Inside Passage, AK, USA (Cruise-by) cruises

The Inside Passage consists of over 1,000 islands, bays and fjords. With boundless, ever-changing scenery, it's one of the most spectacular maritime journeys in the world.

Inside Passage port guide.

With boundless and ever-changing scenery, spanning 1,000 islands, bays and fjords, Alaska’s Inside Passage is one of the most spectacular maritime voyages anywhere in the world. A route once exclusive to explorers and adventurers, sailing the electric blue waters of this pristine wilderness on board a Cunard ship is a uniquely magical experience.

Top landmarks and sights in the Inside Passage.

Stretching for 500 miles, from Puget Sound near Seattle to Juneau and Skagway in the North, this protected region is one of the few where larger vessels can sail; enabling you to experience glaciers, forested islands and ice-carved fjords from staggeringly close. It’s an experience only an Inside Passage cruise can deliver, the snaking waterway being one of the few to connect Alaska’s isolated pockets of civilization with the faster-paced outside world.

Along your travels, you’ll encounter communities built on Tlingit customs, gold rush towns that appear caught in time, and glaciers so large they dwarf entire cities. You’ll follow the route taken by American prospectors in the 19th Century, circumventing protected coves, bays and inlets, reserved exclusively for those exploring by sea.

Things to do in the Inside Passage, Alaska.

Sailing the Inside Passage immerses you in the incomparable beauty of Alaska’s wild and untamed landscape, presenting an abundance of photo opportunities and breathtaking moments.

Besides the childlike wonder of being confronted with luminous white glaciers, unlike anything you’ve seen, an Inside Passage cruise offers the possibility of encountering some of Alaska’s native wildlife in action. You may be fortunate enough to spot a brown bear hunting for wild salmon, an eagle circling overhead, or a humpback whale rising majestically from the icy depths, all from the deck of your ship or your stateroom’s balcony.

It’s these kinds of soul-stirring moments that voyaging Alaska’s Inside Passage promises time and again. Savor the chance to lose yourself, momentarily, in the magic of a more innocent existence. The memory of which will stay with you always.

Inside Passage culture and history.

A series of waterways, islands, coastal towns and forests, make up the Inside Passage, which was formed by glaciers during the last ice age. Along its southeast stretches you’ll find Tongass National Forest, the largest National Forest in the US. The temperate rainforest here attracts wildlife such as moose and deer while five species of pacific salmon can be found spawning in the forest’s streams.

Before it became known as the Inside Passage, the route was used by tens of thousands of prospectors who flocked to Alaska in the late 1890s in search of gold. During this time Alaska’s population increased significantly, from just over 4,000 inhabitants in 1890, to more than 30,000 by the end of the century. Today, echoes of this gold rush era still remain in the colorful frontier-style buildings you’ll encounter in many Inside Passage ports.   

Sheltered from pacific storms, the Inside Passage is considered a ‘marine highway’ providing access to Alaskan towns such as Juneau and Ketchikan by sea. It’s one of the few waterways in the world where cruise ships can sail within meters of sheer cliffs and towering glaciers. A sight that only adds to the magic you experience as you navigate this spellbinding chapter of your Alaska cruise.