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How Do We Cruise?

Small Ship Cruising

Most readers have an idea of what a “cruise” looks like. Fewer know what “small ship cruising” looks like. Our trips take cruising to a niche level. Both of our boats have four staterooms and can sleep up to either 10-12 guests in a party. We see a lot of families, groups of friends, and couples on our trips. The Golden Eagle only sees full boat charters, and the Sikumi offers both full boat and mixed charters. Our most common number ranges are 5-8 guests, whether it be a full boat or mixed charter. We typically see our larger groups of 12 when families book the boat to themselves. 

The Crew          

  Our boats are staffed with five crew members; a captain, two deckhands/guides, steward, and a chef. It is common for guests to form friendships with the crew on their trips. We think that is part of what makes the experience we offer memorable and personable. Each crew member is there to ensure that all needs are met and service is prioritize. The crew shares local knowledge, stories, and experiences that help mold the trip into the experience our clients look for. 

Our Operation

 The captain oversees safety throughout the trip, plans activities for the day, and oversees all activities on and off the boat. You’ll be guided on excursions by our two deckhands. They are your door to the remote Alaskan wilderness and adventures you’ve always dreamed of. Our steward will make sure all your comforts are met in your staterooms and anytime you are on the boat. The stew typically works closely with the chef, who arguably has the most important job on the boat! The chef, ah.. where do we begin! Our chefs work tirelessly to exceed all of your culinary expectations! We feature locally caught (often times by you) seafood throughout the week, while also throwing in some classic favorites. They are very well trained and highly capable of accommodating an assortment of dietary restrictions- so fret not! Our crew functions as a team, relying on each other as needed, to ensure your vacation has the highest quality of service (on and off the boat).

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So, Who Are We?

            Custom Alaska Cruises is an Alaskan family owned business that provides intimate, luxury cruises in Southeast Alaska’s inside passage. We have two beautiful vessels in our fleet, the M/V Sikumi and the M/Y Golden Eagle. Our trips are seven days and six nights, and we will take you to some of the most remote and pristine places the Tongass National Forest has to offer. Our trips offer custom itineraries, comfortable accommodations, privacy, relaxation, adventure, and memories that will last you a lifetime. In this blog, you will find stories of adventure and what we have to offer, beyond the sales pitch. 

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Why Cruise Alaska In Small Ship Over Large Ship

The vast majority of visitors to Alaska arrive on large cruise ships that offer plenty of entertainment on-board, but don’t offer too much in the way of truly experiencing the beauty and wilderness of Alaska.

difference between alaska small shipo cruiseGoogle the phrase “Luxury Alaskan Cruises” and you will be bombarded with options. Be careful! Not all cruises are created equal. If you choose to go with one of the large ship cruise liners, you may be packed in with the masses, forced to eat the same meals as everyone else, and then gouged by extra fees and extravagant excursion costs.

Alaska small ship cruises are different. Our trips are all-inclusive and completely customizable; everything from the menu to the day’s agenda is up to you. If you want to lounge in our cabin all morning and kayak all afternoon, you can. If you want to bird watch from 5 am until the last rays of light fade over the Inside Passage, you can.  Whether you want to wear yourself out hiking or simply relax in the hot springs, it is entirely up to you. Aboard the Sikumi you can enjoy the luxuries of true spontaneity, an adventure that is all your own, and exceptional service that only the Alaskan spirit can give you.

There is a big difference between Alaska Small Ship cruises and Large Cruise liners.

Why Choose A Small Luxury Cruise Ship?

No matter what kind of traveler you are, choosing one of the small luxury cruise ships of the Inside Passage might be just the thing you are looking for. Here are just a few reasons why traveling on a ship like the Sikumi might be just right for you.

The Luxury Traveler: You will feel pampered and relaxed as you explore the beauty of the Inside Passage. Our ship gives you a private experience that is unparalleled.

Family Vacationers:  You can book our entire ship or just one room. Our ship is renowned for family gatherings and offers amenities for everyone from small children to grandparents. We can even help you put a smile on the face of that grumpy teenager.

Local Connoisseurs:  Are you a traveler who loves staying at bed and breakfasts, eating at local restaurants and experiencing each place’s unique culture? Then the Sikumi is just for you. We are locally owned and operated, we love preparing fresh local specialties, and will personally guide you through the Inside Passage’s best.

Small boat cruising allows you to get into parts of Alaska’s Inside Passage that very few, if any people have ever stepped, kayaked or fished. With Custom Alaska Cruises, the small ship M.V. Sikumi gives her passengers an up-close look and intimate experience with the state of Alaska.

Without a doubt, cruising aboard the M.V. Sikumi is a completely personalized experience. From planning to cruising, Custom Alaska Cruises collaborates with you to make sure you get exactly what you want out of your cruise. Small ship guests know that there is a much better way to truly experience their surroundings than onboard a mega-ship.

Many of the large ships that cruise Alaska’s waters carry over 3,000 passengers. The immense size of the ship and huge number of passengers greatly reduces the Alaskan experience for visitors. Our four staterooms provide comfortable and cozy accommodations for 8-10 (max 12) passengers, ensuring a personal and intimate Alaskan experience.

The diverse and exotic wildlife of central and southeast Alaska is one of a kind. The intimate atmosphere of the small cruise ship “M.V. Sikumi” is an ideal way to get up close and personal with wildlife, whether we find a good fishing hole for our guests or visit a beach that is frequented by bears. Whale, porpoise and sea otter sightings are also a common occurrence aboard the Sikumi.

Enjoy fine dining as our chef will prepare the fresh catches of the day. Our guests enjoy fishing for shrimp, halibut and salmon; and one of the highlights of the day is sitting down in the Sikumi’s dining room amongst friends and family to enjoy an elegant and intimate dinner.

our imagination is the only limitation for what you do on your cruise. The much smaller size of our luxury cruise boat allows for travel into the most remote and inaccessible places in Alaska. From the very early planning stages of your cruise, your wishes and desires are of the utmost importance to us and our crew. We will do everything in our power to make sure your cruise aboard the M.V. Sikumi is one you’ll never forget.

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Things To Do In Sitka Alaska

Things to do in sitka alaska

What to do in Sitka Alaska?

We often start or end our cruises in the charming town of Sitka; this incredible community has a lot to offer visitors.

With great food, incredible history, and outstanding people, Sitka is a great addition to your Alaskan cruise.  Sitka was once the Russian capital of the Alaskan territory, and the town’s architecture still reflects these Eastern European roots. It also has a rich Native American history, and is still highly influenced by the Tlingit culture.

Today you can enjoy a stroll along the harbor, or explore some of the cultural artifacts in the Sheldon Jackson Museum.

This island town is a perfect stop to help you readjust to dry land, or get your bearings before heading out on the Sikumi. Whether you choose to spend a few days here before your cruise or linger after, you will be glad you included Sitka in your itinerary.

  1. Alaska Cruise 
    • Custom Alaska Cruises offer a great way to view whales, bears and glaciers all throughout the Inside Passage.
  2. Alaska Raptor Center Sitka
    • 1000 Raptor Way, Sitka, AK 99835
    • A great way to view bald eagles, golden eagles, snowy owls and other raptors up close
  3. Fortress of the bear
    • 4639 Sawmill Creek Rd, Sitka, AK 99835-9805
    • Fortress of the bear is an organization that provides protection for rescued animals. They rehabilitate orphaned bear cubs and bring them back to health so that they can be released back into the wild.

Sitka Alaska Restaurants

  1. Ludvig’s Bistro: 256 Katlian St, Sitka, AK 99835-7501
  2. The Pub: 407 Lincoln St, Upstairs/ Elevator, Sitka, AK 99835-7656
  3. The Larkspur Cafe: 2 Lincoln Street, Ste 1A, Sitka, AK 99835-7570
    • Ph: 1 907-966-2326,
    • The Larkspur Cafe is known for soups, sandwiches, and burgers
  4. Westmark Sitka: 330 Seward St, Sitka, AK 99835-7523
  5. Channel Club: 2906 Halibut Point Rd, Sitka, AK 99835-9668

Best Things To Do In Alaska

To read more on the best things to do in Alaska here. We go into detail on some of the best cities along the Inside Passage to travel.

If you are interested in traveling to Alaska, one of the best things to do is to go on an Alaskan Cruise. This way you can experience the incredible adventure that Alaska brings. From whale watching, bears, fishing, glacier calving and more. Read more about our best Alaska cruises here.

Best Time To Travel To Alaska

The best time to travel to Alaska depends on what you are wanting to do. The best time to cruise to Alaska is between May and August.

The lowest rainfall in Alaska is during the months of May and June. If you are wanting to visit Alaska to see whales, it’s best to go on a cruise during June and July after the whales have made their migration.

However if you want to see bears in Alaska, the best time to travel to Alaska is during the month of May.

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Things To Do In Juneau Alaska

Juneau Alaska Travel Guide:

Juneau Alaska Travel Guide

Are you looking for things to do in Juneau Alaska? Here is your complete guide for the best things to do.

Top 5 things to do in Juneau, Alaska:

There isn’t a better way to cruise Alaska, than a custom cruise with Custom Alaska Adventures. They are the leading small ship cruising company in all of Alaska.

Cruise Alaska Small Ship From Juneau

Small ship cruises vary greatly from Large cruise ships as they are more intimate and vary their cuisine and excursions based upon what you want to eat and the excursions that you love to do.

Things to do in Juneau when it’s raining?

The best time to travel to Juneau is during the summer when the temperature is the warmest, averaging 61 – 65 degrees, and the average rainfall is the lowest.

When it’s raining, you can still do things in Juneau, but you have to make sure to bring your umbrella and raingear regardless. Traveling to view the Mendenhall Glacier is still quite a bit of fun if it’s raining as the views can be very dynamic.

As long as the rain clouds don’t soak in the mountains, its amazing to go on the Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tramway as it’s an enclosed tram where you can stay dry. Read more about the Mendenhall Glacier and Tramway below.

Mendenhall Glacier Juneau Alaska

Mendenhall Glacier Juneau Alaska

  1. Mendenhall Glacier:  Located at the end of Glacier Spur Road, Juneau, AK 99801
    • Ph: 1 907-789-0097
    • Website
    • Why it’s amazing: Mendenhall glacier you will see a thirteen-mile-long river of ice, which stops on the far side of Mendenhall Lake. Mendenhall glacier is open to visitors starting in May and closes in Sept. All ages can see the glacier and fees vary.
  2. Tracy Arm Fjord:  Located in the Tongass National Forest, Juneau, AK
    • Why it’s amazing: The Tracy Arm Fjord is 45 miles south of Juneau.  It is narrow waterway surrounded by sharp cliffs that rise 3,000 feet.  The fjord can be accessed by boat and visitors can take a boat tour that last all day.  The price for a boat excursions vary and they run from May through September.
  3. Juneau Whale Watch: 323 Martin Way, Juneau, AK 99801-1377
    • Ph: 1 844-494-2537,
    • Website
    • Why it’s amazing: Juneau Whale Watch is a boat tour company that offers many different boat tours.  Visitors will see whales, and many other wildlife on this excursion. Prices vary depending on type of boat tour, and they are open year round.
  4. Nugget Falls:
    • Located in the Mendenhall trail, Juneau, AK,
    • Ph: 1 907-789-0097
    • Website:
    • Nugget Falls is in the Tongass National Forest and is a 0.8 miles long.
  5. Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tramway:   490 S Franklin St, Juneau, AK 99801-1328,
    • Ph: 1 907-463-3412
    • Website
    • Why it’s amazing: Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tramway is the only aerial tramway in southeast Alaska.  The cars rise 1,800 feet from the ship dock in downtown Juneau. The tramway is open May-Sept. and prices varies adults: $33 all day, youth age 6-12 $16 all day, and kids 5 and under are free.
Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tramway Juneau Alaska

Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tramway Juneau Alaska

Top 5 Lodging In Juneau, Alaska:

  1. Best Western Country Lane Inn: 9300 Glacier Hwy, Juneau, AK 99801
  2. Westmark Baranof Hotel: 127 N Franklin St, Juneau, AK 99801-1222
  3. Best Western Grandma’S Feather Bed: 2358 Mendenhall Loop Road, Juneau, AK 99801-8001,
  4. Travelodge Hotel Juneau: 9200 Glacier Hwy, Juneau, AK 99801-7002
  5. Driftwood Hotel: 435 W Willoughby Ave, Juneau, AK 99801-1786
  6. Frontier Suites hotel: 9400 Glacier Hwy, Juneau, AK 99801
    • Ph: (907) 790-6600
    • General Info: Frontier Suites hotel is not only right next to the airport, but is is also really close to the incredibly popular Mendenhall Glacier. The frontier Suites has also been newly renovated.

Juneau, Alaska Restaurants:

Tracys King Crab Shack

Tracys King Crab Shack

  1. Tracy’s King Crab Shack: 432 S Franklin Street, Juneau, AK 99801-1391
    • Ph: 1 907-723-1811
    • Website
    • Tracy’s King Crab Shack was established in 2006 and is located downtown Juneau, Alaska right next to the docks of the cruise ships. They are known for their crab bisque (which took 3rd place at the 2010 Great American Chowder cook off). Also, you can’t beat their Alaskan King crab legs. Not surprisingly, its about as fresh as you can get!
  2. Hangar On The Wharf: 2 Marine Way Ste 106, Suite 106, Juneau, AK 99801-1255
    • Ph: 907 586 5018
    • Website
    • Hangar On the Wharf is known for fresh wild Alaskan seafood, steaks, burgers, and soups and salads.
  3. Red Dog Saloon: 278 S Franklin St, Juneau, AK 99801-1324
    • Ph: 1 907-463-3658
    • Website
    • The Red Dog Saloon is one of the older restaurants in Juneau and originated during the mining era when Ragtime Hattie played the piano. They are open for Lunch and dinner. One of the specialties is their “Duckfart Shots”. They have good food and appraisers.
  4. Twisted Fish Company Alaskan Grill: 550 S Franklin St, Juneau, AK 99801-1330
    • Ph: 1 907-463-5033
    • Website
    • Twisted Fish Company Alaskan Grill is known for seafood, soups and salads, burgers, and pizza.
  5. Sandpiper Cafe: 429 W Willoughby Ave, Juneau, AK 99801-1727
    • Ph: 1 907-586-3150
    • Sandpiper Cafe is known for breakfast and brunch
    • The Sandpiper Cafe is a great breakfast and lunch restaurant located a couple blocks north of the cruise ship terminal area. They have a great selection of menu items as well as some local specialty items that will make your mouth water. A must try for breakfast.

Juneau Alaska Airfare:

How do you travel to Juneau, Alaska?

The best way to travel to Juneau is by airplane. You can also travel to Juneau by taking a cruise from Seattle through Alaska’s Inside Passage to Juneau.

Provides a twice daily jet service from Seattle, WA and Anchorage, AK with several stops in between.

Expedia provides a wide range of pricing with various airlines that fly to Juneau, including Alaska Airlines. United Airlines flies to Juneau, but only during the summer months. So check expedia for availability.

Best Things To Do In Alaska

To read more on the best things to do in Alaska here. We go into detail on some of the best cities along the Inside Passage to travel.

If you are interested in traveling to Alaska, one of the best things to do is to go on an Alaskan Cruise. This way you can experience the incredible adventure that Alaska brings. From whale watching, bears, fishing, glacier calving and more. Read more about our dream Alaska cruises here.

Best Time To Travel To Alaska

The best time to travel to Alaska depends on what you are wanting to do. The best time to cruise to Alaska is between May and August.

The lowest rainfall in Alaska is during the months of May and June. If you are wanting to visit Alaska to see whales, it’s best to go on a cruise during June and July after the whales have made their migration.

However if you want to see bears in Alaska, the best time to travel to Alaska is during the month of May.

Juneau, Alaska History:

Juneau Alaska Travel Info

Juneau Alaska Travel Info

Juneau is the Capital of Alaska (since 1906) and is the second largest city in the USA by area. Juneau has a population of around 31,275.  Juneau is a little bit larger than Rhode Island and is located at the foot of Mount Juneau. One of the unique aspects of Juneau is that it sits on the Gastineau Channel and it has no roads connecting it to the rest of Alaska. The reason is due to the extremely rugged mountains surrounding the city, so everything in Juneau has to be either flown in or carried in via a ferry (except for king crab legs 🙂

Even though Juneau is located really far north of the equator, it has a relatively mild climate. The average low temperature is around 23 degrees because of the influence of the Pacific Ocean.

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Best Time To Cruise Alaska

When is the best time to cruise Alaska?

Chart When To Cruise Alaska

The best time to cruise Alaska is between May and September when daytime temperatures are in the mid 60’s and the rainfall is under 3.5″ per month.

This may surprise you…

The months with the lowest average rainfall are May and June! So booking a cruise in May or June will give you the least rainy days on average.

Enhance your cruise by doing this:

You can enhance your Alaska cruise experience if you choose the best cruising time based upon what you want from your vacation.

The best cruise in Alaska is a customized small ship cruise. View our Alaska small ship cruises here

When is the best time to cruise Alaska to see whales?

Best Time to cruise alaska to see whales

The best time to see whales is between June and July after they have made their journey back into Alaskan waters from Hawaii.

Top 5 Months To Cruise Alaska

Click on the month to read more: MayJuneJulyAugustSeptember

The average temperatures throughout the cruising season remain mild and pleasant in the 60s in Southeast Alaska. And with these mild and warm temperatures, wildlife flourishes, and the Alaskan landscape is alive with lush green foliage and colorful wildflowers.

Alaska Cruises in May

Alaska Cruises In May

Alaska is a place of incredible beauty and gorgeous weather during the month of May. There are infinite reasons to take an Alaskan cruise in May, including active wildlife, blooming wildflowers, and the peace and quiet of traveling before peak tourist season.

Bear sightings are nearly inevitable during May.

With Alaskan black and brown bears having awakened from their winter slumber, they are active and hunting food near shore since salmon aren’t yet running in the streams and rivers.

May is also when the first Alaskan wildflowers begin blooming for the summer, and migratory birds are heading in, flocking to bodies of water to settle in.

And with 18 to 20 hours of daylight, there is plenty of opportunity for enjoying all there is to see, whether you are on board the Sikumi, cruising around in a kayak, or hiking a less traveled trail.

Not only is there lots of daylight to enjoy, but May generally brings less precipitation and more sunshine to Southeast Alaska (and the Inside Passage) than other months, and the daily temperature is warming up for summer as well.

With Alaska’s peak travel season not yet underway, enjoy the peace and tranquility that comes with one of the wildest and most beautiful places on the planet.

Alaska Cruises in June

Alaska Cruise SeptemberOf the few warm summer months in Alaska, June has the longest days all year, with summer solstice falling on the 20th. Southeast Alaska experiences daylight nearly around the clock in June, making it a good time to see everything there is to see on an Alaskan cruise.

Wildlife is visibly abundant, with whales making their journey back into Alaskan waters from Hawaii. There is a heavy concentration of humpback whales in Southeast Alaskan waters during the summer months, and it is not uncommon to see them feeding with their young.

There are also grey whales, orcas, Dall porpoise, seals, sea lions and sea otters inhabiting the area where the Sikumi cruises. And look ashore for black and brown bears who are in full swing for summer, hunting and fishing for food.

June brings wildflowers, lush green forest and mild temperatures to Southeast Alaska, making it a perfect time to explore. Because of the Sikumi’s size, guests are awarded the opportunity to get off the boat and hike and kayak around to get a closer look at what Alaska is all about.

Summer solstice is an exciting time all over Alaska, so make plans to visit a town or festival before or after your custom Alaska cruise on the Sikumi.

June Cruise Testimonial
“Our adventure was close to its end… I could feel the nostalgia growing inside me. I would miss this boat and her crew. Our once-in-a-lifetime experience was their routine, and I couldn’t help but envy them.”

Alaska Cruises in July

Alaska Cruises In July
The month of July is a great time to enjoy the many things that the Alaskan wilderness has to offer. The sunny days and amazing wildlife activity make July cruises very special indeed.

What better way to celebrate July 4th than to be aboard the Sikumi experiencing all the beauty Southeast Alaska has to offer.

July, being the heart of summer, brings long daylight hours and nice temperatures to Alaska.
Alaska cruising in july kayakingThe heart of summer in Southeast Alaska brings with it lush green landscape and active wildlife. July is perhaps the sunniest month of the Alaskan calendar. No other single month holds as many long and sunny days as July. In addition, rain seems to fall with less frequency and in smaller amounts during July.

Whales have already made their return trip to Alaska from Hawaii by this time, providing a spectacle for passengers.

Frederick Sound is a favorite spot to visit this time of year, as thousands of whales can be observed bubble net feeding with their babies. Brown and black bears are out and about hunting and fishing for salmon in the streams and rivers of Alaska.

Wildlife is not the only active part of Alaska in July. Alaska’s glaciers are actually active and alive year-round. But the warmer temperatures of July cause the glaciers to calve and tumble into the sea, which is a powerful and extraordinary force to witness.

Watch this video from the deck of the M/V Sikumi.

We will take you as close as humanly possible to these glaciers, so you can see firsthand just how massive the bergs are. Because of the high temperatures, the waters are generally free of debris, allowing some of the closest iceberg viewing of the year.

All the things you envision Alaska Cruising to be about; blooming, colorful wildflowers, lush, majestic mountains and active glaciers and wildlife, are yours to experience during the month of July aboard the Sikumi.

Our July cruises are some of the crew’s favorites. The long July days bring a welcome reprieve after the cold and dark winter. We’d love to bring you aboard for one of this years July cruises.

Alaska Cruises in August

August is a great time to visit the far north and indulge in a luxury Alaskan cruise. It is still warm, the days are long, all of the whales and migratory birds have yet to head south for the winter, and all of the businesses that cater to tourists have gotten all of their early season hiccups out of the way.

Alaska Cruise In August

Whales and bears alike are feeding before the long winter takes hold once again. A dense population of humpbacks feeds in the waters of Southeast Alaska preparing for their journey back to Hawaiian waters. Bears are fattening up for their long, winter hibernation, and migratory birds prepare to head South.

Alaska is alive with activity in August, and the warm, summer days of Southeast Alaska cause the landscape to move and change.

Experience the powerful and incredible force of calving glaciers and moving icebergs. And there is still plenty of daylight in August to experience all you can take in aboard the Sikumi.


Alaska Cruise in AugustIt can rain more in August than in other months, but it can be beautiful as well.

Alaska is a fickle state, and the weather can be unpredictable – clouds and rain one day and warm, clear skies the next.

August also has another reward; since the season peaks on August 15, if you come after that, you will see Alaska without all of the intense summer crowds.

No matter the date, we can guarantee that once you step aboard the Sikumi, your trip will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, out and away from it all in the Alaskan wilderness.


Alaska Cruises in September

Alaska Cruise In May Treat yourself to a custom Alaska cruise this fall after the kids go back to school. September in Southeast Alaska is when autumn starts to sink in, and just like any other season in Alaska, there are countless reasons to plan a vacation around this time.

Peak tourist season is over by September, so Alaska will once again be quiet as everyone prepares for another long, white winter, including the wildlife.

Black and brown bears will be stuffing themselves in preparation for winter hibernation and migratory birds will be preparing for a long flight south, while other animals are ready to hang in there for the Alaskan winter.

Bald eagles can be seen flying above or sitting in trees despite the season. Sea otters, sea lions, orcas and Dall porpoise aren’t picky about the weather either.

Alaska experiences some beautiful fall foliage in September, as well. The mountainsides turn beautiful shades of gold and yellow, and the mountains begin to collect snow on their peaks.

As the nights grow darker and longer, there is a very good chance to catch the awe inspiring Aurora Borealis, Alaska’s northern lights. Imagine cruising aboard the Sikumi and looking into the night sky to see dancing curtains and swirls of light.

September is a magical time to visit Southeast Alaska.

If any of this has peaked your interest, contact us for scheduling an Alaska Cruise.

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Types Of Whales In Alaska

There are nine different types of whales in Alaska. The Beluga, Blue, Bowhead, Bottlenose, Gray, Humpback, Orca, Minke and Sperm. The most common whales that you will see whale watching in Alaska are the Orca and humpback whales.

Beluga Whale

Beluga whales are the easy to identify as they are pure white and quite a bit smaller than other types of whales in Alaska.

Beluga whales can also be easily identified because they do not have a dorsal fin and have a larger round head and forehead. Their forehead is soft and non-bony..

A really unique feature of these whales is that several of their neck vertebrae are not fused, which allows the Beluga to turn its head without turning its body. This gives them an incredible advantage for visibility and movement when they are swimming. This is gives them an incredible advantage from predators like sharks and polar bears.

Beluga whales are also quite a bit smaller and are comparable in size to dolphins. View the image below to see the difference between a dolphin and beluga whale:

Beluga Whales have a life expectancy of around 30 years and will reach their full size at around 10 years old.

Beluga Whale Sizes:

  • Males: 11 – 18 Feet in length and weigh 2,400 lbs  to 3,500 lbs.
  • Females: 9 – 14 feet in length and weigh 1,500 lbs to 2,600 lbs.


Beluga Whales eat marine species that are most common depending on the season and location. They feed on salmon, shrimp, whitefish, cod, mussels and more.

Range of location:

Beluga whales inhabit the range from Russia to Alaska and down to Canada. And also from Canada up to Greenland and Norway. You can view Beluga whales in the following locations in Alaska: Cook Inlet, Bristol Bay, eastern Bering Sea, eastern Chukchi Sea and Beaufort Sea.

Check out this incredible video of a Beluga Whale teasing a couple kids at the museum. I couldn’t help but share it 🙂

Blue Whale

Bowhead Whale

Gray Whale

Grey whales are one of the most unsung marine mammals of Alaska’s Inside Passage.  These barnacle-covered beauties are not hidden from view because they are small – they are the size of a school bus – but because of their feeding habits are much less frequently seen than their counterparts like the humpback or orca are. Grey Whales like to move along the bottom of the ocean floor and suck up sand and silt filled with krill, plankton, and other tiny organisms.

Instead of teeth, they have big sieve-like plates known as Baleen.  Grey whales take immense gulps off water, silt and plankton off the ocean floor and then push out the excess water and sand leaving only the tasty plankton behind.  They head north from Mexico every year because they know that Alaska has exceptionally nutrient-rich water.

Humpback Whale



Orca Whale


Minke Whale

Minke whales have the biggest population of any whale species, so you may be wondering why they are so elusive. These sleek, dark-colored whales are smaller than a humpback, but bigger than an orca, and can swim at speeds up to 20 miles an hour.  They also have a smaller blowhole and spout, and can submerge faster than many other species.   Because of their large numbers, Minke whales are still hunted in the waters of Japan and Norway.

However, Minke whales frequent the waters of the Inside Passage, and their curious nature often draws them to inspect and play near cruise ships. Ask our naturalist during your next private Alaska yacht charter and maybe you too will spot one of these elusive whales.

Sperm Whale

Who, what (whale watching), when, where,

Best Time Of Year For Whale Watching In Alaska

Where To See Whales In Alaska

Link to whale watching page –

On the Sikumi, Grey Whale watching is another reason why you should book your next cruise with us. View our Whale Watching Exursion here.

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Frederick Sound, Alaska

Frederick Sound, Alaska

Frederick Sound (also called Prince Frederick Sound) is a passage of water in the Alexander Archipelago in southeastern Alaska that separates Kupreanof Island to the south from Admiralty Island in the north. Frederick Sound was named by Captain George Vancouver for Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany in 1794.

It is a popular location for watching whales and has excellent opportunities for fishing.

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Romantic Alaska Cruise For Couples

A romantic honeymoon cruise in Alaska aboard the M/V Sikumi is the perfect way to spend an adventure with the one you love. The Sikumi provides a romantic setting to watch the beautiful landscapes of Alaska glide past you.

Our staterooms are built with couples in mind, providing a private space for passengers when they aren’t involved in activities such as kayaking, whale watching, wildlife viewing, fishing, beachcombing or fine dining. Our chef prepares original and outstanding cuisine each and every day. You can share a romantic meal with your partner at sunset in Prince William Sound; or at sunrise in Ketchikan. Whatever cruise you decide upon, you will never forget the romantic cruise experience that you will enjoy.

Our crew can help you celebrate any special occasion with customized menus that will suit your needs. You can also take private excursions such as a leisurely hike, side-by-side kayaking, and an array of other activities just for the two of you. Alternatively, our ship is also perfect for a couples’ retreat for you, your honey, and a few good friends.

The Sikumi is a sleek, luxurious, Alaskan vessel, with an industrial galley and plush salon. Our guests tend to get quite cozy, absorbing the fine wood interior and amazing vistas out the large windows. Our upper deck is a great place to catch a breath of fresh air and provides an ideal spot to observe the mountains, glaciers, ancient forests and whales that we will be floating by. We invite passengers into the wheelhouse, where they can see the complicated equipment we employ at work.

There’s no better place to enjoy a romantic cruise than aboard the M/V Sikumi. We think you’ll find that no other cruise experience is quite the same. The small boat atmosphere carries over to the friendly and personable crew doing everything in their power to make sure that your romantic cruise is perfect.

This photo was taken at a tidewater glacier in Prince William Sound. Cruises aboard the Sikumi provide a wonderful way for couples to explore the magnificence of Alaska with each other. Custom Alaska Cruises is a first rate cruise company. Our flagship, the Sikumi, is perfect for a romantic getaway on Alaskan seas.

Past Sikumi Captain Mercury proposing to Guide Carlee Ashen in front of Sawyer Glacier, Alaska.

She said YES!!


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Alaska Family Cruise

Custom Alaska Cruises offers an ideal way to take the whole family on an Alaska small ship cruise.

One of the biggest benefits of a small ship cruise through Alaska’s Inside Passage is that you can get up close and personal to many of Alaska’s best attractions. Including: icebergs, glaciers, bears, eagles, whales and more. This is something that you can’t experience on a large ship cruise!

Also, with Custom Alaska Cruises you can choose precisely which destinations you visit, how long you stay at those locations, and exactly what activities you do while on your cruise.

Best of all, everything is All-Inclusive, so there will never be an additional bill when you disembark.

Schedule an Alaska small ship cruise today!

We offer a variety of activities for the entire family, including kids. Fishing from one of our boats or on a chartered fishing boat can be fun for members of your family.

Maybe the more adventuresome might like to take the kayaks out for an afternoon or hike up soaring mountain ridges for spectacular views of wild Alaska. Others may enjoy combing the beaches or building fires.

The our boats’ smaller size allows access to places that larger cruise ships just can’t reach. And since you set the itinerary for your family-friendly cruise, you can choose to spend as much time as you like at any location. What better way to learn about Alaska than to see it up close, and in the company of family. The memories of hiking glaciers, catching salmon and halibut, and spotting whales will last a lifetime.

We can easily sleep 12 people, so there is room to bring everybody on our family cruise ship. Enjoy some high quality family time in awe-inspiring Alaskan wilderness. There’s something for everybody; come and experience the Alaskan cruise of your dreams.

“Fun for all, 8 to 80! Thank you for exceeding our wildest expectations for the best family vacation ever. “

“We enjoyed the entire trip tremendously! It was more then we ever could have imagined. It was a fabulous five days with you! We still miss your smiling faces and are enjoying reliving the time together by viewing the pictures! The staterooms were more then we ever expected – the food was fabulous. The hiking was fun,was a huge thrill for the kids in particular. You spoiled us all rotten and we loved it! Thank you for the great adventure! We miss you guys!”

Fun for all the Family

fun cruise for familiesA family cruise doesn’t have to be all about doing every single thing en-mass either. There is so much to do for everyone, Dad and Grandad could be fishing off the Side Deck of the boat while the kids are riding in the Skiff under the Captains watchful eye and Mum, Grandma and Aunty are lounging on the upper deck with a book and a cold drink.

Check out the latest piece of artwork that depicts the M/V Sikumi…

Alaska Family Reunion Small Ship Cruise

Custom Alaska Cruises is the perfect place for families to spend quality time together. What better way to experience a reunion with family than aboard your own custom cruise ship?

Hosting multi-generational family members with Custom Alaska Cruises is an excellent opportunity for a family reunion cruise vacation. Our family reunion cruises can accommodate the whole family, from elderly grandparents to the youngest toddler, in complete comfort and safety.

The primary eating, sleeping, and lounging areas of the boat are all on the main level, and offer easy access to water activities and docks. The open plan of our galley and aft dining area allows for camaraderie and visiting during all hours of the day without disturbing those sleeping in the forward cabins.
Viewing the scenery from our topside pilothouse and day lounge while we cruise the coastal waterways is fun for the whole family. Enjoy learning navigation tips from the captain, or take a turn at a wheel watch (18+). Adults can relax in their staterooms or comfortably gather in the pilot house to hear sea stories or read up on Alaskan natural history while teens and small kids enjoy the wind and water from our sheltered and safe outside decks.

Alaska small ship cruises with family members of any age can be experienced in any manner you wish. Our boat’s size and capabilities will ensure that everyone has ample space for their shared or solitary activities while on your family reunion cruise. Members can enjoy activities such as hiking, fishing, iceberg exploring and viewing wildlife, just to name a few. Take advantage of the adventures afforded by small-ship traveling and plan an Alaska family reunion cruise with your family with Custom Alaska Cruises.

More Alaska Family Cruise Reviews / Testimonials

family cruise
“I would like to rave about my trip on board the Sikumi! In July I spent a week on the Sikumi with my 5 and 7 year old girls along with lots of family and friends. Before the trip I had concerns that the kids at times might feel cooped up or that I would be worried about their safety. It turned out that the fun was endless and within the first couple of hours on the boat I felt very relaxed about their safety.

The kids had lots of firsts on the Sikumi – first time seeing whales up close, first time capturing an iceberg, first time seeing a 200 pound halibut, first time doing a moonlight hike, first time being drenched by spray from the bow of a boat, and on and on. They’re still talking about their experiences almost a year later. We went on some great hikes, had beaches and remote coves all to ourselves, and saw beautiful scenery everywhere. The skipper knows all the good spots.

During the down time the kids loved playing in their cabin or doing artwork on the big table and I enjoyed my time sitting on the deck reading or chatting and watching the amazing scenery go by. Another
major benefit for me was that my kids, who are normally up at the crack of dawn, actually slept in n the boat. We all came home feeling relaxed and rejuvenated with lots great photos and stories to tell!”

Amy L. 

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