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First time cruiser to Alaska, when and with whom?


canadarocks

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Hubby and I just returned from a Western Caribbean cruise on HAL's Veendam that we absolutely loved! Our next cruise will be to Alaska, but we know NOTHING about the many options available. I'm thinking we'd like to do the Veendam again, but that's not a definite...... He's a teacher so late summer works for us. We want to see as much animal life as possible and enjoyed disembarking whenever possible.

 

Can you wonderfully helpful people advise us newbies? :confused::rolleyes:

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Hubby and I just returned from a Western Caribbean cruise on HAL's Veendam that we absolutely loved! Our next cruise will be to Alaska, but we know NOTHING about the many options available. I'm thinking we'd like to do the Veendam again, but that's not a definite...... He's a teacher so late summer works for us. We want to see as much animal life as possible and enjoyed disembarking whenever possible.

 

Can you wonderfully helpful people advise us newbies? :confused::rolleyes:

 

If you want to cruise on the Veendam in Alaska, it needs to be in 2009, because the ship will be in Bermuda in 2010. The Veendam does a one-way itinerary between Vancouver and Seward, Alaska - going to Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, and College Fjord. Add a few days for a land trip in Alaska before or after the cruise and you'll have a great trip!

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Its our first time in Alaska and we are doing the 7 days inside passage on the Volendam leaving from vancouver, No flying just a short 15 min cab ride from home.:D we go to glacier bay and tracy arm ,skagway, juneau

and ketchican.short but sweet!

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Hubby and I just returned from a Western Caribbean cruise on HAL's Veendam that we absolutely loved! Our next cruise will be to Alaska, but we know NOTHING about the many options available. I'm thinking we'd like to do the Veendam again, but that's not a definite...... He's a teacher so late summer works for us. We want to see as much animal life as possible and enjoyed disembarking whenever possible.

 

Can you wonderfully helpful people advise us newbies? :confused::rolleyes:

 

IF you truely want to see "as much animal life", then you need to consider a one way, WITH another week for interior Alaska touring. Then getting yourself to Denali Park, for at least 2 overnights, and the shuttle bus to at least Eielson, and also Kenai Fjords, and out on a boat tour, with at least 6 hours on the water. These are the top two, consistantly excellent accessable wildlife viewing areas in Alaska.

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Because my husband dislikes flying, an Alaska cruise has become a favorite vacation for us, since we can drive easily either to Seattle or Vancouver. We'll be taking our 7th Alaska cruise, Zaandam May 29-June 5.

 

I agree with Budget Queen: combining the cruise with a land tour gives maximum chances of seeing wildlife. Cruise south to north, explore the interior, then either fly home, or if you have time, cruise back south to your starting port. If cruising only one way, it is prefereable to cruise north, because as you sail north the scenery gets more and more spectacular, whereas if you start in the north, then the scenery goes from more to less spectacular as the days pass.

 

Itineraries departing from Vancouver are best, as those ships go in the inside passage between Vancouver Island and mainland Canada. Ships out of Seattle go around the outside of Vancouver Island -- much less scenic for the first and last legs of the cruise.

 

We prefer early in the season because it is such fun to be in Alaska near summer solstice when daylight lasts until midnight. We seek Glacier Bay and Sitka in our itineraries if possible.

 

Enjoy!

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All these suggestions sound great but I would always do land travel first and then rest on the cruise!! Just my thought that the land travel is much more tiring and the cruise is soooooo easy!!

 

I didn't find early port and glacier arrival times to be very relaxing on the cruise. Nor was our land trip exhausting, as we went at our own pace. I would gladly do another northbound cruise followed by a land trip, but I ought to experience a southbound cruise first, I suppose. :)

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All these suggestions sound great but I would always do land travel first and then rest on the cruise!! Just my thought that the land travel is much more tiring and the cruise is soooooo easy!!

 

I don't "relax" on cruises, there is a big bonus to being up and out, seeing and doing more. :)

 

Sailing southbound, has the benefit and my preference for sailing Inside Vancouver Island in daylight. Spectacular scenery, that is usually missed entirely going north. I've done all the routings.

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