These Alaska Cruise tips come to you by a travel partner I am working with called Fred.\ Discover. Carefully crafted with the discerning traveller in mind, their holidays are sure to take pride of place on many a bucket list; yet with Fred.\, travelling to exotic destinations needn’t mean sacrificing home comforts…and in this article they share 5 Tips to help you prepare for an Alaskan Cruise.
Alaska Cruise Tips
Alaska is a growing cruise region. Passengers come from all over the world to enjoy the fantastic wildlife, the breathtaking scenery and the one-of-a-kind experiences that the Last Frontier has to offer. This destination also has the power to keep you coming back for more, with 42% of cruisers returning at a later date to revisit somewhere they first discovered as part of a cruise.
So what do you need to know before you climb aboard and head for the Inside Passage? Here are some great tips for anyone thinking about embarking on an exciting Alaska cruise.
#1: Pack for Changeable Weather
You may be forgiven for thinking that a destination characterised by snowy landscapes and glaciers is going to be cold all the time, but that’s not necessary the case. Whilst you should definitely pack fleeces and jackets, summer highs can reach around 18 degrees along the Inside Passage (and even warmer inland) so it’s wise to bring along some short sleeve shirts and shorts too. You’ll find a layered approach to clothing will prepare you for most conditions.
Some must-have essentials include sun cream, as daylight hours are long in the summer and sunlight can reflect off the snow and glaciers; a waterproof jacket that can also keep out the wind; and some sturdy boots that you’ve already worn in. It’s even better if these are waterproof, especially if you plan on hiking some of the magnificent trails or walking on the glaciers.
#2: ESTA-blish Which Paperwork You Need
As with any holiday to the US, you will need to ensure that you have all the correct paperwork in order (even if this is practically all done online these days). An ESTA is an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation and it ensures that you qualify for the Visa Waiver Program that allows citizens from the UK and other countries to visit America for up to 90 days. It’s a very quick process, with the majority of applications being approved within seconds, and sites such as the ‘US Customs and Border Protection’ make it easy to apply. Having said that, it’s advisable to start your application at least 72 hours in advance of travel.
Since April 1st, 2016, it is now a requirement that everyone applying for an ESTA has an e-passport. Anyone who has received a new passport in the last ten years will have one of these and you can tell this is the case if yours features this symbol on the front.
#3: Beware the Motion In The Ocean
Seasoned cruisers will know whether they are likely to experience seasickness or not, but even if you think you might be ok, it is worth taking preventative measures for your Alaska cruise. The Gulf of Alaska can be quite choppy at times and it would be a shame for this to ruin your trip. There are some great modern remedies available including tablets, wristbands and even glasses. Alternatively you could take advice from the sailors of the past and eat plenty of ginger and apples.
#4: Consider the Size Of The Ship
The size of the ship is always a consideration when taking a cruise but this is even more important when sailing to somewhere like Alaska. The intricate and hard to reach ports along the Inside Passage are much better suited to a smaller ship, allowing you to cruise right into port without the need for a tender. Whilst you may be tempted by the increased facilities and entertainment options on a larger ship, remember you will be spending a lot of time on shore in a stunning destination like Alaska.
#5: Save Room for Those Shore Excursions
Alaska is perfect for destination cruises – those where the physical destination is the main highlight of the trip. With this being the case, there are going to be plenty of exciting shore excursions for you to consider from helicopter tours and iconic train rides to whale watching and white water rafting. It’s a good idea to remember this when planning your cruise so that you save room in your budget for a few of these activities and leave room in your schedule to give yourself time to do them.
You may even feel that a few shore excursions aren’t enough to quench your thirst for adventure and that you need longer on land to really get to know this American state. To do this, you can easily add a land extension to your sailing so that you can spend more time in places such as Fairbanks, Denali and Anchorage.
Did you know? As well as vast open spaces and stunning national parks, Alaska is also home to some of the largest cities in the US. In fact, the four largest cities in the United States can be found in the Last Frontier, with its capital, sitting in second. Why not test your own travel knowledge and see how much ‘Juneau’ about what you can see and do in Alaska’s Capital?
Interested in an Alaska Cruise?
Take a look at all the Alaska cruise options available through Fred.\Cruises Alaska cruises on their site.