What is it like onboard an Alaska cruise?


Alaska cruise

Image source: Holland America Line

READ TIME: 7 minutes

After a year of lockdowns and travel restrictions, it should come as no surprise that many people are now turning their attention to planning their dream holiday.

Unsurprisingly, for many, that dream holiday will be booking an Alaska cruise. The 49th state is one of the world’s most popular travel destinations as it is home to beautiful forests, enormous glaciers, snow-capped mountains, a rich history and stunning wildlife.

The states national parks are bigger than some countries and its icebergs are taller than some skyscrapers and one of the best ways to explore the stunning wilderness that Alaska, also known as America’s last frontier, has to offer is on a cruise.

This is something that travel blogger Lucy, who runs the On The Luce Travel Blog, talks about: “The thunderous crack of a calving glacier, snow-capped mountain peaks, bears fishing for salmon in clear meltwater streams, humpback whales swimming through turquoise waters. Alaska takes natural beauty to another level. This vast wilderness isn’t the easiest place to get around though, especially if you only have a week or two to spare. But its coastal network of islands, fjords and glaciers make Alaska one of the best parts of the world to cruise in.”

In this article, we take you through what life is like onboard an Alaska cruise so you can get an insight into what you should expect when you book your Alaska cruise holiday.

Life onboard an Alaska cruise

Dining and food on an Alaska cruise

Dining on an Alaska cruise

Image source: Celebrity Cruises

From Alaskan salmon to Pan-Asian flavours and French cuisines, a world of gustatory pleasure awaits you onboard an Alaska cruise. The onboard dining options are something to savour as there is a wide range of foods that passengers can choose from.

If you go on one of our Alaska cruises with Holland America Line or Celebrity Cruises, for example, then you will enjoy food from a team of world-class chefs that represents countries from across the globe as well as enjoy signature dishes. Alongside your food, you will have an exquisite selection of wine to choose from and award-winning cocktails that have been selected by acclaimed wine critics and master mixologists.

Dining room on Alaska cruise

Image source: Holland America Line

If you are wondering what Alaska foods are traditional that you could try during a visit to the state, we have listed some of the most iconic foods below:

•Chinook Salmon

•Alaskan King Crab

•Alaska Reindeer Dogs

•Wild Berries

If you want to visit a local restaurant during your time in Alaska, then there are plenty of eateries that you can visit to try some traditional meals. Tracy’s King Crab Shack in Juneau and The Pump House in Fairbanks are just two popular restaurants you can eat at.

READ MORE: Eat like a local in Alaska

Expert advice and information on your Alaska cruise

On the Alaska cruises we offer, you can listen to guides share tales and historical stories of the areas you travel through which demonstrate their incredible knowledge of the routes we take.

There are cruises where experts come aboard to talk to you about the area you are sailing in. In Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, for example, national park service rangers come onboard to point out areas of interest and to answer any questions that you have. Members of local tribes also come onboard to talk about ancient stories and legends from their history.

These informative onboard talks can feature multimedia presentations and the speakers bring Alaska to life through their insider knowledge and expert storytelling.

READ MORE: What is Alaska famous for?

Onboard activities and facilities

Spa on an Alaska cruise

Image source: Celebrity Cruises

When you step aboard an Alaska cruise there are plenty of onboard activities and facilities that you can look forward to during your trip. So not only will you be taking in the stunning wilderness that Alaska has to offer, but you will be entertained throughout the day and night.

As we’ve previously mentioned there are bars and lounges where you can sit and relax or eat world-class cuisine, but there are plenty of other activities you can enjoy and facilities to take advantage of.

Alaska cruises boast state-of-art fitness facilities so you can stay fit during your trip, while on the flip side you can soothe your mind, body and soul by visiting the onboard spa amenities that are on offer. There are even areas so you can play your favourite outdoor games and activities, whilst keen shoppers can visit the onboard retail boutiques.

A BBC concert on a Holland America Line Alaska cruise

Image source: Holland America Line

Some of our cruises in Alaska even offer live music and theatrical events that through breathtaking programming, will take you closer to the ocean and the natural world through concerts and films. Some of these concerts and films include Planet Earth II In Concert, Alaska In Concert and Blue Planet II In Concert.

READ MORE: First timer’s guide to Alaska

Spectacular views

Distant view of tidewater glacier calving into Glacier Bay National Park

Image source: Holland America Line

When people say they had the best Alaska cruise experience, they usually follow that sentence by saying that they saw some spectacular views onboard the ship.

You can sightsee from your cruise ship as you pass through narrow passageways, past lakes frozen in time, mountains and forest edges climbing the hilltops. The views you get from your room or the deck of a cruise ship cannot be matched by the ones you would get on land.

Breaching humpback whale against snow capped mountains in Glacier Bay, Alaska

Image source: Holland America Line

You really get to experience America’s last frontier so make sure you bring your camera with you as you will be able to take photographs of the stunning landscapes, spectacular medley of mountains, sea cliffs and you might spot wildlife such as grizzly bears and whales.

Excursions and tours

People walking on ice

Image source: Holland America Line

Although not strictly an onboard activity, if you are a bit of an adventure seeker then you can take advantage of the many outdoor activities and tours that are on offer in Alaska.

This includes kayaking and canoeing past glaciers, hiking through rainforests, and ‘flightseeing’ tours by helicopter. By boating through the icy waters of Alaska you can witness humpback whales and orcas in their natural habitat.

Bella Bucchiotti, the travel writer behind XOXO Bella tried Mushing when she visited Alaska and she said: “This was one of my favourite activities during our trip to Fairbanks! I had been mushing before but this time it was even better. Our guide was absolutely lovely, and we had the best dogs. They were so cute! Our tour lasted about 30 minutes, so again – remember to wear warm clothes and a good jacket!”

READ MORE: Where to see rare and impressive wildlife in Alaska

If you would like to look at our Alaska cruises or the Canada holidays we have on offer, then take a look at our website. To read similar articles like this, you can check out our blog.

Latest on Twitter

Canadian Affair on Facebook

Stay in touch & get regular updates

Sign up to our newsletter...

Invalid email

Thank you for signing up. Please enter your details below.

Please help us make your emails more personalised by filling in these extra details. Rest assured that your privacy is important to us and your details will not be shared with any 3rd party marketing companies. For more information, please read our Privacy Policy. Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.

Title is required.
First name*
First name is required.
Last name*
Last name is required
Email address*
Please enter valid email e.g name@example.com

What are you interested in?

Please select all that apply



Visit Friends
& Family