Getting up close to gigantic glaciers, hanging with Alaskan huskies, watching lumberjacks do lumberjack stuff—the awesome and varied things you can do on an Alaska cruise make it an ideal summer getaway. The days are long, the landscape is breathtaking, and the seafood… yes, the seafood is yummy.
Our Alaska cruise experience on the Coral Princess took us from Whittier (near Anchorage) to Vancouver in seven days, cruising by glaciers and stopping at the charming port cities of Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan along the way. If you’re taking time to trek all the way to this far-out frontier, you might also opt to tack on a land tour so you can explore gorgeous Denali National Park. The Princess Cruises Alaska page outlines some of your options—give it a gander.
To inspire you to set sail, check out these 21 things you can do on your Alaska cruise.
1. Grab breakfast at Snow City Cafe in Anchorage
Many Alaska cruisers will either arrive in or depart from Anchorage. If you have a morning or more in Alaska’s largest city, breakfast at Snow City Cafe is a great way to kick off or close out your trip. I highly recommend “The Deadliest Catch”—a combination of two types of Eggs Benedict, one featuring Alaska king crab cakes and the other starring smoked salmon cakes. Mighty tasty!
2. Spot the mountains and the moose in Denali National Park
For views of stunning mountainous landscape and close-but-don’t-get-too-close encounters with Alaska wildlife, Denali National Park is a must-visit. I didn’t see any grizzly bears snatching salmon in their mouths at the apex of a waterfall, but there were a few moose sightings.
Fun fact: A majority of visitors hoping to catch a glimpse of the mountain called Denali (formerly Mount McKinley) don’t actually get to see North America’s highest peak (20,310 feet). There is something informally known as the “30% Club”—the fortunate few who successfully see Denali when it’s not covered in clouds 70% of the time. Was I lucky enough to join this prestigious minority? Alas, no.
The engaging and informative guide on our Denali Natural History Tour used a hand-y visual aid. I never noticed the great state of Alaska was shaped like a mitten.
3. Play with the puppies at Husky Homestead
Dog lovers, dog well-wishers and anyone susceptible to cute overload may want to say hello to the pups at Husky Homestead in Denali.
4. Ride the Alaska Railroad from Denali to Whittier
Among the most unforgettable experiences on our Alaska cruise/land tour was the ride from Denali to Whittier aboard the Alaska Railroad. The glass-domed train afforded amazing views of the lush landscape. The railroad tracks stretching out towards the horizon were highly photogenic. And the hot bowl of chili from the dining car definitely hit the spot.