Your Information to the Finest Alaska Cruise Ports

When requested what the very best Alaska cruise ports are, this author (as a former resident) would say…effectively… all of them! Along with the majesty of the wilderness and the depth of human cultures, every of them has one thing particular.

Let’s discover 14 favourite ports of name on a cruise to Alaska:


Among the finest Alaska cruise ports is taken into account the “1st metropolis” of Alaska as a result of it’s the first port of name for northbound cruise itineraries. Accessible solely by sea or air, that is the land of conventional totem poles.

Go to the Totem Heritage Heart to see these carvings of life and other people from First Nation cultures. Stroll the 11-acre Totem Bight State Historic Park for extra of those wonderful creations.

Ketchikan Cruise Pier, Alaska (Picture Credit score: Paul Brady Pictures / Shutterstock)

As soon as ashore, the downtown space of Ketchikan is pedestrian pleasant and has most of the important sights, together with the well-known “red-light district.” Cease in artwork galleries, seize a meal of salmon, and tour the Dolly’s Home brothel (now a museum). Cruise ship passengers may also stroll alongside the historic Creek Avenue, with loads of traditional-looking picket venues.

Comply with the Waterfront Promenade to learn historic markers, relaxation on whale-tail benches and benefit from the harbor’s surroundings. For an journey, trip one of many two zip strains rushing down 4,600 ft on the aspect of a mountain.


This port of name has festivals year-round celebrating this island city’s pure and cultural heritage. Music, whales, navy parades, and extra await. Verify with the Customer Heart for maps, competition schedules, and insider suggestions for exploring the city and surrounding wilderness areas.

Have fun America’s nationwide chicken with a cease by the Alaska Raptor Heart. The 17-acre sanctuary helps rehabilitate injured birds and presents guests an opportunity to see the flight-training heart, the place a lot of magnificent raptors observe for his or her return to the wild.

Alaska Cruise Port
Sitka Sound Terminal (Picture Credit score: ctriga96 / Shutterstock)

Hear Alaska Native artists talk about their artistic endeavors and show their expertise on the Sheldon Jackson Museum. And see the creatures of the deep waters on the Sitka Sound Science Heart aquarium. Then, stroll to St. Michael’s Cathedral for old-world structure and the historic Sitka Pioneer Dwelling.

Learn Additionally: IDEAL Issues to Do in Sitka, Alaska for 2023

Immerse within the wilderness alongside 700 miles of trails across the space, together with a number of accessible boardwalks just like the Estuary Life Boardwalk Path. The Sitka Nationwide Historic Park can also be value a go to, the place guests can benefit from the conventional Native American art work and even the Raptore Centre for injured birds.

There are literally two completely different cruise ports in Sitka. The newer Sitka Sound Cruise terminal is roughly six miles from downtown. The Previous Sitka Dock is situated downtown.

Icy Strait Level (Hoonah)

Among the finest Alaska cruise ports lately added to most of the ship strains’ ports of name is Icy Strait Level. This small island neighborhood has invested in a number of sights and constructed a vacation spot based mostly on the native tradition.

Cease on the Cannery Museum to see the significance of salmon and fishing alongside the waterfront communities. Stroll the seashore seeking small treasures, and sit at a desk with a view for some scrumptious native seafood meals.

Port Frederick Bay
Port Frederick Bay (Picture Credit score: Sherry V Smith / Shutterstock)

Trip a gondola to the highest of Sky Peak. Fly 60 miles per hour again down the mountain on a zipline. Navigate by way of a singular impediment course within the forest at Tree Prime Journey & Ropes Course. Then, take a shuttle to the state’s largest Tlingit village to talk with residents about life on this a part of southeast Alaska.


Save your urge for food for a culinary expertise within the state’s capital. Along with freshly caught seafood, cooks forage elements, and breweries experiment with native flavors to create scrumptious foods and drinks. Juneau is a well-liked cruise ship port of name, particularly because it’s situated within the northern a part of the Inside Passage.

Juneau Cruise Pier
Juneau Cruise Pier (Picture Credit score: Paul Brady Pictures / Shutterstock)

Guided excursions of historic downtown are free, and the Alaska State Museum comprises over 23,000 artifacts of nature, historical past, and tradition. The maze of slender streets with historic buildings is among the most walkable cruise port areas on any tour. Reward retailers, eating places, customer info, and museums are all situated downtown.

Trip a tram for views of town; spot mountain goats at Marine Park; take a flightseeing trip to the famed Mendenhall Glacier; watch sea life on the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery; and entry many mountaineering trails from town. You will discover loads of issues to do in Juneau proper right here.


Skagway is among the finest Alaska cruise ports on most of the strains’ itineraries, together with a cease at this Klondike Gold Rush city with over 20 restored historic buildings.

Positioned on the base of the White Go, guests can see what it appeared wish to be in an Alaska gold rush city on the flip of the 20th Century. There are picket sidewalks and locals in interval costumes to make the image full!

Cruise Ships Docked Next to Rocks in Skagway
Picture Credit score: Iv Nikolny / Shutterstock

Cease on the Customer Division for info – the constructing is unmistakably coated in 8,833 items of driftwood. See a six-foot mammoth tusk and extra artifacts on the Corrington Museum of Alaska Historical past. Take a self-guided (or guided) tour to see the beautiful flora that earned the city the nickname “Backyard Metropolis of Alaska.”

Trip the White Go & Yukon Route Railroad – “The Scenic Railway of the World” – to see dramatic landscapes and classic websites whereas climbing virtually 3,000 ft over 20 miles. The 2-hour tour is ideal for cruise ship passengers.

Glacier Bay Nationwide Park & Hubbard Glacier

On the best way to our subsequent port, many cruise ship strains cease alongside the best way. Whereas the vessel won’t technically “dock” at these two areas, it can “park” within the ocean inside view of glaciers.

At Glacier Bay, marvel on the snow-covered mountains, fjords, and waterfalls whereas ready for that iconic Alaskan expertise – ice “calving” from the glacier.

Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska
Glacier Bay Nationwide Park, Alaska (Picture Credit score: Mary Swift / Shutterstock)

On a transparent day, passengers can see eight glaciers in a surprising array of blues and greens on the former cease. Parked within the bay beside Hubbard, your cruise ship might be dwarfed by the immensity of “the most important tidewater glacier” on the continent. With a seven-mile-wide blue face, this “shortly” advancing subject of ice calves extra incessantly than these in Glacier Bay.

Learn Additionally: Prime 7 of the Finest Alaskan Cruises for Households

Inside tip: Gown warmly; put on rain gear, and convey alongside some endurance. The thunderous crack and dramatic splash of an iceberg being born is definitely worth the wait in no matter climate is going on for the time being!


Arriving at this deep-water fjord, the world’s tallest coastal mountains greet passengers. The picturesque city located alongside the waterfront presents “a dozen walkable blocks” to discover.

Begin with a go to to Maxine and Jesse Whitney Museum. Take pleasure in “one of many largest collections of Native Alaskan artwork and artifacts on the earth” at this vacation spot.

Valdez, Alaska
Valdez, Alaska (Picture Credit score: Pascal RATEAU / Shutterstock)

Then, spend a while on the Valdez Museum, the place you may study First Nation cultures, the Gold Rush, the notorious Exxon Valdez oil spill, the 1964 earthquake, the historical past of bush pilots, and extra matters associated to this space of the state.

Seize a chunk to eat at this end-of-the-road location and luxuriate in waterfront views out of your desk at The Wheelhouse and the Fats Mermaid.

Take pleasure in high-quality eating, carry-out choices, espresso retailers, meals vans and among the finest burgers at Previous City Diner. Then, go to the Crooked Creek Data Website for naturalists’ suggestions on outside actions.


Guide an itinerary that features a cease at this finest Alaska cruise port of Whittier – a “secret” navy set up from World Battle II. This little-known port of name’s high attraction is the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel. It’s North America’s “longest mixed automobile and railroad tunnel.” To study this engineering marvel, go to the “dynamite kings” exhibit.

Whittier Cruise Port
Whittier Cruise Port (Picture Credit score: Paul Brady Pictures / Shutterstock)

Hike the Horsetail Falls Path for the coveted expertise of seeing this and different small waterfalls alongside the best way. Journey to the Portage aspect of the tunnel to the Begich, Boggs Customer Heart. Right here you may discover a simulated ice cave, contact an precise iceberg and see the miraculous creatures referred to as ice worms.

Prince William Sound, house to 150 glaciers, is finest explored by way of chartered catamarans, kayaks, or jet ski excursions. Guided wildlife excursions take passengers to all the very best viewing spots for Steller sea lions, birds, whales, and land mammals within the space.


As soon as on shore in Seward, go to the Alaska SeaLife Heart for a behind-the-scenes tour of rehabilitating and returning wildlife to their pure properties. Up-close views, animal encounters, and hands-on alternatives with marine invertebrates are enjoyable experiences for the entire household.

Seward Cruise Port
Seward Cruise Port (Picture Credit score: Steve Heap / Shutterstock)

Take an accessible 2.2-mile (spherical journey) stroll from the Exit Glacier Nature Heart to see this glacier “flowing” by way of the Kenai Mountain Vary. Wonderful picture alternatives right here! For a chicken’s-eye view, ebook a flightseeing tour that may additionally embody touchdown on a glacier and canine sled rides.

For beautiful vistas on land, hike the (average) Skyline Jeep Path or the Tonsina Creek Path alongside the coast – each accessible from city. To get pleasure from the very best fishing, ebook a constitution for an opportunity to hook all 5 Pacific salmon species, halibut, lingcod, and extra. Then, have your catch processed, frozen, and shipped again house.


This cruise port makes our listing due to the colourful arts neighborhood, scrumptious eating, and welcoming environment. The city boasts quite a few native artwork galleries, theatre productions, reside music, and the chance to take courses in portray, sculpting, and writing whereas onshore. Cease on the Homer Council on the Arts workplace to get a schedule and map.

Homer, Alaska
Homer, Alaska (Picture Credit score: Resonating Pictures / Shutterstock)

Take a floatplane, helicopter, or boat shore tour to see a number of wildlife residents at Kachemak Bay State Park. Or, stroll the “Spit” – a skinny sliver of land deposited eons in the past by glacial motion. It’s a gathering place for locals, guests, and artists, and the spot to search out information about shore tour adventures.

Strive native flavors at quite a lot of eateries, from high-quality eating to meals vans, and expertise what “actual” recent seafood tastes like. Halibut, salmon, scallops, oysters, and extra are on the menu, together with fresh-baked items. Sip native mead, wine and beer, and take a tour of breweries and wineries.


Guide a cruise that stops on the second-largest island in america…and is house to three,500 brown bears! The city, as soon as the capital of ‘Russian America’ from 1792-1799, is standard as a result of its scenic shoreline and entry to the wilderness.

Kodiak, Alaska
Kodiak, Alaska (Picture Credit score: Actual Window Artistic / Shutterstock)

Cease by the historic Holy Resurrection Church, the oldest Russian Orthodox church within the nation. And go to the Kodiak Historical past Museum situated in an outdated former fur storehouse picket construction. Displays rejoice the storytelling ardour within the space to protect and share “the pure, cultural and inventive heritage” of the island.

For a memorable view of the world, get again on the waters of close by Uyak Bay by way of a small boat, canoe, or kayak journey. Eagles within the air, whales and otters within the ocean, and urchins, starfish, and anemones by way of the clear water beneath make this a wildlife journey.

Dutch Harbor (Aleutian Islands)

Positioned alongside the 1,100-mile Aleutian Islands chain is a singular addition to our listing of finest Alaska cruise ports. This village makes common appearances on standard tv exhibits alongside the captains and vessels that harvest the seafood bounty round this high fishing port within the nation.

Dutch Harbor, Alaska
Dutch Harbor, Alaska (Picture Credit score: Kyle Waters / Shutterstock)

After docking on the pier, be taught the historical past of Alaska Native cultures on the Museum of the Aleutians – rated as probably the greatest within the state.

Then, go to the Aleutian World Battle II Nationwide Historic Space and Customer Heart. Discover indoor reveals and shows and see barracks, bunkers, and gun emplacements left behind from this forgotten chapter of the battle.

Price Studying: How A lot Does an Alaskan Cruise Value? – What to Price range

Discover the valleys and surrounding hillsides alongside the identical trails indigenous folks used for 1000’s of years. (Inquire about permits and maps on the Ounalaska Company Workplace.) Recognized for beautiful wildflower shows, uncommon birds and scenic vistas, a stroll into the treeless (and bear-free) panorama is a should.


Take a cruise into the Bering Sea and tender to shore at this vacation spot of Nome, well-known for the Iditarod Path Sled Canine Race. Snap an image on the end line marker. Be taught concerning the lengthy historical past of indigenous folks on the Carrie M. McLain Memorial Museum, then check your expertise on a guided fishing tour of the world’s 14 rivers.

Nome, Alaska
Nome, Alaska (Picture Credit score: jet 67 / Shutterstock)

Strive your luck on a gold panning expedition whereas viewing artifacts from the well-known Gold Rush days on the flip of the 20th Century. You should definitely see “The Final Prepare to Nowhere” – an outdated steam practice sitting upon unfinished tracks on the tundra.

Spend time strolling the shoreline, exploring the distinctive ecosystems of the encircling tundra and forests, and go on a berry-picking expedition.

Do some Whale watching, salmon within the streams and brown bears, moose, musk oxen, and wolves within the wilderness. And are available exterior after darkish for the Northern Lights present!

The way to Go to Alaska Cruise Ports?

There are a number of choices for these trying to get pleasure from Alaska’s beautiful ports of name throughout the season that usually runs from the tip of April by way of Summer season. Most cruise ships will depart from Vancouver in British Columbia or Seattle, Washington. There are additionally some restricted sailings, reminiscent of departures out of San Francisco and even Los Angeles.

Princess Cruises and Holland America Line could have essentially the most choices in relation to crusing Alaska. Nevertheless, another main cruise strains even have a number of ships crusing within the area, together with Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean.

It’s additionally essential to notice that the majority cruise strains don’t name on the Port of Alaska in Anchorage. Relatively, the massive ships dock in Whittier, Seward, or each, the place passengers can discover transport to the state’s largest metropolis. Not all Alaska cruise itineraries embody simply Alaska cruise ports. typically, passengers could have some featured ports in Canada or on the US West Coast.

Alaska Cruise Ports

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