Ok, so I am not about to giveaway my age, but it is safe to say I am not quite hitting retirement just yet! Cruises are known for being popular amongst retirees and a lesser choice for the 20 to 30 somethings, but there are some harder to reach places in the world where taking a cruise simply makes the most sense! Take the Norwegian Fjords, Antarctica and Alaska for example.
Last year I decided Alaska was next on my travel list. So, we did some research, considered hiring a car, but quickly realised with extremely long distances between towns, places that you can only be reached by boat or sea plane and glaciers that are out of reach unless by cruise, we decided to look into that option instead.
Our choice was based on finding a mid-range priced cruise company, there are some cheaper and some more expensive options, but starting at £619 per person for seven nights with all meals included, we thought this was fairly reasonably priced and quickly booked our cabin!
Ok, so lets get to the question, ‘Are You Too Young To Take Cruise?’, the answer is No! Now, you do need to be prepared that you will probably be one of only a handful of under 40’s on the boat, the activities will include bingo, blackjack tournaments and every time you leave the ship the official photographers will try and take your picture. But actually once you immerse yourself in the activities available, it’s quite fun!
And the best bit is that you will have a great itinerary taking you to some spectacular places throughout Alaska that are difficult and time consuming to reach by land. Overnight the boat will sail and every day you open your curtains to a new view and arrive in a new town to explore. Plus, an extra treat is the naturalist commentary on the deck during day time sailing, pointing out hump back and killer whales.
The itinerary will take you from Anchorage (Whittier) to the spectacular Hubbard Glacier, through the Glacier Bay National Park, which is only accessible by ship and then onto the Alaskan towns of Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan. Finally, you will end your trip in Vancouver.
At each of the stops, you can choose from a wide variety of activities including flying in a seaplane, whale watching, gold panning, glacier hikes, dog sledging, zip lining, canoeing and bear watching. There are literally hundreds of tour options, so there really is something for everyone. But unless you have bottomless pockets you will likely have to pick your top excursions as each activity costs around $100+.
If all the touring and activities available throughout Alaska don’t keep you entertained, you can keep fit at the on-board gym, take yoga classes, have a spa treatment, laze around one of several swimming pools and hot tubs or watch a twilight movie on deck.
Some extra tips:
- Take the ACT Big Bus from Anchorage to Whittier (or whichever port your chosen cruise company leaves from) and select the Wildlife Transfer Tour. This way you can make your transfer a day trip where you stop for beautiful scenic photo opportunities and visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Centre.
- As soon as you board the boat, walk the entire ship. In doing this, we found The Sanctuary at the back of the boat, for $20 you can book one of only twenty places in this area which has comfy sunbeds, a private pool, complimentary afternoon tea and the No. 1 spot on the boat for viewing the Hubbard Glacier!
- Organise trips from land based tour operators once you arrive in specific towns on route, these are often cheaper than those booked on the cruise.
- Do any research on where you want to visit or alternative tour companies before you get on the boat. There is no free wifi, and the cost per day is prohibitively expensive.
- Noro-virus is a common problem on cruise ships. Unfortunately both my boyfriend and I got this on our trip. Make sure you follow the guidance from the cruise ship on how to avoid this.