What Do I Want To See On An Alaska Cruise Tour

If you’re considering an Alaska cruise tour, you’re in for a breathtaking journey through some of the most stunning landscapes in the world. From towering glaciers to abundant wildlife, there’s no shortage of awe-inspiring sights awaiting you. But with so much beauty to behold, what exactly do you want to see on your Alaska cruise tour? Whether it’s the magnificent fjords of Glacier Bay, the majestic humpback whales breaching in the open waters, or the charming coastal towns with rich Native American heritage, this article will help you narrow down your choices and plan an unforgettable adventure. So, pack your bags and get ready to embark on a voyage that will leave you in awe at every turn.

What Do I Want To See On An Alaska Cruise Tour



One of the most incredible sights to behold on an Alaska cruise tour is the majestic whales that grace the waters of the state. As you embark on your journey, keep your eyes peeled for the magnificent humpback whales that frequent these areas. You may witness them breaching the surface and then gracefully diving back into the depths, leaving you in awe of their sheer size and power. These gentle giants migrate to Alaska during the summer months to feed on the abundance of krill and fish, providing you with a truly unforgettable wildlife encounter.

Bald Eagles

Alaska is home to one of the largest populations of bald eagles in the world, and spotting these iconic birds of prey is a must on your cruise. As you navigate the pristine waterways, you’ll likely catch sight of these majestic creatures soaring through the sky or perched high atop trees. Their white heads and brilliant yellow beaks make them easily recognizable, and watching them swoop down to catch fish in their talons is a sight you won’t soon forget. Keep your camera ready to capture the perfect snapshot of these magnificent birds.

Sea Lions

Prepare to be entertained by the playful antics of the sea lions that call Alaska’s waters home. These social and intelligent creatures often swim alongside cruise ships, putting on a show with their acrobatic flips and dives. You may even catch a glimpse of them basking lazily on rocks or catching a nap on a floating iceberg. Observing their interactions and hearing their distinctive barks adds a delightful element to your Alaska cruise tour experience.


Another common sight during an Alaska cruise tour is the adorable seals that inhabit the icy waters. With their large, soulful eyes and sleek bodies, these marine mammals are a delight to watch. You might spot them lounging on ice floes or bobbing in the water, curiously eyeing passing vessels. Their playful nature and graceful underwater movements create opportunities for stunning photographs and memories that will last a lifetime.


No Alaska cruise tour would be complete without encountering the quirky and colorful puffins. These small seabirds are known for their distinct appearances, with their vibrant beaks and comically expressive faces. Keep an eye out for their characteristic flying style, as they flap their wings rapidly, almost resembling little torpedoes skimming across the water. Watching puffins dive into the sea in search of fish can be a charming and lighthearted experience, bringing a smile to your face as they disappear beneath the waves.


Hubbard Glacier

Prepare to be awestruck by the majesty of the Hubbard Glacier, one of the most magnificent natural wonders in Alaska. This colossal glacier stretches for 76 miles and flows into the Gulf of Alaska, displaying its stunning blue hues and towering walls of ice. As you approach the glacier aboard your cruise ship, you can feel the temperature drop and the anticipation rise. Witnessing chunks of ice calving into the water with a thunderous roar is an experience that truly encapsulates the power and beauty of nature.

Mendenhall Glacier

Located near Juneau, the Mendenhall Glacier is easily accessible and offers a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with this ancient frozen marvel. As you venture onshore during your Alaska cruise tour, you’ll have the chance to explore the visitor center and take a hike along well-maintained trails to witness the glacier’s splendor firsthand. The vibrant blue and white ice formations, framed by lush forests and cascading waterfalls, create a breathtaking backdrop for your adventure.

Glacier Bay National Park

Immerse yourself in the pristine wilderness of Glacier Bay National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its glacial landscapes. As you sail through the park’s icy waters, you’ll be surrounded by towering mountains, rugged fjords, and numerous glaciers. Keep an eye out for the Margerie Glacier, which captivates visitors with its magnificent calving displays. The sheer vastness of Glacier Bay National Park is sure to leave you in awe and inspire a deep appreciation for the awe-inspiring power of glaciers.

What Do I Want To See On An Alaska Cruise Tour

Scenic Views

Inside Passage

Cruising through the scenic wonderland of the Inside Passage is an essential part of any Alaska cruise tour. This breathtaking route stretches over 1,000 miles and encompasses a labyrinth of fjords, islands, and channels, providing endless opportunities for awe-inspiring views. As you sail, keep your camera ready to capture the majestic snow-capped peaks, verdant forests, and picturesque coastal communities that dot the landscape. The calm waters and serene atmosphere of the Inside Passage make it an ideal place to relax and soak in the natural beauty of Alaska.

Tracy Arm Fjord

Embark on a journey into the heart of Tracy Arm Fjord, a pristine haven of glacial beauty. As your cruise ship navigates its way through the towering granite cliffs, you’ll be greeted by the sight of towering waterfalls cascading down into the icy blue waters below. Snow-capped peaks rise majestically on both sides, creating a dramatic and awe-inspiring backdrop. Keep your eyes peeled for seals resting on floating ice and marvel at the stunning reflections of the surrounding landscapes on the mirror-like surface of the fjord.

Kenai Fjords National Park

As you explore the Kenai Fjords National Park, be prepared to be immersed in a world of rugged beauty and untamed wilderness. Witness the grandeur of massive tidewater glaciers carving their way through the mountains, blanketing the landscape in an ethereal blue. Keep your binoculars handy, as the park is also home to an abundance of marine wildlife, including whales, sea otters, and sea lions. As you cruise through the park’s icy waters, the stunning vistas and tranquil ambiance will leave you with memories to treasure.

Native Culture

Native Alaskan Villages

Your Alaska cruise tour presents the opportunity to visit Native Alaskan villages and gain insight into the rich cultural heritage of the indigenous peoples. Explore the villages of Ketchikan, Juneau, and Sitka, where you can interact with locals, learn about their history and traditions, and browse authentic Native arts and crafts. Taking the time to visit these villages allows you to appreciate the deep connection Alaskan Natives have with the land and the natural resources that sustain their way of life.

Tlingit Totem Poles

Experience the fascinating artistry and symbolism of Tlingit totem poles, an integral part of Native Alaskan culture. These towering wooden sculptures tell stories of ancestral legends, historical events, and clan lineages. During your Alaska cruise tour, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the beauty and craftsmanship of these totem poles in various locations. Pay close attention to the intricate details and vibrant colors, as each carving holds a significant meaning and offers a glimpse into the cultural heritage of the Tlingit people.

Cultural Performances

Immerse yourself in the vibrant rhythms and captivating dances of Native Alaskan cultural performances. From traditional songs to the mesmerizing movements of ceremonial dances, these performances provide a window into the rich traditions and stories of the indigenous peoples of Alaska. Whether you’re watching a performance at a local theater or witnessing a cultural demonstration in one of the coastal villages, these experiences will deepen your understanding and appreciation of Native Alaskan culture.

What Do I Want To See On An Alaska Cruise Tour

Outdoor Activities


When exploring the stunning landscapes of Alaska, hiking is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the natural beauty and discover hidden gems. Whether you embark on a leisurely nature walk or tackle a challenging trail, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking vistas, pristine wilderness, and the chance to spot wildlife in their native habitats. From the lush rainforests of Tongass National Forest to the awe-inspiring mountains of Denali National Park, hiking in Alaska offers adventure, tranquility, and a deep connection to nature.


Experience the serenity and intimacy of Alaska’s waterways by embarking on a kayaking excursion. Paddle through calm bays, navigate pristine fjords, and explore secluded coves, all while surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Kayaking allows you to fully immerse yourself in the natural world, granting you unique access to hidden corners and wildlife encounters that cannot be experienced from larger vessels. Keep an eye out for playful sea otters, curious seals, and maybe even a glimpse of a breaching whale as you glide silently through Alaska’s pristine waters.


For those seeking adventure and a taste of Alaska’s bountiful harvest from the sea, fishing is a must-do activity on your cruise tour. The state is known worldwide for its abundance of fish, including salmon, halibut, and trout. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, Alaska offers excellent opportunities to cast a line and reel in the catch of a lifetime. From chartering a fishing boat to dropping a line off the dock, the thrill of hooking a fish and the satisfaction of enjoying a fresh seafood meal are experiences you won’t want to miss.

Whale Watching

Embark on a captivating journey to witness the awe-inspiring beauty of whales in their natural habitat. As you cruise along Alaska’s coast, keep your eyes peeled for the spouts and breaches that signal the presence of these majestic creatures. From humpback whales to orcas, Alaska’s waters are teeming with marine life. Witnessing these gentle giants gracefully glide through the water or breach high into the air is an experience of a lifetime. The chance to hear their haunting songs and observe their communal behaviors adds an extra layer of wonder to your Alaska cruise tour.

Historical Sites

Skagway Historic District

Step back in time as you stroll through the charming streets of Skagway’s Historic District. This well-preserved Gold Rush-era town offers a fascinating glimpse into Alaska’s past. Admire the restored Victorian-era buildings, visit the historic saloons and shops, and learn about the Klondike Gold Rush and the hardships endured by those seeking their fortunes in the late 1800s. Immerse yourself in the rich history and vibrant atmosphere of Skagway, and perhaps even dress up in period costume to fully embrace the spirit of the Gold Rush days.

Sitka National Historical Park

Learn about the clash of cultures that occurred between the indigenous Tlingit people and Russian fur traders at Sitka National Historical Park. Explore the park’s lush forests and encounter towering totem poles, offering insight into the complex history and heritage of the region. Delve into the story of the Tlingit battle against Russian colonizers and the subsequent transfer of Alaska to the United States. The park’s interpretive displays and artful exhibits provide a fascinating glimpse into important historical events that have shaped Alaska’s identity.

Russian Bishop’s House

Step inside the Russian Bishop’s House in Sitka to experience the opulence and elegance of Russian colonial life in Alaska. This meticulously restored historic site showcases the lavish furnishings, ornate icons, and rich history of the Russian Orthodox Church’s influence in the region. Explore the various rooms and learn about the significant role the Russian Bishop played in the colonization and conversion of Native Alaskans. The Russian Bishop’s House offers a fascinating glimpse into the intersection of cultures that has shaped Alaska’s past.

What Do I Want To See On An Alaska Cruise Tour

Adventure Excursions

Dog Sledding

Embark on a thrilling adventure by experiencing the exhilaration of dog sledding, an iconic Alaskan activity. Feel the power and enthusiasm of a team of Alaskan huskies as they whisk you across snow-covered trails. Listen to the sound of the sled gliding over the snow and the rhythmic panting of the dogs as they work together in perfect harmony. Immerse yourself in the rich heritage and history of dog sledding while taking in the breathtaking surroundings of Alaska’s winter wonderland.


For adrenaline junkies seeking an exhilarating thrill, ziplining through Alaska’s lush forests offers an unforgettable experience. Soar through the air, suspended from sturdy cables, as you enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the scenic landscapes below. The rush of wind against your face and the panoramic vistas stretching as far as the eye can see create an unmatched sense of freedom and excitement. Zip from platform to platform, feeling the adrenaline surge through your veins, all while being surrounded by the natural beauty and tranquility of Alaska.

White Water Rafting

For those craving a wild and adventurous ride, white water rafting in Alaska’s pristine rivers is an absolute must. Strap on your life jacket, grab a paddle, and brace yourself for an exhilarating journey through thrilling rapids and cascading waterfalls. As you navigate the twists and turns of the river, you’ll be surrounded by breathtaking scenery and have the chance to spot wildlife along the riverbanks. An experienced guide will ensure your safety and provide an unforgettable rafting experience in the untamed wilderness of Alaska.

Alaska Railroad

Denali National Park

Embark on a scenic journey aboard the Alaska Railroad to reach the iconic Denali National Park. Sit back and relax as the train winds its way through lush forests, offering stunning views of glittering lakes and majestic mountain ranges. As you approach Denali, the tallest peak in North America, you’ll understand why this region is hailed as one of the last great wilderness areas. The Alaska Railroad provides a comfortable and picturesque way to experience the awe-inspiring beauty and untamed grandeur of Denali National Park.

Scenic Coastal Train

Travel along Alaska’s remarkable coastline onboard the scenic coastal train, a unique way to witness the state’s breathtaking landscapes. As the train hugs the coast, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of mountain ranges, coastal cliffs, and pristine shorelines. The gentle rhythm of the train’s wheels against the track and the ever-changing scenery outside your window create a sense of tranquility and wonder. This leisurely journey allows you to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Alaska while enjoying the comfort and charm of rail travel.

What Do I Want To See On An Alaska Cruise Tour

Local Cuisine

Fresh Seafood

Alaska is a haven for seafood lovers, and experiencing the fresh and delectable flavors of local catches is a highlight of any Alaska cruise tour. Indulge in mouthwatering Alaskan king crab, renowned for its succulent meat and sweet flavor. Savor the delicate taste of wild salmon, as it melts in your mouth and showcases the pristine waters from which it hails. Dive into a variety of locally sourced fish, such as halibut and cod, prepared in various ways to cater to every palate. Alaska’s commitment to sustainable fishing practices ensures that each bite is not only delicious but also environmentally responsible.

Alaskan King Crab

No visit to Alaska is complete without indulging in the exquisite Alaskan king crab. These colossal creatures are famous for their massive legs filled with succulent, tender meat. Feast on these delectable crustaceans, either steamed and served with melted butter or incorporated into dishes like crab cakes or creamy crab bisque. The sheer size and mouthwatering taste of Alaskan king crab make it a true delicacy and a must-try culinary experience during your Alaska cruise tour.

Wild Berries and Salmon

Alaska’s wild berries and salmon are two iconic flavors of the state that are truly incomparable. During your cruise tour, take the opportunity to savor the exquisite combination of sweet, tart berries and rich, savory salmon. Try a traditional dish like salmon with a side of tangy salmonberries, or indulge in a mouthwatering salmon and blueberry pie. The harmonious marriage of these natural bounties reflects the connection between Alaska’s land and sea, offering a distinct and unforgettable culinary experience.

Quaint Towns


As the capital city of Alaska, Juneau is a vibrant and picturesque town nestled between the mountains and the sea. Boasting a rich history and a thriving arts scene, this charming community offers a perfect balance of urban amenities and breathtaking natural beauty. Explore the eclectic blend of boutique shops, art galleries, and museums that line the streets, or embark on a hiking adventure in the nearby mountains. In Juneau, you’ll find the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure, providing an unforgettable experience on your Alaska cruise tour.


Known as the “Salmon Capital of the World,” Ketchikan is a delightful coastal town that blends natural beauty with cultural charm. Stroll through the historic Creek Street, a boardwalk lined with colorful buildings perched above a flowing creek. Immerse yourself in the rich Native Alaskan heritage at the Totem Heritage Center, where intricately carved totem poles tell stories of Ketchikan’s indigenous peoples. Explore the town’s thriving arts scene, sample fresh seafood, and marvel at the stunning scenery that surrounds Ketchikan, making it a true gem on your Alaska cruise tour.


Step into the past as you wander through Skagway, a town frozen in time and steeped in Gold Rush history. This well-preserved town offers a fascinating glimpse into the frontier days, with its charming boardwalks, historic buildings, and colorful facades. Learn about the hardships and triumphs of the gold prospectors at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, or take a ride on the famous White Pass and Yukon Route railroad, immersing yourself in the breathtaking landscapes that captured the imaginations of those seeking fortune in the 1890s. Skagway’s unique blend of history and natural beauty makes it a must-see destination on your Alaska cruise tour.


Nestled on the remote Baranof Island, Sitka boasts a unique blend of natural splendor and captivating history. Explore the charming downtown area, where Russian and American influences intertwine, evident in the architecture and cultural sites. Step inside the magnificent St. Michael’s Orthodox Cathedral, a stunning example of Russian Orthodox architecture and a testament to the city’s rich heritage. Immerse yourself in the beauty of Sitka National Historical Park, where towering totem poles reveal a deeper understanding of the indigenous traditions and stories. With its rich history and breathtaking landscapes, Sitka is a captivating destination that should not be missed on your Alaska cruise tour.

In conclusion, an Alaska cruise tour promises a kaleidoscope of natural wonders, cultural treasures, and thrilling adventures. From the awe-inspiring wildlife encounters to the majestic glaciers and scenic vistas, each experience in this vast and untamed land will leave an indelible mark on your soul. Immerse yourself in the rich Native Alaskan culture, explore historical sites frozen in time, indulge in the delectable local cuisine, and discover the charm of quaint coastal towns. Whether you’re seeking thrill and adventure or tranquility and serenity, Alaska offers something for every explorer. So pack your bags, embark on an extraordinary journey, and prepare to be captivated by the wonders that await you on an Alaska cruise tour.