Alaska: An expedition cruise guide

Travel Advice

The extraordinary land of Alaska is so many different things - lush green rainforest, a cornucopia of diverse flora, amazing ancient glaciers, white water rafting, waters seething with wildlife, fascinating gold-rush history, magical myth and legend, Russian influences, looming peaks, dog-sledding, bear-watching - we could go on and on.

Alaska is many things to many people, but we would always recommend choosing an expedition cruise to escape the crowds. Within hours you are away from the big ships and will find yourself at the very heart of this wonderful wilderness.

The best time to visit Alaska

The season stretches from May to September, although certain services run from June to August only. In mid-summer Alaska enjoys long days where the sun barely sets, and temperatures are pleasant, usually ranging from 15 - 25°C.

Wrangell St Elias National Park, Alaska

Which Alaska itinerary to choose

The Inside Passage (Alaska's south eastern 'pan handle') offers protected waters and in-depth wilderness experiences with local park rangers, hiking, whale-watching and amazing scenery. But you may wish to go further afield - Alaska stretches far to the north and west, where you will be truly remote from the trappings of the modern world.

Whale watching in Alaska

How to get there

For the pan handle, the major international gateways are Seattle and Vancouver - from here you can fly on to Anchorage, Juneau or Ketchikan. More remote destinations such as Nome are reached by connecting flights from Anchorage, often chartered specifically for your trip.

Seaplane in Juneau, Alaska

Alaska's wildlife

Alaska's incredibly diverse array of species includes black, brown and grizzly bears, deer, wolves, Arctic terns, pigeon guillemots, moose, elk, musk oxen, wood bison, caribou, bald eagles, vultures, puffins, porcupine, lynx, mountain goat, pods of orca, humpback whales, Steller sea lions, harbor seals, porpoise, sea otters and maybe even the mythical, shape-shifting creature known to the local Indians as Kushtaka!

Brown bears in Alaska

Extending your Alaska holiday

The options to extend your holiday depend on your gateway to Alaska. The cosmopolitan cities of Seattle and Vancouver are fantastic in themselves, and you may wish to explore the environs, pick a remote bear-watching camp, or cross the Rockies by rail on the Rocky Mountaineer. If your gateway is Anchorage, you can travel north to Mount McKinley, hike into the wilderness, explore the Kenai peninsula, and go fishing or hunting. Give us a call on 020 7399 7630 and speak to us about your interests so that we can help you make the perfect choice.

Rocky Mountaineer, Canada
Meet the author

Edwina Lonsdale is Managing Director and together with husband Matthew, owner of Mundy Adventures. Her most recent adventure was a cruise on Silver Origin and she has also sailed with Seabourn, Ponant and Aqua Expeditions. Her favourite adventure destination is the Galapagos however she's also enjoyed cruises in the Middle East, East Africa & Indian Ocean, Brahmaputra, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the Mekong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and the Arctic. When she’s not travelling she loves reading, food and wine.

More about Edwina

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