Although the last cruise we took was in 2010, we always talk about taking another at some point in the future. It's the perfect arrangement for a vacation – all your food and entertainment is included and you can be as active as you want. Visiting the ports of call is the best part of the cruise and all you have to do to travel is step off the boat. Our friend Nikolai shares with us some insights on taking a cruise to Alaska. Thought it's not a sun-packed beach adventure, some of the sights in Alaska are among the most amazing natural views you'll see in North America.
Here's something you don't do every day – cruising Alaska. Based in the northwest extremity of North America, it's one of those places that's full of mystery and intrigue, and it's about as far from your average run-of-the-mill holiday as you can get.
So what can you expect from Alaska cruises?
Spectacular scenery for one, and lots of it. Alaska cruises will whisk you through unspoilt glacial waters, rich in wildlife and craggy mountainous terrain, allowing plenty of time to stop at various ports and join unforgettable tours to explore this most incredible of landscapes. Wrap up warm because you'll have the opportunity to discover dazzling glaciers up close and personal, and voyage through such world-famous places as Glacier Bay and Denali National Park.
Some cruise liners bring National Park Rangers and local experts onboard to talk about the rich diversity of wildlife and habitats throughout Alaska. It's well worth taking up the opportunity to spend time with a guide – after all, Alaska is the largest but the least densely populated of the 50 United States, so few people can really claim to know the land other than the Rangers and inhabitants of this spectacular frozen state.
Alaska cruises aren't all about getting out and about. You can also kick back in an outdoor hot tub, taking in the spectacular views around you, or just relax in a lounge bar as you sail from one dramatic location to the next.
Whatever type of Alaska cruise experience tickles your fancy, you'll find a great choice of itineraries by going direct to the main cruise liners like Princess and NCL. Or you can benefit from a much wider market choice by searching online at Cruise Thomas Cook. They offer Alaska cruises from all the main cruise operators, so you can weigh up the options and prices in one place rather than scouring separate websites.
With action and adventure by the boatload, a cruise in Alaska really is the holiday of a lifetime.