If you’re planning an Alaska cruise and wondering which side of the ship is best for witnessing breathtaking views, we’ve got you covered. This article will provide insight into the debate between port-side (left) and starboard-side (right) cabins, helping you make an informed decision on where to book your accommodation. Discover the advantages and disadvantages of each side, ensuring you don’t miss out on the awe-inspiring beauty that awaits you on your Alaskan adventure.
Best Side of the Ship for Alaska Cruise
If you’re planning an Alaska cruise, one of the many factors to consider is which side of the ship to choose. The decision can greatly impact your cruise experience, as each side offers unique advantages and stunning views. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of both the port and starboard side, giving you all the information you need to make an informed decision.
Northbound or Southbound Cruises
Before diving into the port and starboard side options, it’s important to consider whether you’ll be on a northbound or southbound Alaska cruise. The direction of your journey can affect the views you’ll encounter on each side of the ship. Northbound cruises typically sail from Vancouver, Canada, to Alaska, while southbound cruises do the reverse. Keep this in mind as we explore the advantages of both sides.
Port or Starboard Side
Let’s start with the port side, also known as the left side of the ship when facing forward. The port side is often preferred by those on northbound cruises as it offers better views of the mainland during the majority of the journey. You’ll have a chance to admire the rugged coastline, picturesque towns, and stunning fjords on this side.
On the other hand, the starboard side, or the right side of the ship, provides great views on southbound cruises. This side offers more opportunities to view glaciers and mountains, as well as the chance to witness all the beauty Alaska has to offer.
Scenic Highlights on Both Sides
While the port side may offer better mainland views on northbound cruises, both sides of the ship provide breathtaking sights. No matter which side you choose, you’ll have the chance to witness some of Alaska’s most iconic attractions, such as the Inside Passage, Hubbard Glacier, and Tracy Arm Fjord. Each side presents its own unique perspective, ensuring you won’t miss out on any of Alaska’s scenic highlights.
Visibility during Glacier Viewings
Glacier viewings are one of the most anticipated experiences during an Alaska cruise. If you’re looking to get the best vantage point, the starboard side is generally recommended. Many large cruise ships rotate or turn while approaching glaciers, giving those on the starboard side a more extended and unobstructed view. However, smaller ships or ships with rotating decks can offer prime viewing spots on both sides.
Sunrise and Sunset Views
For those who can’t resist the allure of a beautiful sunrise or sunset, both sides of the ship have their merits. When on a northbound cruise, the port side is the perfect choice for enjoying stunning sunsets over the mainland. On the other hand, southbound cruisers can relish in awe-inspiring sunrises on the starboard side as they make their way towards the Inside Passage.
Wildlife Spotting Opportunities
Alaska is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts, and an Alaska cruise offers unparalleled opportunities to spot magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. Both sides of the ship provide chances to see humpback whales, orcas, sea lions, and bald eagles. However, the specific timing and location of wildlife sightings can vary, so be prepared to be amazed no matter which side you choose.
Excursions and Activities
While the view from your ship is undoubtedly incredible, part of the allure of an Alaska cruise is the chance to explore the destinations along the way. From kayaking and hiking to helicopter tours and dog sledding, there are endless excursions and activities to partake in. Fortunately, the side of the ship you choose won’t limit your access to these adventures, as most ports offer excursions that cater to both sides.
Alaska’s weather can be unpredictable, but that’s part of its charm. When deciding on a side, it’s essential to take the weather into account. If you’re sensitive to wind, the starboard side might be a better choice on northbound cruises. The port side tends to be more protected, making it a great option for those looking to enjoy the scenery without battling strong gusts.
If you’re particular about the view from your cabin, it’s worth considering the side of the ship when choosing your accommodation. Cabins on the port side offer mainland views for northbound cruises, while the starboard side provides glacier and mountain vistas for southbound cruises. Be sure to communicate your preferences to your cruise line or travel agent, as cabin availability can vary.
Ultimately, the decision of which side of the ship to choose for your Alaska cruise is a personal one. It’s essential to consider your own preferences, interests, and priorities when making this decision. Some may prioritize glacier views, while others may value mainland scenery or sunrises and sunsets. Take the time to reflect on what matters most to you and select the side of the ship that aligns with your desires.
So, which side of the ship is best for an Alaska cruise? In truth, no matter which side you choose, you’ll be treated to breathtaking sights, incredible wildlife encounters, and unforgettable experiences. Alaska is a destination that will leave you in awe, no matter where you stand on your ship. So sit back, relax, and get ready to enjoy a magical journey through the Last Frontier!
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