If it is your first time going on a cruise to Alaska then you probably could use some helpful tips to make the experience as painless and awe-inspiring as possible. The Alaska cruise is one of the most exciting cruises you can go on and in this article we offer some advice from people that have gone on cruises to this cold region of the country before. Be prepared for breath-taking views and the experience of a lifetime if you plan on taking a cruise ship vacation to this vast wonderland of ice and snow.
Pack for the weather
Yes, Alaska is cold, and even if you go during the summer you are going to be a bit chilly. But I don’t suggest you bring a big, huge parka or puffy winter coat. You will just be uncomfortable all the time. The best tip for packing for an Alaskan cruise is to remember that you should be dressed in layers. Even when you are just standing out on the deck you will get some water sprayed on you now and then as the water can get a big choppy. But don’t worry, it should be nothing like the Bearing Sea and what you see on “The Deadliest Catch”. These cruise ships are huge and hardly move at all unless the weather is severe.
By dressing in layers you can peal a few layers off as the day gets warmer. Even in Alaska it can get above 60, but no matter what time of year you go, just bring layer to stay safe and prepared.
Bring some extra gear for excursions
You will want to plan out your excursions in advance, but many of them will require some hiking gear and hiking boots with some good traction. I also recommend bringing a daypack with you to carry all of the things you will need for when you get off the ship. Yes, many of these supplies can just be purchased when you get there, but have you seen prices on a cruise ship? Yeah, a little ridiculous. There are all kinds of different excursions you can go on in Alaska so remember to bring the gear you need.
Pack some binoculars
Many people forget about these. When you go on a cruise in the Caribbean you probably won’t need a pair of binoculars, but in Alaska the majestic, snow-capped mountains are so vast you will want to bring some binoculars to be able to appreciate them better. There are amazing views everywhere and you will not always be able to get as close to a certain view as you would like, so having a camera with a good zoom lens on it will help as well. Just remember to protect your equipment from the harsh salt from the sea water and colder climate. You will also see a lot of wildlife that will not always be close-up so some magnification will always be appreciated. I’m telling you, you will be kicking yourself if you forget these.
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Always get a balcony
How often will you get to go on an Alaskan cruise? Sure, you can save a few hundred bucks by getting an interior room, but if you are going to Alaska you are probably going for the views. You can just get a window, but it’s much better when you can walk out onto a balcony in the cold climate and breathe in that fresh air as you look at this beautiful piece of land. You can always walk right back into your cabin to get warm again, but there isn’t much that can top sipping hot chocolate on a balcony as you see all that this state has to offer.
What time of year to go on an Alaskan cruise?
Well if you want to get the best price on your cruise you can always get it cheaper during those colder months. Anytime between May and September are going to be the busiest times of year for cruises and they cost a lot more as well. But you also have longer days during these summer months which means your excursions on land can be for much longer and you can enjoy the scenery longer as well. If you want to see a lot of wild flowers then go during the spring. Alaska has some of the most beautiful wild flowers and plants on the planet. If you are willing to brave the cooler weather you can book your cruise in the months of April or mid-September. You will get great deals during these months that are right on the fringe of peak season and the weather is not too extreme.