We are so bummed that we didn’t get to Alaska during our recent 3 months in the USA. As you’ll see below we had all the stuff we needed – Quality cold weather gear, beanies, scarves, warm shoes. But we didn’t end up finding a cheap enough cruise for us on the right dates. Probably should have gone through a travel agent but opted to keep looking online myself! That normally works if you are flexible but we weren’t really flexible on our dates.
ANYWAY….here’s a great guest post from Patricia – use these tips to make sure you don’t miss out on your own Life Changing Cruise to Alaska!! Who knew you could catch a salmon and have it sent home???
If you are thinking of booking a cruise to Alaska, here are some travel tips to help you prepare your journey.
May to September
The most favourable season for travelling around the region is from May to September, as this is the warmest time of the year with the longest daylight hours. Many tourist facilities are also only open during the peak season and hikers as well as nature lovers will favour this time of the year. The only downside is that it can get a little crowded – with tourists, that is.
November to April
On the other hand, the winter season from November to April offers other delights, geared more to snow sports enthusiasts, and those who want to see the famous Northern Lights, and partake in the excitement of sled dog racing or ice carving competitions. Cruising however is not usually an option during winter due to harsh weather conditions and limited access, so you would have to make your way to Alaska via air or road.
The advantage of Alaskan cruises is not confined to fabulous views and easy access to remote locations, but the comfort of travel in what can be a challenging environment. Expedition cruising is also a good option for this part of the world, as it includes the guidance of experts, smaller groups and vessels that can navigate closer to shore and anchor in isolated coves overnight to allow you the pleasure of seeing bears hunting at dawn and hearing the ice pop! You’ll also be able to catch your own salmon and, believe it or not, the fish can be instantly frozen for you and shipped to your address later…how is that for boasting to your friends?
What To Take On Your Cruise To Alaska
When packing for your trip, go for quality, windproof and waterproof gear, including hiking boots, a hat, gloves and a lightweight day-pack. Do pack layers as the weather conditions can be unpredictable and vary across the day. Also, don’t forget your sunscreen, as it is very easy to get sunburnt while hiking on a glacier, and travel staples such as an alarm clock and an insect repellent. The most important gadget you’ll need are the best quality binoculars you can afford per person, as (trust me) you will not want to share! A camera with a nice zoom and plenty of memory cards is also a must.
In addition, it is worth finding out if you are prone to motion sickness and if so, bring a good supply of meds and sea bands – there is no point spending your spectacular vacation green-faced and miserable!
Don’t worry too much if you forget to pack a rain jacket or fleece shirt, though – you can always go on an Alaskan shopping spree in Ketchikan, and bring home some extra souvenirs!
Author – Patricia Bieszk+ – Freelance travel writer
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