Gulf of Alaska Cruises
Gulf of Alaska Cruise Overview
Gulf of Alaska cruises travel to many of the same ports as Inside Passage cruises. Instead of turning around at Skagway, however, they sail all the way up to the Anchorage area through Prince William Sound to ports in either Seward or Whittier.
Seward is located on the Kenai Peninsula, about 125 miles south of Anchorage, and serves as one of the main Gulf of Alaska cruise ports. Seward features an array of activities including hiking, kayaking, and sailing and it's home to many glaciers.
Another port city unique to the Gulf of Alaska cruise is Whittier, located in beautiful Prince William Sound. Whittier, with a population of less than 400, is just a scenic two-hour train ride from Anchorage.
Icy Strait is considered the one "true wilderness port" on the Gulf of Alaska cruise route. Many different kinds of outdoor excursions are available in Icy Strait, including brown bear expeditions, salmon and halibut fishing, and glacier flyovers.
Some Gulf of Alaska cruises visit the seaside city of Sitka, located on the Pacific side of Alaska's Baranof Island. It's the perfect place for hiking, bird watching, and shopping and it's home to several Native American Museums.
Juneau, the capital of Alaska, is a popular Alaskan cruise port. It's a great place to view wildlife such as bald eagles, seals, and humpback whales. Juneau is also home to Mendenhall Glacier, which may be viewed from above via helicopter ride.
The town of Skagway transports visitors back to the Gold Rush era of the late 19th century. Downtown is filled with quaint, frontier-style shops. Skagway also offers Alaskan cruisers a wide array of activities including horseback expeditions, climbing lessons, fishing charters, and adventures along the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad.
Ketchikan is another popular port shared by both Inside Passage cruises and Gulf of Alaska cruises. It's home to some great shopping and dining as well as Tongass Rainforest, the largest temperate rainforest in the world.
Gulf of Alaska Cruise Activities & Attractions
Resurrection Bay Wildlife Cruise: This award-winning cruise is a great opportunity to spot glaciers and wildlife including bald eagles and harbor seals. Some itineraries even feature grilled salmon for lunch!
Icy Strait Point Cannery: Take a tour of this historic 1930's salmon cannery.
White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad: A railway tour of scenic Skagway. The White Pass and Yukon Route was built in 1898 as part of Alaska's Klondike Gold Rush.
Totem Bight State Historical Park: See amazing recreations of 14 original totem poles. Located in Ketchikan.
Misty Fjords Tours: See the beauty of the Misty Fjords from a floatplane or a catamaran. Tours depart from Ketchikan.
Trail of '98 Museum: This museum houses artifacts from the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898. Located in downtown Skagway and connected to City Hall.
Ketchikan Creek: The main shopping and dining district in Ketchikan.
Gulf of Alaska Cruises Climate
Alaskan cruises are normally offered during the summer months (between May and September). Temperatures range from the mid-50s to the 70s during the day, but can drop into the 40s once the sun goes down. May is generally the driest month of the year. The water in the Gulf of Alaska can sometimes be choppier than that of the Inside Passage.
Gulf of Alaska Cruise Ports
Gulf of Alaska cruises are all one-way trips, and there are two itineraries to choose between – northbound and southbound. The northbound route starts in either Vancouver or Seattle and ends in either Seward or Whittier. The southbound route is simply the northbound route in reverse.