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Enjoying an Alaska Cruise for Your Honeymoon

by Shannon Kietzman, writer for Your Wedding

Alaska is a state filled with magnificent beauty and adventure, making Alaska travel a popular summer cruise choice. An Alaska cruise is centered around the many stunning natural features found in the sate. The Alaska cruise was once reserved for only the wealthy, but now has become more affordable and makes a great choice for a honeymoon cruise.

Finding a Cruise Line for Alaska Travel

Since Alaska has an extreme client, all Alaska cruise opportunities take place between the months of May and September. This is partly because ice formations during other parts of the year make it difficult, if not impossible, to travel along the ship routes. It is also because Alaskan days are much shorter during the off-season, which makes it impossible to enjoy shore excursions. Since the window of opportunity for Alaska travel is short, cruises fill up quickly. Therefore, if you plan to visit Alaska for your honeymoon, be sure to plan well in advance and to plan your wedding sometime between May and September.

Most Alaska cruises are seven days, whether the voyage is northbound or southbound, with a few ten to fourteen day cruise options. Some cruises are also round-trip. For the most part, all Alaska cruises offer scenic voyages past fjords, bays, and glaciers in addition to a multitude of ports of call.

All of the mainstream cruise lines, such as Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, and Holland America Cruise Line, offer Alaska cruise opportunities. Each of these cruise lines offers combination land packages that take passengers into the Alaska interior to explore its many national parks and cities. These types of vacations can last up to three weeks.

Alaska Cruise Travel Ports

Embarkation ports for Alaska travel are found in the northwestern United States and Canada. The largest embarkation points for Alaska travel are:

• San Francisco, California – Offers a limited number of luxury cruises with longer itineraries.
• Seattle, Washington – A popular departure point for northbound cruises that is popular for those that are nervous about departing from a country other than the United States.
• Anchorage, Alaska – This departure point is popular for southbound voyages and is generally really located in Seward, Alaska or Whittier, Alaska rather than Anchorage. Both are located just south of the city. Most cruise lines offer transportation from the airport in Anchorage to the correct departure port.
• Vancouver, British Columbia – A popular departure point for northbound Alaska cruise itineraries.

There are also a number of popular ports of call associated with an Alaska cruise, such as:

• Juneau – The capital of Alaska, Juneau is home to the most visited glacier in the world, Mendenhall Glacier. Several cultural landmarks and other attractions can also be found in the city.
• Ketchikan – Located just north of Canada’s border, Ketchikan offers numerable shopping opportunities. Misty Fjord, a national monument, is also located nearby. Many cruise lines offer shore excursions by air, land, or sea, to this popular attraction.
• Skagway – Skagway is located north of Juneau on the Lynn Canal. A number of attractions can be found here, including golf courses and a true ghost town.
• Sitka – Sitka is south of Juneau and is the perfect representation of an Alaskan town. This port of call is generally less crowded because the dock is small, making it difficult for large ships to dock there.
• Inside Passage – The Inside Passage is not technically a port of call, but it is the major highlight of an Alaska cruise. Here, the ships go between gigantic glaciers, weaving in and out of thousands of islands. Sometimes, whales can even be spotted along the way.

An Alaska cruise provides a stark contrast to the typical tropical cruise destinations. But, for those interested in an adventurous getaway filled with stunning beauty, an Alaska cruise is the perfect way to spend your honeymoon.

© 2006 Your Wedding

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Cruise destination options are limitless and depend upon your taste – be it the Mediterranean, Bahamas or Panama, the list is endless!

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