One of the most popular U.S. based destinations today is Alaska. Breathtaking scenery and nature make Alaska a popular bucket list vacation. Cruises with land tours are the preferred way to visit this spectacular state. However the season is short, just five months long from May through September.
While May and September are typically the most inexpensive months to travel, the wildlife is most active and visible in June and July. It’s important to note that June and July typically experience more rain, so you’ll have to weigh your choices carefully.
Alaska – Cruise Tracts
Next, let’s talk about the two different tracts most cruise lines take. The inside tract is a closed loop cruise, beginning and ending at the same port of call. This loop typically makes four stops including, Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, and Glacier Inlet. A port side balcony offers the best views on this route.
Alternatively there is also the gulf tract, with more time spent on scenic views. This is a one way voyage. You’ll begin either north and sail south, or visa versa. Therefore you will require two one way airline tickets instead of one round trip. If you are beginning in the north and sailing south, a starboard balcony cabin is ideal. Conversely, if you are beginning in the south and sailing north a port side balcony gives you the best views. Only two ships per day are allowed into Glacier Bay so we’ll want to make sure your itinerary lists it when we help you book your trip.
Don’t skimp on the Alaskan excursions!
Excursions in Alaska are an extremely important detail of your Alaskan vacation. Some of the most popular things to do are: whale watching, Glacier Bay, zip-lining, dog sledding, cultural shows and activities, helicopter rides, and the scenic railway in Skagway.
Packing for Alaska is important, and you’ll want to think about dressing in layers. Items like t-shirts and jeans are packed for comfort, and of course items like sweaters and sweat shirts are also important along with long johns. A nice warm puffy overcoat is needed along with a hat, and one or two pair of warm waterproof gloves. Waterproof pants, and boots are helpful as are hiking boots. The reflective sun has lots of glare so pack your sunglasses too. Remember, you can always peel a layer off, but you don’t want to be cold an miserable on deck or ashore.