My fiance and I (late 50's) are planning a 7-day cruise to Alaska for our honeymoon. First time cruise for us both; we would welcome suggestions as to best cruise line & itinerary for first-timers. So far, the Infinity sounds very nice, based on my internet research.
-What are conditions like in May in the Inside Passage, both weather-wise and for wildlife viewing?
-Do you think Glacier Bay is a "must"; or
are the other itineraries (Hubbard Glacier) equally interesting? The scenic aspects of the cruise are a high priority for us.
Infinity is a good choice. I'd also take a look at Holland America ships. Holland America has been sailing in Alaska for 60+ years and they do a great job, too. Your best bet may be taking the information you've gotten on the internet and consulting with a travel agent who specializes in cruises, who can help you sort out the information and help you decide which cruise line, ship on that line, and itinerary best fit you.
May weather will be cool/cold and possibly rainy in Juneau and other places, but it's a gorgeous time of year. Take rain gear, as well as clothing you can layer under it, so that you can enjoy the scenery on the ship and in port without being uncomfortable. Especially in Glacier Bay, you'll want to be standing outside on the ship, watching the glaciers "calve" and it can be cold near those glaciers, even in the middle of summer.
Hi Budget, We had a great time with Princess.Noew we flew from England for this trip.
2392 Max PASSENGERS
Length 964.3 ft. Breath 105.6 ft
Total height 203.4 feet
Cruising Speed 21.5 Knots
Maximum Speed 23.4. Knots
16 AUG – 31 AUG 2003
CAPTAIN PHILIP PICKFORD
ALASKA WILDERNESS LANDTOUR and
GRANDEUR OF THE GLACIERS
16th Aug Fly London to Seattle
Over night at WYNDHAM SEA-TEC HOTEL
17th Aug Fly Seattle to Fairbanks
Fly to Fairbanks for overnight stay at the Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge on the Chene River 4 ˝ Hrs flight
18th Aug Fairbanks
Take a city tour, including the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, go gold panning during a tour of the El Dorado Gold Mine and later, take the sternwheeler river cruise ‘ Discovery’ on the Chena River. Stop at Old Chene Village, where native guides will share a glimpse into the history and culture of the Athabascan people. Overnight at Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge.
19th Aug Fairbanks to Denali
Ride the Midnight Sun Express to Denali National Park for a natural history tour. Later, motor coach to Denali State Park . Enjoy the Great Room, hot tubs, restaurant, trails and ranger programme during your overnight stay at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge.
20th Aug Denali to Anchorage
Sightsee via motor coach to Talkeetna. Reboard the Midnight Sun Express for Ultra Dome viewing as you travel along scenic Knik Arm and through the Matanuska Valley to Anchorage for your overnight stay, at Captain Cook Hotel overlooking Cook Inlet and the Chugach Mountains.
21th Aug Anchorage to Kenai
Sightsee via motor coach, passing Potter’s March, Beluga Point and Kenai Lake. A stop at Native Heritage Center, 26 acre campus. Overnight at Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge. 2 nights, Hotel situated 300 feet above the Kenai River, bungalows with woodstove and next to Nature trail.
22nd Aug Kenai
Relax at the Lodge on Kenai River, enjoying the hot tubs
execise room, restaurant, lobby fireplace and bungalow-style through the forest and along the buff. Overnight at Kenai rooms with wood burning stoves. The Nature Trail menders Princess Wilderness Lodge.
23rd Aug Kenai to Seward and Embark
Motor coach along scenic Seward Highway to Seaward to meet ship for lunch on board
Showtime starring; Michel Lafleche and Comedian SARGE
Depart 10:00 PM
24th Aug College Fjord (glacier cruising) 6:30 – 9:30 PM
Show ‘Dance’ with Michel LaFleche, Susanne Orrell, Jon
Stewart and Melaine Wood.----Cabaret Show with Comedy
Magaican Jeff Peterson
25th Aug Glacier Bay (glacier cruising) 10:30 – 8:30 PM
Great ice castles float serenely past in the radiant turquoise waters. Show ‘DANCE’ and SARGE
26th Aug Skagway (port of call) 5:30 – 8:15
Show ‘Salute to Broadway and Tribute to the Big Band Era
27th AuG Juneau (port of call) 5:30 – 4:00 LIBBY RIDDLES ‘ ‘HISTORY IN THE MAKING’ First woman champion to win the IDITAROD Sled dog race March 1985
Shows – Greg Bonham
28th Aug Ketchikan (port of call)8:30 – 5:45
Shows – Ventriloquest Dan Horn
And show ‘ TRIBUTE ‘
29th Aug Inside Passage (cruising)
Spend the day cruising past the countless islands that fill the
scenic protected waterway of the Inside Passage.
30thAug Vancouver ARRIVE 7:30 AM – FLY AT 8:45 PM
Transfer to FOUR SEASONS HOTEL + 200 SHOPS
2 HOUR TRIP AROUND VANCOUVER
GRANVILLE ISLAND,GASTOWN, CHINATOWN, STANLEY PARK
Total Distance 1601 Nautical miles on cruise (1 Nautical mule = 1.15 Statute miles = 1.85 Kilometers = 6076 feey
Thanks Sandy and wayoverhere for these first replies which are helpful...and yes, I've also checked out Holland America cruises. I will look into Princess as well...
May weather does sound challenging. Just wondering, would there be a great deal of difference between May and June? That is, if we go in late June instead of late May, do you think the additional expense would be well worth it in terms of more hospitable weather?
My fiance has said that he doesn't want to be "cold and miserable" during the trip.
We could perhaps go in June (or July), and then pinch pennies elsewhere. For example, we could stay in an inside cabin instead of an outside cabin.
Sandy: in what sense is May a "gorgeous time of year"?
I hope to get more replies on the Glacier question. How much emphasis would veteran cruisers give "Glacier Bay" (as opposed to other intineraries) as enhancing the whole experience?
Thanks. Looking foward to replies and general suggestions from any and all...
The highest temperature recorded in Alaska is 100°, Fahrenheit.
The lowest temperature in Alaska, -80°, was recorded on January 23, 1971.
The longest days come around the summer solstice, June 21.
In the southernmost Inside Passage, around Ketchikan, the sun is above the horizon for about 18 hours then. In southcentral Alaska, Anchorage gets 19.5 hours of sunlight. Fairbanks in the Interior, gets 21 hours, and Barrow, at the northern edge of the state, has 24 hours of daylight.
The clearest weather statewide comes in spring and early summer.
June and July are also the warmest months, but it can snow any month of the year in the high country. August tends to be cool and wet, but with fewer mosquitoes. Drizzling rains are common later in the summer and in general, rainfall increases in August and September, especially along the coast.
I went the last 2 weeks of Aug and was told we might have some bad weather and rain, well we never had one day of rain and it was short sleeved shirts every day so go and have a great time with your new wife.
If I went to Alaska I would just do the land tour and we just loved it, after a few days on ship it all liiked the same, ice ice ice iceeeeeeeeee but you see more animals one the land part and again the places we stayed were the best and the glass part train was great.
I went on an Alaska cruise in june and the weather does get quite cold in some areas on your cruise so bring a couple jackets. The senery is absolutly gorgeous, it is a photographers paradise! when you go through the insidde passage, you see millions of beautiful pintrees, with some still patted with snow. The water is so calm, we even saw a littlee baby seal floating by us on a little ice berg! Then, if thry pull over, they stay by the wall of ice that is actually blue! And they wait so you could see an iceberg fall! It is an amazing experience that you should take advantage of. They will have pictures of the icebergs falling in the photo gallery so can buy. Now this cruise is the one you definatly want a balcony for, because when they get near the ice bergs or any beautiful senery, everyone crowds to the side of the ship, and all you have to do is go to your room and have you own non-crowded view! I hope you have sooo much fun beacause the senery and the ship itself is marvelous!!!
We took our first real cruise to Alaska on Holland America this last March for our 20th anniversary. It was incredible!!! The cruise ship was awesome and we found this to be the best way to really see ALaska. We started in Anchorage and ended up in Seattle. We did the inside passage. I highly recommend any excursion that gets you close to the glaciers. I even snorkeled in Haines!! Awesome. Had a seal swim right up to me. This will be a trip you'll never forget, we haven't :-)