Princess Cruise to Alaska

An Alaska cruise is a trip that everyone should take at least once in their lifetime. And I say that as someone who isn’t always the biggest fan of ocean cruising.

If landscape and nature is something you are interested in the phenomenal scenery of rugged coastlines, mountains, waterfalls, and glaciers had me captivated. I was content to sit on our balcony and simply watch the beauty pass by on the sea days. In fact, I was hesitant to look away because of the abundant opportunities for wildlife viewing. I saw whales, dolphins, seals, and bald eagles. I was really hoping to see some sea otters, but only got a glimpse of tiny paws sticking out of the water through the aid of binoculars! Which is a great item to bring along for viewing from your balcony. Some cruise boat must dos; Movies Under the Stars, if you opt for the Plus or Premium Beverage packages, don’t forget to take advantage of the Premium Desserts!! The Ice Cream Sundaes are AMAZING!! Favorite frozen drink was the Dirty Banana. The pizzas are delicious as well as the special coffees. Entertainment on board is endless with some many activities going on all the time. Room service is very prompt and have great choices.
Every port of call on my Alaska cruise itinerary was fantastic and the amount of time that was spent at each one was at times, short, but gave me enough time to know I would want to go back to further explore this vast area. I must say I was extremely lucky with the weather, warm and sunny and no rain while in ports. Alaska Cruise Itinerary- Ports of Call I started my Alaskan adventure in Vancouver aboard the Crown Princess. The cruise was the 1st part of June for 11 Days and returned to Vancouver Vancouver – one of Canada’s most beautiful cities, Vancouver had a lot to see and do. I spent an extra day and ½ prior to the cruise to explore. Staying near the airport will save you some money on the expensive cost of Vancouver hotels. Take an Uber to downtown will only cost $30.00. I would advice to get a Hop On/Off pass from Canada Place, this a great way to see all the sights. Stanley Park & Vancouver Aquarium, Gastown, Granville Island are just a few of the must-see sights. Wonderful restaurants and all the seafood you would want are available at any of the many restaurants around the city. If you are staying in the airport/Richmond area, a trip to Steveston’s Fisherman’s Wharf Village is a $10.00 Uber ride and a fun place to spend a few hours and enjoy more seafood! A tour to Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain are also great sights to take in.
Sitka – the cutest little town of 8,400 people, only accessible by air or water. I took a Whale watching tour here and was lucky enough to see whales, sea lions, eagles, and the otter. The skies were clear enough to see the top of the dormant volcano of Mount Edgecumbe. Apparently, I was quite lucky as they on average have 236 days on rain or snow!
Hubbard Glacier – viewing onboard. All I can say is SPECTACULAR. Bundle up and get on deck and take in this awe-inspiring sight, you might get lucky and hear the glacier “calving” !! You can also take an excursion on a small boat to get up close to experience the magic of this glacier.
Skagway – Very nice old Gold Mine town. Lots of shops and a couple restaurants, many excursions at this stop as well but I opted for the White Pass Railway tour. I will sound like a broken record but again, AMAZING ride. Make sure to sit on your balcony when leaving here as you pass through a gorge with amazing waterfalls and mountains one either side.
Juneau – Alaska’s capital city and only accessible by air or sea. A must do here is to take the Goldbelt tram, it has spectacular views of the canal and city. There are some nice trails to hike at the top for even more exploring. Juneau is one of your chances to experience some “Deadliest Catch” Alaskan King Crab legs at Tracy’s Crab Shack, they were absolutely delicious and worth every dollar!!

Ketchikan – 
Known as Alaska’s “first City“ because it was the first major city visitors came to, as well as the salmon capital of the world! Accessible by air or sea but this port has a ferry so you can technically “drive” there. 
They also receive on average, 12.5 feet of rain per year!! So again, I was lucky to experience clear blue skies. The city has many shops and restaurants and multiple excursions.
I took in the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show, it was very entertaining with plenty of audience participation to cheer on the competitors, so much fun!
Like most of the ports of call, this former gold mining and timber town is now supported by the timber, fishing and tourist industry.

Icy Straight Point – “Hoonah” a very cute little fishing village only accessible by air or sea. They have a beautiful walk along the ocean from the port to the town, approx. 30 minutes or you can take a shuttle to and from for $5.00. In town they have a couple shops and a couple restaurants, The Fisherman’s Daughter had a delicious lunch. There are many options for excursion here as well, Bear watching, Ziprider, whale watching, fishing, traditional dance show.

Victoria – In my option, the most beautiful city in British Columbia. As with most of BC the costs of living in this city are outrageous but they have managed to keep the city clean and beautifully adorned with many flowers and parks. The must do’s here is a tour to Butchart Gardens, but I did find the tour through the cruise ship was not enough time to explore the gardens so an Uber ride to and from might be a better option with more time to explore. Walking the city itself along the harbour is beautiful with many things to see and do including a boat taxi to Fisherman’s Wharf to see the “float houses” or “High Tea “and the world-famous Empress Hotel

So in conclusion, make Alaska a priority on the ‘bucket list’. It was more magnificent than I could have imagined!

-Colleen, June 2023

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