Alaska Inside Passage Cruise
An Alaska Inside Passage cruise is an unforgettable adventure ride through southeast Alaska, just below Glacier Bay National Park. The Alaska Inside Passage extends 500 miles along the Alaska Panhandle and coastal British Columbia, encompassing 1,000 islands, 15,000 miles of shoreline and thousands of coves and bays.
If you visit early in the season, your Alaska cruise of the Inside Passage will expose you to wild vistas blanketed with wildflowers and migrating whales. A late-season Alaska Inside Passage cruise treats you to a landscape ablaze with colorful foliage and bald eagles gathering in the trees.
Most Alaska Inside Passage cruises are seven nights long and usually begin and end in either Vancouver or Seattle. Longer Alaska cruises are available from California; shorter, three- and four-night cruises are also available.
A typical Alaska cruise of the Inside Passage spends the first day along the renowned Inside Passage, a narrow waterway nestled between towering glaciers, waterfront towns, and the Pacific Ocean. You can also expect to visit several popular Alaska ports of call, including Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway and Sitka as well as the spectacular Glacier Bay National Park.Here are some other sites you’ll be visiting on your Alaska Inside Passage cruise:Misty Fjords National Monument and Metlakatla
Steep-sided mountains shrouded in mist reveal mountain goats grazing on abundant grasses in Misty Fjords National Monument. Black and brown bears forage to fatten up for their winter hibernation. Harbor seals play near the estuaries as seagulls and pigeon guillemots find the perfect nesting sites along glacier-carved granite walls in this tranquil, temperate rainforest.
In 1891, the United States government set aside Annette Island, the site of present day Metlakatla, for the exclusive use of the Tsimshian Indians and other Alaska Natives. As part of your Alaska cruise, you can visit this community and view a traditional dance performance.
Picturesque Petersburg, at the northern tip of Mitkof Island, is known as Alaska’s “Little Norway”. Here you can see dancers perform traditional Norwegian dances in colorful and authentic dress, and be treated to homemade Norwegian pastries.
Frederick Sound and Tracy Arm
Visit Tracy Arm on your Inside Passage cruise, a glacially carved fjord filled with deep, emerald-green seawater and bordered by steep cliffs. The fjord twists and turns for 25 miles, and thundering chunks of ice splashing the water up hundreds of feet is a common sight. Your Alaska cruise will also take you through Frederick Sound, home to a world-famous humpback whale population. The nutrient-rich waters induce large numbers of humpbacks to return from Hawaii every summer to feed and frolic in this region.
No Alaska Inside Passage cruise is complete without seeing the Sitka black-tailed deer that dot the shorelines and sea otters feeding on sea urchins while floating close to protective kelp beds. The Sitka National Historical Park features a forested beachside trail that is lined with a number of carved totems.
Skagway was the gateway to the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898, and tour guides dressed in period costumes regale visitors with stories of this wild frontier settlement. Wooden sidewalks still border historic buildings erected when this boomtown was jammed with thousands of fortune-seekers lured by gold fever.