All of the major cruise lines offer cruises to Alaska. Alaska is a common cruising destination, appealing to people who want to experience first hand the stunning vastness of Alaska’s beauty. Alaskan cruises (sometimes called “Alaska cruises” by those who, for good or ill, pay no heed to the suffixes that often distinguish parts of speech) come in many different forms, so in this article we will explore what unites Alaskan cruises by noting some of the attractions of Alaskan cruising.
To people who associate cruise vacations with the Caribbean, it may come as a surprise that Alaska is such a popular cruise destination. Aren’t cruises, such people might ask, about sunbathing, drinking fruity cocktails, and exploring exotic beaches? Aren’t cruises, in other words, about enjoying the warm weather offered by the tropical regions of the world (and, to be sure, a little casino gambling too)? Is not the very idea of a cruise inextricably tied to decidedly un-Alaskan locations? In a word, no – cruises carry willing passengers all over the world, and in point of fact Alaska is an extremely popular place to which to take a cruise.
Why take a cruise to Alaska? (In answering this question, we hereby swear not to make any remarks – flattering, critical, or otherwise – about Sarah Palin.) First, you might be drawn by the overwhelming beauty of America’s largest state. No matter where you look, your eyes can’t fail to behold enormous mountains (16 of the country’s largest 20 mountains are in Alaska) and awe-inspiring glaciers, of which there are 100,000. There is also an enormous amount of wildlife in Alaska, ranging from the fish that populate the freezing rivers to the enormous grizzly bears that roam the forests. What’s more, your view of all these amazing displays of nature will likely be uninterrupted by the sight of a human, as Alaska is the least densely populated state in the U.S. Basically, if you are interested in nature as it exists in the Northern Hemisphere, you’re probably interested in taking a cruise to Alaska.
The wildlife and natural beauty of Alaska probably draw the most people to Alaskan cruises, but there are a couple of other reasons that people might take a cruise to Alaska. The first has to do with the length of cruises. Depending on your departing port, a trip to Alaska may constitute a long or short voyage. So, your decision to go to Alaska may have less to do with Alaska itself than with the desired length of your trip. Of course, this reasoning applies to other cruise destinations, but that’s neither here nor there. Second, many people are drawn to cruises to Alaska for the same reasons that people are drawn to the Caribbean: the climate. It may be the case that the stereotypical traveler is on the hunt for sunshine and beaches, but a stereotypical traveler is just that – a stereotype. Many people enjoy the brisk and refreshing air of the North, and Alaska offers this in abundance.
The beauty and climate of Alaska, coupled with more practical concerns (e.g., the length of a cruise), incline many people to head north on a cruise voyage, and we suspect that this will continue to be the case.