Maybe it’s because I took my first-ever cruise to this region back in 1998 aboard Norwegian Cruise Line‘s long-departed Norwegian Wind, but I find myself thinking of Alaska a lot lately. The 2016 Alaska Cruise Season begins in April from Port Metro Vancouver‘s Canada Place Cruise Terminal, and on April 29 for departures from the Port of Seattle.
Over the nearly two decades inbetween, I’ve sailed North, to Alaska nearly a dozen times – and it’s highly likely I’ll set out once again on a journey to this most scenic of cruise destinations.
Frequently maligned for its recurring bouts of liquid sunshine, Alaska is often overlooked as a cruise destination. People want sun, sand, beaches, Mediterranean drinks with little umbrellas in them. And while you’ll find cocktails, it’s true you won’t find a lot of beaches worth swimming in. Palm trees don’t sway, and temperatures rarely peak above anything that would cause you to break a sweat (though they definitely can).
What Alaska has, though, is history. Scenery. Nature. You’ll see bears and whales and harbour seals and birds of all kinds. You’ll see towns that exist because of their Klondike Gold Rush past, and which still have a hard edge to them to this day. Cruise ships come here in droves, sure, but Ketchikan doesn’t exist to serve cruise passengers. Nor does Juneau, the isolated capital city of Alaska, where no roads connect it to other parts of mainland Alaska.
Today, I think it’s fitting to take a look – in pictures – at some of my Alaska cruises past. I also want to reach out to ask you for your help: which Alaska cruise do you want me to take this year? What ship? What itinerary? What are you curious about? What would you like to see covered as a day-by-day Live Voyage Report here and on The Avid Cruiser? Use the comment form below to post your answer.
Until then, enjoy Alaska – in pictures. And if you haven’t been, isn’t it time you set sail for this amazing place?
From the Deck Chair will return next week.