While most people immediately connect cruises with beautiful tropical islands, turquoise waters and golden beaches, there is a whole other type of cruise that is growing increasingly popular—experiencing the fascinating wilderness and unique coastlines of Alaska. Pack full of glaciers, rocky shores, icy fjords and more wildlife than you can imagine, the coast of Alaska is one of the most spectacular and unspoiled landscapes in the world. Offering up thousands of images and memories that will last a lifetime, there is truly no better way to explore this unique, rugged and nearly inaccessible area than with a cruise from Norwegian.
As you’d expect, these Alaska cruises tend to be only run during the summer months, as the waters and climate simply won’t allow for anything else, and really, who would want to cruise through this frigid area during the dead of winter? Still, this doesn’t mean that you don’t still have a ton of options, as NCL offers a variety of different Alaska cruises aboard any of Norwegian Jewel, Pearl or Sun.
Sawyer Glacier Cruises
Norwegian offers the chance to see the spectacular Sawyer Glacier, with the option to embark in Seattle, Washington or either of the Alaskan towns of Whittier or Seward, located near Fairbanks and your gateway to Denali National Park. In addition to the massive glacier, these cruises may also visit Hubbard Glacier, Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway and others.
The majority of Sawyer Glacier cruises last around 7 days, with the option to take either a one way or round trip cruise. While the round trip cruises may be a bit more convenient for most, the sheer fact that you have to return to the same place cuts back on the time you’ll be spending exploring the fantastic coast, which is why most critics would always recommend the one way cruises whenever possible.
Explore Glacier Bay and the Famous Inside Passage
Although the Sawyer Glacier cruises are always popular, the cruises that people are really raving about are the ones through Glacier Bay and along Alaska’s famous Inside Passage. Travelling through these spectacular areas is something you definitely can’t miss, and you most likely won’t be able to believe your eyes as the scenery is that magical. The snow-capped peaks, gigantic glaciers and other amazing features you’ll get to see at Glacier Bay National Park are sure to be the highlight of your trip, and upon leaving, you’ll have no doubt as to why UNESCO has classified this magnificent area as a World Heritage Site.
Although both types of Alaska cruises have similar itineraries, the added bonus of the trip through the Inside Passage makes all the difference and is definitely what you should be looking for. Still, if you want the full experience, you could always choose the longer Authentic Alaska or Denali Express tours, as these also include several days of inland touring, allowing you to see Anchorage, Denali, Fairbanks and other amazing places in the interior of the state.
No matter what cruise you do end up choosing though, you’ll definitely be glad you did, as there is no other way to see so much of Alaska in such a quick time or for such a low price.