Postcards & Passports

Why I’m Excited to Cruise Alaska

Everyone has their own reasons for choosing to take a cruise in Alaska. I would imagine it’s mostly about the breathtaking views and a sense of adventure. After all, Alaska is the last frontier. I just have to tell you the ten reasons why I’m excited to cruise Alaska. I’ve booked my cruise and it’s happening soon. Maybe you’ll want to go too!

1. I used to work for Westours

The summer between my freshman and sophomore years of college, I was hired to work for Westours. They specialized in Alaska cruises and land tours. My job was to meet passengers when they arrived at the Seattle airport and transport them to downtown hotels. Other drivers would shuttle them to the cruise terminal downtown. I loved seeing how happy everyone was as they anticipated their cruise adventures. If I had worked for Westours a second summer, I would have earned a free Alaska cruise. But I ended up moving out of state and lost that opportunity. I never lost my desire to see Alaska, though.

Side note: Westours was purchased by Holland America, one of the experts in Alaska cruising. They’ve been cruising Alaska for 75 years. Because of my earlier connection, I’m excited to cruise Alaska with Holland America.

2. My father used to work for Alaska Airlines

For many years, my father worked as a navigator for Alaska Airlines. Even now as I look at a map of Alaska, I recognize all the obscure village names as well as the larger cities. Alaska really is the last frontier, and the stories my father used to tell helped to make me excited to cruise Alaska! The sad thing is that I’ve only been to Alaska once, as a 12-year old, and I have very few memories. I do like that our family has a few more ties to Alaska, and they’ve increased my desire to see it for myself.

3. I’m a nature lover

Alaska is abundant in stunning scenes I’ve never beheld…like fjords, glaciers, salmon runs, moose and soaring eagles. I hope to see whales and seals, bears catching fish — and perhaps a calving iceberg too!

I can’t think of a better place to see nature at its finest than Alaska where so much is untouched and wild.

4. I love to hike and explore in nature

Some of my most cherished life memories are being out in nature and enjoying this beautiful world God created for us. For me, it’s not enough to see a TV documentary or a YouTube video. I want to be there in person. I want to smell the clean air, feel the dampness of a misty waterfall, and see the magestic snow-capped peaks. It’s just another reason I’m so excited to cruise Alaska!

While on an Alaskan cruise, I’ll also get to enjoy shore excursions in several remote towns. I’m really looking forward to taking a wilderness train ride and hiking near a glacier. Riding a tram up a mountain to see picturesque views from the top will also be a thrill.

5. I love to capture beautiful scenery in photos

Photography is one of my dearest hobbies. There’s something amazing about taking a photo that perfectly recreates your experience. Getting up early to catch the sunrise or capturing a pod of whales — those are captivating moments! Cruising Alaska will give me many magical opportunities like these.

And when you take photos from a cruise ship, you’ll get lots of gorgeous reflection pictures as water becomes the perfect mirror.

Full confession: I didn’t take any of the Alaska photos in this post because I haven’t been on my Alaska cruise yet. Stay tuned for a photo barrage after I return!

6. I’m an early riser

Summer in Alaska means really long days! If you are like me and you burn a candle at both ends (stay up late, get up early), you’ll love Alaska in the summer, too! The mid-summer months in the Alaska Inside Passage see 10:00 pm sunset times and 4:00 am sunrises. I can’t wait to see Alaska in a variety of light and moods. From the softness of early morning light to golden hour and blue hour or misty moody scenes, Alaska will show off many times over!

7. I like the idea of cooler weather

Up to now, I have only cruised to warm weather locations. And while summer usually means lots of sunshine, basking by the pool, and beach activities, sometimes that gets a little old. (Okay, not really, but there’s nothing wrong with changing it up a bit!) I actually do look forward to a cooler environment. Sipping hot chocolate on a brisk morning while watching the scenery glide by the ship…doesn’t that sound awesome?

Packing an entirely different set of clothing also resonates with me. Flannel shirts or cable-knit sweaters with fleece-lined leggings, cozy scarves and blankets…fall clothing is the best!  I also like the idea of the cruise’s formal nights being more casual than most cruises. Alaska is all about ruggedness and being untamed. Why squeeze into high heels and cocktail dresses?!

8. I want to learn about wildlife and culture

Holland America Alaska cruises bring experts on board to talk about the abundant wildlife in Alaska, as well as the native tribes and their history in the area. When I travel, I really like to learn more about the area I’m visiting.

On Holland America’s Alaska cruises, I can attend lectures like “Ancestral Memories,” “Breaking the Ice Ceiling,” “Pacific Giants,” “The Iditarod” and “We Are Alaska” to learn more about local culture and customs.

There will also be a Huna Native Interpreter in traditional dress in Juneau to discuss the history of the Tlingit people with “Native Voices: Stories of the Tlingit People.”

When we cruise through Glacier Bay, there will be rangers onboard to tell us about indigenous animals and the glaciers. Wouldn’t it be a shame to visit a place as unique as Alaska and not immerse yourself in all that you can learn?

9. I’m excited to cruise Alaska with family

While I’ve loved cruising with my husband, I’m actually really excited to cruise Alaska with additional family this time. I’m looking forward to taking shore excursions together and sharing the experiences. These are memories we’ll always have after this cruise. I’ll also enjoy dining and discussing our day’s adventures, playing games, and attending shows together.

It’s a bonus to be able to go on a vacation that doubles as family time, too. There’s far less chance of experiencing any vacation boredom. There will always be someone with whom I can exercise, enjoy a salon treatment, go shopping for souvenirs, or sit in a hot tub. We’ll all have our own staterooms, so we can retreat when we’ve had enough family time. Cruising with family seems like an ideal way to travel.

10. Alaskan cuisine on the menu

Something you should know about me is that I LOVE salmon! But I’ve never eaten freshly caught and baked salmon. I’m pretty excited to cruise Alaska with Holland America’s ” Alaska Up Close” program which offers sea-to-table dining. Chefs focus on localized cuisine and an Alaska-themed brunch, along with drinks served with real glacier ice. (I don’t drink alcohol, but I’m hoping I can get a mocktail with glacier ice because Holland America is the only cruise ship authorized to serve glacier ice!)

In the dining room, menu offerings include dishes like Alaskan Blueberry Pancakes, Salmon & Potato Chowder, Wild Forest Mushroom and Tarragon Crepes, Kodiak Steak and Egg Skillet, Crab and Hot Smoked Salmon Cakes, Biscuits with Gravy and Alaskan Reindeer Sausage, and Home Smoked Gulf of Alaska Cod Benny. Is your mouth watering yet?

Summary of why I’m excited to cruise Alaska

While personally helping Westour guests cruise to Alaska and hearing my father’s tales, Alaska has always been on my radar. But there are so many reasons to be excited to cruise Alaska — from adventure and rugged beauty to seeing wildlife and enjoying delicious local cuisine. When I’ve questioned my friends about their favorite destination to cruise, a huge majority named Alaska as the #1 choice. I can’t wait to be on the ‘other side’ of this upcoming cruise, so I can tell you if I agree or not. But I’m pretty sure I will.

Disclosure: I booked and paid for my own cruise with Holland America. I have been offered onboard wifi and some upgraded meals in exchange for sharing my experiences with you. You will receive only my honest opinions.

excited to cruise Alaska

cruise Alaska

Excited to Cruise Alaska



22 thoughts on “Why I’m Excited to Cruise Alaska

  1. Linda (LD Holland)

    I must admit that our Alaska cruise was a bit of a disappointment. But I think we did not pick a cruise that gave us enough time deep in Alaska. Nature lovers will definitely have Alaska on their travel wish lists. Bears catching fish are certainly on ours! The scenery is majestic and we too are early risers and try to get the most of a full day. Great to take advantages of all the educational opportunities on a cruise ship to learn about the wildlife and culture. And who is going to pass on Alaskan salmon? All great reasons to get excited about a cruise to Alaska.

  2. Dad

    I didn’t catch whether your cruise itinerary includes Fairbanks. If you get the opportunity, hop the railroad trip to Fairbanks. The “land scenery” along that route is a huge contrast to that you will be seeing from the ship. (And, of course, on the edge of Fairbanks you will find Santa’s Village at North Pole, which was the height of yours and your siblings featured events when you went there before.). Either way, I’m glad you’re enjoying the cruise, and hope it will help relive experiences of your first trip.

    1. Tami Post author

      Our itinerary does not include Fairbanks. We’ll see Tracy Arm Inlet, Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, and Glacier Bay. I do remember a little about Fairbanks and North Pole. Unfortunately, we don’t have the time on this trip to add any land packages. Maybe another time…

  3. Jan Banerjee

    I like all your reasons to want to cruise Alaska! I have not been on a cruise to Alaska yet but it is very much on my bucket list. I would love to see the 4 am sunrise and 10 pm sunset and take a nap in the afternoon to catch up on sleep. Salmon, which I love, would be a big draw for me to do this cruise. I will remember to use Holland America Alaska cruises for informative talks on wildlife. Those images with reflections and ice are awesome! 🙂

  4. Jennifer Prince

    Oh wow! It sounds like you have the perfect history with both cruising and airlines to go on this trip. So fun! We actually did HAL’s Alaskan cruise in May of 2022 and had such a wonderful time. It’s truly a magical place, and I hope you have an amazing time!!

  5. Adele

    I think your story of what makes you want to see Alaska may be as interesting as the trip itself. I always imagine Alaska to be vast and remote and kind of unforgivingly harsh weather too. This makes it an adventure to look forward to. I hope you have a great trip and cant wait to hear about it.

  6. Ambica Gulati

    I like the way you have penned a preview of this cruise. I would love to go for the wildlife and the Naturescapes. I also like to shoot a lot of landscapes and planning to get a better lens for clicking birds in flights. I am a vegetarian, so I would probably need to do more research on cuisine. I like the idea of lectures around culture such as ‘Ancestral Memories’ and meeting the Huna Native Interpreter in traditional dress in Juneau to know the history of the native Tlingit people.

  7. Umiko

    It’s my dream to go to Alaska, too. It doesn’t matter with a cruise, flying, or driving. Reading your post made me excited, too, because I learned several things that I wasn’t aware of. I’m a salmon lover, too, so reading about sea-to-table made me think about this cruise. Also the glacier ice. I can only imagine how fresh and delicious it will be. Enjoy your Alaska cruise!

  8. Joanna

    These are great reasons for why a cruise to Alaska is perfect for you. The nature and the hiking would be very high on my list as well. I know Alaska has some incredible scenery and it is so remote. Perfect place to try and spot wildlife. The cuisine would also be important as well, if I’d choose Alaska for a cruise. I love to try local dishes and the Alaskan fish is famous all over the world.

  9. Maria Veloso

    Who wouldn’t be eager to embark on an Alaskan cruise? The mountain views are spectacular, and I will undoubtedly take shots of them. Another thing I’m interested in is learning about their culture. And, of course, their cuisine is something I will not pass up!

  10. sineamarie

    My sister in law is in Alaska visiting some of our family right now! They all love it. My high school BFF lives in Kodiak AK, too. You’d think I would have gone there with all the contacts I have! LOL Your pictures are amazing, BTW!

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