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Top 10 Alaska Cruisetour Tips

The following are 10 tips shared from our Princess Cruisetour [ Alaska Land & Sea Vacation ] Experience.

Looking to take a cruise to Alaska? If so, consider extending your 7 day cruise with a land tour of Alaska's Interior. When you get there, it's likely you've traveled from far away and may not visit again. So, why miss being awe struck by the sheer size of the mountain ranges; the breathtaking grandeur of glaciers, the variety of the wildlife (bears, moose, reindeer, red fox, salmon, killer whales, seals and more) ; meeting the locals and learning about their culture and being able to experience each one of these once-in-a-lifetime experiences in ten to fifteen days.

For more on Alaska cruisetours, go here.

Read the our full Alaska Cruise tour review here.

1. Packing Tips
On our trip in early September, the weather changed dramatically, from 65 degrees in Skagway to 90 degrees in Juneau. No matter what time you visit Alaska, from May to September, the weather in the Last Frontier will vary widely. so, pack clothes suitable to layer them on, when temperatures call for it.  Pack shorts and T-shirts and long pants for hikes and wildlife viewing and waterproof layers for those rainy days.

2. What's bugging You.
Be sure to pack bug spray and sunscreen. Everything in Alaska is big. The mountains, glaciers and even the mosquitoes.  The Sun is exceptional bright.

3. A New Way To Pack Your Clothes.
After you disembark your cruise ship, you'll likely take the "Direct to the Wilderness" rail up to Denali. [ A Princess exclusive ] You will be moving from lodge to lodge, so pack your land tour items in one suitcase, and the clothing you needed onboard, that is items that you won't need on land -  in a separate one. If you are traveling northbound from Whittier to Fairbanks, your cruise ship luggage will travel by truck to your final hotel stay.  If you are traveling southbound ( land tour first ) your bag (s) for the cruise ship will be transferred directly to the ship; you will not have access to them until get on the ship. Don't forget to bring a carry on bag-or-backpack that will fit everything you need for the next day on your land tour; camera's, medicines, sun block, bug spray and just in case, an extra change of clothes. Don't bring expensive jewelry or fancy clothes to Alaska, smart casual for your cruise and comfortable wear ( like jeans )  for on land is all you need.

4. Wildlife Are As Unpredictable As The Weather!
The brochures show you great close-up photos of Alaska's wildlife. And, if you are lucky and have the right photographic equipment, you too will get that great shoot. However, spotting that killer whale, soaring eagle, moose or bear is unpredictable.  Wildlife movements and sightings are never guaranteed. If you are lucky to spot a moose or bear, as we did, consider that a "special" event.


5. Bring Your Best Camera. Cell Phone Camera's Are Nice But...

You will be inspired by the magical quality of Alaska’s sights. Bring your best camera, and telephoto lens so you can capture the sun’s pink alpenglow lighting the mountaintops and the blue of glacial ice (actually more visible on high overcast days). Remember to bring lots of memory cards, too - you don’t want to be caught with a full card when you’re just about to photograph a bald eagle soaring along a shoreline of old growth rainforest. One thing you notice about Alaska is the light – everything from the delicate blues and peaches of twilight to bright sunlight bouncing off glacial ice.

6. We Joined The 30 Percent Club!

On our visit to Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge we were lucky enough to join the "30 percent club".  That's the average amount of time when Mt. Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley) is fully visible. The mountain creates its own weather, so most of the time it is shrouded in cloud cover.  Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge is the perfect lodge to view the mountain, but once again consider it a "special event"  to catch a full view of the mountain, they call The Great One.

7. It's All About The Adventure.
Unlike the Caribbean, shopping is not one of the main attractions. Of course you'll want to pick up those souvenirs for friends and relatives, but when you're here, you'll want to capture the memories and the experiences, only Alaska can offer. Seek adventure on a journey that showcases everything that makes Alaska unique. Uncover the heritage of Native Alaskans. Gaze at blue-tinged glaciers and snow-capped mountains. See wildlife at play, and dive into local experiences with the Princess North to Alaska enrichment program.

"Cruising Alaska is about more than just moments. Cruising Alaska is about memories that last forever! Say Alaska and a variety of images and impressions come to mind: towering mountains, watchable wildlife, icy blue glaciers, endless wilderness, vibrant Native culture, leaping salmon, hardy outdoors; "Alaska: America's last frontier" Cruising Alaska gives you a first-row ticket to the best of nature - including fjords, wildlife and mountains galore.  Now is the time to reconsider your budget, so it will match your expectations;  it's not worth the price to come all the way out to Alaska if you can't experience the range of Alaska's activities, so consider kayaking and hiking trips. We took a trip on the White Pass & Yukon Railway from Skagway up to Canada and kayaked on a pristine lake, literally in the middle of nowhere. It was amazing! Alaska is a place to take on activities you wouldn't otherwise consider back home. Go for it. The memories will last forever. -  Raye & Marty Trencher

8. Land Tour First, Cruise Last.
You can sail Northbound from Vancouver, and then take the land portion of your cruisetour. Or, you can fly into Fairbanks and begin the land tour first, then cruise. Our recommendation; tour first, cruise last. Your land tour will be at a much more hectic pace then onboard your ship. Motorcoach, rail and lodge logistics change every day or so.  By taking the land tour first, you can expend more energy at the start of your journey, knowing you'll have time to relax on the ship. Be sure to check out special spring, early fall and summer offers for deals on Alaska cruises, Alaska land & sea vacations [ cruisetours] , accommodations, activities, and tour packages for the “Hottest Deals in the Coolest State” and find exciting ways to spend your days.

9. What's Included, What's Not.
You can book a low budget bare-bones cruisetour known as "On Your Own" with a minimal number of nights on land (3 )and very little if any, sightseeing tours included. Or  you can book a deluxe escorted cruisetour known as a Connoisseur Tour, with most meals and sightseeing included. There are over 56 different Alaska cruisetour combinations offered by a multitude of cruise lines. So, the options and the price vary by when you go, what ship, itinerary and accommodations on land and at sea you choose. Be forewarned; Unlike the Caribbean, Alaska doesn't come cheap, and it's easy if you don't budget ahead of time, to end up spending beyond what you planned for.

10. Enrich Yourself.

Princess Cruises offers Alaska cruise activities not found on other cruises to Alaska. Their Gold Magellan award-winning "North to Alaska" program brings local personalities, culture and cuisine onboard and on land to immerse you in all things Alaska. From fresh seafood and guest speakers from "Discovery’s™ Deadliest Catch," to snuggling sled-dog puppies their Alaska cruise activities offer you the opportunity to see, feel and taste the best of the Great Land right on board. Sampling world-famous Alaska seafood will be one of your favorite Alaska cruise activities on board, with King crab, salmon and popular dishes from local Alaska restaurants on the menu! You can "Meet Real Alaskans". There are North to Alaska cruise activities for all interests from cuddling sled-dog puppies to hearing tales from lumberjacks, mountain climbers and Deadliest Catch fishermen. Experience Every Side of Alaska! From a lively "Klondike Festival" to interactive Alaska youth programs, our Alaska cruise activities aim to enrich.

Need more inspiration?

Call us at 800.365.1445. We'll share our first hand " been there, done that" Alaska experience with you. The story telling is “enlightening”!


"Indeed Alaska is the perfect adventure , from the mild to the wild, there is something exciting to do for everyone."


An Alaska Cruisetour...where a balcony cabin and a spectacular train ride become front-row seats for one of the most breathtaking shows in nature. How magical!

Why add a land tour to your cruise?

To fully experience Alaska, you'll want to discover its interior from Anchorage to Fairbanks with Denali National Park in between. On an Alaska cruise, you'll journey along the southeast coastline of Alaska, experiencing its glaciers, nature's ever-changing and fragile masterpieces. But on an Alaska Land & Sea Vacation you'll uncover so much more, by combining a seven-night Alaska sailing with a small-group tour into its magnificent inland destinations. Stay in the finest available lodges and embark on remote roads and railways in deluxe transportation.  Visit Glacier Bay National Park, and stay a minimum two nights in or near Denali National Park and take the Tundra Wilderness Tour through Denali. And, if you are traveling south of Anchorage, the Kenai Fjord National Park boat tour is a must.


Alaska: By Land. By Sea. By Experts

With unmatched experience and insider knowledge,  Raye & Marty Trencher are Certified Alaska Travel Experts. Their deep history and experience of 20-plus years exploring “The Great Land” mean you can discover the Alaska of your dreams. Every cruise visits one or more glaciers, including Glacier Bay National Park, Hubbard Glacier, Twin Sawyer Glaciers, or the glaciers of College Fjord. Another exclusive, they can take you beyond your ship's ports-of-call in Alaska. Alaska Cruisetours are the ultimate Alaska experience - a vacation combining an unforgettable 7-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise with 3 or more nights exploring Alaska by land. Every Alaska Cruisetour includes the state's top two attractions - pristine Glacier Bay National Park and picturesque Denali National Park, home to North America’s tallest peak.


On land, you’ll stay at exclusive Princess Wilderness Lodges near legendary national parks and most Alaska Cruisetour itineraries include exclusive Princess Alaska rail service, giving you yet another way to see the wonders of the Great Land! Perhaps take a land tour to showcase the Yukon Territory, which is rich in Klondike Gold Rush history.


Did You Know? Alaska’s native Athabascan people named the mountain “Denali” - the “Great One.” Today this glorious 20,310-foot peak is the centerpiece of the crown jewel of America’s national park system, Denali National Park. At over six million acres, this Alaska treasure is unrivaled for wildlife viewing and included on every cruisetour itinerary.


"Up north there's a land without fences. Animals outnumber people, sunlight shines at midnight and nature reigns. Life is different. This northern frontier still boasts pristine landscapes, majestic wildlife and a coastline that is one of the most enthralling waterways in the world. Beyond Alaska's fortress-like glacier walls lie scenic ports of call, treasured national parks, and abundant wildlife. ...and, with more than 1,400 miles north to south and 2,400 miles east to west, Alaska is truly a land of epic proportions".


Ready to cruise and tour Alaska? Get started planning now. Raye & Marty Trencher can help you every step of the way through the planning process of your cruise vacation. And the best part is, their services are absolutely FREE! Call them at 800.365.1445 Today.


  • Meet Raye and Marty Trencher, who are part of an exclusive group of travel agents who are recognized by Princess as Certified Alaska Cruise Experts, and the Alaska Travel Industry Association, earning that distinction for their unique qualifications and knowledge as Alaska cruise planning professionals. No one knows Alaska like they do. From planning to packing, from discount rates to departure dates, and where and what to see, everything you need to know about Alaska and Alaska cruises and cruise tours.

  • Connect with like-minded Alaska cruise travelers that are actually experienced - having been there, and done that! They are eager to share their own stories about visiting Alaska, both from the sea and on the land. If you need help, have questions or want more information, talk to them. They are advocates who love Alaska, it's people, wildlife, wonders and wilderness.



"Awaken your love of the great outdoors when you experience the boundless splendor of the Alaska wilderness on board a cruise ship. Alaska: Mother Nature's piece de resistance. It is, quite simply, the world in its purest form. Imagine vast glacial fields juxtaposed against immense evergreen forests, infinite fields of wildflowers, and heady rushing waterfalls. Nowhere on earth is as diverse as The Last Frontier as seen in the summertime. Oh, and do not forget to pack your sun block. Summer temperatures in Alaska are mild and the days last well into the night."

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