Adventure comes first on the last frontier.
No vacation in the world delivers a once-in-a-lifetime adventure like Alaska. Mark this as your year to cross this bucket-busting destination off your list once and for all. Take off by dogsled across thousand-year-old ice as you soak in otherworldly sights. Trek across the majestic Mendenhall Glacier for breathtaking views of the wildest country. Get to know wildlife, big and small, that call this wilderness home, like otters, eagles, bears, and whales. And do it all from onboard one of four thrill-filled ships. This is Last Frontier pioneering with the cruise line voted Best Overall by Travel Weekly readers for 20 years running.
Tracy Arm Fjord
Tracy Arm Fjord extends over 30 miles alongside the wilderness of Tongass National Forest. Sailing through this deep and narrow passage delivers some of the most breathtaking scenery you’ll find in Alaska. See active glaciers carved into 7,000-foot-tall mountain peaks and plunging waterfalls burrowed into evergreen-clad cliffs. Glimpse native wildlife and watch deep blue icebergs float past the ship.
Sitka truly offers the best of Alaska. Its small-town appeal stems from a unique blend of Russian, Tlingit and American history. Its snow-capped peaks and volcanic Mount Edgecumbe pose among the state’s most postcard-worthy scenes. And its rare wildlife astounds, from Saint Lazaria Island’s orange-beaked puffins to Alaska Maritime Refuge’s 40 million seabirds. This is off-the-path Alaska, where you can kayak Sitka Sound alongside swimming sea otters or fly-fish for the world’s biggest halibut. Whether it’s hiking Baranof Island trails or listening to tribal stories passed down for generations, in Sitka the midnight sun never sets on adventure.
If you’re looking for an authentic taste of wild, rugged adventure, a cruise to Haines, Alaska is just the ticket. Located less than 70 miles north of Juneau, along the continent’s longest and deepest fjord, Haines offers endless outdoor activities for intrepid explorers. Hike deep into misty coastal rainforests and ancient spruce woodlands. Set out on a rafting adventure along the rivers that thread the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. Learn about the gold rush era at Fort William H. Seward. And discover the area’s rich cultural heritage at museums dedicated to the Native Tlingit People.
You can’t get to Juneau easily without a sprint by air or by sea. But once you arrive you’ll find majestic views and rich culture in every corner. With its snowcapped mountains, misty rainforests, massive glaciers and bounty of wildlife, Alaska’s remote state capital is the perfect place to dive into nature. Framed by Mount Juneau and Mount Roberts, the city’s picturesque downtown area offers centuries-old bars, boutique shops and historic landmarks. For a taste of the local culture, visit the historic district and the Alaska State Museum. And for outdoor thrills, you can take your pick of activities ranging from whale watching in Auke Bay Harbor to tundra trekking over Mendenhall Glacier, and even try your hand at gold panning in Last Chance Basin.
What To Know Before You Go
The sheer size of Alaska lends itself to a wide variety of terrain and travel experiences. This diversity means you need to be prepared for a lot of change while traveling.
The best time to travel to Alaska depends on your priorities. If you’re interested in the Midnight Sun, the longest day of the year is June 21, when you can experience close to 20 or more hours of sunlight in some parts of the state. If you’re more interested in the Alaska Northern Lights, the earlier sunset in later summer will allow more contrast and better views of this natural wonder.
No two days will be the same, and you’ll need to pack your clothing to prepare for temperature changes throughout the day. Think layers: zip-up sweaters, boots, rain jackets.
Cameras, binoculars, rain ponchos and jackets are useful, but add these to the souvenirs you’ll be picking up and soon your bag will be too heavy to tote around. Bring along a quality day pack to make it easier to hold your necessities.
Alaska is not a formal place; people even wear jeans to the opera. Focus more on comfort when deciding what clothing to pack.
Learn a few words in Alaska’s local lingo: The “Alcan” is the Alaska-Canada Highway, for example, and “fish stories” are the local version of tall tales — unreliable yarns of mythological proportions, often told by fisherman.
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