AS Alaska’s summer cruise season winds down, many online readers are asking australiancruisingnews.com about the best time to cruise through that State’s celebrated Inside Passage.
Truly, the 49th State of the United States of America is a stunning beauty at any time during the summer cruise season from April, when the snow and ice are melting, to September when temperatures start to fall.
However, it is often a plus to be there early in the season when Alaskans are unwearied by the thousands of cruise ship passengers that invade their shores in later months. Boats and planes are all ready for the season’s financial bonanza that is made taking cruise passengers on inland excursions that reveal even more of Alaska’s pristine wonderland.
There are opportunities to go dog mushing through snow country, take fishing trips to bag large salmon, as well as adrenaline adventures from zip-lining above fir forest canopies to kayaking in wild rivers.
Come September locals are often ticking off the days until the last cruise ships sail off and their lives return to normal.
This season almost 1 million passengers visited Alaska on 28 cruise ships that made several round trips from US and Canadian ports.
Disney Wonder (disneycruise.disneygo.com).made 16 sailings from Vancouver (Canada); Radiance of the Seas sailed 18 times between Vancouver and Seward (Alaska) and Rhapsody of the Seas made 16 sailings to Alaska, royalcaribbean.com.au
Princess Cruises is another regular in Alaskan waters with the 3028-passenger Crown Princess, (princess.com) as the largest cruise ship there this summer. Holland America (hollandamerica.com) is another major cruise line that sails to this scenic territory every season.
As well as stunning vistas, Alaska is the place for wildlife from whales breaching to seals hitching rides on ice, and sea otters heading off in follow-the-leader fashion to who knows where. There are sightings of moose on snow-covered peaks, woolly mountain goats clinging to sheer rock faces, bald eagles atop fir trees, and brown bears ambling along the water’s edge, travelalaska.com