Spotlight on Alaska
Alaska is widely known as America’s last frontier, the largest and most sparsely populated state. Facing the North Pacific Ocean and sharing a border with Canada, this icy landscape attracts a variety of travellers with its stunning scenery and native wildlife. And of course, a spectacular coastline means that it’s the perfect cruising destination (for those who don’t mind the chillier weather!).
Alaska’s biggest drawcard is its natural beauty, and a cruise gives you the best viewpoint to appreciate the region’s unique and varying landscapes. Awe-inspiring glaciers, breathtaking fjords and snow-capped mountains are just awaiting your visit, and the difference to Australia could not be any greater! Alaska is truly a unique destination and promises a memorable getaway filled with one-of-a-kind experiences.
So how should you spend your time in the USA’s 49th state? Keep reading to find the Cruiseabout team’s top tips for travelling in Alaska!
When Should I Travel?
Most cruise lines will operate around Alaska during the warmer months: June through to August. This, of course, is the high season for tourism as daylight lasts for about 20 hours and the popular walking trails are free of snow (perfect for a shore excursion!). May and September also see some tourist activity, but Alaska tends to be rainy during September and October in the lead up to winter.
What Should I Pack?
Even in Alaska’s warmer months, the weather can still be quite temperamental. Make sure you pack clothing that can be layered if you experience some poor conditions, including a waterproof outer layer and thermal undergarments. In addition, you’ll also need the usual essentials – a good quality camera, backup memory card, international adaptor and necessary toiletries are just some of the things you’ll require for your cruise.
Many cruise lines will make it easy for you to get out and enjoy the real Alaska – plan your shore excursions ahead of time so that you’re properly equipped for the terrain.
- Juneau – go on a helicopter ride over the city’s four nearby glaciers: Taku, Hole-in-the-Wall, Dead Branch, and East Twin. Definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, you might also get the chance to actually land on a glacier and go on a dog sled ride.
- Skagway – the White Pass & Yukon Railroad is a must-see. Built over rugged terrain for 19th century gold miners, you’ll feel as if you’ve step back in time in the classic parlour cars as you pass through the breathtaking scenery.
- Ketchikan – learn about Alaska’s native history on a tour through a traditional village. Saxman Native Village is a popular option where you’ll get to experience traditional song and dance and discover the story of their famous totem poles.
Top Travel Tips
- If you plan on exploring Alaska’s wildest terrains, pack a pair of waterproof hiking boots to protect your feet from blisters (and the cold!).
- Be prepared for poor conditions – pack motion sickness tablets and appropriate clothing in case you experience rough waters or chilly weather.
- Don’t forget that Alaska is still part of the USA, so tipping is expected at restaurants and other services.
If you’re looking for adventure and scenery, then Alaska might just be the perfect destination for your next cruise holiday. You can sail around the region with cruise companies such as Holland America, Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line on a variety of itineraries. To book, simply give one of our consultants a call on 1300 954 661 and you’ll be on your way to the trip of a lifetime!