride up to 30 days before your flight, at any time and on any day of the year.

Are there moose in Ketchikan Alaska? ›

Sitka black-tailed deer, mountain goats and black bear are the most abundant big game in the Ketchikan area. There are small pockets of moose on rivers coming out of the mainland. Wolves are common throughout the area.

Is there a glacier in Ketchikan? ›

From sea level, visitors frequently see wildlife, view pictographs (Native rock art) and waterfalls along the steep cliff walls. From the air, experience a bird's eye view of the monument and its cliff-top lakes, alpine valleys, glaciers and even mountain goats making their way across rocky cliffs.

Can I see the northern lights in Ketchikan? ›

Hordes of Japanese tourists descend on Fairbanks over the winter just to see the Alaska Aurora Borealis. In Alaska, they can be seen as far south as Ketchikan.

Is Misty Fjords worth seeing? ›

Misty Fjords National Monument is an exquisite national treasure. It is located 22 miles east of Ketchikan, Alaska, and spans an incredible 2.3 million acres. This breathtakingly beautiful fjord was officially established as a national monument in 1978 by President Jimmy Carter.

How do you get around in Ketchikan Alaska? ›

Municipal buses run hourly seven days a week and provide service on major streets and to larger residential areas. Adult fares are $2, passes and youth fares are also available. Taxis, which provide 24-hour service, are also on hand to meet airport ferry and state ferry arrivals. Rates are $3.70 drop/$3.50 per mile.

Is Glacier Bay better than Hubbard? ›

While spectacular, Hubbard is just one glacier, whereas Glacier Bay consists of many glaciers; sailing Glacier Bay takes several hours and is an iconic Alaska cruise experience. Hubbard can be hard to get to at certain times of the cruise season when the weather is cold, as ice can block ships from passing too near.

Is Hubbard Glacier worth seeing? ›

One of the stops was the Hubbard glacier it is definitely very impressive and I'm glad that we got to see. This particular cruise also did Traci's arm/Sawyer glacier this was a very very impressive part of the cruise.

Does celebrity go to Glacier Bay? ›

Luckily, Celebrity Cruises offers travelers the chance to visit three different iconic glacier destinations during a cruise through Alaska: Hubbard Glacier, Dawes Glacier, and Glacier Bay.

Is Tracy Arm fjord worth seeing? ›

Travelers described the glacial scenery as "incredible" and "breathtaking," and recommended bringing along a quality set of binoculars and a camera to capture the scene. The Tracy Arm Fjord is 45 miles south of Juneau, but worth the trek.

Is Glacier Bay National Park worth it? ›

Glacier Bay National Park provides countless other awe-inspiring on-water and on-land sights besides its glaciers. Some of an Alaska travel experience's best thrills come from seeing wildlife in their natural habitat, and Glacier Bay is home to quite the menagerie of Alaska animals.

Is the Inside Passage the same as Glacier Bay? ›

The Inside Passage refers to the route up the coast from the lower 48 to Southeast Alaska. It's called that because most of the way the route is sheltered by islands from the open ocean. Glacier Bay is in SE Alaska so in a way it's part of the Inside Passage.

Why is Glacier Bay so popular? ›

It's a marine park, where great adventure awaits by boating into inlets, coves and hideaway harbors. It's also a land park, with its snow-capped mountains, spectacular glaciers, and emerald–green forests. From the summit to sea, Glacier Bay's wildness is remote, dynamic and intact.

Do you get off the ship in Glacier Bay? ›

Some small cruise vessels that spend the night in Glacier Bay do allow passengers to disembark. For those visitors who travel by plane or ferry to Gustavus, more options are available.

Can you drive from Juneau to Glacier Bay? ›

Glacier Bay is located west of Juneau, Alaska. It is on a peninsula that is surrounded by water and icefields and there are no roads in or out! You can only access Glacier Bay National Park by boat or by plane. You can NOT drive to Glacier Bay!

Will I see whales on my Alaska cruise? ›

You're in luck. April to November is the best time to whale watch in Alaska and that nicely encompasses the cruise season. Like most of us, whales enjoy Alaska in the spring and summer months, when the days are long, and feeding is plentiful.

Is an Alaskan cruise worth it? ›

Our opinion is as clear as can be: Cruises to Alaska are worth the money. It's an experience you can't get anywhere else and completely different than sailing a typical cruise. But for those wanting some more detail, we cover the ins and outs of the value of a cruise to the “Last Frontier” below.

Do you see icebergs on an Alaskan cruise? ›

From your balcony on the cruise ship, you'll feel the steepness of the sides of the fjords; see waterfalls, and icebergs floating in the brilliant aqua-green water. You'll be glad to have your binoculars and camera on hand.

Can you see the Northern Lights from a cruise ship in Alaska? ›

On Celebrity, cruises to Alaska and Iceland just might yield sightings of Aurora Borealis. That said, even if you don't see the Northern Lights during your cruise, there's plenty to fall in love with in these exciting destinations, from incredible dog-sledding competitions to hiking along stunning fjords.

What time of day is the best time to see whales in Alaska? ›

It really doesn't matter what time of the day you go whale watching because whales are active throughout the day. Whether you book an early morning cruise, a midday cruise, or something later in the evening, you'll still have plenty of chances to see whales.

Which Alaska cruise port is best for whale watching? ›

While it's possible to view whales in any Alaska cruise port, two of the most popular whale watching destinations are Juneau and Icy Strait Point. Both locations are home to feeding grounds for humpback whales, making sightings extremely common. Juneau is the most popular whale watching port.

Is a 5 day Alaska cruise worth it? ›

Five days is a great length of time to spend in Alaska, also called The Last Frontier – it's enough to see some of the top cities and attractions in Southcentral and Interior Alaska. It's also a perfect add-on to your Alaska cruise.

What is the average cost of a 7 day Alaska cruise? ›

A 7-night Alaska Cruise can cost anywhere from $500 per person to $5000+ per person, depending on the type of cruise ship and your choice of stateroom. Alaska land tours with 3-star hotels, train travel, and popular day tours generally cost around $300 per person per day, based on double occupancy.

Is an Alaskan cruise cold? ›

Weather typically ranges from the 30s to a high of around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. May itineraries invite guests to pack sweaters and jackets for easy layering.

Are excursions cheaper on the ship? ›

Is it cheaper to book shore excursions on the ship? No. Most cruise lines either charge the same prices for shore excursions booked online and on board or offer a discount for tours purchased in advance.

Is Glacier Bay better than Hubbard? ›

While spectacular, Hubbard is just one glacier, whereas Glacier Bay consists of many glaciers; sailing Glacier Bay takes several hours and is an iconic Alaska cruise experience. Hubbard can be hard to get to at certain times of the cruise season when the weather is cold, as ice can block ships from passing too near.

What is the cheapest month to cruise to Alaska? ›

The Alaska cruise season typically runs from late April to late September, and the cheapest months to cruise to Alaska are during the shoulder season months of April, May, and September. Prices tend to be cheaper during shoulder season due to chillier temperatures and the fact that school is still in session.

Can you see bears on an Alaskan cruise? ›

There are many opportunities to see grizzly bears (brown bears that live inland) on an Alaska Cruisetour that combines a cruise with several days in Alaska's northwest interior. But if you are unable to extend your vacation, there are plenty of chances to see bears in Alaska's southeastern cruise ports.

Can you see polar bears on Alaskan cruise? ›

You will not find polar bears living anywhere near a place a cruise ship can go unless you take a submarine. They live far up north near, and on, the polar ice cap above the Arctic Circle if I remember correctly. Easiest way to see a polar bear is at your local zoo assuming that they have one or two.

What is the best time of year to go to Alaska to see wildlife? ›

Spring (March–May) offers some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities before trees and other vegetation leaf out. Ptarmigan migrate to central Alaska river valleys in March. Millions of waterfowl and shorebirds return to the Stikine River Flats, Copper River Delta, and other wetlands in April.

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