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Expeditions

Alaska

Experience the rugged landscape of ‘The Last Frontier’, from its scenery and rich culture to its impressive variety of wildlife.

See all expedition cruises

Alaska

Experience the rugged landscape of ‘The Last Frontier’, from its scenery and rich culture to its impressive variety of wildlife.

See all expedition cruises
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Cruising to Alaska with Hurtigruten

A land framed by vast forestland and towering mountain ranges, Alaska is truly a place of breath-taking beauty. Keep an eye out for eagles and bears while exploring the varied landscape in a kayak or on a hike, and experience Alaska’s unique culture through town walks.

Hurtigruten is the ideal choice to actively explore the wild frontier of Alaska. Our small expedition ships make it possible to truly discover places off the beaten track, as well as  colourful historic towns and indigenous communities all along this rugged and diverse shoreline. 

With our small Zodiac boats, you’ll explore majestic fjords, bays, rainforests and glaciers accompanied by our Expedition Team, who will share their knowledge about the history and wildlife of the places you visit. Our included activities and optional shore excursions make sure you’ll get memorable experiences of Alaska’s diverse nature, cultures, history and people.

Alaska: Travel Guide
  • Humpback whale, Prince William Sound Alaska
  • Icy Strait Point, Hoonah, Alaska
  • Ketchikan, Alaska
  • College Sound, Alaska
  • Ketchikan, Alaska

Photo: Shutterstock

Reasons to Cruise to Alaska

Alaska is a destination for true explorers. With immense glaciers, deep fjords and vast stretches of wilderness, its scenery alone never fail to impress visitors. You’ll also see remains of the gold rush era in the fishing villages, abandoned towns and bustling harbour towns you visit.

The waters of Alaska are teeming with life. You might see whales, porpoises, dolphins or even large colonies of sea lions. On land, look for moose and caribou wandering the forests and brown bears fishing for salmon in the rivers. Birders can look forward to spotting some of the many rare species that call Alaska their home.

Reasons to Cruise to Alaska

Alaska is a destination for true explorers. With immense glaciers, deep fjords and vast stretches of wilderness, its scenery alone never fail to impress visitors. You’ll also see remains of the gold rush era in the fishing villages, abandoned towns and bustling harbour towns you visit.

The waters of Alaska are teeming with life. You might see whales, porpoises, dolphins or even large colonies of sea lions. On land, look for moose and caribou wandering the forests and brown bears fishing for salmon in the rivers. Birders can look forward to spotting some of the many rare species that call Alaska their home.

Rich History

Alaska is also a great place for history buffs. The history of the area is well-documented by its artifacts. And the people who live here are proud of their collective heritage and are more than willing to share it with you.

People have inhabited the Aleutian Islands, other islands in the Bering Sea and parts of western Alaska since the Second Ice Age. These communities share a common heritage and reliance on the northern part of the Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea, but each holds its own unique traditions. Alaska's Inside Passage is home to the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people, whose history is reflected in towering totem poles. Alaska has a more concentrated indigenous population than any other state, at more than 14 percent.

Russian settlers left a legacy of onion-domed churches gleaming with icons. In 1867, Russia agreed to sell Alaska to the United States for $7.2 million. This amounted to about two cents an acre.

Bear Country

Alaska really is bear country and all species of North American bears flourish here: grizzly, brown and black bears. In the north, polar bears roam. The brown bear is common in the coastal areas – in the interior they are called grizzly bears. They are very large and can weigh from 350 to over 500 kilos. Black bears are abundant – an estimated 100,000 inhabit Alaska.

Alaska is the largest state in the United States in terms of area, but the population is only just over 700,000. If Manhattan had the same population density as Alaska, only 28 people would inhabit the island.

Adventure

It wouldn’t be a true adventure if it was completely predictable. Your safety is of utmost importance to us, so the captain and Expedition Team will continuously assess the weather and ice conditions at sea to see which landings are safe to make.

For example, when visiting Katmai National Park, we’ll choose between visiting Kinak Bay, Kunak Bay and Geographic Harbour, perhaps visiting two or even all three if time and weather permits. Whatever places you are able to visit, we can definitely guarantee you the adventure of a lifetime.

Cruises

Wildlife in Alaska

Nicknamed the ‘Last Frontier’ for its rugged landscape, Alaska is a wild paradise, offering breath-taking views for its visitors and diverse habitats for its wildlife. Bears fish for salmon in the rivers while deer wander the forests, and golden eagles swoop above the plains.

Wildlife in Alaska

Nicknamed the ‘Last Frontier’ for its rugged landscape, Alaska is a wild paradise, offering breath-taking views for its visitors and diverse habitats for its wildlife. Bears fish for salmon in the rivers while deer wander the forests, and golden eagles swoop above the plains.

Fish

Five species of Pacific salmon live in the waters of Alaska: pink, silver, king, sockeye and chum. Every summer, the salmon run upstream to spawn. This annual event is eagerly awaited by many locals, including the salmon’s predators, the grizzly bear and the bald eagle.

Bears

A fearsome predator of spawning salmon, grizzly bears are common in western Alaska. Besides grizzlies, you might also see other kinds of brown bears, as well as their smaller relative, the black bear. There are even polar bears among the glaciers in the northern region.

Arctic Foxes

These little creatures are common in the tundra and treeless coastal areas of Alaska. They grow up to around two feet tall and eat pretty much anything they can find, often feeding on rodents and other small mammals, and even eating food left over from larger predators.

Activities in Alaska

Keep active in Alaska by enjoying a hike or kayaking in the fjords. Immersed in nature, scout for magnificent creatures like bears, sea otters, whales and eagles. Our Expedition Team host lectures and lead the way as you visit remote communities and historic towns to learn about the fascinating history and wildlife of Alaska.

Our landings and activities help you connect with the places you’ll see. Town tours and visits to UNESCO World Heritage sites will enlighten you on the history and culture of the Alaskan people. For wildlife lovers, birds, whales, and bear safaris and walks in national parks will be the highlight.

Activities in Alaska

Keep active in Alaska by enjoying a hike or kayaking in the fjords. Immersed in nature, scout for magnificent creatures like bears, sea otters, whales and eagles. Our Expedition Team host lectures and lead the way as you visit remote communities and historic towns to learn about the fascinating history and wildlife of Alaska.

Our landings and activities help you connect with the places you’ll see. Town tours and visits to UNESCO World Heritage sites will enlighten you on the history and culture of the Alaskan people. For wildlife lovers, birds, whales, and bear safaris and walks in national parks will be the highlight.

Wildlife Watching

Alaska’s woodlands are home to caribou, moose and over 70% of North America’s brown bear population. Many rare birds also tend to be more easily spotted in Alaska. The annual salmon run is eagerly awaited by tourists and locals alike, as well as bears and bald eagles.

Kayaking

Glide through the water in silence and get close to the majestic nature of Alaska. Paddle ocean passages, iceberg lagoons or the calm waters of Alaska’s coastal areas with an experienced guide.

* Please note that this is an optional activity and an additional cost applies.

Hiking

The Expedition Team run guided hikes to viewpoints and sites of interest, like Point Adolphus, an area famous for attracting humpback whales. They’ll pick some of the most scenic spots around for you to enjoy.

Photo Programme

This included programme is designed for photographers of any ability, giving you tips that will help you better capture the spectacular photo opportunities in Alaska. You may also have a chance to join a more intensive one to two-hour Photo Adventures* session.

* Please note that this is an optional activity and an additional cost applies

Small-Boat Cruising

Although your expedition ship is small, there are limits on where it can go due to its size. This is where our small Zodiac boats come in. Enjoy gliding through the water as you take in the stunning views of such places as College Fjord and Katmai National Park.

Shore Excursions

Optional excursions offer special experiences that bring you a step closer to the places we visit. These range from wildlife safaris, fishing, visits to UNESCO World Heritage sites and national parks.

* Please note that this is an optional activity and an additional cost applies.

Landings

Whenever weather and sea conditions allow, we’ll attempt landings via small Zodiac boats. Places might include the likes of picturesque Geographic Harbor or Kukak Bay, a place perfect for bear spotting. Once ashore, the Expedition Team will guide you on where to go and what there is to see and ensure you stay safe at all times.

Town Walks

From gold rush towns like Nome and Wrangell to Russia’s Alaska capital Sitka, the places you’ll visit have a rich history. Haines is historic for being the home of the indigenous Chilkat Tlingit people, while Petersburg is known as ‘Little Norway’ for its proud Nordic heritage.

Science Center

The microscopes and other high-tech equipment here allow for hands-on demonstrations and workshops, which deepen your understanding of the places you visit. We also invite you to participate in Citizen Science projects, which in turn contribute to important research.

Lectures and Talks

Both on and off the ship, members of our Expedition Team give in-depth lectures on a variety of topics to enhance your expedition experience. The subjects chosen are specific to your destination and will cover the history, culture and wildlife of Alaska.

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