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Alaska - Inside Passage Cruises March 2025

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Alaska - Inside Passage Travel Guide

Alaska's Inside Passage is a route that stirs the hearts of many travelers with its pristine waters and untouched wild landscapes. Taking a cruise along this passage is an adventure waiting to happen, offering close encounters with nature's untouched marvels. As your cruise ship sails smoothly through calm, sheltered waters, you'll have the chance to see glaciers calving into the sea, whales breaching beside your boat, and eagles soaring overhead. The towns and villages along the way hold histories dating back to the Gold Rush era and indigenous cultures that continue to thrive.

The beaches, though rugged, are a spectacle of their own, offering a quiet escape amidst nature. Cultural attractions are aplenty, with native art, totem poles, and local crafts painting a picture of the region's rich heritage. It's a journey that combines the simple joys of seaside life with the grandeur of Alaska's wilderness. With cruise line volume buys plus our low everyday prices you can save up to 80% versus the brochure price! Book your Alaska - Inside Passage cruise today with AffordableTours.com, your discounted cruise headquarters.
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Alaska - Inside Passage Travel Guide


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Viking OrionAlaskaAucklandVancouver91 NightsAuckland, New Zealand | Bali (benoa), Indonesia | Bangkok (laem Chabang), Thailand | Beppu, Japan | Brisbane, Australia | Cairns, Australia | Christchurch, New Zealand | Darwin, Australia | Dunedin, New Zealand | Dutch Harbor, Alaska | Ha Long Bay, Vietnam | Hiroshima, Japan | Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam | Hong Kong, Hong Kong | Hue (chan May), Vietnam | Jakarta, Java, Indonesia | Kagoshima, Japan | Ketchikan, Alaska | Kodiak, Alaska | Komodo, Indonesia | Kuala Lumpur (port Klang), Malaysia | Lombok, Indonesia | Melbourne, Australia | Nagasaki, Japan | Napier, New Zealand | Newcastle, Australia | Osaka, Japan | Rotorua (tauranga), New Zealand | Sapporo (otaru), Japan | Semarang, Java, Indonesia | Seward, Alaska | Shimizu, Japan | Sihanoukville, Cambodia | Singapore, Singapore | Sitka, Alaska | Surabaya, Java, Indonesia | Sydney, Australia | Taipei (keelung), Taiwan | Tasmania (hobart), Australia | Tokyo, Japan | Townsville, Australia | V$106,894
62 reviews
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Viking OrionAsiaSydneyVancouver77 NightsBali (benoa), Indonesia | Bangkok (laem Chabang), Thailand | Beppu, Japan | Brisbane, Australia | Cairns, Australia | Darwin, Australia | Dutch Harbor, Alaska | Ha Long Bay, Vietnam | Hiroshima, Japan | Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam | Hong Kong, Hong Kong | Hue (chan May), Vietnam | Jakarta, Java, Indonesia | Kagoshima, Japan | Ketchikan, Alaska | Kodiak, Alaska | Komodo, Indonesia | Kuala Lumpur (port Klang), Malaysia | Lombok, Indonesia | Nagasaki, Japan | Newcastle, Australia | Osaka, Japan | Sapporo (otaru), Japan | Semarang, Java, Indonesia | Seward, Alaska | Shimizu, Japan | Sihanoukville, Cambodia | Singapore, Singapore | Sitka, Alaska | Surabaya, Java, Indonesia | Sydney, Australia | Taipei (keelung), Taiwan | Tokyo, Japan | Townsville, Australia | Valdez, Alaska | Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | Whitsunday Island (airlie Beach), Australia$89,895

Alaska - Inside Passage Travel Guide

Alaska - Inside Passage Cruises Highlights

  • Juneau, Alaska's Capital: Juneau, nestled between towering mountains and the Gastineau Channel, is a picturesque stop. Nearby, Mendenhall Glacier and its visitor center provide a chance to witness a massive river of ice up close. Downtown Juneau boasts shops, restaurants, and a slice of Alaska's political history.
  • Ketchikan, The Salmon Capital: Ketchikan is a hub of Native Alaskan culture, with the world's largest collection of standing totem poles. The town offers various excursions like fishing, wildlife watching, and exploring the Misty Fjords National Monument.
  • Skagway, Gateway to the Klondike: Skagway is a step back in time to the days of the Gold Rush with its well-preserved 19th-century buildings. The White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad offers scenic excursions into the heart of the Klondike Gold Rush territory.
  • Sitka, a Blend of Cultures: Sitka is a fascinating blend of Tlingit culture and Russian history. Visitors can explore the Sitka National Historical Park, which commemorates the 1804 Battle of Sitka, and the Russian Bishop's House, a reminder of the Russian influence in the area.
  • Glacier Bay National Park: Home to a dynamic landscape of glaciers, fjords, and a thriving marine life, this park is a living showcase of a changing earth. Witness the grand spectacle of glaciers calving into the bay and spot humpback whales, seals, and eagles in their natural habitat.
  • Mendenhall Glacier: Situated close to Juneau, this glacier offers a breathtaking view of Alaska's icy wilderness. The nearby visitor center provides insightful information on the region's glacial phenomena.
  • Misty Fjords National Monument: A realm of pristine waters, towering cliffs, and lush forests, Misty Fjords is a haven of tranquility. Explore the fjords by boat or floatplane to fully appreciate its serene beauty.
  • Totem Bight State Historical Park: Located near Ketchikan, this park houses a collection of towering totem poles that reflect the rich indigenous culture of Alaska. Each pole tells a story, portraying the deep-rooted traditions of the native people.
  • White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad: A vintage train ride from Skagway into the rugged landscapes of the Yukon Territory, retracing the steps of Gold Rush stampeders and offering awe-inspiring vistas along the way.
  • Sitka National Historical Park: Explore the scene of a significant battle between Russian traders and the indigenous Tlingit people. The park is home to cultural exhibits, lush coastal trails, and totem poles that stand as silent witnesses to history.

Alaska - Inside Passage Cruises Travel Tips

  • If you have the option to take a train in Alaska, do it. The trains go through some of the most amazing landscapes, and you truly won't regret it!
  • Be sure to take the time to explore the natural sights as well as the cities. Many people visit Alaska and only choose one or the other to explore, but you'll get the best experience by exploring both if you have the time.
  • Wear (or at least pack) lots of different layers because the weather can be quite biting on your skin. If you do any outdoor activities, this is particularly important because you might warm up on your hike but get cold at times as well.
  • Remember to bring sea sickness medication in case you need it. The water might be a bit rough in some parts, so it's best always to be prepared just in case.
  • Bring your camera or at least make sure that your phone has a camera on it. You're going to see some amazing sights on this journey that you will never want to forget!
  • Respect the indigenous cultures and learn about their traditions. It enriches your experience and fosters respectful interactions.
  • Stay on marked trails during hikes and maintain a safe distance from wildlife. It's essential to follow the guidelines provided by your cruise line or tour operators.
  • Comfortable walking shoes for exploring towns and waterproof hiking boots for trails are crucial.
  • Gloves, hats, and scarves will keep you warm. Also, pack sunglasses and sunscreen to protect against glare from water and ice.

Alaska - Inside Passage Cruises Things To Do

  • Explore Anchorage
    Explore Anchorage

    Anchorage is the most-visited city in all of Alaska, most likely because it's the state's biggest city. While it is a city and has lots of city attractions, it's also right at the foothills of the state's mountain range and is surrounded by a beautiful lake that's perfect for kayaking and outdoor exploring. Some of the best spots to explore inside Anchorage include the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and the Portage Glacier. It's also only a short trip away from Chugach and Kenai National Parks.

    You Should Know

    Plan your trip to Anchorage accordingly. Since there are so many outdoor activities here, you'll want to visit when there is lots of sunlight.
  • See Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve
    See Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve

    The Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve covers around 3.3 million acres of Alaska, including mountains, rainforests, fjords, and more. You won't explore all of it, but you will see some amazing sights here. The most popular spot to visit is Glacier Bay, which the park itself is named after. It's a protected part of the land that is breathtaking. The best way to see it is on tour, but you have to trek through some wilderness, usually on tours like this, which is something to keep in mind.

    You Should Know

    Plan if you wish to visit Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve because it can be closed during certain parts of the year.
  • Ride the Mount Roberts Tramway
    Ride the Mount Roberts Tramway

    Mount Roberts Tramway is a fun gondola right in Juneau, Alaska. It's an aerial tramway that brings visitors up to the top of Mount Roberts, which is 3,819 feet above sea level. It even picks visitors up right from the cruise ship docks, so you have no excuse not to partake in this fun activity if you're visiting Juneau on your cruise. The tram is quite steep, which is something to keep in mind if you plan on visiting. If you don't like heights, this probably isn't the best attraction for you! However, it is fun for all ages and is incredibly popular among families visiting the area.

    Best Time To Visit

    The view from the top is incredibly beautiful right at sunrise or sunset.
  • Have fun at Alaska Zoo
    Have fun at Alaska Zoo

    The Alaska Zoo is the perfect place to come and learn more about Alaska's wildlife. The zoo is enormous and covers around 25 acres of land. Throughout the zoo, you'll find tons of different species and varying types of animals. Some of the most popular animals to see here include lions, leopards, and polar bears, among others. It's also a popular spot to go if you're interested in seeing birds since there are more than 100 different types of them here! The great thing about the Alaska Zoo is that it's also open throughout the whole year, even in the colder winter days.

    You Should Know

    Grab a map when you visit to make the most of your time at the Alaska Zoo.  
  • See Tracy’s Arm
    See Tracy’s Arm

    Tracy's Arm is a gorgeous glacier located right near Juneau in Alaska. It's part of the Tongass National Forest and was named after Benjamin Franklin Tracy, Secretary of the Navy. Tracy's Arm is incredibly beautiful no matter the time of year, but is best seen from a cruise! It might be worth inquiring if your cruise, in particular, will go through this area. If not, consider booking a short boat tour that can bring you through Tracy's Arm because it's incredibly scenic.

    You Should Know

    Tracy's Arm is one of the most popular spots to visit in Alaska, so you'll want to plan accordingly if you have to book a short boat tour.
  • Visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center
    Visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center

    The Alaska Native Heritage Center is a spot to learn about Alaska's history, heritage, and culture. It's located in Anchorage and opened in 1999. Inside, you can learn about 11 different cultural groups in Alaska. This is the perfect place to come if you're interested in learning more about Alaska. There are quite a few exhibits that will provide you knowledge that you wouldn't get elsewhere unless you were to go on a tour with a local. Be sure to ask the workers here lots of questions because they are here to help you!

    You Should Know

    The heritage center is relatively small, so it won't take more than an hour or two to explore.  
  • Check out Alaska SeaLife Center
    Check out Alaska SeaLife Center

    The Alaska SeaLife Center is the perfect place to visit in Seward if you want to visit one of the state's best aquariums. It opened back in the late 20th century and is still one of the most-visited attractions in the state. That's reason enough to visit! The real highlight of the Alaska SeaLife Center is the exhibits where visitors can touch many tinier animals and learn about them from different workers. You can get up close with seals, sea urchins, and other native animals to this area of Alaska. Keep in mind that the Alaska SeaLife Center has different hours each day.

    You Should Know

    When you're done, be sure to take the time to explore the rest of Resurrection Bay, which is located in this same area.  
  • Explore Tonsina Point
    Explore Tonsina Point

    Tonsina Point is a beautiful area that is incredibly maintained near Miller's Landing in Alaska. It's most famous for its scenic views since it's located near gorgeous mountains and lakes that will take your breath away. The best way to explore Tonsina Point is to go on a hike. There are a few different trails, and some are more visited and frequented than others. The most popular trail to do is the Tonsina River Trail, which is a moderate-level trail. It's only about 4 miles long and is an out and back trail.

    You Should Know

    The trail is excellent for families and travelers with dogs if they've hiked before. Check the weather before your tour because if it's recently rained, then the trail might be a bit muddy. Dress appropriately!  
  • Cruise through the Inside Passage!
    Cruise through the Inside Passage!

    Since the main point of your cruise is to go through the Inside Passage, this is a must-do! Your cruise will most likely include this excursion, and it's truly the most unforgettable part of Alaska. The Inside Passage itself is known for being surrounded by all of Alaska's fjords. The water here is a bright, turquoise blue. There are multiple spots throughout the Inside Passage that some smaller cruises might stop at. Be sure to be on the top deck for this cruise because you won't want to miss a thing.

    You Should Know

    Dress warmly for this part of the cruise, or you'll regret it!  

Alaska - Inside Passage Cruise Packages

Quick Facts

Alaska's climate plays a pivotal role in determining the ideal time for cruising the Inside Passage. The season typically begins in late April and extends through to September. During these months, the weather is relatively mild, with daytime temperatures ranging from 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, although it can dip lower in the early and tail end of the season. The peak tourist season falls between June and August. During this period, the days are long, the skies are clear, and the wildlife is abundantly active. It's a bustling time with high demand for cruises, making it a vibrant, albeit crowded, experience.  

For those seeking a quieter journey, the shoulder months of May and September are worthy considerations. During May, spring blooms are in full swing, and in September, the fall colors begin to emerge, providing a different yet equally captivating backdrop for your cruise. Moreover, these months often offer lower prices and fewer crowds, allowing for a more peaceful exploration of the Inside Passage.

  • Getting There

    Situated in the southeastern corner of Alaska, the Inside Passage serves as a natural gateway to a rugged wilderness that is both serene and wild. The journey begins as cruise ships set sail from ports like Seattle or Vancouver, entering a world where the mountains meet the sea.

    As your ship inches closer to the Alaskan coast, the vast expanse of the Pacific gradually narrows into a peaceful channel, welcoming you into the heart of the Inside Passage. The well-charted waters guide cruise ships to the ports of charming towns like Juneau, Ketchikan, and Skagway. It's a transition from the bustling city harbors to the calm, picturesque ports of Alaska, where adventure awaits both on land and at sea. Each port along the journey offers a unique glimpse into the untouched beauty and cultural richness that defines the Inside Passage.

  • The Perfect Time for an Alaska Inside Passage Cruise

    Cruising the Alaska Inside Passage is a journey through some of the most breathtaking scenery on earth, and selecting the right time for your cruise is crucial to experiencing its full splendor. Alaska's climate significantly influences the ideal time for cruising the Inside Passage. The cruising season typically runs from late April through to September, during which the weather is relatively mild, with daytime temperatures ranging from 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. However, temperatures can dip lower at the beginning and end of the season, adding a brisk and refreshing element to the cruising experience.  

    During the peak tourist season, from June to August, cruising the Inside Passage becomes especially lively. The days are long and bright, the skies are clear, and the wildlife is abundantly active, creating a vibrant atmosphere for cruisers. This is the time when demand for cruising is at its highest, leading to a bustling and energetic experience, although it can also mean larger crowds on the cruise ships and at popular destinations.  

    For those seeking a quieter and more serene cruising journey, the shoulder months of May and September are excellent choices. Cruising in May allows you to witness the spectacular bloom of spring, while September offers the stunning colors of fall, each providing a unique and captivating backdrop for your cruise. Additionally, these months often offer the advantage of lower prices and fewer tourists, allowing for a more tranquil exploration of the Inside Passage.  

    No matter when you choose to cruise the Alaska Inside Passage, each season offers its own unique beauty and charm. From the awakening of spring to the golden hues of fall, cruising this route provides a memorable venture into Alaska's natural beauty and cultural richness any time of the year.  

  • Why Book an Alaska Inside Passage Cruise?

    Booking an Alaska Inside Passage Cruise is an invitation to a hassle-free adventure, blending comfort with unadulterated nature. The cruise offers fantastic value for money as it includes accommodations, meals, and transportation between stunning destinations, all wrapped in one package.

    From the deck, you're granted unique coastal views, unveiling Alaska's wild and pristine beauty as you glide through calm, sheltered waters. The convenience of a floating hotel allows for a relaxed exploration without the constant need to pack and unpack.

    Additionally, cruises often provide exclusive access to certain areas or activities. For instance, some cruises have permissions for closer glacier viewing or offer exclusive shore excursions that take you right into the heart of Alaska's wilderness and cultural heritage.

    With the added benefit of knowledgeable guides and curated experiences, an Alaska Inside Passage Cruise simplifies the journey, making the wild accessible and enjoyable. The well-planned itinerary ensures you don't miss out on key attractions, making every moment count in this vast and beautiful frontier.

  • Experience the Flavors of Alaska

    Alaska's culinary scene is a fresh and wild ride, much like its landscape. At the heart of it lies an abundant offering of seafood, with salmon, halibut, and crab being the stars. The freshness of the catch, paired with indigenous and contemporary preparation techniques, makes dining here a delightful experience.

    A must-try is the Alaskan King Crab, known for its tender, flavorful meat. For a warm sip, indulge in a cup of local craft beers or barleywine, which carry the essence of the rugged terrain. When cruising the Inside Passage, opportunities to savor these flavors abound. In Juneau, Tracy's King Crab Shack is famed for its crab legs and bisque. In Ketchikan, the Alaska Fish House is a go-to for a hearty seafood meal. Besides, many cruises offer onboard dining experiences that showcase local ingredients.

    A visit to a native village or a shore excursion that includes a traditional meal is also a fantastic way to dive into the local cuisine. Through each bite and sip, Alaska's culinary heritage shines, adding a flavorful dimension to your cruise adventure.

  • Immerse Yourself in Alaskan Culture

    Alaska's culture is a rich blend of indigenous traditions intertwined with influences from the waves of explorers and settlers. The Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian peoples are the original custodians of the land, with a culture deeply rooted in storytelling, totem pole carving, and a profound respect for nature. Their vibrant dances, art, and ceremonies are a captivating spectacle for any visitor. 

    The state celebrates its diverse heritage through various festivals. The Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage is a live window into the indigenous cultures, while events like Juneau's Celebration, a biennial festival of Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures, are an explosion of traditional music, dance, and art.  

    Further, the Gold Rush days are brought back to life during Skagway's Yukon Gold Rush Festival, reliving the adventurous spirit of the past. Engaging with Alaska's culture, be it through a traditional potlatch feast or a modern-day festival, enriches the journey through the Inside Passage, offering a deeper understanding and appreciation of this land of the midnight sun.

  • Ready to Book Your Alaska Inside Passage Cruise?

    The allure of the Alaska Inside Passage is a call to the heart of every wanderer seeking a blend of tranquil beauty and thrilling adventure. Its pristine waters reflect the untouched wilderness that lies beyond, waiting to share its tales with every curious soul. From the dance of the northern lights to the melody of the humpback whales, every aspect of this voyage whispers the raw essence of Alaska.

    The quaint towns, rich cultural heritage, and the abundance of wildlife create a narrative that's as enchanting as the serene landscapes. Each day on this cruise holds a promise of new discoveries, whether it's a historical tale from the Gold Rush era or a quiet conversation with nature amidst icy fjords. Your comfortable cruise ship is not just a vessel but a gateway to an enriching experience that beckons. So, as the calm waters of the Inside Passage invite, it's the perfect time to book your cruise, live the tales of Alaska, and carry back memories etched against a backdrop of spectacular sunsets and majestic glaciers.

Alaska - Inside Passage Cruises Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are Alaska Inside Passage Cruises?

    Alaska Inside Passage cruises are the perfect way to explore one of the most beautiful areas of Alaska. Plus, you'll visit tons of Alaska's other top destinations, too, depending on your cruise line, including Juneau, Seward, and Anchorage. You'll be able to relax on days that the boat is out at sea and then get off and explore different parts of the state when it's at a port.

  • What’s included on a Alaska Inside Passage Cruises?

    Alaska Inside Passage cruises include accommodation, which is their main highlight. You'll practically have your hotel room traveling with you, and you won't have to be lugging your suitcase around because it'll be in your place the whole time. You'll also have meals included, with various cafes, restaurants, and buffets to choose from.

  • What’s the best Alaska Inside Passage Cruise?

    Each cruise is so different, so there isn't one that's significantly better than another. You'll want to consider your budget, vacation length, and particular stops you want your dream cruise to make. Research is fundamental when making this decision and choosing the perfect cruise for you.

  • How much do Alaska Inside Passage Cruises cost?

    Alaska Inside Passage cruises vary so much in cost because of the different cruise lines, lengths, and stops. Some cost around $80 a day while others cost up to half a thousand dollars per day. Keep in mind and rest assured that you'll be saving up to 75% off the brochure price by booking your Alaska Inside Passage cruise through Affordable Tours versus somewhere else.

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