Seattle, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Anchorage
Day 1 – Seattle or Vancouver, British Columbia
Depending on the line you cruise with and the itinerary you choose, you’ll likely either depart from Vancouver, B.C. or Seattle, Washington.
Day 2 – At sea
Regardless of which port you leave from, you’ll spend your first day onboard the cruise ship cruising calmly through northern coastal British Columbia and toward Alaska. It’s a good day to explore the cruise ship’s many shopping, dining and entertainment options.
Day 3 – Ketchikan
Today will be spent in Ketchikan, which features an abundance of activity options and excellent shopping. Consider a day trip to flightsee Misty Fjords National Monument, go sportfishing or visit the Alaska Native village of Saxman, where you can watch artisans at work carving totem poles. Whatever activity you choose, be sure to save a couple of hours to wander downtown Ketchikan and its famous Creek Street. Creek Street is a boardwalk on pilings over Ketchikan Creek, the town’s gold-rush era red-light district. The charming historic district features shops, galleries, restaurants and coffee shops along with Dolly’s House Museum, which showcases the life of a well-known local madam.
Day 4 – Juneau
Alaska’s capital city also offers plenty of activities to entertain visitors, including a visit to Mendenhall Glacier, a bear-viewing excursion, a salmon bake or maybe a kayak tour. Its downtown is also a fun and entertaining place to shop, with some of the most notable local items including Alaska-themed enamel pins and zipper pulls designed by artist Bill Spear, art galleries, bookstores and the mountaintop shopping found at the end of the Mount Roberts Tramway. Consider combining activity and shopping by booking a bike ride and beer tasting tour to the headquarters of Alaska’s most famous brewery, Alaskan Brewing, where you can sample beers and browse their selection of Alaskan Brewing gear.
Day 5 – Skagway
Your day in Skagway will doubtless include exploring the many historic buildings and sites in the former gold-rush boomtown. The White Pass & Yukon Route railway offers a scenic and historic trip north of town along the same route prospectors took on their way to the Klondike gold fields. Back at the depot, train souvenirs are available at the Train Shoppe, while in nearby downtown, art lovers will relish a visit to some of the local galleries. And no visit to Skagway would be complete without a tee shirt from the Red Onion Saloon, a former brothel turned restaurant.
Day 6 and 7 – Scenic cruising en route to Anchorage
Depending on your itinerary’s specifics, you’ll wind your way toward Southcentral Alaska with sea days that include Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve or the College Fjords. Ships disembark in either Whittier or Seward and passengers shuttle north to Anchorage from there. In Anchorage, you’ll want to spend a few days exploring the excellent museums and cultural facilities, taking a bike ride on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, hiking in Chugach State Park and eating in excellent local restaurants. Shopping highlights include the entire downtown area, which is a great place to wander and enjoy a reindeer dog from a outdoor vendor; local seafood retailers that will package and ship wild Alaska seafood direct to your door; the Alaska Railroad depot’s gift shop and nearby Ulu Factory; and the gift shops of the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center and the Alaska Native Heritage Center.