Alaska by land or sea
The 49th state is abundant in soaring mountains, thriving wildlife, bright summer skies, Indigenous culture and endless wide-open spaces waiting to be explored. Alaska’s big backyard awakens travelers’ sense of adventure as cities seamlessly blend into nature.
There’s no time like the present to start planning the Alaska vacation of your dreams. Whether you’re booking a summer vacation, family vacation, group travel, solo travel or anything in between, Alaska has an adventure for everyone. This year, discover what makes Alaska a place unlike any other and be prepared for its beauty to capture your heart. Keep reading for cruise expeditions and land-based tours that await on your next visit.
Embarking on a cruise is one of the most popular ways to experience Alaska, and several major cruise lines are saying out with the old and in with the new — new, larger cruise ships that is. Major cruise lines sailing to Alaska include Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Windstar Cruises, Hurtigruten, Cunard Line, Crystal Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Disney Cruise Line and more.
Aboard these cruise lines, travelers can choose from several itineraries varying in duration and destinations. These are a few new ship experiences to look forward to:
- Travelers interested in a luxury travel experience should indulge themselves aboard Windstar Cruises’ newly revamped Star Breeze, an all-suite yacht.
- Hurtigruten is operating the only hybrid, battery-powered ships in the region and its Work from Ship initiative is a perfect opportunity for remote workers to elevate their work from home to sea.
- Cunard passengers can set sail with several special guests in 2022, including Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the only person alive who has travelled around the Earth’s circumpolar surface; Peter Hillary, who completed the Seven Summits of Mountain climbing; Kenton Cool, who has climbed Mount Denali and trekked across Alaska numerous times; and Felicity Aston, a polar scientist, who in 2012 became the first woman to ski alone across the Antarctic.
VACATION TOURS & EXCURSIONS
There is plenty in Alaska to explore on your own, but no one knows Alaska better than the locals! A great way to experience all the state has to offer is by embarking on a locally guided Alaska tour. Depending on the season, travelers can go dog sledding, aurora viewing, flightseeing, whale watching, fishing, hiking and more. These are a few examples of tours and excursions travelers can add to their Alaska itineraries.
- Take control of the wheel and embark on an epic Alaska road trip with GoNorth’s road trip packages that take drivers through Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska’s Interior and the town of McCarthy and its ghost town counterpart, Kennicott.
- Visit all eight national parks in Alaska with John Hall’s Alaska’s expanded “True National Parks of Alaska” itinerary.
- Pack raft within the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve — the northernmost national park in the U.S. — with Coldfoot Camp.
- Explore Alaska’s Interior via a dog sled team, warm up in a natural hot spring and spend nights under the dancing northern lights with Arctic Dog Adventure Co.’s "Tolovana Hot Springs Aurora Tour."
- Thrill seekers can get their adrenaline pumping on Alaska Helicopter Tours and Alaska Sundog LLC’s “Winter Ice Climbing” tour outside of Anchorage.
- In Southeast Alaska, Klondike Electric Bicycles’ guided e-bike tours take visitors to attractions throughout the town and let them try their hand at gold panning or allows visitors to explore the town on their own with bike rentals.
- Waterfall Resort, just a quick floatplane ride outside of Ketchikan, offers kayak fishing, guided by seasoned kayak angler Adam Fisk. This tour accommodates groups of up to four and allow guests to fish directly from a 13-foot kayak.
- Go Hike Alaska has launched its “Backcountry Eats & Foraging Treats” tour. With two options, either in the Chugach State Park in Anchorage or around Montana Creek outside of Talkeetna, guests spend two hours foraging for in-season items like wild greens, mushrooms, berries and more. The guide also teaches guests ways to prepare these items using backcountry stoves.
- Based in Two Rivers outside of Fairbanks, Chena Outdoor Collective offers year-round tours that include aurora viewing, dog sledding, playing with reindeer and more. Guests can also learn how to harness and mush their own dog sled team.
- The Alyeska Resort is opening Alaska’s first-ever Nordic spa in Girdwood. The Nordic spa will have an indoor and outdoor feature, emphasizing hot and cold experiences for guests to find ultimate relaxation, followed by food at the on-site wellness bistro.
- Found roughly 60 miles northeast of Nome and owned by the Bering Straits Native Corporation, Pilgrim Hot Springs is renting cabins as well as bring-your-own-tent sites. The property currently offers three cabins and three tent sites and is expanding to provide more.
These are just a few of the many ways to discover Alaska this year. To learn more about things to do in Alaska click here, and order an Alaska vacation planner to make the most of your travels.
Note: The health and safety of Alaska’s visitors and residents, along with its member businesses, remains a top priority to the Alaska Travel Industry Association throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Many Alaska tourism businesses are open under the Reopen Alaska Responsibly plan and can help travelers decide if it’s right for them to travel now or in the future. We encourage travelers to stay in touch with their providers for the latest updates and travel requirements.