Alaska Cruise Excursions
Alaska cruise excursions clearly demonstrate why this state has been called America’s last frontier. As the largest state in the U.S. with more shoreline than all other states combined, much of Alaska is accessible only from the water, which has made it an increasingly popular cruise destination. But if you don’t go ashore, you are missing the real inside look at this wild frontier. Happily, most of the major lines offer cruise excursions, and the choices are rich in diversity and adventure.
Here are some Alaska cruise excursions listed by the most popular ports of call:
Answer the Call of the Wild by embarking on your own sled dog adventure at Klondike Gold Rush National Park. Shore excursions are available through Holland America and Princess Cruise lines, or you can go it alone with an individual excursion from Alaska Tours.
If you’re ready for a rugged cruise excursion adventure, Crystal cruise line offers a professionally guided rock climbing expedition up Skagway’s White Pass.
Or if riding in relative comfort is more your style, hop on the White Pass & Yukon Railroad Company’s narrow gauge railway, which climbs from sea level to a 3,000-ft. summit through 20 miles of steep grades and tight turns.
No Alaska cruise excursion is complete without seeing some of the state’s majestic black bears fishing for salmon. Carnival and Crystal Cruise lines offer cruise excursions to Margaret Creek Falls, departing Ketchikan by floatplane to the Margaret Creek wilderness area, where you are met by a park ranger and transported to an observation deck overlooking the falls, where the bears love to fish and eagles wait in the trees for the leftovers.
One of the most popular Alaska cruise excursions is a floatplane trip to the Misty Fjords National Monument, a two million-acre treasure featuring rainforests, fjords and cascading waterfalls that give this area its “misty” moniker. Most of the major cruise lines can hook you up with this adventure, or you can book your own through Alaska Seaplane Tours.
If you’re a fan of the “Deadliest Catch” TV series, then you may want to try your hand at crabbing in the Bering Sea. Carnival and Princess offer a four-hour shore excursion where you can help pull pots before enjoying a Dungeness feast.
A majority of the world's sea otters live in Alaska, and Sitka is one of the best places to view nature’s sea clowns up-close and personal. In addition to otters, you are also likely to see other iconic Alaskan wildlife on this Alaska cruise excursion, including whales, bears, deer and eagles. Celebrity and Princess offer a three-hour otter cruise, and you can also book independently through Allen Marine Tours.
A shore excursion into the heart of Kenai Fjords National Park is a must. Known for rocky coastlines and glacier-crowned peaks, this 580,000-acre wilderness features more than 30 major glaciers. The six-hour shore excursion also takes you through the Alaska Maritime Wildlife Refuge, which is home to a sea lion rookery, nesting puffins and other seabirds as well as sea otters, harbor seals and porpoises.