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Posted: April 19, 2015

BIG, bold and beautiful

By Diane Manson

If cruising to Alaska is on your wish-list, now is the perfect time to entertain your summer or early fall vacation.

Bold and beautiful Glacier - West Arm, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska.
Bold and beautiful Glacier – West Arm, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska.

Alaska’s roots stem from Klondike Gold Rush towns, vibrant First Nations cultures, and Russian heritage. This eclectic past and today’s friendly residents will surely charm you at each port of call. The great outdoors provides pristine untamed nature as far as the eye can see. Humpback whales, soaring eagles, steep-sided fjords, and glacier viewing at its finest.

North America’s last frontier is truly astounding.

Seals catching sunny rays - Juneau, Alaska
Seals catching sunny rays – Juneau, Alaska

Cruise season to Alaska is short, mid-May through mid-September. Dry weather can never be guaranteed, along the coast of Alaska. Bringing an umbrella and a few warm layers of clothing is always recommended (particularly during May).

June offers long days of sunlight. On average, July and August provides the warmest weather. Depending on your schedule and budget, early September may be another great time to discover the Inside Passage and the white, iced-capped landscape of Alaska.

Depending on your itinerary you can do almost any type of activity or adventure when your cruise ship is docked.

Not to be missed: salmon and halibut fishing, riding the vintage Yukon White Pass Railway, thrilling helicopter and floatplane excursions.

Catchin' a ride - Tracy Arm, Alaska
Catchin’ a ride – Tracy Arm, Alaska

Discover the world’s largest collection of totem poles, snorkel or glide on a zip-line, mountain bike, nature walk, hike, and shop. Eat the freshest and tastiest fish and chips, and juicy melt-in-your mouth king crab dockside. There are endless things to see and do. There is something for every taste and every budget.

Booking early gives you a first choice of sailing dates. Our recommendation at Mountain City Travel is to book a Balcony stateroom. We consider this a “must do” when discovering Alaska’s breathtaking shoreline.

A seven day return-trip sailing begins and ends in Vancouver. Seattle as a ‘start-point’ may also be a consideration. Depending on your wish list you may want to cruise in one direction and fly the other, starting or ending your adventure in Vancouver (or Seattle).

If you want to explore this large corner of Northern America further, your time may be easily be extended to include Denali National Park, Fairbanks to see the dancing Northern Lights, or the raw countryside along the Yukon River.

An Alaskan cruise was once thought to be ‘saved’ as something to do in your golden years. The air is fresh, the beauty will WOW you, and this magical place should not be missed. Why wait – make every year golden.


Lead image: Floating wonders at Tracy Arm, Alaska. Photos by Diane Manson

Long daylight days and stunning sunsets - Inside Passage, British Columbia
Long daylight days and stunning sunsets – Inside Passage, British Columbia

Diane Manson– When Diane Manson’s not handcrafting someone’s dream vacation at Mountain City Travel you’ll find her hiking in the Rocky Mountains or the Himalayas, combing beaches in the tropics, or cycling the backroads of Europe. Diane loves travelling and everything to do with travel.

Her ‘favorite things’ are fabulous food, Farmer’s Markets, New Zealand white, sunsets and her dog Tucker. As much as Diane is passionate about exploring Planet Earth she and her husband Jim, can’t imagine living anywhere else other than the Kootenays!


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