First Timers' Guide to Exploring Alaska | Craig Travel

First Timers' Guide to Exploring Alaska

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Are you considering crossing Alaska off your bucket list but are unsure on how to make your adventure an incredible one? Here are some tips for a first time Alaskan explorer! To avoid the tough question as to whether you should discover the beauty of Alaska from its magnificent lands or from the calm sea, combine the two pleasures! You will not regret it.

Summer is the best season to experience Alaska as the weather conditions at that time of year are the most suitable for travelling. Besides, cruise lines do not operate in this part of the world during the cold months of winter... However, useless to say that summer is the busiest time to visit The Last Frontier so it is recommended to book your journey as early as possible.

When it comes to packing, it is important to keep in mind that summer in Alaska is nothing like summer in the Mediterranean, temperatures wise. You may want to consider packing your favourite sweaters and fleece as well as a good windbreaker. These two cozy items will make your discovery of the glaciers from the promenade deck much more enjoyable!

When cruising, one important source of debates often comes to "shall we spend the extra money on an outside stateroom?". YES! Alaska is THE destination for which you do not want to bypass the comfort of a private window on the magnificent outside world. Think about it one second... is there any better way to spend your evenings with your significant other than by sipping a glass of wine on your balcony as the Inside Passage's majestic glaciers unveil before you? One other recommendation is to request, if possible, a cabin on the starboard of the ship when cruising south to north. That way, you will enjoy uninterrupted views of the snow-capped mountains and quaint seaside towns rolling by. If sailing the other direction, you may want to consider a stateroom on the port side of the ship. Once again, only early booking will ensure that you do not get disappointed when one of our Cruise Specialist breaks the news that all outside cabins are sold out.

Now let's get into the heart of your Alaskan exploration... There are four symbolic cities that you may not want to miss; Juneau, Anchorage, Ketchikan and Skagway. Juneau is the perfect destination for whale watching as the waters near the state's capital are an important summer feeding area for humpback whales. Juneau is also the ideal location to treat your tastes buds as one of the local specialties is Sockeye salmon. You won't be able to resist the flavours of fresh salmon cooked on an open alder-wooden fire and lathered with a very special sauce. Anchorage is the place to go if you want to see fascinating wildlife. Visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, a 200-acre refuge and non profit organization which mission is to protect endangered species such as the wood bison. Is there a more satisfying way to learn about the local wildlife than by helping protect it? Elk, lynx, bald eagles and reindeer await. Ketchikan, the "First City" of Alaska will help you learn more about the Native Alaskan nations. After walking along the city's Creek Street, a unique boardwalk built above the sea, you may want to delve into the rich indigenous culture at Saxman Village. Indigenous woodwork art will have no more secrets for you. Last but not least, step back in time in Skagway, the primary getaway to the legendary gold fields. Retracing the Klondike Gold Rush onboard a vintage train that takes you along majestic mountains, breathtaking deep gorges, mirroring lakes and cascading waterfalls in an experience not be missed.

There you go, now you are all ready to live an exceptional adventure, all you need to do is choose your preferred exploration of Alaska below and contact one of our Cruise Specialists!  

Alaska, Denali and the Yukon
July 30, 2021  | 13 Days

Alaska's Inside Passage
August 4, 2021  | 8 Days

Grand Alaska Cruise
August 23, 2021  | 15 Days