Why Take an Alaska Cruise ?

Written by John Metcalfe

The Alaska cruise is a breathtaking adventure that you'll never forget. Giant snow-capped mountains, sparkling glaciers, thick pine forests rising up fromrepparttar shoreline and abundant wildlife vie for your attention in this dramatic landscape. Towns and villages brimming with history tell a story ofrepparttar 138704 Great Land that will endear Alaska to you forever.

An Alaska cruise typically departs from Seattle in Washington State or from Vancouver in British Columbia. Winters are very harsh in Alaska, sorepparttar 138705 main cruising season is confined torepparttar 138706 summer months, typically between May and September.

The most popular Alaska cruise route takes passengers on a one week round-trip uprepparttar 138707 Alaskan coastline and throughrepparttar 138708 Inside Passage. This route takes inrepparttar 138709 ports of Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Sitka inrepparttar 138710 extreme southeast of Alaska. Other cruise routes run to Prince William Sound nearrepparttar 138711 city of Anchorage, and also alongrepparttar 138712 Alaska Peninsula and intorepparttar 138713 Bering Sea. These longer cruises are often one-way, requiring passengers to make their return journey by train or plane.

Ketchikan is well worth a visit alone forrepparttar 138714 Tongass National Forest -repparttar 138715 most northerly rainforest onrepparttar 138716 North American continent. It is more than eight times repparttar 138717 size ofrepparttar 138718 Yellowstone National Park, and offers repparttar 138719 ultimate in adventure tours where you'll find rich salmon runs and grizzly bears. Ketchikan is also home torepparttar 138720 world's largest collection of totem poles. These can be found atrepparttar 138721 Totem Heritage Center Museum.

Caribbean Stopover at St. Thomas of the U.S. Virgin Islands

Written by Clint Leung

One ofrepparttar most popular ports of call for Caribbean cruise ships is St. Thomas, one ofrepparttar 138664 U.S. Virgin Islands. Onrepparttar 138665 three Caribbean cruises that I took so far, two of them included a stopover in St. Thomas. On both occasions, there was a consensus among other passengers we met that St. Thomas was one ofrepparttar 138666 nicer islands visited. Althoughrepparttar 138667 driving in St. Thomas is onrepparttar 138668 left hand side, it is still U.S. territory so this Caribbean island features many other conveniences of being American soil. These included easy telephone connections for calls back torepparttar 138669 mainland,repparttar 138670 use of U.S. currency and English asrepparttar 138671 main language. St. Thomas is also one ofrepparttar 138672 cleanest of Caribbean islands andrepparttar 138673 locals do not aggressively hustlerepparttar 138674 tourists like they do on other islands. Many passengers stated that St. Thomas is a place they would like to come back to inrepparttar 138675 future.

During my first visit to St. Thomas, I tookrepparttar 138676 Atlantis submarine excursion which took tourists down to see an actual ocean reef. It was a bit pricey but that was expected. Seeing an ocean reef withrepparttar 138677 marine life up close forrepparttar 138678 first time during this submarine ride actually influenced me to take up scuba diving. During my second trip torepparttar 138679 island, we decided that we would spend some time snorkeling inrepparttar 138680 local waters since at that time, my partner wasn't a certified scuba diver yet. My advance research suggested that Coki Bay onrepparttar 138681 northeast side of St. Thomas was a nice place to snorkel. When our cruise ship docked at Charlotte Amalie,repparttar 138682 capital city ofrepparttar 138683 U.S. Virgin Islands, we hailed one ofrepparttar 138684 many taxi cabs atrepparttar 138685 port. It was a $15 US fare to Coki Beach where Coki Bay is located. It took only about 15 minutes to get there. The scenery alongrepparttar 138686 way was magnificent as we went up a hill and saw our cruise ship inrepparttar 138687 distant harbor below. The island itself is very lush with greenery everywhere.

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