Explore the scenic Inside Passage. Dine on freshly caught fish in Juneau. Encounter Skagway’s Gold Rush history. And spend a day cruising incomparable Glacier Bay National Park.
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Holland America Line’s Alaska cruise tours now include the tiny town of Whittier. This remote village is nestled along breathtaking Prince William Sound, home to a stunning array of wildlife, including bald eagles, sea otters and killer whales, so have your camera ready. Whittier has the odd distinction of being almost entirely under one roof. No need to get in a car to go to the grocery store, bank or a friend’s house. All town services are sheltered from the often-inclement weather in this unique and practical way, and virtually all of Whittier’s approximately 220 residents live in the 14-story Begich Towers, originally a Cold War outpost for the U.S. Army. Not only will you experience Whittier’s small town charm on Alaska cruise, there is also plenty of outdoor activities like fishing, hiking, scuba diving and kayaking. It is also known for its high concentration of glaciers.
Sailors used to worry about falling off the edge of the world. Surely somewhere out there, it all simply stopped, and the only thing left to do would be to fall. But what if you discover that you’ve already fallen, and now you’re trying to get back up? That’s what sailing towards Hubbard Glacier feels like.
The glacier is up to 65 meters (213 feet) wide at its face and 50 meters (164 feet) tall, but that’s only the tiniest piece of the ice: The main channel of this frozen river begins 122 kilometers (76 miles) back, pouring down from around the 3,400-meter (11,100-foot) mark off the shoulder of Mt. Walsh.
Hubbard is the longest tidewater glacier (meaning it ends at the ocean) in North America. But unlike nearly every other tidewater glacier on the continent, Hubbard is advancing, not retreating; it’s forever pushing a little further into the bay. Chunks of ice that break off become floaties for seals, who like the bergs because orca sonar doesn’t work well among them.
The deep blue of the face of the glacier on a sunny day—the color made by compression of ice crystals that can be a foot or more long—is the blue of the furthest stars. The glacier is on the move.
With the serene majesty of snow-flecked and forested mountains defining its shores, Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve offers some of the most dramatic scenery and wildlife experiences in the world. Glacier Bay National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve, is home to the mile-wide Margerie Glacier, highlight of your scenic cruise up this Alaskan fjord. Watch for breaching humpbacks alongside your ship, bears along the beaches, and so much more as Holland America Line and National Park Service Rangers guide you through the best Alaska Glacier Bay cruise adventure you’ll ever have.
At the height of the Klondike Gold Rush, the port town of Skagway served as the primary gateway to the legendary gold fields, and quickly grew into Alaska’s largest settlement. It was then a raucous frontier hub packed with trading posts, saloons and guesthouses. As the gold rush faded into the 1900s, so did Skagway—but today it has been reinvigorated as a gateway for a new kind of visitor: those looking to explore Alaska’s colorful history, pristine wildlife and unrivaled natural beauty.
Set sail on an Alaska Cruise and take an adventure in Skagway. At every turn, you’ll find yourself immersed in gold rush lore, from the infamous Red Onion Saloon that still keeps a pistol that Wyatt Earp left behind en route to the Klondike, to the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad, a classic narrow-gauge railway that traverses rugged mountains and passes cascading waterfalls and towering glaciers as it connects Skagway to Whitehorse deep in the Yukon. Known as the “Garden City of Alaska,” Skagway is filled with beauty and nature. Explore the town on a Skagway excursion. Much of the town has been preserved as part of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, where rangers offer free walking tours around the historic district. Take an Alaska Cruise to Skagway and you’ll also find a vibrant local community, home to a rich collection of local galleries, curio shops and restaurants serving seafood plucked fresh from nearby waters.
Cruise to Juneau, Alaska and visit the most remote, most beautiful and strangest state capital in the United States. Surrounded by water, forest and mountain sights, visitors seeking things to do in Juneau indoors and outdoors can hike a glacier, eat fresh-caught fish on a seaside patio and tour a grand capitol building all in one day.
Juneau is known for its outdoor recreation, fresh seafood and fine dining. The city itself is pleasant, but the real highlight of a visit to Juneau is tracking down some wildlife. You can hike up Mount Roberts to chance upon wild deer and bald eagles. Most sightseeing and whale-watching tours head north to Auke Bay—bring a good pair of binoculars to get the best view of these majestic and surprisingly graceful creatures. If you prefer land mammals, catch a floatplane to a nearby wildlife reserve such as Chichagof or Admiralty Island to spy some bears lolling around on Alaska cruise excursion.
The sleepy, misty city of around 32,000—mostly fishermen and small-business owners—has a frontier town vibe, but welcomes more than a million visitors each summer to its natural attractions, cementing Juneau as Alaska’s number-one tourist destination. Experience this breathtaking city on an Alaska cruise.
Take an adventure and cruise to Ketchikan, Alaska. Alaska’s “First City” of Ketchikan is so named because it’s the first major landfall for most cruisers as they enter the picturesque fjords of the Inside Passage, where the town clings to the banks of the Tongass Narrows, flanked by green forests nurtured by abundant rain.
Ketchikan has long been an important hub of the salmon-fishing and -packing industries. Visitors can try their luck on a sportfishing or simply savor the fresh seafood at one of the local restaurants on a cruise to Ketchikan excursion. Ketchikanis also one of the best spots along the Inside Passage to explore the rich cultural sights of Native Alaskan nations like the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian. You can see intricately carved totem poles at the Totem Heritage Center and Totem Bight State Park, while the attractions of Saxman Village just outside of Ketchikan offers the chance to see Tlingit culture in action, with working carvers and a dance show in the clan house. On an Alaska cruise to Ketchikan don’t forget to leave time to explore the sights in the town itself, including historic Creek Street, a boardwalk built over the Ketchikan Creek, where you can shop for souvenirs, smoked salmon and local art, while exploring gold rush–era tourist attractions like Dolly’s House Museum.
Once a trading post and a rough-and-tumble sawmilling settlement, today modern Vancouver, Canada is many things. Cruise to Vancouver and visit this bustling seaport. This city is a hub for outdoor enthusiasts looking for active things to do in Vancouver an ethnically diverse metropolis, and Hollywood of the North. Hemmed in by mountains and sea, Vancouver seduces visitors with its combination of urban sophistication and laid-back attitude against a backdrop of glass towers and modern sights and plentiful green spaces.
Enjoy enjoy local attractions, fun filled outdoor activities, and an innovative culinary scene on a Vancouver cruise excursion. Vancouver’s culinary and cocktail scene is on the rise—and its excellent restaurants and hopping bars have a distinctively local stamp on them. If you are looking for where to go in Vancouver for music, theater and the arts, they are thriving in the city’s many museums, galleries and performance venues. Beyond the downtown attractions in Vancouver, days of exploration and sightseeing await among the colorful suburbs, unspoiled islands and the vast, rugged wilderness.
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