Why I want to visit Alaska

In a follow up from my previous post about princess Cruises 50th Alaska season I thought I would would do something different ans share with you why visiting Alaska is definitely at the top of my bucket list of places to visit.

As a keen photographer, I know the scenery would just astound me and I would have to apologize to my wife for constantly being distracted by it! From the high peaked snow-capped mountains to glaciers, slowly edging their way towards the sea and the tree covered landscape and numerous picturesque islands what is there not to like; it is surely a photographers dream.

I would be utterly mesmerized by its scenery but Alaska is also renowned for its amazing nature, and it is one element of this that is the main draw for me personally.

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It is obvious to anyone that knows me or follows me on social media that in addition to my passion for photographing and writing about ships I have another one also linked to the ocean. It is no coincidence that my favorite livery on of any cruise ship currently afloat is that of Norwegian Bliss!

Norwegian Bliss whale artwork

If it is not immediately obviois my other passion is whales, in particular killer whales or orca’s. To call them whales is in fact incorrect, as they are actually the largest members of the dolphin family, which together with whales are all collectively called Cetaceans.

Top of my excursion list on a cruise around Alaska would be a whale watching tour, and there are numerous ones available. Due to its location, Alaska is considered one of the world’s whale watching meccas and many tours offer the near guaranteed chance to see whales. Humpback, grey and beluga whales and dolphins in addition to killer whales.

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Humpback Whale watching © Scott Methwin Juneau Tours

The best time to cruise to Alaska is between May and September as daytime temperatures are in the mid 60’s and rainfall is at its lowest, on average 3.52 per month.

During the summer months a number of whale and dolphin species can be found Alaska’s coastal waters these include grey, humpback, fin and beluga whales together with numerous species of dolphin.

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Adult orca and baby 

Unlike the migrating species of whales orca’s live all year round in the waters surrounding coastal Alaska outside Seward near Kodiak, in Prince William Sound, in Glacier Bay, Icy Straight and Alaska’s inside passage.

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Although all orca’s have the same beautiful black and white coloration, Alaska is home to no less than three different types with the most commonly seen type known as “residents”.These noisy and sometime gregarious pods are so called because they remain in the inland or nearby coastal waters all year round feeding on the abundant fish. There are two resident subgroups. Northern residents range from Vancouver Island north to SE Alaska while Southern residents occupy greater Puget Sound.

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The second type are the more elusive mammal hunters known as “transients” These secretive orca’s move north and south along the coast from Southeast Alaska and British Columbia as far south as Southern California, but they frequently make forays into the Salish Sea.

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The third group known as “offshore orca’s inhabit the ocean well beyond the coast. Far less is known about these and you are unlikely to see this type on any whale watching tours.

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© NOAA

I am truly in awe of these majestic animals, and seeing them swim in the wild would be my ultimate dream and a cruise adventure I would really enjoy sharing with you…

One day perhaps…

Have you cruised in Alaska? did you go whale watching I would love to hear about it?

As always thank you for taking the time to read my blog

 

Princess Cruises begins 50th Alaska Season

Princess Cruises’ 50th year sailing in Alaska is now under way following the arrival of the 3,080-guest Ruby Princess in America’s northernmost state. A further six ships will head to Alaska, including the 3,560-guest Royal Princess on May 11, marking the cruise line’s largest ever deployment to the region.
 
Princess is offering a variety of cruise and cruise tour options up to September, which will encompass the state’s must-see attractions including Glacier Bay National Park and Denali National Park. Alaska cruises range in length from seven to 12 days and depart from Vancouver, Anchorage (Whittier), Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. 

Princess also owns and operates five wilderness lodges in riverside locations near national parks, offering more than 20 cruisetour options for guests. Princess cruisetours combine a seven-day cruise with a multi-night land tour and exclusive ‘direct to the wilderness’ rail service.

Several new initiatives have been introduced to mark the 50th anniversary. They will be offered alongside Princess Cruises’ ‘North to Alaska’ onboard programme, which includes ‘puppies in the piazza’ – when some of Alaska’s newest sled dogs and their handlers come aboard – and the ‘cook my catch’ fishing shore excursion.

The initiatives include:

·         A number of new shore excursions in Juneau, Ketchikan and Icy Strait Point such as:

– A luxury whale watch by yacht in Juneau 
– An interactive self-guided jeep adventure in Juneau
– The Ketchikan pub walk 
– A rainforest trail bike and hike adventure in Ketchikan  
– A seafood feast and tribal dance show in Icy Strait Point
– A wilderness hike and kayak adventure in Icy Strait Point

·         The introduction of the ‘Glacier Tea’ cocktail, a take on the Long Island Ice Tea that is topped off with Blue Curacao, which is similar to the brilliant glacier blue colour found in Alaska

·         A special Alaska beer tasting flight, featuring blends from the Juneau-based Alaskan Brewing Company

·         An onboard Northern Lights planetarium in the theatre of every Alaska ship

·         A mini museum exhibit featuring notable images from the 50 years Princess Cruises has sailed to Alaska
  
Tony Roberts, Princess Cruises’ vice president UK and Europe, said: “We take more people than any other cruise line to Alaska and have hosted over 5 million guests during the last 50 years.

“Alaska is a truly stunning destination and there’s no better way to explore it than via a cruise. A wealth of itinerary options are on offer for anyone looking to book a bucket list sailing to the region this year. The Great Land’s glaciers, wildlife, national parks and beautiful port cities are simply not to be missed.”

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Star Princess in Alaska © Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises is offering a 7-night Inside Passage cruise on Star Princess departing September 15, 2019. Sailing roundtrip from Seattle, ports of call include Ketchikan, Tracy Arm Fjord (scenic cruising), Juneau, Skagway and Victoria (British Columbia). Prices from £699 per person.

For more information or to book visit www.princess.com , call 0344 338 8663 or contact your local travel agent.

Thank you for taking the time to ready my blog… be sure to read my next post on why I want to visit Alaska