Cruise Planners' Top Tips to Travel Like a Local in Alaska this Summer

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There are still last-minute summer vacation packages available for Alaska travelers and Cruise Planners travel advisors can get you there

Alaska Vacations

Summer Alaska Travel

Work with a travel agent and discover last-minute Alaska vacation packages or plan next summer's Alaska vacation today. - Cruise Planners

Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, the nation’s largest home-based travel franchise business network in the industry, wants everyone to make the most of the upcoming travel season. Instead of standing out like a tourist with a camera and fanny pack, Cruise Planners is lending its expertise to those traveling to the great state of Alaska to blend in like a local and experience the true culture of the state.

“A lot of people think of Alaska and associate it with bears and fishing, and while Alaskan wildlife is breathtaking, the state has a culture all of its own, and it’s not what you may think,” says Vicky Garcia, COO and co-owner of Cruise Planners. “There is a rich history and culture in Alaska that is unlike anywhere else in the lower 48.”

To get the best glimpse of the true character of Alaska, Cruise Planners suggests the following tips and Alaska summer trips:

  • Dress the Part: If you disembark your cruise ship wearing high heels and a designer handbag, then you will likely stand out in Alaska. Comfortable layering is key and waterproof is a plus – especially for glacier hiking tours! In summer, there are actually warm days where you can dress in T-shirts, rainy days where you will need a raincoat, chillier days when you will need to bundle up, so layers will help you enjoy no matter the weather. Alaskans dress practically with fleeces, rubber boots, jeans, and other layered options. Dressing like a local will make you not only fit in, but you’ll have the gear you need to stay warm and dry.
  • Know What to Order: If you’re looking for a fancy meal, save your appetite for back aboard the cruise ship. Alaska is known for its deep sea fishing of King Salmon, halibut, and cod and crabbing – you’ll never get fresher seafood than in Alaska. But don’t order “blue crab,” as that’s an east coast thing – it’s all about the Dungeness crab (Dungee’s) or the Alaskan King Crab. For a light meal, try a halibut sliders or prawns! Some other local specialties are reindeer sausage.
  • Immerse Yourself in the Outdoors: There are few places with such natural beauty like in the state of Alaska. While there are miles of uninhabited land, you may also want to glimpse an amazing view of Denali, the tallest mountain in North America, visit a glacier and watch whales and dolphins play in the ocean. You may also want to experience some of the many national parks in Alaska including Denali National Park and be on the lookout for Alaska’s big five – moose, caribou, wolves, dall sheep and bears.
  • Remember the Gold Rush: Certain mining cities in Alaska saw their heyday during the Gold Rush, which you can still see today in souvenir shops, time period reenactments, and the railroad. Hop aboard the Alaska Railroad in a windowed rail car where you will be able to view wildlife in their natural habitat. You can even sit and sip local brews made in Alaska and enjoy pints of Gold Rush Golden Ale among other local favorites.
  • Embrace the Culture: There is a rich Native American culture in Alaska, and many traditions and values are still very much a part of the lives of Alaskans. Whether it’s tribal rituals or the amazing art, the rich and historic culture of Alaska is unique and impressive. Check out the totem poles around the state when you visit ports of call.
  • Know When to Go: The travel window in Alaska is condensed, and the travel months are from May through September. This is usually when kids are out of school, so Alaska is a great family destination. Also, during the summer months, the sun is up in Alaska for most of the day and night, only setting for a few hours, which adds to the mystique.
  • See Alaska by Land and Sea: Many travelers visit Alaska for a cruise, but we also recommend adding a few days for a land tour to visit the interior of Alaska. Check out Denali National Park – to get there, many travelers fly or sail into Seward and take a glass-domed rail car with huge landscape views to Anchorage. It’s a beautiful ride and a great way to see the countryside, spot animals and travel through the terrain quickly.
  • Decide How to Get There: Cruising is a great way to see the Land of the Midnight Sun, allowing you to see multiple ports day after day to see as much of this beautiful land as possible. Every traveler’s needs are unique, and there are different cruise lines to satisfy those travel needs. Are you looking to travel with the whole family with onboard activities to keep everyone entertained? Consider a Royal Caribbean International Alaska cruise. Looking for a more upscale and chic Alaskan vacation? Try Celebrity Cruises. Going for a luxury, all-inclusive Alaska experience? Climb aboard a Regent Seven Seas Cruises voyage. No matter how you want to see the Last Frontier, your travel agent can help you with a cruise line that will suit your travel desires.
  • Understand the Geography: There are a few major cruise ports that sail to Alaska: San Francisco, Seattle, Seward (near Anchorage) and Vancouver. Also, some cruises are roundtrip, while others take you through the entire Inside Passage and you disembark and fly home from a different city than you started. Talk with your travel agent to find out which embarkation port and route would be best for you.

“Alaska is a hot destination this summer and while occupancy is quickly filling up, savvy travelers with flexible dates should work with travel agents to book something this summer,” Garcia said.

Join in on the fun this travel season and head up to the Great White North. A trip to Alaska is a one of a kind experience and there is a cruise option for all types of travelers. If you want to combine a cruise and land vacation in Alaska, ask your Cruise Planners travel advisor about Completely Packaged Vacations for your summer travel

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Caitlin Murphy
Cruise Planners
+1 (954) 344-8060 Ext: 117
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