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Alaska Cruise Guide

With thousands of miles of scenic coastline, The Last Frontier is a natural draw for cruisers wanting to get up close to the rugged wilderness and the captivating wildlife that call this place home.

An Alaska cruise continues to be a popular vacation choice for families, couples and retirees, and when you catch a glimpse of the towering snow-capped mountains, formidable wildlife and majestic glaciers for which The Great Land is famous for, it’s easy to see why. During a cruise to Alaska, passengers can witness the glistening orcas breaking through the surface of the water, an immense glacier calving in Glacier Bay, and an imposing black bear standing at its full height, all from the comfort of their observation deck.

Most Alaska cruise vacations depart from ports in Seattle or Vancouver and last about seven days. Longer sailings are available, and these 14-day round-trip journeys mostly depart from San Francisco and offer remarkable views of the American and Canadian west coasts.

The more popular Alaska cruise itineraries take passengers either through the Inside Passage or the Gulf of Alaska. The Inside Passage is a sheltered waterway situated between the Pacific Coast islands. The main ports of call on an Inside Passage Alaska cruise are Juneau, Skagway, Sitka and Ketchikan, and the sailings are typically for 7 nights. A Gulf of Alaska cruise takes passengers further north and have better access to Anchorage, which is the main gateway for many land excursions. The Gulf of Alaska cruise itinerary will also take passengers to the Kenai Peninsula, allowing for stops along the Inside Passage coastal strip.

For cruisers searching for more adventure, an Alaska expedition cruise takes passengers on smaller vessels and focus more so on close encounters with Alaska’s rugged wildlife. The advantage of these expedition cruises is that the smaller vessels can go to the tiny inlets and waterfront communities which larger cruise liners can’t.

Regardless of which Alaska cruise you choose, there will be ample opportunity to explore diverse terrains of untouched wilderness, view fascinating wildlife in their natural habitat, and stand in awe of the towering mountains and resplendent glaciers. Ziplining, glacier trekking, helicopter flightseeing, a ride on the White Pass Railroad, and historical heritage tours are all available in the different ports.

Given that Alaska is a popular cruise destination, there will be many of Alaska cruise deals available. Peak season for a cruise to Alaska falls during the summer months of June, July and August when the weather is warmest, allowing for greater possibility of spotting wildlife. For the best deals on Alaska cruises, look for sailings during May and September.

*Prices are cruise only, per person, double occupancy. Taxes, fees and port expenses not included. Rates are valid for US and Canadian residents only. Fuel supplement may apply. Savings advertised and Expedia Extras are based on specific cabin types and sailing dates, and may not be available for all cabin types/sailings.