When you think of Australian cruise destinations, we’d wager Alaska is the last place that springs to mind. But, if you’re not interested in spending all of your cruise holiday lounging around in your swimwear, this stunning US state could be the ideal destination for you.
But why? Surely it’s inconvenient to get to, and bitterly cold when you get there? While you’d be partly right about the climate, Alaska is actually incredibly easy to reach — even from Australia — and is quickly becoming one of the world’s most popular cruise destinations, for several reasons we’ll cover below.
It’s Got Amazing Scenery
If there’s one thing all cruise passengers want to look upon, it’s beautiful scenery in far-flung foreign lands. Luckily, should you book a cruise in Alaska, you’ll find no shortage of natural loveliness. North America’s 49th state is frequently voted one of the most beautiful destinations on the planet, and for good reason. Imposing, snow-capped mountains flank the Gulf of Alaska, the state’s primary cruise route, while its port towns have a charm and character that’s completely unique to the region.
And Incredible Wildlife
As one of the few places on Earth where wildlife virtually outnumbers people, Alaska is the perfect place to visit for animal, nature and wildlife fanatics. Whether from the comfort of the cruise ship or on a specialist excursion, it’s possible to see a variety of rare wildlife in different parts of the state — including humpback whales, grizzly bears, caribou, orca and wolves. From the ship alone you’re likely to spot all kinds of native Alaskan critters, so keep your eyes peeled and your camera close.
It’s Home to Some of the Greatest Cruise Excursions on Earth
For thrill-seekers and adventurers alike, Alaska offers the holy grail of shore excursions. From dogsled rides on the Juneau Ice Field to salmon fishing experiences off the coast of Sitka; the state has hundreds of excursions available to cruise passengers seeking adventurous trips ashore. Many excursions can be booked direct with the cruise line you’re travelling with, but we’d also recommend doing your research before travelling and booking independently through a private excursions specialist.
The Peace and Quiet is Astonishing
Far removed from your average holiday resort, Alaska is a dreamy destination for those seeking peace, quiet and boundless tranquillity. Despite being the biggest state in the US, it’s also its the most sparsely populated — making it one of the quietest places to visit on the planet. For those wishing to relax, unwind and seek solace from the 9 to 5, there’s no better place.
Alaskan Ports Are Rich in Culture
While Alaska’s beautiful natural scenery provides a near constant distraction, its ports and settlements are equally as easy on the eye. The main ports in the region include Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Sitka, and each possesses its own unique history and culture. Juneau, Alaska’s capital, is particularly evocative, and provides the opportunity to get up close and personal to the arresting Mendenhall Glacier.
It’s Not as Expensive as You Might Think
It may be on the opposite side of the Pacific Ocean, but Alaska isn’t that difficult to get to — nor is that expensive to reach. Book a package cruise deal to Alaska with inclusive return flights, and you can enjoy a holiday for about the same price as visiting Asia or Europe. If you want to sail direct from Oz you’ll pay a lot more, but such a voyage promises to be a trip of a lifetime.
If you’re interested in booking an Alaskan cruise with us, visit our homepage and use the search function on the left to browse upcoming cruises in Alaska. Alternatively, if you need any help planning your perfect trip, call us now on 1300 857 345.
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credit: Cecil Sanders, JLS Photography, Travel Alberta Canada, Dhilung Kirat