FIVE THINGS BEFORE YOU CRUISE
About two million people visit Alaska a year and cruising is a popular way to do it.
1. PICK YOUR TIME
The cruise season runs from mid-May to mid-September. If you want to see snow, book early in the season. You’ll see more wildlife midsummer to late summer.
2. CONSIDER YOUR SHORE EXCURSIONS
With everything from dog sledding to hiking, sea kayaking and whale watching on offer, don’t leave the decision-making until you’re on board. Have a back-up plan in case the weather turns. And if you prefer to get off the beaten track, go for activities with longer hiking times that might deter some travellers.
3. BALD EAGLES ARE LIKE ALASKAN PIGEONS
Half the world’s 70,000 bald eagles stick to Alaskan skies, with about 15,000 said to be found in Juneau alone.
4. RAIN GAUGE
Rain is a constant companion in Alaska but Ketchikan locals make light of it with a “liquid sunshine” measure of the annual drizzle. The record is 5144mm in 1949.
5. GIANT RAINFOREST
Tongass National Forest is North America’s largest national forest, spread across 7 million hectares of glacier-carved landscape.
Book a Sitka shore excursion to hike through the otherworldly landscape, past trees more than 500 years old and across spongy muskeg (peat bog).