Learn the Top Things You Can Do in Alaska During a Cruise
A big aspect of an Alaska cruise that makes it so popular with travelers is the abundance of different types of things you can do in Alaska. Some are best done on a ship – like whale watching and visiting glaciers – while others are highly anticipated land excursions.
Here are some of the top things to do on an Alaska cruise for a memorable, exciting vacation.
Must-Do Glacier Viewing on an Alaska Cruise
Celebrity Cruises’ Alaska cruises takes its passengers on one of two itineraries, each of which is special and spectacular: Hubbard Glacier or Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier.
Hubbard Glacier is nicknamed the Galloping Glacier because of how fast it is moving toward the ocean. This movement results in lots of calving, which occurs when large pieces of ice break off the glacier into the water below. The chunks of ice can sometimes be as large as a multi-story building and make a thunderous cracking sound when they break off that is a quite a sound and sight to behold.
Celebrity Cruises also sails along the jaw-dropping Endicott Arm Fjord to the equally jaw-dropping Dawes Glacier known for its spectacular, multiple calving events.
Depending on your itinerary there may be a small number of spaces on shore excursions the day you’re at the glacier that pick you up from the ship in a smaller expedition boat to get you closer to the glaciers and wildlife. These shore excursions sell out fast often before the sailing even embarks so book early to avoid missing out.
Another incredible way to see a glacier when taking an Alaska cruise is to go on a helicopter or float plane shore excursion over a glacier. One such unforgettable place to do this is in port in Juneau when you can take a flight shore excursion to the astounding Mendenhall Glacier – located in Tongass National Forest – and see its majestic 12-mile width from above along with the ice fields leading to it.
Do a Scenic View Hike in Alaska
In Juneau, take the Mt Roberts Tram up the steep mountainside framing Alaska’s capital city. At the top you’ll find a trail system with routes for all types of hiking levels, including ones even little kids can handle. These hiking trails will get you away from the crowds that just come up the tram for the viewing platform, shopping, and a drink or meal at the mountain top restaurant. Keep hiking up the trail and you’ll get some incredible views of the city of Juneau far below you while escaping the droves of people. You’ll also be able to spot your cruise ship and the long waterway that is sandwiched between downtown Juneau and Douglas Island.
Another great place for a hike is in Sitka, where you can explore the wilderness of the Tongass National Forest.
Salmon and Seafood in Alaska During a Cruise
Alaska is famous for its seafood. Ketchikan is a port of call on most Alaska cruises and the city is even known for being the world capital of salmon. During certain times of year in Ketchikan you can even see the salmon run, which is when salmon make their way back up the river that runs through Ketchikan in order to get back to the place they were born; once there, the salmon’s last act of life will be to spawn. If you’re interested in learning more about this amazing feat and why salmon are so important to North America’s ecosystem, visit the hatchery in Ketchikan.
King crab is also a big delicacy in Alaska. You can buy it by the leg or by the pound, served alongside crab shell cracking tools and melted butter — and a lot of napkins. If you’re curious how the crab makes it from the ocean to your plate, take off on a crab boat shore excursion — you can even go on a ship featured on the Deadliest Catch!
Wildlife Activities to Do on an Alaska Cruise
Alaska isn’t just towering glaciers and mountains alongside picturesque bays and charming port towns. It is also home to a number of wild animals both on land and sea. Two of the most popular animals to see on an Alaska cruise are bears and whales.
Many ports of call offer bear watching excursions that let you observe bears in a manner that is both safe to human and animal. In Sitka, visit the Fortress of the Bear where you’ll head to a viewing platform that lets you watch rescued orphaned bears roaming and feeding in a natural setting.
While in Ketchikan, you can also take a scenic cruise along the shoreline to Neets Bay where you get the chance to see bears fishing for salmon right in the open streams.
Scenic Train Rides to Do on an Alaska Cruise
A must-do in Skagway is the Yukon railroad. Celebrity Cruises has many shore excursions that pair up the train ride with another adventure, such as gold panning, kayaking, hiking, and more.
You can also add on an epic multiday train ride to your Alaska vacation by doing a Celebrity Cruisetour. You’ll start or end your vacation in Seward with a day exploring the city before your take off on an escorted land tour that includes transportation through the inland wilderness ona glass-domed train.
Start Planning the Things You’ll Do on an Alaska Cruise
To start planning all the things you’ll do on your Alaska cruise, reserve your spot on a Celebrity Cruises sailing or cruisetour. Once you choose your stateroom, you can conveniently and easily reserve all your shore excursions in your online account with Celebrity Cruises before you even set sail, which is a good thing to do since the most popular shore excursions can sell out quickly! Don’t wait – Celebrity Cruises can help you book your dream Alaska cruise today.