10 reasons to cruise to Alaska
By Mary Ann Pickford | 25 Aug 2016
A cruise holiday to Alaska is one of the most immersive ways of taking in the wonders of this vast state, and Iglu Cruise offers a wide range of itineraries from its latest Alaska brochure to inspire you. From breathtaking vistas to thrilling activities such as dog sledding, there are so many reasons to take a cruise to Alaska. We’ve compiled our top 10 here.
1. Glacier Bay
This 3.3 million acre site is crowned a UNESCO World Heritage Site and houses a wealth of wildlife and natural treasures, including gorgeous pristine coastline. True to its name, visitors can also find tidewater glaciers, snow-capped mountain ranges, deep fjords and freshwater rivers and lakes here, making it appealing to travellers who love to be surrounded by the raw beauty of nature. Itineraries such as the nine-night Alaska Discovery from Seattle on board Carnival Legend include Glacier Bay as one of its ports of call.
Alaska’s largest city, Anchorage is known for its culturally diverse attractions. It features more than 300 miles of trails and ample opportunities to spot wild moose. Plus there are numerous museums, most notably the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Learn about Alaska Native culture through its hands-on art and craft demonstrations and musical performances. Itineraries such as Alaska – Voyage of the Glaciers will take you to Whittier, a tiny town that forms the gateway to the fascinating city of Anchorage.
3. Tracy Arm
One of the benefits of a cruise to Alaska is that its itineraries will take you right up close to majestic glaciers. You can view the astounding detail of the Sawyer Glaciers at Tracy Arm, a fjord near Juneau that was named after the Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Franklin Tracy. Marvel at the snowcapped summit and thundering waterfalls as part of an incredible Alaska Voyage. Itineraries such as the Tracy Arm Fjords Sawyer Glacier include Tracy Arm as one of its ports of call.
This picturesque Canadian city offers something for everyone, with a wide range of parks, beaches, art galleries, gardens and museums. One of its highlights includes Granville Island, a peninsula where you can explore quirky shops and a thriving local market, catch fantastic shows at regular festivals that span music, performing arts and literature or hire a boat to sail around pretty English Bay for a relaxing excursion with the family. Itineraries such as the Vancouver Stay & Alaska Glacier Discovery will allow you time to really take in everything this bustling city has to offer.
5. The Rocky Mountains
The pièce de résistance of North America, the Rocky Mountains inspire awe and wonder as it stretches 3,000 miles from British Columbia and Alberta in Canada to New Mexico in the US. Featuring stunning ravines, breathtaking peaks and winding rivers, it’s little wonder this majestic mountain range draws in many travellers wanting to experience its wonderful natural grandeur. Rail and cruise itineraries such as Rocky Mountaineer & Alaska Discovery will take passengers right to the heart of the Rockies on a thrilling expedition.
Located opposite the Inside Passage, a coastal route that boasts glaciers, fjords and luscious scenery, Ketchikan is a must-see as it houses the largest collection of totem poles in the world within the Totem Heritage Center. Aside from offering a range of cultural attractions where visitors have the chance to learn more about Alaska’s Native history, this charming city also prides itself on excellent sportfishing opportunities. Dubbed the Salmon Capital of the World owing to huge runs of salmon migrating into its waters, fishing enthusiasts will delight in a trip with a local guide to reel in a good catch. Itineraries such as the nine-night Glaciers & Gold from Vancouver call at Ketchikan.
7. The Rocky Mountaineer
No cruise to Alaska will be complete without a rail adventure on board The Rocky Mountaineer. Offering a different way to experience the natural treasures of the Rockies, guests can witness sensational views through panoramic windows with their favourite drink and snacks of choice. Experience the trip of a lifetime taking in Alaska’s astounding changing landscapes with gourmet meals, attentive Silverleaf and Goldleaf service and spectacular glass-domed carriages. The rail and sail Rocky Mountaineer & Alaska Cruise itinerary is ideal for combining land and sea excursions.
Famed around the world for its impressive flower gardens, the capital city of British Columbia is a fantastic place to soak up thriving cosmopolitan atmosphere after a few days being surrounded by nature. One of its top attractions includes The Butchart Gardens. Open year-round and named after Jennie Butchart, who founded the site in 1904, visitors will become dazzled by the amazing floral displays of flora and fauna. Stroll through rose-laden arches, magnificently pruned landscapes and peaceful ponds for a tranquil experience. Itineraries such as The Pacific Northwest from Vancouver call at Victoria.
9. Jasper National Park
As a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Canadian Rockies’ largest national park, gorgeous scenery is guaranteed at this picturesque area. Itineraries such as Rocky Mountaineer Explorer & Alaska Discovery includes Jasper as one of its ports of call, and you can experience a half-day scenic tour of the park’s natural attractions and rugged peaks on this journey. Here you will find expansive wilderness, waterfalls, glaciers and lakes. This mountain town makes the perfect base for hiking and traversing the park’s breathtakingly beautiful terrain.
10. The wildlife
With a cruise to Alaska, wildlife lovers will be spoilt for choice when it comes to spotting native fauna in the region. Jasper National Park is home to extraordinary breeds such as bears, bighorn sheep, mountain goats and deer. There is also the chance to spot eagles along the coastline or humpback whales in the icy channels, while wild moose and bison can be spotted roaming the landscape.