Category: Cruises

Why Cruise Alaska In Small Ship Over Large Ship

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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Romantic Alaska Cruise For Couples

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

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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Alaska Adventure Cruises

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


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.


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.


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


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


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!


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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Best Alaska Orca Whale Watching

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 Orcas

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 Orcas surface and spray the deck with water when they surface.

When is the best time to watch Orcas?

The best time to travel to Alaska to watch Orcas 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.

Learn more about taking a whale watching cruise with Custom Alaska Cruises or contact us to book!

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