So, whatâ€™s the difference between a regular Alaska cruise and an Alaska adventure cruise? The answer is simple — adventure! While traditional Alaska cruises do offer plenty of exciting sights and unique ports of call, Alaska Adventure cruises offer all of this plus the main focus is adventure.
Alaska adventure and exploration cruises come in all shapes and sizes. There are so many that it would be tough to name them all here, but a few of the popular Alaska adventure cruises include: glacier tours, backpacking adventures, black bear tours, wilderness expeditions, and safari escapes. Alaska small ships adventure cruises are also popular with passengers looking to get up close and personal with Alaskaâ€™s diverse environment.
Small ships cruises offer cruises offers Alaska Whales and Wilderness adventures, Exploring Alaskaâ€™s Coastal Wilderness, Exploring the Glaciers of Prince William Sound, and tours of Denali National Park. Passengers can disembark and walk through a spruce forest, watch bald eagles floating through the sky, whale-watch, hike through national parks, fish, and walk across glaciers.
Because of the nature of Alaska adventure cruises, there are some times that are better than others to cruise. Alaska is a year around travel destination, but the months of May and September are ideal. There are many advantages to taking an Alaska adventure cruise during the month of May. Not only is the weather excellent during this time (warm and dry), days are longer, Alaska’s wildflowers are in full bloom, animals are migrating so wildlife viewing is at its peak and Alaska is not as crowded during this time. Because of this, early season specials and lower rates are plentiful.
During the month of September, passengers can expect to see Alaskaâ€™s vibrant fall colors, fresh snow on the mountaintops, and it even gets dark enough to see the Northern Lights.
If youâ€™re interested in taking an Alaska adventure cruise there are numerous popular Alaska cruise lines to choose from. Large cruise ships/lines include: Carnival, Celebrity, Holland America, Norwegian, Regent Seven Seas, and Royal Caribbean. Small ships/lines include: American Safari, Cruise West, Lindblad Expeditions, Majestic American Line, and Silversea to name a few.
Alaska adventure cruise durations may range from a few nights up to 13 nights or more. Because these unique cruises are like no other, preparing for them can be a bit tricky. For the most part, youâ€™ll be on the move constantly whether youâ€™re hiking or kayaking, walking or animal watching, so always wear the most comfortable shoes you can find. Most equipment will be provided, but there are several staples that should not be overlooked when packing.
Pack plenty of sweaters sweaters, a warm jacket, a light windbreaker, and donâ€™t forget your raincoat (especially if you are not traveling in May or September). Warm socks are essential as well as (surprise!) a bathing suit. This is especially true on large ships, and possibly on a few small ones — you will find a nice heated pool onboard for your enjoyment. A final word of advice on essential items — remember to bring binoculars for sightseeing from stateroom, balcony or deck.