Alaska cruises

In the extremity of North America, the largest US state of Alaska covers an incredible 579,153 square miles. Only 20 percent of Alaska can be reached by car but its hardy inhabitants have created a very comfortable urban lifestyle in this frozen wilderness. Sailing on board our liners, you can enjoy truly exclusive experiences around the glacier fields, lakes and snowy mountains of Alyeska, the original Aluet word for Alaska, meaning ‘The Great Land.’

Highlights

In Alaska's wild landscapes, you may see grizzly and black bears feasting on salmon from July to mid-September. Watch the skies for bald eagles, hawks and great blue herons. The region’s rich marine life includes humpback and orca; whale-watching is one of the most popular choices for excursions.

Language, art and culture are celebrated at museums displaying ancient traces of the Aleut, Yupik and Tlingit tribes. Hear the lost song of the Alaghanak, painstakingly pieced together for modern performance. Find out how gold prospector, Joe Juneau, namesake of today’s Alaskan capital, found nuggets as large as beans in 1880, with help from Tlingit Chief Kowee.

Location

In Sitka on the east coast of Baranof Island in southeast Alaska, the national park is a top environmental and eco attraction with over 180 bird species, 63 kinds of insects, 18 mammal species and 263 species of fish.

Tiny Ketchikan, just 3 miles long and 3 blocks wide, is the salmon capital of the world with a busy waterfront buzzing with float planes, fishing boats and pleasure craft. 

In Skagway, walk the swaying Yukon Suspension Bridge 60 feet above the Tutshi River Canyon; sit tight on a wheeled husky ride or freewheel downhill on a mountain bike from the top of White Summit Pass.

Juneau, the capital, is located beneath an ice field that never melts, on a waterway that never freezes. Glacier Bay National Park here is one of Alaska’s top attractions.

In Anchorage, take a helicopter ride or drive the National Scenic Byway watching for bears, birds and caribou. You may even see the Northern Lights.

Alaskan cuisine features lots of fish specialities like smoked salmon, saffron-infused bouillabaisse, locally caught halibut and Alaskan King Salmon. For your sweet tooth, try rhubarb and blueberry bread pudding or Eskimo ice-cream called Aqutuq made with whipped animal fat, such as seal or reindeer, mixed with snow and berries, just as Alaska’s ancestors had.

Climate

The locals joke about having only two seasons in Alaska: winter and less winter. Winter can last up to eight months. In June and July, some regions have 18 hours of full daylight, or just 4 hours in January. The average annual rainfall, which can be more than 200in, is known as liquid sunshine. Summer temperatures range from 15-26 °C, or 4-10°C overnight.

Useful information

The currency in all states of the USA is the United States dollar. Tipping is an important part of the culture here, and it is considered polite to tip 15 - 20% for food and drink service. As an outdoor land of adventure, Alaskan dress code is casual and comfort is king when it comes to clothing. Think layers for warmth.