Taking an Alaskan Cruise? 10 Things You Need to Know

by Lexa Pennington / Apr 12, 2013 /
Lexa Pennington's picture

Taking a cruise in Alaska is on just about everyone’s bucket list, and for good reasons. The beauty of Alaska is extraordinary – and what better way to see it, than from the water?

 

Alaska. courtesy and copyright flickr creative commons: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cmichel67/

 

If you’re interested in going on Alaska cruises, here are 10 things you need to know.

 

1.    Bring the right clothing. Think layers! Take tshirts, long-sleeved tshirts, a warm fleece, and a shell with a hood. Don’t forget your gloves and hat.

 

Alaska Glacier. courtesy and copyright flickr creative commons: flickr.com/photos/cmichel67/

 

2.    Expect limited space. Pack your belongings in soft-sided luggage or duffle bags, so that you can slide them under the bed. You’ll be busy all the time, but tripping over suitcases is just not fun.

 

3.    Be aware of the light. It gets lighter earlier than you are probably used to – bring a sleep mask so that you can catch your zzz’s.

 

4.    It’s worth the extra money for a cabin with a balcony. Imagine a beautiful morning, sitting on your balcony with a hot cup of java, seeing the glaciers – it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

 

Alaska Glacier. courtesy and copyright flickr creative commons: flickr.com/photos/cmichel67/

 

5.    Be sure to get off the ship. It’s one of the best ways to experience the region in the short time you’re there. Organized tours make sure to get you to places you might not find on your own. You can sign up on board, or at the dock when you get there. If you can’t afford the excursions, then walk around town and experience daily life in Alaska. If you’re in Ketchikan, head to the Totem Heritage Center – it’s only $5 to get in (kids are free) and you’ll learn much about traditional arts and crafts of local Native cultures.  It’s about a 15 minute walk from the port – there is also a free shuttle bus, from May-September.

 

6.    Attend the lectures. If these are available, take advantage of them. You’ll learn about glaciers, culture, and more.

 

7.    Whale watching! It’s worth it to go on a whale-watching excursion – these creatures from the deep are remarkable, and beautiful.

 

whale watching in Alaska. courtesy and copyright flickr creative commons: flickr.com/photos/cmichel67/

 

8.    Pack your camera, plenty of memory cards – and binoculars. There will be plenty to see (and snap photos of). AND – carry that camera with you! You never know when something will pop up – or a glacier will calve – right in front of you.

 

9.    Make time to make friends. There will be plenty of interesting people on board – be sure to be open, friendly, and accessible – you might make friends for life.

 

10.    Relax! It’s all about being in the moment. If you want to do on-board activities, go for it! If you want to sit and watch the scenery, that’s ok, too. This cruise is all about you, experiencing the beauty of Alaska. Enjoy!

 

Alaska. courtesy and copyright flickr creative commons: flickr.com/photos/cmichel67/

 

 

 

 

 

 

All photos courtesy and copyright flickr creative commons: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cmichel67/