Alaska Cruise Ports
When you set sail with Princess on an Alaska cruise, ports of call invite you to explore the great outdoors, taste the fresh treasures of the sea and discover the unique history of the 49th state. Here are our top ports of call in Alaska.
Small white boats, with slender fishing reels suspended over the stern, float together in uniform lines off the coast of Ketchikan. As the “Salmon Capital of the World”, this port of call harvests a collection of personalities, all yearning for the refreshing taste of salmon varieties. Fisherman donning nylon jumpsuits and rubber boots readily trot down the wooden pier to their aquatic abodes. Meanwhile, grizzly bears enrobed in chestnut-coloured fleeces meander through the shallow waters in search of their next meal. Past the multi-coloured homes lining the tranquil shores lies an emblem of Ketchikan’s antiquities — Totem Bight State Historical Park. Embellished in vibrant colours and chiselled faces, hand-carved totem poles stand tall around the replica Native clan house, inviting visitors to experience Alaska’s past and present. Down on Creek Street, dollhouse-style homes line the wooden boardwalk inviting visitors to explore what’s left of the city’s red-light district days. With all that remains in this lively port of call, it’s no wonder why Ketchikan is one of the most sought-after destinations in Alaska.
With less than 1,000 residents, Skagway boasts small-town charm with big-city riches. Offering the shortest route to the Klondike, this port of call was a popular choice amongst gold-rushers. But, many travellers overlooked the real treasures of Skagway — the rustic Victorian architecture, the winding wooden railways and violet-spotted fields beneath the snow-capped mountains. Journey to these awe-inspiring landmarks — like the Klondike Summit — by seaplane or the White Pass and Yukon Route Railway. Or, retrace the steps of early settlers atop a majestic horse companion. Travel through vivid rainforests, emerald fields and the iconic Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. Experience the state’s most prized possessions when you sail into this Alaska port of call.
Rolling mountains — standing over 900 metres tall — overlook the still waters below, waiting for the majestic 6-metre Orcas to break the tranquil surface and make their grand debut. Meanwhile, the sweeping, 20-kilometre long Mendenhall Glacier rests nearby, slowly retreating under the steadfast sun. Nothing about Juneau is small. From the gaping landscapes to the dignified wildlife, there’s more than meets the eye in this unique port of call. Home to some of the largest gold mines in the world, Juneau has experienced its fair share of movement and continues to do so as the emblematic capital of Alaska. Relish in panoramic views of these precious lands atop Mount Roberts or immerse yourself in it all as you zipline through breathtaking elevations, dogsled along a trail and hike across serene meadows.
At the head of the Passage Canal lies Whittier — a seemingly quiet town that only a handful of people call home. Suspended waterfalls paint unique strokes on the surface of the emerald mountains while gentle winds create a collage of ripples in the teal-blue waters. While this small town appears bare on the surface, there's more than meets the eye. As the gateway to Anchorage and Seward, Whittier holds the key to exploration. Travel down the Seward Highway — an "All-American Road" — and relish in dramatic views of Alaska's untouched landscapes. Or, soar 700 metres aboard the Mt. Alyeska Tram to marvel in aerial views of the naturally sculpted glaciers within Prince William Sound. Voyage through the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel and discover the many worlds waiting for you.
Sitka radiates Alaskan history. The New Archangel Dancers — dressed in crimson skirts and patterned aprons — gallop and twirl across the wooden stage to the sounds of 18th-century folk music. Outside, festive fishermen cast their frayed nets into the open sea, eager to reel in delectable treasures amid this sportfishing paradise. With artefacts aplenty, travel in the path of Alaskan ancestors through these enchanting grounds. At Sitka National Historical Park – Alaska’s oldest national preserve – observe seasoned artists as they carve, weave, bead and metal work together new masterpieces reflecting ancient Tlingit and Haida cultures. Visit St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral and marvel at the grand stained-glass windows, hand-painted biblical scenes and lustrous gold crosses that embellish the interior. Or, admire orphaned cubs as they meander through enclosed habitats at the Fortress of the Bear sanctuary.
Between the colourful architecture of Chinatown and the Native American influences rooted in Totem Pole Park, Vancouver boasts a cosmopolitan of ethnicities. Hop on board a comfortable motorcoach to the ever-bustling Chinatown where you can sip freshly-steeped green tea or taste the rousing flavours of pork belly alongside refreshing sesame noodles. Or, settle down and unwind on the sandy shores of Stanley Park — Vancouver’s very own oasis in the heart of the city — and revel in visions of expansive forestry and mesmerising horizons. In Gastown, walk in the footsteps of bygone settlers as you wander down groomed streets and listen for the regal chimes from the steam clock each hour. With Vancouver at your fingertips, experience authentic European flair without ever leaving the Western hemisphere.
Soft pinks, ruby reds and violet purples paint the regal city of Victoria into a kaleidoscope of colours.
With pristine gardens sprinkled throughout the city, this vibrant port of call is every bit inviting and inspiring. Butchart Gardens — a 55-acre floral wonderland — boasts alluring walkways, enchanting stairways, glowing waterfalls and floral canopies dotted into vibrant blossoms. It’s no wonder why this fairytale haven is the most popular attraction in this charming port of call. Horse-drawn carriages carry visitors past charming houses and stately buildings that overlook the reflective waters. Meanwhile, patterned butterflies flutter throughout their very own 1,110 square-metre tropical paradise — home to symphonic birds and serene koi ponds. To experience true royalty, visit Craigdarroch Castle where wooden antiques and furnishings line the Victorian-style halls. No matter what you choose to do, your time in this Alaska cruise port will be nothing short of colourful.
Icy Strait Point
Icy Strait Point's waters house endless treasures. Located in Alaska’s largest Native Tlingit Village of Hoonah, Icy Strait Point is home to only 750 residents and proudly preserves the ancestral importance of simplicity throughout the community. In these tranquil lands, you won’t find a streetlight or paved road in sight. As the entryway to Glacier Bay National Park, this extraordinary port of call offers unparalleled views of the iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site. With record-breaking catches, Icy Strait Point is also a fish-tasting mecca. Nibble on the delicate meat of Dungeness crab or savour in the flakiness of fresh-caught salmon. Home to one of the largest concentrations of brown bears in the world, this unique destination hosts an abundance of wildlife in its forest-lined terrains. After satisfying your palette, tap into your newfound fuel to help you journey 4,000 metres above sea level where you’ll embark on a 1,660-metre-long plunge with ZipRider — the highest cable ride in the world. Feel your heart flutter on any adventure in Icy Strait Point.
Visions of open roads and staggered mountains surround the tranquil town of Haines. This seemingly quiet port of call holds some of the most memorable and photo-worthy opportunities in the Great Land.
Feel the soft tickle of cloud-coloured fur as you get an up-close experience with Alaska’s wolves. At Kroschel Wildlife Centre, experience encounters with some of Alaska’s furry residents — including bears, moose, foxes, and reindeer — like never before. Or, head to the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve to see over 200 of these classic creatures soaring through the crisp air and resting amidst undressed trees. However you choose to spend your time on land, walk away with unforgettable adventures and ever-lasting memories.
Alaska’s ports of call offer unique adventures at every stop along your remarkable journey. From reeling in pink-bellied salmon to touring underground gold mines, there are endless opportunities to experience true Alaskan culture. Delight in the riches of the Great Land when you set sail with Princess.