Very few cruise experiences compare to the fun and excitement of an Alaskan cruise. Just ask the thousands of cruisers who make the trip every year. In fact, more than half of the visitors to Alaska arrive by cruise ship, and an Alaska cruise has consistently ranked as one of the top domestic vacations. Not surprisingly, it is also a top destination choice for multigenerational cruisers. If you’re considering planning some multigenerational family travel, check out these five reasons an Alaskan cruise is a perfect choice.
1. Alaska Is One Of The Most Exotic Places You Can Visit for Family Travel In The USA.
Alaska, which is often referred to as the last great frontier, is a very large territory dominated by thousands of acres of untamed wilderness and a smattering of cities/towns. By sheer geographic mass, Alaska is the largest state in America, and you could easily spend several weeks touring around all of the nooks and crannies.
The massive glaciers and stunning marine wildlife provide a unique backdrop for a family cruise. The natural wildlife both in sea and on land is its own attraction. Think humpback whales, sea otters, moose, grizzly bears, and the largest population of bald eagles in the country. Where else can you see a moose strolling through town? And, Alaska offers many outdoor adventures: stunning mountain hikes, dog sledding, fishing, kayaking, looking for bears while hiking through a rainforest, and various helicopter excursions only scratch the surface of what’s available. As part of a land-tour extension, you could also visit Denali National Park and see Mt. McKinley, the tallest peak in America. There are many one-of-a-kind experiences in Alaska that can truly be the foundation for the family trip of a lifetime.
2. Experience the Land of the Midnight Sun First Hand.
Have you ever wanted to see the midnight sun? If that doesn’t excite you personally, your kids and/or grand-kids will probably get a huge kick out of it. Generally, the “midnight sun” phenomenon, where the sun remains visible even at or after midnight, occurs during the summer in places that are north of the Arctic Circle (or south of the Antarctic Circle). Almost one-third of Alaska lies above the Arctic Circle and thus falls within the midnight sun zone. But even those parts of the State that fall outside the zone still experience exceptionally long summer days, some with daylight hours of 17 hours or more.
And there is plenty to pack into all of those extra daylight hours. Many outdoor activities run past 8 p.m., and some Alaskans manage to start a golf game at 10 p.m. in the summer.
3. Alaska Offers Something To Appeal To Every Member & Generation of Your Family.
Alaska provides a wide range of iconic excursions and experiences to appeal to all ages and activity levels. Common shore excursions often include:
- River Rafting
- Zipline Canopy Tour
- Whale watching
- Helicopter ride to a glacier
- Hiking on a glacier
- Flightseeing tour across glaciers
- Observing a lumberjack show (actually more fun that it first sounds)
- Cooking classes featuring local cuisine
- Panning for gold
- Bird-watching for Bald Eagles
- Wildlife tours spotting for moose, grizzly bears, polar bears, seals, caribou, eagles, humpback whales, orcas, sea lions, otters and more.
- Watching (and listening) to calving icebergs
- Crab harvesting
- Salmon Bake
- Visiting authentic totem poles
- Bus tours to historical sites
For more insights on fun Alaska experiences, get USA Today‘s take on the Top 5 Alaska shore excursions here. Also, you can Discover 52 Cool and Unusual Things to Do in Alaska over at Atlas Obscura. For great tips on wildlife viewing, visit TravelAlaska.com here. And, don’t forget that once you are ready to relax on board after a full day of activities, the ship itself will offer a broad menu of diversions for different age groups. Moreover, with built in childcare (which can be provided by the cruise line rather than the grandparents), there is an opportunity for everyone to have age-appropriate fun.
4. You Can Create The Ultimate Family Trip Of A Lifetime.
Family travel takes on a whole new meaning when multiple generations cruise together to experience the ever-changing landscape of Alaska. No matter how many times your family cruises to Alaska, you’ll always find new sights, new fun, and new adventures. Check out this great first-hand account of one woman’s multigenerational Alaska cruise on Celebrity with family members that included her kids, siblings, in-laws, parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. Here at huffingtonpost.com. And, here’s another colorful example with grandparents hosting an Alaska cruise for the entire family. Here at aarp.org.
5. See Stunning Natural Beauty Daily With Little Effort.
Alaska offers many adventurous outdoor activities that will get your heart pumping, but you don’t even have to leave the ship to observe many of Alaska’s wonders first hand – whether from the private balcony of your cabin or one of the ship’s public decks. Whales, eagles, bears, glaciers. You have the chance to see all of these natural wonders while sipping your morning coffee.
So, Alaska cruises offer unbeatable value, stress-free planning, age-appropriate fun, and one-of-a-kind Alaskan excursions. You can get all three (or four) generations of your family cruising, create a lifetime of memories, and see one of the most exotic states in the USA. Family travel can’t really get much better than that.
If you have thoughts on why Alaska is a great choice for a multigenerational cruise, please share in the comments.
For more insights on why you should consider multigenerational cruising in your family travel plans, see this post.