Top 10: Alaska Travel Trends for 2020
Many of our Alaska travelers are incredibly experienced, having cruised the
Caribbean, Europe and elsewhere. Today, they look for more adventure in their
journeys. So, here’s what we’re seeing as Alaska's top travel trends for
1. New Itineraries & Destinations
Every year new adventures keep our Alaska cruise travelers’ excited about
travel. Here are the most recent additions to our list of cruises & cruisetours:
New Cruisetour Adventures:
These Cruise Deals Offer Endless
Memory Making Adventures
Complete your Alaska adventure with a
small-group tour into the breathtakingly beautiful inland destinations.
From North America's tallest peak, Denali, to the stunning coastal route of the
Inside Passage, Alaska is one of the most breathtaking and pristine wilds left
on Earth. Years of immense weight and pressure have made gorgeous glacial
valleys and carved out captivating river canyons. Head to Seward to see where
icy waters meet bright green lands. If you're looking for Alaskan adventure,
journey into Denali National Park and catch a glimpse of roaming brown bears and
To learn more about the state's cultural past, take a day trip to the
Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage. You'll find history and adventure
everywhere in Alaska with your cruise.
• Alaska's Ultimate Vacation: 7 Day cruise and 8 day land tour : Juneau,
Ketchikan, Skagway, Kenai, Cooper River ( escorted with meals included on land
tour ) - 15 nights
• Katmai Bear Trek & Kantishna Fly Over : Inside Passage (Cruising),
Canada, Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Skagway, Hubbard
Glacier (Cruising), Seward - 12 nights
• Family Tundra Express Cruisetour : Inside Passage (Cruising), Ketchikan, Icy
Strait Point, Juneau, Skagway, Hubbard Glacier (Cruising), Seward, Alaska
- 10 Nights
• Yukon+Triple Denali : Anchorage, Denali National Park, Fairbanks, Dawson,
Whitehorse, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Cruising The Inside Passage, Vancouver - 14
New Cruise Only Adventures:
• Alaskan Spring : Vancouver, Cruising the Inside Passage, Ketchikan, Sitka,
Skagway, Cruising Hubbard Glaciers, Juneau, Prince Rupert, Victoria - 10 Nights
•Ultimate Alaska Cruise : Inside Passage (Cruising) ,Ketchikan, Sitka, Skagway,
Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Endicott Arm ,Victoria - 10 Nights
•Alaska's Glacier Adventure: Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier (Scenic Cruising),
Skagway, Icy Strait Point, Hubbard Glacier (Scenic Cruising), Juneau,
Sitka, Alaska, Ketchikan, Prince Rupert, Victoria - 12 Nights
2. Share the Adventure
More and more of our cruise travelers are choosing to bring friends or family
member along to share the adventure. Cruise Connections, for small groups ( as
few as 3 cabins ) bring loved ones and neighbors together, while
Multigenerational Tours create family reunion opportunities for travelers of all
ages to experience the whales, wonders and wildlife of Alaska.. And, it’s always
more fun when you turn moments into memories.
3. Personalize Your Experience
For many travelers, an Alaska cruise is just one part of a more extensive
journey. We give you the freedom to personalize your experience, adding a
guided, organized, independent or personally customized 3 -10 land tour combined
with your 7 day cruise to help you truly make it your own adventure. Visit
Alaska's most popular destinations like Juneau, Fairbanks, Ketchikan, Hubbard
Glacier, Tracy Arm, Denali National Park, College Fjord in Prince William Sound,
Talkeetna, and Anchorage. Then choose to visit smaller, more remote
adventurous destinations like Sitka, Cooper River, Kenai, Haines, Dutch Harbor,
Kodiak, Yakutat Bay, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, or explore Canada's Yukon
4. Riding the rails. It's an experience in itself.
A breathtaking journey by rail through Alaska's most precious, untouched
wilderness. Venture onto the observation platform to watch the peaks of Denali
rise up in front of you. Or grab a window seat to catch a glimpse of moose
disappearing into a densely-packed forest. No other cruise line offers it -
Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail service from your Princess cruise ship in Whittier
to our Denali-area lodges. A luxurious glass-domed rail car whisks you away
through dozens of picturesque rivers, meadows and mountain ranges. Miles and
miles of spectacular scenery awaits as you soar along the original route of the
Alaska Railroad. At the end of your journey, you'll arrive at one of Princess
Wilderness Lodges for an overnight stay(s) in the heart of the Great Land, where
you'll wake up amongst the scenic wonders that breathe life into Alaska.
Perhaps you just want to add an optional extension of a night or two - pre or
post cruise - or perhaps you prefer more time to explore Alaska independently.
Whatever you want to do, we can help plan your Alaskan adventure.
5. Go off the Beaten Path
Some of Alaska's most iconic destinations struggle at the height of the season
dealing with excessive crowds. These destinations are still a "must see"
but there are so many more destinations just under the radar that are worthy of
your attention. For some, this literally means visiting Nome, The Arctic Circle,
Dutch Harbor, Kenai- Katmai National Park and Preserve, or Cooper River-
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.
6. Share Videos, Stories & More
Every year, our Alaska cruise travelers are very tech savvy, sharing videos,
photos, and stories of their travels online—often from their cruise ship or
wilderness lodge during their
trip. Many are on Facebook. Share your photos and videos with our online
community, by adding your videos, stories to our
Videos in particular offer a firsthand glimpse of what you've experienced on one
of our Alaska adventures. So, submit one to our
Facebook page, that way our Alaska cruise travelers
can learn from them and consider your experience in planning their Alaska
Tips on filming/submitting videos:
•Videos 4 minutes to 6 minutes are the proper length!
• Shoot your video horizontally.
•Consider weather conditions when filming:
• On windy days, you may have to reshoot to avoid audio
• Always shoot with the sun behind you.
• Edit your footage and include music in your video.
•Feature the interactions you have had with Alaskan wildlife.
7. Art, Culture & History Interest More People
More people want to learn more about the art, culture and history or Alaska. If
you prefer to visit places where people practice customs different from your
own, Alaska offers endless options. Alaska visitors can experience the state’s
unique Native culture through many avenues including totem carving, Native
dancing, the blanket toss, traditional music, crafts and festivals as well as
cultural and historical museums, heritage centers and academics. Whether you
want to explore Alaska’s vibrant Native culture or other artistic and
intellectual attractions like music festivals, local artisan handiwork, Russian
iconography or museum exhibits, a long list of things to do and see awaits you..
Experiential Travel Is Popular with Millennials
Today's travelers aren’t content to just visit Alaska's iconic towns, cities and
famous landmarks. Of course, many Alaska adventures include the “must-see”
highlights, but our millennial cruise travelers feel it’s important to delve
deeper into local culture which means getting into Alaska's small towns and
villages to witness the everyday lives of the people. Let us know if there’s a
particular aspect of local culture of interest to you, and we will help you find
one or more of these unique learning experiences.
8. Wildlife Viewing is Up!
No doubt: Getting to see a majestic brown bear snatching salmon from an Alaska
stream is the memory of a lifetime. But as iconic as these massive land
predators are, they're just the start of what Alaska has to offer. Keep your
eyes peeled for soaring bald eagles, colorful puffins, stately sandhill cranes,
shy black bears, acrobatic humpback whales and of course the regal, knobby-kneed
moose, the largest member of the deer family.
Other types of wildlife are less common, but all the more exciting for their
rarity. Alaska's broad, uninterrupted swaths of wilderness are home to animals
like lynx and wolves that are usually so shy, even locals are thrilled to catch
a quick glimpse. And don't forget about the smaller animals: From wood frogs
with antifreeze in their veins to the tiny collared pika, which spends its
summer harvesting piles of hay to be used as food during the winter, Alaska's
smallest year-round inhabitants have made astonishing adaptations to living in
this northern climate.
Some of Alaska's best wildlife sights are seasonal: Every spring, locals and
visitors alike crowd onto day cruises in hopes of seeing gray whales migrating
to their feeding grounds in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. And if you travel to
the state's northern reaches, you might be lucky enough to see caribou traveling
in herds so large, they blot out the horizon.
Needless to say, make sure you bring a pair of binoculars and a good camera. You
won't want to miss making a single photograph or memory on your Alaska wildlife
Alaska Adventures :
Alaska Kayaking ,
Alaska Helicopter Tours,
Alaska Wildlife Viewing
9. Small Ship Travel
Small ships sailing Alaska are growing in demand. These small ships have access
to ports the larger ships simply can’t reach. Think native villages, remote
islands and close-up wildlife viewing. Operators include: National
Geographic - Lindblad Expeditions, Windstar, and Uncruise Adventures to
name a few.
As an example,
American Constellation, built in 2017, carries 175 passengers through Alaskan
waters. Most of the staterooms have private balconies and rooms range from 226
to 450 square feet -- they're billed as being among the largest in the Alaska
arena. There's elevator service to all decks, a boon for seniors. Round trip
sailings out of Juneau, or between Juneau and Seattle, could include stops in
Glacier Bay, Icy Strait Point, Petersburg, Sitka and Tracy Arm. Windstar's Star Legend, with 200 passengers, carries several Zodiacs
and kayaks for up-close exploration of remote fjords. A five-person expedition
team leads kayak and Zodiac tours and offers regular lectures about Alaska, its
people, flora and fauna.
10. Travel in Alaska
Unlike just about anywhere else: getting from point to point is a worthy
endeavor of its own. Whether circling Denali in a bush plane or watching miles
of untouched tundra roll by from the window of a train, you can't go wrong in
selecting a mode of transportation. In fact, the best itineraries include a mix
of travel modes. When traveling by air in-state, the major airports of
Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau partner with private flight operators to provide
service to small communities, villages and remote areas. Flightseeing is a
popular tourist activity; private air carriers provide wilderness and glacier
tours as well as service to private, fly-in fishing resorts.
Sea travel offers a spectacular way to travel through magnificent scenery, with
the added bonus of seeing Alaska's treasured marine life. A variety of private
cruises are available for day excursions or multi-day trips. Wildlife and
glacier tours, historical ferryboats and smaller cruise ships are popular types
of private cruises.
The locals' favorite for traveling by sea is the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS),
an affordable, informal option to reach 25 ports of call in the state. The
ferries accommodate cars, RVs, motorcycles, bikes and walk-on travelers, and
offer multi-day mainline routes and shorter day boat trips from port-to-port.
sources: Travel Alaska, Alaska Cruise
Lines, Cruise Traveler Magazine