TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT ON AN ALASKA CRUISE

TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT ON AN ALASKA CRUISE

TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT ON AN ALASKA CRUISE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

The following post is in partnership with Celebrity Cruises.

Greetings and thanks for stopping in! I’m coming to you today after having just returned from a short trip to Lake Tahoe where we visited 2 sets of friends. It was what we called our “decompression recovery trip” to simply chillax after having hosted our son’s recent wedding.

TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT ON AN ALASKA CRUISE | Lake Tahoe, California | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

We had cancelled a British Isles Cruise that I had been looking forward to for a year and a half because it would have had us coming home days before the wedding. Therefore, because of the wedding we did very little traveling this summer.  So now that the summer of 2018 has come to a close I’m beginning to start thinking about vacations for the summer of 2019, and I think I want to return to beautiful, amazing Alaska for another cruise.

TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT ON AN ALASKA CRUISE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Photo Credit Aaron Wu | Upsplash

Ironically, during our Lake Tahoe visit, my girlfriend, who has always felt she would not enjoy cruising, told me she has decided it’s probably preferable to the kind of traveling she did this summer in Europe which involved a different hotel every night, and a ton of packing and unpacking in order to see a lot of different places in a short period of time. But she has now come around to the realization that cruising might just be the way to go. Unpack once and see the world. 

TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT ON AN ALASKA CRUISE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Celebrity Solstice

She too is interested in taking a cruise to Alaska, because she realizes that just about anywhere one can cruise, doing so in Alaska makes so much sense. Cruising Alaska allows one to experience much more of this incredible place, because much of it is inaccessible by land. And because there is just so very much to see in Alaska, I found planning a trip there a bit daunting, requiring a great deal of research to determine just where to go, and which of the many different cruise itineraries to choose. So to help my girlfriend make her cruise selection I decided I’d produce a post of my top 10 places to visit on an Alaska cruise.

TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT ON AN ALASKA CRUISE

#1 Seattle

While Seattle obviously is not in Alaska, it’s a convenient embarkation port. And it’s an easy airport to get to since affordable direct flights connect to Seattle from major airports all around the country. I always recommend arriving in your embarkation city at least a day before your cruise sets sail because flight delays happen, and if you cut it too close you could very well miss the departure of your ship. So, it’s nice to arrive in a embarkation city that offers some great sightseeing as well.  In Seattle don’t miss the iconic Pike Place Market. And for a convenient place to stay the night before your Alaska Cruise I’d highly recommend The Inn At The Market.

THE SUITE LIFE ONBOARD CELEBRITY SOLSTICE | Sky Suite #8336 | Seattle | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

SEATTLE'S PIKE PLACE MARKET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

SEATTLE'S PIKE PLACE MARKET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comSEATTLE'S PIKE PLACE MARKET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comSEATTLE'S PIKE PLACE MARKET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comSEATTLE'S PIKE PLACE MARKET | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

#2 Ketchikan

In my opinion you don’t really go to Alaska, America’s 49th state, for the towns, you go for the natural beauty and yes, for the food! Known as the “Salmon Capital of the World,” the old mining town of Ketchikan delivers on both.  So if it’s natural beauty you’re looking for, take a canoe and nature trail excursion through the diverse ecosystem located in the Tongass National Forest, the largest national forest in the United States. Or enjoy a wilderness adventure in the Rain Forest followed by a sumptuous crab feast you’ll never forget. Ketchikan is also the ancestral home of the Tlingit people, who have carved the world’s largest collection of totem poles.

FEASTING ON CRAB AND EXPLORING A RAINFOREST IN KETCHIKAN | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

FEASTING ON CRAB AND EXPLORING A RAINFOREST IN KETCHIKAN | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

ONE OF THE MOST THRILLING EXPERIENCES OF MY LIFE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

FEASTING ON CRAB AND EXPLORING A RAINFOREST IN KETCHIKAN | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comFEASTING ON CRAB AND EXPLORING A RAINFOREST IN KETCHIKAN | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

#3 Tracy Arm & Endicott Arm Fjords & Glaciers

The Tracy Arm Fjord is a narrow, 30-mile waterway that delivers epic views of the twin Sawyer glaciers.  The same is true of the nearby Endicott Arm Fjord where cruise passengers witness the thunderous calving of glaciers that send house-sized chunks of ice plummeting into the waters of these awe-inspiring fjords. You’ll witness crashing waterfalls, breathtaking snow-dusted mountain peaks, humpback whales, harbor seals and much more on a cruise through some of natures most beautiful scenery.

THE STUNNING SCENERY OF ENDICOTT ARM FJORD ALASKA | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

THE STUNNING SCENERY OF ENDICOTT ARM FJORD ALASKA | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

DAWES GLACIER | ENDICOTT ARM FJORD ALASKA | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

THE STUNNING SCENERY OF ENDICOTT ARM FJORD ALASKA | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comTHE STUNNING SCENERY OF ENDICOTT ARM FJORD ALASKA | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comTHE STUNNING SCENERY OF ENDICOTT ARM FJORD ALASKA | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comTHE STUNNING SCENERY OF ENDICOTT ARM FJORD ALASKA | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

#4 Juneau

Juneau is the capital city of Alaska and its downtown is historic and interesting. Wandering down the streets of Juneau you’ll see old saloons and general stores, Victorian houses, restored governmental buildings and many historic sites. While Juneau is a city, it is surrounded by soaring mountains and rugged scenery, a thrilling dichotomy, where the city truly meets the ruggedness of the Last Frontier. In fact, you can’t drive to Juneau! The only way you can get there is by air or sea. Juneau is the jumping off point to explore the spectacular Mendenhall Glacier or take a glacial dogsled adventure. But in my opinion, the best thing to do while in Juneau is to take a floatplane excursion over 5 Alaskan glaciers to Taku Glacier Lodge. That shore excursion was one of the most thrilling experiences of my life!

ONE OF THE MOST THRILLING EXPERIENCES OF MY LIFE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

ONE OF THE MOST THRILLING EXPERIENCES OF MY LIFE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

ONE OF THE MOST THRILLING EXPERIENCES OF MY LIFE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comONE OF THE MOST THRILLING EXPERIENCES OF MY LIFE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

ONE OF THE MOST THRILLING EXPERIENCES OF MY LIFE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

ONE OF THE MOST THRILLING EXPERIENCES OF MY LIFE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comONE OF THE MOST THRILLING EXPERIENCES OF MY LIFE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comONE OF THE MOST THRILLING EXPERIENCES OF MY LIFE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comONE OF THE MOST THRILLING EXPERIENCES OF MY LIFE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

#5 Skagway

Of all the towns we visited on our Celebrity Cruise to Alaska, Skagway was my favorite. It had the most charm and character by far, with a old Alaska kind of vibe. The great Klondike Gold Rush lives on in Skagway’s charming downtown of restored 19th-century buildings. Located on the edge of the wilderness, this small town saw its fair share of gold rush, get-rich-dreamers pass through. There’s so much fascinating history to uncover in Skagway, from the  Klondike Gold Rush National Park Museum to the vintage train from which you can see the 1898 trail that fortune seekers traveled on foot. The White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad runs the vintage locomotives through the famously steep Chilkoot Trail and offers sweeping mountain views during its climb toward Canada.

DROPPING ANCHOR IN SKAGWAY ALASKA | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

DROPPING ANCHOR IN SKAGWAY ALASKA | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

DROPPING ANCHOR IN SKAGWAY ALASKA | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

DROPPING ANCHOR IN SKAGWAY ALASKA | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comDROPPING ANCHOR IN SKAGWAY ALASKA | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comDROPPING ANCHOR IN SKAGWAY ALASKA | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comDROPPING ANCHOR IN SKAGWAY ALASKA | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT ON AN ALASKA CRUISE | The White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT ON AN ALASKA CRUISE | The White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

#6 Hubbard Glacier

Located between Seward and Skagway, Hubbard Glacier soars impressively into the stark Alaskan skyline from the depths of Disenchantment Bay, and is a top sight to see for many visitors traveling to Alaska. Seeing Hubbard Glacier from on the water means you’ll be able to fully take in its large, 6-mile long, 400-foot tall face – and that’s only the part you can actually see! It extends much farther underneath the water. You’ll also be able to get close enough to have a good look at its icy blue streaked exterior and the calving that happens several times an hour. What that means is that the glacier is constantly shedding ice from its edge. The ice that falls does so in massive chunks that become the icebergs you’ll spot in the sea. But seeing one of those icebergs actually fall into the water is a sight to behold. You may also see seals and other wildlife hanging out on icebergs.  Book your cruise as far in advance as possible to insure your stateroom balcony is facing on the best side for your cruise itinerary. I personally prefer an Aft Facing Suite, as it gives you both a rear and a side view. However, your ship captain will turn the ship throughout your time in the bay by Hubbard Glacier so that passengers on all decks and sides of the ship will get a front-seat view of the iconic glacier. And one of the things I enjoyed most about our Celebrity cruise to Alaska were the Naturalists onboard who are experts on  Alaska and regale you with information while visiting Hubbard Glacier and other sights. And you’ll be able to attend scheduled lectures on board to learn more about the wildlife and culture of Alaska and ask any questions you may have.

TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT ON AN ALASKA CRUISE | Seattle, Washington | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT ON AN ALASKA CRUISE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT ON AN ALASKA CRUISE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT ON AN ALASKA CRUISE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

#7 Sitka

A Russian settlement until the Alaska Purchase of 1867, Sitka’s Russian heritage is still very much rooted in the city. Visit St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral for a pristine example of period architecture. Nestled on the coast of the Gulf of Alaska, there’s much natural beauty to explore around Sitka. A walk along the promenade in Whale Park offers a chance to view breaching humpback whales, while a trek into Sitka Historical Park reveals stunning coastal trails and hundred-year-old totem poles. Venture to Tongass National Forest for up close views of wildlife, including Alaska Coastal Brown Bears, American Bald Eagles and Sitka Blacktail Deer. Or head to the Sheldon Jackson Museum, the oldest standing structure in all of Alaska which is home to a small, yet impressive collection of artifacts from all of Alaska’s indigenous groups.

TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT ON AN ALASKA CRUISE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT ON AN ALASKA CRUISE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

#8 Icy Straight Point

On Chichagof Island, just outside the village of Hoonah, Alaska, is the privately owned attraction known as Icy Strait Point. Icy Strait Point is the only privately owned cruise destination in the state – owned and operated by the Huna Totem Corporation. Approximately 1,350 Alaska Natives with aboriginal ties to the nearby village of Hoonah and the Glacier Bay area make up the Huna Totem Corporation. Many of these Natives are members of the Tlingit Tribe. The central focal point here is the fully-restored salmon cannery, originally built in 1912, which now features a museum, and various restaurants and craft shops owned by locals of the native community. Nearby you’ll find the world’s largest and highest zip line, you can watch traditional dance performances by Alaska Native communities, take whale-watching and bear-spotting tours, and go sea-kayaking or sport fishing.

TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT ON AN ALASKA CRUISE | Icy Straight Point | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT ON AN ALASKA CRUISE | Icy Straight Point | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT ON AN ALASKA CRUISE | Icy Straight Point | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

#9 Victoria

So, Victoria, British Columbia is not in Alaska, however I believe the best way to visit the seaside capital of British Columbia is while enjoying a cruise to Alaska. That’s because Victoria, located on Vancouver Island at the southern tip of Western Canada, is very often included on an Alaska cruise. Named after Queen Victoria, this one-time British colony has retained much of its colonial charm. Start your day with a visit to the enchanting Butchart Gardens and experience one of the world’s finest floral display gardens. For a full introduction to the history and culture of Victoria and Western Canada, head to the Royal British Columbia Museum. Don’t miss a visit to the iconic Parliament building. The large waterfront park, Beacon Hill, is in downtown Victoria and within walking distance of the harbor. And don’t miss a visit to Victoria’s Chinatown, the oldest of its kind in Canada. In the afternoon experience the time-honored English High Tea at the historic Fairmont Empress Hotel. Or venture 35 miles northwest to Cowichan Valley for a day hike, golfing, or wine tasting.

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN VICTORIA | Fairmont Empress Hotel | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN VICTORIA | The Butchart Gardens | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN VICTORIA | Parliament House | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

#10 Vancouver

Many Alaska cruises either begin or end in Vancouver, BC, Canada. The coastal seaport city sits nestled among beautiful and majestic snowcapped mountains, gorgeous sandy beaches, and a lush green rainforest on the west coast of Canada. Consistently named as one of the most livable  and most beautiful cities in the world, Vancouver is one of my all-time favorite places to visit. Known for its scenic landscapes, it is extremely walkable, very clean and safe. Cruises from Vancouver give you time to explore all this, especially if you get there a couple of days early. The option to take an Alaska cruise from Vancouver is only available from May to October, which is fortunately an especially beautiful time to see Vancouver. And, an Alaska cruise from Vancouver also gives you easy access to the Canadian Rockies, Vancouver Island, Whistler, and Victoria if you decide to extend your vacation on land. Additionally, the Vancouver International Airport has consistently been rated one of North America’s top airports. And, if you need a hotel room at the start or conclusion of your Alaska cruise, there is no better place to stay than the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, Canada’s #1 rated hotel.

TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT ON AN ALASKA CRUISE | Vancouver, BC, Canada | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT ON AN ALASKA CRUISE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

CHECKING INTO THE ROSEWOOD HOTEL GEORGIA | Vancouver, Canada | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

So there you have it: TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT ON AN ALASKA CRUISE

Thanks so much for dropping in! 

Express Yourself!

No blog post is truly complete without a word from you. I’d be so delighted if you’d leave a comment below. 

I am most grateful to Celebrity Cruise Lines for sponsoring this post. However, all opinions expressed are my very own. Unless otherwise noted, all photos are the original property of Celia Becker @ www.AfterOrangeCounty.com and may not be reproduced without specific permission.  

Comments

logo

LET'S SOCIALIZE!

SUBSCRIBE

and be the first to see the latest & greatest from After Orange County

We hate spam and promise to keep your email address safe.