The largest American state, Alaska was purchased from the Russians in 1867 for $7.2 million. At the time, the US Secretary State, William Seward was deriding for his decision – an act that in hindsight has proved to be highly fortuitous. Today, Alaska boasts incredible natural beauty – that’s best observed from the glorious waterways.
Here are our top five Alaskan cruise destinations.
Located near the border of British Columbia, Juneau was named after a successful gold prospector. After dropping anchor, take a smaller boat to Admiralty Island to spot sitka spruce and black bears, before heading to the Mendenhall Glacier. For a view across the region, take the tramway to the summit of Mount Roberts.
The largest city in the state, Anchorage provides the perfect blend of cosmopolitan comforts surrounded by incredible scenery. Once in town, consider taking the train to the Denali National Park for the views across to Mt McKinley or explore the nearby waterways of Knik Arm.
Glacier Bay is located within the largest protected biosphere on the planet and as such allows visitors the opportunity to appreciate mesmerising beauty. Humpback whales frolic in the waters during summer; sea otters are regularly spotted by enthusiasts, while sea lions bask on the shoreline. And as the name implies there are numerous glaciers that regularly calve into the ocean waters below.
Ketchikan is a great destination for travellers interested in learning more about the culture of the indigenous population. Check out the Totem Heritage Centre and the Tongass Historical Museum, before admiring the totem pole collection in the Totem Bight State Park. On the other hand, explore the Misty Fjords National Monument and the Tongass National Forest.
One of the region’s great sights is the Hubbard Glacier, which stretches a massive 122 kilometres from Yukon in Canada to Disenchantment Bay - scientists believe it takes around 400 years for the water to travel the distance. It was named after the first President of the National Geographic Society, Gardiner G. Hubbard and is generally visited as a day trip from Juneau or en route to other locations throughout Alaska.