Visiting Alaska by Cruise Ship? Answers to Your 6 Top Questions

by Janis on October 18, 2011

Alaska is a popular cruise destination that is near and dear to us.  Since Mr. Jones was born and raised in Alaska and we visit frequently to see family and friends, we get a lot of questions about Alaska.  We also think visiting Alaska by cruise ship and/or cruise tour is one good way to explore the state. If you are thinking about a visit to Alaska by cruise ship – here are answers to the six questions we most frequently hear about Alaska.

Answers to Your Top 6 Questions about Visiting Alaska by Cruise Ship

1. Why should I visit Alaska?

Alaska is America’s last frontier – wild and rugged wilderness, glaciers, wildlife, and interesting people and yet visiting by cruise ship allows you to be pampered while exploring the 49th state. Here’s our 5 Top Reasons to Visit Alaska.

If you live near Kansas City, here’s Another Reason to Visit Alaska in 2012.

2. What do I wear on an Alaska cruise?

Do I need a parka and/or other special clothes? This is a frequent question. Check out our recommendations here: Visiting Alaska This Summer? 10 Tips on What to Pack.   

3. What do I need to know about Alaska?

Many folks are curious about Alaska but all they know about the state is that Sarah Palin lives there.  Read 22 Fun Facts You Might Want to Know About Alaska to learn about this gigantic state. 

If you like to read books before you visit a destination, check out Visiting Alaska? 5 Books to Read

If you prefer recommendations from locals, check out:  16 Insider Tips to Anchorage and 12 Tips from Local Residents.

4. Is it true you can sail up to the glaciers?

Yes, a cruise to Alaska gives you a close-up view of glaciers.  One of our favorites is Glacier Bay, National Park and Preserve, Southeast Alaska.

5. Where can I see wildlife in Alaska?

I’ve run into moose while hiking on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail in Anchorage while Mr. Jones has gotten up close and personal with bears while fishing on the Kenai River.  Two places we prefer to see Alaska wildlife:  the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center  and the Alaska Zoo.

6. Will I see the real Alaska from a cruise ship?

Yes, you can experience the “real” Alaska from a cruise ship and even more variety of Alaska from a cruise tour.  Advance planning is key: Cruising Alaska This Summer? 10 Tips for Planning Your Time in Port. 

A few cruise ships visit some less-visited ports such as Anchorage and Homer, Alaska.  Check out our interview with Monte Davis, the Director of the Homer Chamber of Commerce “What traveler wouldn’t want to come to Homer?” A Travel Chat with an Alaskan Insider. Learn about one of Homer’s iconic destinations in the Salty Dawg Saloon.

While most people visit Anchorage as their starting or ending airport destination, it is possible to visit via a cruise ship from Seattle, Washington. See pictures  in Views from a Sunny Day in Anchorage, Alaska.

Do you have a question about visiting Alaska by cruise ship? Post in comments.  

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