Alaska still remains America’s truly wild frontier, offering rugged snow capped mountains, grizzly bears, orcas, eagles and of course moose! The waterways of Alaska are a maze of beautiful scenery and untamed wilderness. Thankfully for lovers of the wild side, there are several fleets of cruise options available to cater to the type of cruise an Alaskan Adventurer may wish to experience. A personal travel manager should be the first port of call to book an Alaskan adventure.
With so many cruise operators sailing up and down the Alaskan waterways it can be tough to choose exactly who you want to set sail with. There is a huge variety in the size and style of the vessels on the Alaskan waterways – each offering its own benefits. The larger ships can host approximately 6,000 guests with many ships hosting between 3,000 to 4,000 guests whereas smaller, more agile ships, usually host 120 or less guests. The type of vessel you board depends entirely on what you want to see and experience.
A smaller vessel is the more agile and experiential option and will allow travellers to see more of the Alaskan wildlife. As a more nimble ship, the smaller vessels are able to turn around easier and cruise past wildlife scenes a number of times. The smaller ships usually host Zodiacs as well which can be deployed to offer guests a chance to explore the countless inlets and bays that branch off from the main Alaskan waterways. For the nature lover, the smaller ships offer not only a greater interaction with the wildlife but also the chance to learn more about the environment. It’s not uncommon for a smaller ship to host an environmental expert to give talks on the Alaskan wilderness and its ecology. While the smaller ships may offer more for the wild life lover a larger ship can provide a more luxurious form of travel. The larger ships have an emphasis on onboard activities and usually include black tie functions, entertainment and fine dining. A large ship is an ideal option for the traveller who wants to enjoy the floorshows, a casino and a fun party atmosphere set amongst the stunning Alaskan scenery.
While the vessel you choose can determine the style of trip you have it can also influence which ports you pull into. The larger vessels are often unable to dock at some of the smaller ports. Each port has its own unique characteristics and experiences. For example the port city of Sitka is only accessible by ship or plane and boasts a proud Russian history and was the site of the signing of the Alaska purchase. The port of Skagway is another destination popular amongst cruise liners. For literature lovers, Skagway plays a part in the setting for Jack London’s book ‘The Call of the Wild’. Skagway is one of the primary ports used in the Lynn Canal Corridor and is visited by both small and large vessels.
Setting sail for Alaska is an unforgettable experience no matter how you choose to sail the seven seas! Talk to your local, personal travel manager to find out more.