Why Alaska Needs to Be On Your Bucket List

From zip lining through the forest to dog sledding and glacier walks, Alaska truly has it all.
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Cruising to Alaska offers unparalleled sights, like Tracy Arm fjord and the Hubbard and Mendenhall glaciers.

Credit: Royal Caribbean

Want to experience Alaska and all it has to offer? There are endless sights to see while exploring the state’s spacious land and sailing its surrounding ocean. More than twice the size of Texas and with more coastline than all U.S. states combined, there’s a lot of ground (literally and figuratively!) to cover in the Last Frontier. For a vacation filled with variety and never-ending excitement, look no further than a cruise to Alaska.

Imagine taking in the untamed wilderness, snow-capped mountaintops, immense glaciers and abundant wildlife from your very own balcony—or how about a glass-enclosed observation capsule that goes as high as 300 feet above the ocean? From exciting excursions and local culture at every destination to a lineup of restaurants and bars, entertainment, nightlife and thrills on board—like a skydiving simulator and bumper cars—you won’t ever run out of adventures on a Royal Caribbean cruise to Alaska.

Here are five reasons why a cruise to Alaska is a one-of-a-kind way to see the 49th state:

North Star

Get panoramic views of Alaska’s natural beauty from the signature North Star, an all-glass observation capsule that goes up to 300 feet above the ocean.

Credit: Royal Caribbean

1. It Offers Breathtaking Views from All Angles

Natural wonders exist all over Alaska, so you’ll have Instagram-worthy views every single day—especially when you’re on a Royal Caribbean ship. Take in the incredible sights as you hang ten on the FlowRider surf simulator or float inside a wind tunnel on RipCord by iFly, the skydiving simulator, on both Ovation and Quantum of the Seas. You can also enjoy floor-to-ceiling views through the acres of expansive windows or from the top of the rock-climbing walls on Radiance and Brilliance of the Seas.

Pro tip: For sky-high panoramic views, go on North Star. Only on Royal Caribbean, it’s the all-glass observation capsule on Quantum and Ovation of the Seas that will take you as high as 300 feet above the ocean. 


See all kinds of stunning natural wonders, like the Hubbard Glacier, in one vacation.

Credit: Royal Caribbean

2. It’s the Best of Both Land and Sea

In Alaska, you get the best of both worlds. From touring broad terrain to spotting the state’s wonders at sea, there are one-of-a-kind experiences to be had at every turn. You’ll have the chance to sail the Inside Passage (which includes 500 miles of beautiful shoreline!) and explore fjords like Tracy Arm. Then, check out the state’s highest mountains, the wilderness and the animals that call it home—including bald eagles, whales and the “Big Five” (grizzly bears, moose, caribou, wolf and Dall sheep). You can then get a deeper look on excursions like dog sledding and zip lining through the rainforest (yes, really!) to glacier walks and wildlife expeditions.

While taking in the gorgeous land, make time to learn all about Alaska Natives traditions, like the artistic woodworking of the Tlingit people. Experience the local folklore while dining on authentic delicacies like Alaskan salmon jerky, and visit sites like the Sealaska Heritage Institute and the Saxman Native Village and Totem Park.
Pro tip: Go whale watching in Juneau for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s one of the many Global Sustainable Tourism Council-certified shore excursions, or sustainably operated adventures, you can choose from. 


Fly high for awe-inspiring views from a helicopter before hiking the glaciers in Skagway, Alaska.

Credit: ISTOCK

3. It’s Easy to Explore

Much of the Last Frontier is sweeping nature. If you were to map out your own adventure, it would probably take a lot of planning and involve planes, trains, cars and a ferry or two. A cruise is an effortless way to immerse yourself in what Alaska has to offer so that you can make the most of every minute of your vacation. You’ll be able to wake up in a different destination nearly every day, and whether you’re in Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka or Skagway, you’ll always have a home base to come back to and crew members who are ready to make your vacation memorable.

Pro tip: For more time in Alaska, you can add a Cruise Tour before or after your cruise. These packages include guided, land-based adventures, like visits to the historic gold-mining town of Talkeetna, a trek into Denali National Park or flying high on the Alyeska aerial tram for one of the most expansive views. 



4. The Skies Are Just as Beautiful as the Ocean  

Be sure to look up during your adventures, because Alaska has some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets you’ll ever see. If you’re lucky enough to explore the state on June 21, you can enjoy sunny skies for 20-plus hours with what’s known as the Midnight Sun. The city of Fairbanks, a spot you can visit on a Cruise Tour, even holds a special Midnight Sun Festival each year, complete with a 12-hour street fair of the most delicious food and beautiful artwork. As daylight fades throughout the late summer, it’s possible the Northern Lights just may make an appearance. Take plenty of photos because you’ll never want to forget these incredible sights!


Enter the Mendenhall Ice Caves or Matanuska Glacier Cave to be transported to a world that only exists underneath the glaciers.

Credit: Royal Caribbean

5. It’s a Great Value

Cruising is not only easy—it’s a great value. Royal Caribbean has deals on cruises to Alaska for all kinds of accommodations. Plus, the variety of experiences to choose from on board make it an ideal vacation for everyone in the family and your group of friends. The best part? A lot of what you can see and do on your ship is included, from rock climbing to roller skating, to getting front-row seats to jaw-dropping entertainment and more.

Pro tip: Royal Caribbean experts say the weather in Alaska can change quickly and often. They recommend wearing thin layers, so you can easily add or remove them when the temperature fluctuates. Even better, this takes up less room in your suitcase.


Take your pick of cruises to Alaska on board Ovation, Quantum, Radiance or Brilliance of the Seas to spot incredible wildlife, admire majestic glaciers, explore charming fishing towns and more. Whether from Seattle; Vancouver, British Columbia; or Seward, Alaska, you have several places to choose from when it comes to where to start and end your vacation in the Land of the Midnight Sun. Did we mention you only have to unpack once?


Ready to venture into Alaska in more ways than one? Start planning your vacation to this bucket-list destination here.