Increasingly popular with cruisers, Alaska’s chilly climes and spectacular scenery make for a superb place to tick off your traveller’s checklist. Awash with vast rivers, majestic mountain tops, and glaciers of blue hues so deep they’re almost unreal, Mother Nature’s work here is well documented and just waiting to be explored.
Wherever you step, Alaska’s wild, snow-capped sprawl beguiles at every turn. From its mammoth peaks to well-trodden trails, a jaunt here is enriching and inspiring minute after minute. Here, we’ll take you on a tour of its most breath-taking sights – set some time aside for these on your cruise, you won’t regret it.
Tracy Arm Fjords
Marked with numerous glaciers, Tracy Arm Fjords is an ever-popular destination that cruise ships and boat tours often make a beeline towards. Featuring plenty of cascading waterfalls and rippling, blue-dappled icebergs, you might even be lucky enough to view some of the wildlife that calls the fjords their home, from bears and moose to sea-dwellers such as whales and seals.
The Northern Lights
Amidst the dark winter sky, the Northern Lights are a truly spectacular sight, lighting up Alaska’s blackened night with awe-inspiring, near fluorescent greens. Localised within this part of the globe from September to mid-April, viewing the aurora borealis is an experience like no other. There are plenty of tours through the Fairbanks area, where the best views, and sharing in the sights with others, are sure to linger long in the memory.
Noble and exceptionally impressive, Mendenhall Glacier may look remote, but it’s actually easily accessible by road and a comparative stone’s throw from Alaska’s capital. The ice here ranges from blinding white to deep royal blues, with shards of sub-zero snow creating a unique landscape amongst its grey rocks and cool blue waters. Hop in a raft or a kayak for a closer look at this refreshing vista.
Kenai Fjords National Park
Considered the best place to take in Alaska’s stunning natural beauty, the Kenai Fjords afford plenty of sights to see while you’re here. Providing the coastline of the Kenai Peninsula with an endless stretch of frozen beauty, the sweeping horizons also feature the Harding Icefield, a vast swathe of ice that proves a gruelling hike amongst ramblers. Kenai’s national park houses many brown bears, but your tour of this magnificent area is mostly kept to the surrounding areas, which still feature plenty of stunning views.
Measuring 76 colossal miles, pictures of Hubbard glacier simply don’t do its extraordinary length justice. Nicknamed ‘the Galloping Glacier’ due to its rapid advance towards the Gulf of Alaska, if you’re lucky, you might see huge chunks of ice breaking off, landing in the serene waters below with a tremendous roar. A popular location for cruises to pass by, seeing it up close shows just how imposing it is, with even the tallest deck no match for its 40-storey height.
The Alaska Railroad
Nearly 500 miles of railroad run through the south of Alaska, extending from Seward and Whittier all the way to Fort Wainwright, taking in a whole host of hillsides, mountain tops and much more along the way. It might set you back a little for a ticket to ride its train, but for a unique way to experience Alaska, this ranks up there as one of the best.
Denali National Park
One of the earliest stops on the Alaska Railroad, the Denali National Park is the largest of its kind in the United States and home to North America’s highest mountain. Stretching six million acres-wide and furnished with deep river valleys, mountains, open ranges and all sorts of tundra, flora and fauna, Denali National Park is rife with spectacular sights.
Bustling with bears, wolves, reindeer, elk and over 167 species of birds, you’re more than likely to see some of Denali’s denizens, while the Sled Dog Kennels always put on a show, with a vast array of huskies demonstrating the traditional mode of travel used to traverse the park during the winter.
University of Alaska Museum of the North
For something away from nature, the University of Alaska Museum of the North is packed with historical artefacts and natural history curios. Over one million of them in fact. Housed in a building that reflects the jutting points and unique structures of the Alaskan landscapes, there are some superb treats waiting for you inside. Tracing everything from indigenous tools and archaeological discoveries to palaeontology specimens and fine arts collections, there’s something for everyone in this intriguing building.
We hope this tour of Alaska’s most awe-inspiring sights has inspired the wanderlust for your next cruise. To view our full range of Alaskan cruises, check out our dedicated page here, or give our friendly team a call on 1300 857 345.