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  Category: Articles » Travel & Leisure » Sailing & Cruises » Article

The Allure Of An Alaskan Cruise

By Kirsten Hawkins

Humpback whales. Sailing fjords. Gazing at glaciers. These are some of the reasons people name when asked why they are booking an Alaskan cruise. The allure of Alaska is the mystery of the ice and wildlife. Where else can you go sailing and come face to face with a huge wall of ice, rising majestically to the heavens?

The best time to cruise to Alaska is during the summer months, usually May through September. That means if you live in the hundred degrees plus weather in the South, an Alaskan cruise is the perfect respite from that baking heat. Of course, that also means a plane ride to Vancouver, Canada or Seattle, Washington, two of the most popular sailing ports for Alaskan cruises.

The two most popular Alaskan cruises are the "Inside Passage" cruise and the "Gulf of Alaska" cruise also known as the glacier cruise. With the Inside Passage cruise of Alaska, you will visit several ports of call like Juneau, Glacier Bay and Skagway. You will see glaciers and spend some sailing time at sea. With the Gulf of Alaska cruise, you will see more glaciers, sail more fjords and have opportunities of side trips to places like Denali National Park.

The typical Alaskan cruise is a week, although there are options of an extended stay of eleven to fourteen days. Once you decide between the Inside Passage or Gulf of Alaska cruise, you have to consider the size of ship that you would be most comfortable with. Smaller excursion ships usually carry up to one hundred fifty passengers and tend to offer a little more adventure and can often sail closer to a glacier than would a larger cruise ship that sails with a few hundred to thousands of people on board. If an adrenaline rush is more your speed, look into the smaller vessels. If you prefer a more pampered way to travel with every amenity possible, stick with the larger ship.

Depending on what you want out of the trip also helps you decide on the Alaskan cruise for you. Many shore excursions offer some amazing side trips like riding in a helicopter to get a close-up view at some of the glaciers. You can even walk on a glacier! Ever wonder what dog sledding is all about? You can discover it for yourself. Many Alaskan ports of call are steeped in history about the gold rush in the early 1900's. Perhaps the wildlife is what is attracting you to our forty-ninth state. You can go on excursions to see the humpback whales in action. Then there are sightings of bears, moose and elusive wolverines. And don't forget about the sea lions, dolphins and various rookeries.

Do your homework on all Alaska has to offer via a cruise. Just remember, if you are an adventurer at heart, you will want to book a smaller sailing vessel. This option is more expensive, but the adrenaline-pumping opportunities are more plentiful. If you are more of the typical sightseeing tourist, then a bigger cruise line will be more your speed. No matter avenue you pursue, be prepared for some of the most beautiful, majestic scenery that will render you speechless.
About the Author
Kirsten Hawkins is a cruise and travel expert specializing in discount cruises and travel. Visit for more information on how to cruise the world for little or no money.

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  Some other articles by Kirsten Hawkins
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