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Things To Do In Alaska

Things to do in Alaska

Best Things To Do In Alaska

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 luxury Alaska cruises here.


Alaska Towns Within Inside Passage

Alaska Towns Within Inside Passage


Anchorage
Alaska’s largest city. Exciting nightlife and many activities for the whole family
Girdwood
Charming community south of Anchorage on the Seward Highway. Home of Alyeska Ski Resort

Whittier
An old military base, besides the sound and a tunnel, Whittier is isolated. A popular destination of cruises

Cordova
Located on the southern edge of the Prince William Sound, Cordova hosts one of the largest birding festivals

Seward
Major commercial fishing town. Lots of opportunities for fishing and boating tours
Valdez
Home to such attractions as Keystone Canyon and Bridal Veil Falls, Valdez is the southern end of the pipeline

Prince of Whales Island
Prince of Wales island is the third largest Island in the United States.

Sitka Alaska
With great food, incredible history, and outstanding people, Sitka is a great addition to your Alaskan cruise.

Yakutat Alaska
Yakutat’s economy is very dependent of fishing, fish processing and government.

Additional Travel Locations In Alaska:

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.

Alaska History & Additional Information

Alaska, the Last Frontier, the Great Land; by any name, there is plenty of things to do and discover.

In 1728 Vitus Bering, at the bidding of Tzar Peter, sailed through the Bering Strait. For the next 20 years the Russians explored the coasts and waterways. Naturalists, such as George Wilhelm Stellar, discovered many new species of animals. Merchants made use of the vast resources, in particular the North Pacific Fur Seal. Other explorers followed including Spain’s Juan Perez and Alejandro Malaspina and England’s George Vancouver and James Cook.

Gold was first discovered in 1861, near the Stikine River, only six years before Alaska was purchased by the United States on March 30, 1867. “Seward’s Folley” transferred control of Alaska from the Russians to the U.S. for just 2 cents an acre. While it was an issue of great contention at the time, today it is seen as one of the greatest bargains in the history of our country. Soon after, gold was discovered in Sitka and Juneau and the first gold-seekers began crossing Chilkoot Pass on route to the Yukon River. It wasn’t until 1959 that Alaska became the 49th state in the Union.

Of course, prior to European exploration, Alaska had been home to Alaskan Natives for 10,000 years. Today, Alaska Natives make up approximately 16% of the states population of 635,000. They are commonly divided into five general groups: The northwest coastal Indians ( the Tlingit, Haida and Tshimshian), the Inipiaqs (or Inuit), the Yupiks, the Aleuts and the Athabascans. Even as modern technologies play a greater and greater roll in the lifestyles of Alaska’s natives, there is a strong drive to preserve much of their traditional lifestyles. Subsistence hunting and gathering contributes to a healthy and traditional diet. Elders pass on the language, history, legends and art forms to the next generation.

Alaska is one-fifth the size of the 48 contiguous states (or two and a half times the size of Texas): 586,412 square miles. It contains more protected land than any other state, in fact, only one-fifth of the state is accessible by roadway.

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Alaska Tidal Pools

Exploring the tidal pools on the shore is a great way to spend an hour or two. Anenomes, starfish and kelp are just a few of the things that inhabit these pools, while snap weed blue mussels and barnacles cling to the rocks. View our Alaska Cruises for more information on other cruising excursions and trips.

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Alaska Adventure Cruises

Alaska Adventure Cruise

Are you looking for an amazing Alaskan Adventure Cruise?

Make your Alaskan adventure vacation one you’ll never forget.

Custom Alaska Cruises provides adventurous travelers with time tested advice and speedy & consistent transport to the best locations for adventure in Southeast Alaska. All onboard our luxury small cruise ships. 

Free Cruise Excursions And Adventures


Kayaking

The Sikumi is equipped with several top of the line kayaks (both single and double). Our experienced and friendly crew will guide you on kayaking excursions. You can get up close and personal with the magnificent nature around you.

Wildlife Viewing

The Sikumi will take you to get a closer view of all things wild in Alaska.Our kayaks offer yet another platform for wildlife viewing. They are a quiet and intimate way to explore kittiwake rookeries and other coastal sights.


Glacier Viewing

We cruise through the ice-strewn waters that surround the faces of glaciers.The face of a tidewater glacier can be hundreds of feet high and when large pieces calve off, the thunder echoes because of the surrounding mountains.

Fishing Excursions

Whether aboard the M.V. Sikumi or on a chartered fishing vessel, opportunities for great Alaska salmon and Alaska halibut abound for both the avid fisherman and the novice.


Skiff Rides

Ride on the skiff to get closer than you ever thought possible to Glaciers, or perhaps you would prefer to be towed behind it on a surfboard or wakeboard.

Sunsets

South East Alaska has some of the most spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Best views are from the upper deck or the comfort of the wheelhouse.

Hiking

Alaska is an adventure that many passengers enjoy. Explore the temperate rainforests of Southeast Alaska and discover the lush and abundant plantlife.


Birding

Alaska and it’s waterways are home to a large and diverse bird population. Including the abundant bald eagle.

Beachcombing

Alaskan Beachcombing is an activity that many Sikumi passengers indulge in. You can seek out a perfect beach spend a few hours just exploring or collect a load of driftwood and build a fire on it!

Waterfalls

The Sikumi goes right up close to some very impressive waterfalls.

Berry Picking

Imagine filling buckets with seasonal wild berries and carrying them back to the Sikumi for the Chef to create a delicious dessert

Plantlife and Wildflowers

While on a hiking or beach landing amateur botanists will marvel at the diverse and colorful Alaska Plantlife growing in the Tongass National Forest.

Hot Springs

Baranof Hot Springs features natural outdoor Hot Pools, a public bath house which contains three separate tubs and communal Hot Springs Pools.

Tidal Pools

Exploring the tidal pools on the shore is a great way to spend an hour or two.

Beach Fires

Alaska’s driftwood strewn shores provide a ready supply of fuel and are perfect for building beachfires. What better way to watch a spectacular Alaskan sunset. If weather co-operates and the group is willing we will all go to shore for a twilight beach fire.

“Smores” supplies provided.

Create the Alaska adventure cruise you’ve dreamed of and let us take you there. We would also be happy to assist you with any facets of the planning you’d like. Glaciers, an amazing array of wildlife, and towering snow capped mountains will envelope you the moment we leave the dock.

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The Difference Between an Iceberg and Glacier

Difference Between Iceberg and Glacier

What is the difference between an Iceberg and Glacier?

The difference between an Iceberg and Glacier is that the iceberg is the piece of a glacier that breaks off of (or calves) when temperatures warm up. Glaciers are made up of a large mass of snow and ice mixture that covers the valley floor of a mountain range.

This is crazy!

Here is a quick video of a Glacier that is calving into Icebergs during the summer months within Alaska’s Inside Passage.

Glaciers capture the imagination of many of the visitors that cruise thorough Alaska’s waters. These massive sheets of ice can take up entire coves, and they crack like thunder when they break apart and float off into the water in a process called calving. Before you embark on a private Alaskan cruise, we thought you would like to know the difference between a glacier and an iceberg.

Glaciers are found in places where more snow falls than melts in a given time. During its lifetime, the lower layers of snow within the glacier change their form, compressing into ice. Contrary to what you might think, Alaskan glaciers were not formed in the last ice age and are on average only about 100 years old.

Icebergs form when these glaciers melt and break apart. These chunks of glacial ice can be immense and foreboding as they float out to sea. We love taking our guests for kayak trips around the icebergs as they float down the Inside Passage. We can also take you on a special glacier viewing, so you can experience their wonder firsthand.

Book your Alaskan cruise today to experience Glaciers and Icebergs firsthand!

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Alaska Whales Bubble Feeding

Whales Bubble Feeding

If you listen to seasoned whale watchers and marine biologists during your trip to the far north, you may hear them refer to “bubble netting.”

Why Do Whales Bubble Feed?

Its a strategy used by Northern Pacific humpback whales to catch fish.

Many of our guests on custom Alaskan cruises get the experience of watching these magnificent creatures bubble feed. We will explain what this means, so when you see it, you will know exactly what is happening.

How Do Whales Bubble Feed?

Several whales work in a group. One whale dives down while the others blow bubbles in a circle around a school of herring.

Once they create the bubble net, the whales then vocalize, scaring and confusing the fish so they bunch together into a tightly compacted, easy to catch and digest, ball. Then the one below swims up and scoops up the fish.  They then repeat this, taking turns, until their bellies are full.

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Best Alaska Orca Whale Watching

Orca Whale Watching Alaska Killer Whales

Also called killer whales, Orcas are one of the most commonly sighted whales in Alaska.

Orca whales often cruise at the surface of the water, spouting every couple seconds as they swim. They are easily identified by their large black triangular dorsal fin.

How to watch Orca’s

The best avenue to watch Orca whales surface and even jump is by boat. If you are interested in more of a custom Alaska experience check out our Alaska small ship cruises where we’ve had Orca’s surface and spray the deck with water when they surface.

When is the best time to watch Orca’s?

The best time to travel to Alaska to watch Orca’s is during the months of June and July after they have completed their migration from Hawaii.

Background History Of Orca Whales In Alaska

Orcas are usually between 27 and 32 feet long, and live and hunt in small family pods ranging from 10 to 50 members.  These black and white whales feed off birds, sea turtles, fish such as salmon, and even other whales.

They are the second most widely distributed mammal on earth, second only to humans.  They can be found in almost all oceans across all hemispheres, but usually live in colder waters.

Orcas fall into three distinct subspecies that each has its own unique genetic signature. The first, and most widely, studied are resident orcas. These usually stay within a couple hundred miles of their home territory.

The other two subspecies are transient and offshore orcas.  As their names suggest, these orcas range for hundreds of miles often following the migration patterns of salmon and other prey.

The most mysterious of these three are the offshore orcas. Scientists haven’t been able to study them as thoroughly because they live so far from land.

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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