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Crown Cruise Vacations | November 28, 2020

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Three Surprises for the First Time Alaska Cruiser

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Alaska has become one of the most popular summer destinations for cruise vacations, especially for families. As more and more people are getting a chance to see the Glaciers and the hidden history of the America’s northernmost state, there are always hidden surprises. Some of them are worth waiting for, and some of them would have been a lot easier to handle with some advance notice. Here are three surprises for the first time Alaska cruiser that are worth knowing before heading to the pier.

1. It’s Going To Rain

Pack an umbrella, because the cruise will likely see some rain. Summer in Southern Alaska tends to be very wet, and that has a lot to do with the fact that much of your Alaska cruise takes place alongside a rainforest. This isn’t just about wardrobe choices though, it also means that patience and flexibility can be a very important virtue on a shore excursion. An early snow can easily close a National Park like Denali, and fog and rain can very easily delay or cancel that helicopter ride along the glaciers, and poor weather can very easily mean a lack of visible wildlife as well.

Just remember that this weather helped create the landscape and nature that everyone wants to see on an Alaskan voyage. It might be cold comfort when that chance to get up close and personal with a glacier doesn’t work out as envisioned, but hey, sometimes the best moments on a trip happen when things don’t happen as planned.

2. Pack That Passport

A surprising number of people might not think that a passport isn’t needed on a cruise. In many cases, that is true – but not on many Alaskan voyages. Only cruises that leave and come back to the same US port allow citizens to travel with proof of citizenship instead of a passport. If your cruise is one way, from Seattle to Whittier for example, you won’t be able to board without a passport. Also, flying out of Vancouver, US Citizens may need a passport just to get to the pier, especially if a flight to Canada is involved.

Passports are incredibly useful tools when traveling, and regardless of necessity, it is the best form of identification during international travel, bar none. The cost may seem high at first, but passports are valid for a decade once issued.

3. One Cruise Isn’t Enough

Maybe it won’t be such a surprise, but doing just the one week cruise in Alaska, will barely scratch the surface of everything there is to offer in the state. In fact, the average seven night Alaska cruise covers such a small part of what Alaska is, that the only way someone can get the full picture is by going back. Cruisetours are a better way to experience more of what Alaska is in a single adventure, although that requires anywhere from 10-14 days time. Anchorage. Denali. Fairbanks. The Alaska Railroad. There’s a lot to see in such a big place. But that’s just another reason to come back again and again!

One more thing, if you’ve been thinking about making that trip happen next summer, act now! The best time to make a reservation to cruise to Alaska is in the Fall. Pricing is very reasonable, and the cabin choices are better, the further out a reservation is made. More people book Alaska in October and November than any other time of the year, so the best deals are often gone for those who wait.