Alaska Summer Cruise Vacation
An Alaska summer cruise would be my first 2018 vacation. Another opportunity to visit Alaska.
Last September I visited The Great Land for two weeks. This time I would cruise through Alaska for 7 days on the NCL cruise ship, the Norwegian Pearl. I was very excited to be going to Alaska again!
After booking this trip I had to find things to do in Alaska when we reached cruise ports. I decided to do a whale watching tour in Juneau. What a great time ahead! Definitely was looking forward to doing that.
For this Alaska cruise you have to travel to Seattle and drive to Pier 66. There’s actually a lot to do at this cruise port, so if you have time to explore, definitely do so.
For the next 7 days the Norwegian Pearl would be home. Up next was to visit Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan, Alaska, and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Although this is an Alaska summer cruise, you have to stay warm. If you’re used to hanging out on the deck and enjoying the warm weather of a Bahamas cruise, this is not the one for you. I wouldn’t say the weather was cold, but it was not tanning weather. When your cruise through Alaska, you will see many beautiful views and wildlife. With that said, you will also experience random rain and very strong winds. There were times where we weren’t allowed to be on the deck due to strong winds. Most people on the cruise ship stayed inside, but sometimes you would see people out in the hot tubs.
Day 3 we visited the capital of Alaska, Juneau. It would also be the time for the Whale Watching & Mendenhall Glacier Photo Safari. We traveled from the Juneau port via bus to the Stephens Passage. We boarded a boat and set sail to do some whale watching. I saw humpback whales and sea lions.
At the conclusion of the whale watching part of the excursion we saw a Humpback whale breach. I wasn’t able to capture it because we had to head back to our seats, so I only managed to see it happening with my eyes. Still cool regardless!
Following the whale watching excursion we visited the Mendenhall Glacier. We took a short walk through The Trail of Time to get to the destination. Unfortunately, it was so cloudy and rainy, you could not see the Mendenhall Glacier. When visiting Alaska tourist attractions please remember that the weather is unpredictable. It wasn’t such a big deal to me because the Mendenhall Glacier was a bonus to the whale watching photo safari. On the way back to our bus we did see a family of black bears and the baby was eating salmon, so that was pretty cool!
Our next cruise port stops were Skagway and Ketchikan. I didn’t do the cruise excursions offered because I wanted to explore the Inside Passage ports. Skagway is pretty small and the population is under 1000 people. Ketchikan is the southeastern most city in Alaska.
Many onboard of the Norwegian Pearl would say one of the best places to see on Alaska cruise is Glacier Bay. When the cruise ship reached Glacier Bay, the empty decks became full. People were in awe staring at the glaciers. We all saw icebergs and calving glaciers too!
Glacier Bay was great, but I was a little bit disappointed to be honest. Why? Last year I did an Alaska day cruise with 26 Glaciers. We only saw a few of the Glacier Bay glaciers such as the Margerie Glacier. It was incredible to see, but I was expecting to see more. I visualized something different from what it actually was. With that said, I managed to get some great shots of the scenery and the glaciers.
Hearing the white thunder along with glacier calving was pretty cool too. We spent about an hour in front of the Margerie Glacier. Everyone onboard the cruise ship got plenty of great chances for pictures and videos of it if they chose to. If you have yet to see glaciers or love to see them, Glacier Bay is definitely one of the must see places to visit in Alaska.
It was a nice and peaceful Alaska summer cruise. Most days the clouds were clear and the views were beautiful. The only day I recall it raining during the day was when we visited Juneau. The temperatures weren’t too bad either. Some days you could walk around wearing shorts and a t-shirt, but I did not do that. Doing a cruise is a nice way to explore Alaska!