How amazing is a luxury Alaska cruise?
Home to eight national parks and 20 of the highest mountains in the USA, Alaska is arguably the most epic state. But when you visit Alaska, somehow epic just doesn’t seem to cut it. If you long to explore places with natural wonders that leave you feeling insignificant in their presence, then you should opt for luxury Alaska cruises.
The most professional photographs and expressive adjectives hardly seem to do this remote state the justice it deserves. Only by visiting Alaska yourself will you truly comprehend its magnificence. Sprawled across the West Coast of the United States, Alaska is known as the Last Frontier owing to its far-flung and feral landscapes.
There's no greater feeling than walking where no human has gone before, catching a glimpse of a wild brown bear fishing for salmon or listening to the roar of enormous waterfalls as they thunder down rocky cliff faces.
For brown bears, grey wolves, whales, caribou and other magnificent creatures, this is their home and their territory but for us, it’s a giant untouched land that intimidates and excites at the same time. There’s no doubt wildlife lovers and adventure seekers will be in their element here. And that’s not all, imagine standing among this vast wilderness inside the Arctic Circle as the rays from the Midnight Sun beat down.
Located in Southeast Alaska, west of the capital city of Juneau, Glacier Bay is a beautiful National Park full of snow capped mountains, tidewater glaciers and wildlife. Experience wildlife in all its beauty from boat trips for whale watching and hiking through the trails of the Park. It is a protected area full of wonder to be explored; the glacial retreat has exposed significant land formations and revealed an abundance of terrestrial and marine life. Opportunities to explore the bay by kayak are not to be missed, as you may come into close encounters with sea lions, otters, porpoise, harbour seals, and even rare sightings of humpback whales!
The 'salmon capital of the world' started as a summer fish camp on the shores of Ketchikan Creek used by the Tlingit natives and became a major salmon canning centre. Native Inuit heritage plays a large role in the touristic appeal of Ketchikan which boasts the largest collection of totem poles in the world in the Ketchikan Totem Bight State Historical Park Saxman Native Village and the Totem Heritage Center Museum. Ketchikan has more cultural sightseeing opportunities than most cities and towns in Alaska making it a great getaway for those keen to experience indigenous culture as well as the stunning natural landscapes of Alaska.
Rustic Creek Street with its picturesque wooden boardwalks and stilts was once the town's red light district and today the houses have been converted into restaurants shops and galleries. Ketchikan is located on Revillagigedo Island 235 miles (378km) south of Juneau. If staying in the capital Ketchikan is a popular excursion from the city; in fact the quaint old town feels much more authentic and traditional than the larger city. The town is a popular cruise destination and is the starting point for most Inside Passage tours. Excursions into the surrounding wilderness include air or boat trips to nearby Misty Fjords an area of pristine spectacular scenery with soaring cliffs waterfalls lakes and glaciers.
The best time of year to cruise Alaska is from May through to September as temperatures are generally more agreeable. Visiting at the very beginning of the season is usually less busy and lower in cost, with cooler temperatures but much less rainfall. June is arguably the best time to visit, as it is getting warmer, there are more salmon in the waters and it's more likely that you might catch sight of a herd of caribou! July and August are the busiest times to visit, and September gets significantly wetter, although it is a good time to catch sight of moose and bears in Denali National Park.