Alaska is a pretty big state with a wealth of must-see attractions and activities! Soar across the plains of Alaska taking in the views of the vast Yukon River and the remarkable Trans-Alaska Pipeline on an airplane made for eight. Set your sights on Denali National Park and appreciate the living tapestry of wildflowers, winding rivers, and bountiful wildlife. Or just stay up late and watch the Northern Lights illuminate the dark skies. Whatever it is you plan to do, get ready to discover nature around every corner.
When planning an Alaska cruise or land vacation, be sure to allow yourself enough time to see all that Alaska has to offer. Like any other traveler, you want to make the most of your trip. Create an itinerary of unforgettable experiences starting with these six things you can’t miss out on during your next Alaskan cruise vacation.
CRUISE THE INSIDE PASSAGE
Get up close and personal with the glaciers and fjords while keeping all of the comforts of home. Cruising through the inside passage offers guest unmatched 360 degree views of Alaska. Norwegian Cruise Line’s Alaska cruises will bring you right next to all the action. Let the sights take your breath away as you glide through a place untouched by time and watch in awe as the great Hubbard Glacier cracks and calves in to the Pacific Ocean.
SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS OR AURORA BOREALIS
If you are touring Alaska during the fall, winter, or spring this natural phenomenon is something worth staying up for. Any location with clear dark skies will do but if you are staying in places like the Alyeska Resort you can request a Northern Lights wake up call. Watch in awe as the vibrant colors dance across the night sky; it will be like nothing you have experienced before. Past guests claim that March is the best time to see the Northern Lights!
WITNESS THE MIDNIGHT SUN
Long summer days take on a new meaning in Alaska. If you are traveling in the summer this is a great chance for you to experience the Midnight Sun. Due to the earth’s tilt, areas close to the North Pole receive much more sunlight than what we are normally used to. It’s a peculiar feeling to have the sun still up in the middle of the night but it is a great opportunity for you to complete all of your scheduled activities! If you do not have plans, turn to the locals, they can tell you if the city you are in is participating in activities like Midnight Sun baseball games, music festivals, and annual runs.
TAKE AN ALASKA FLIGHTSEEING TOUR
If you want a once in a lifetime adventure make sure to book a seat on an Alaska Flightseeing tour. Feel the rush as you soar high above the land, spot the wildlife and take in the grandeur of the alpine glaciers. Most tours will come with a highly-trained Alaskan guide who will share their unique personal experiences of Alaska with you. Flying to remote and wild locations will give those young at heart a new perspective impossible to get on land.
TAKE A SLED DOG KENNEL TOUR
If you have the time, make sure to stop by a local Iditarod Sled Dog kennel. Feel the tradition come alive as tour guides discuss the origins of sled dog racing as well as its transformation into the exciting (Official Alaskan state) sport it is today. If you want an even more authentic experience have them bundle you up in the sled like a real musher and glide you across the glaciers behind the reigns of several Alaskan Huskies. Wind down the exciting day with a relaxing playdate with sled dog puppies in training!
APPRECIATE ALASKAN WILD LIFE
An Alaskan vacation would not be complete without taking the time to admire the wildlife. Whether you want to spot a bald eagle or a black bear, Alaska is the place to do it. For some great animal sightings visit Denali National Park, which spreads to a mind boggling six million acres with only a few established trails. For even more history, partake in the 4- 5 hour Denali Natural History Tour, managed and operated by the National Park Service. For those who are not too keen on hiking, another great way to spot some wildlife is on an Alaskan Cruise. Bring your binoculars and head out to the open deck; you won’t be disappointed in the views! If marine life is more your thing, you're in luck, whale watching is unmatched in the Last Frontier. Whale watches can be done in places like Seward, Whittier, and Homer.