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Alaskan Cruises: Preparing to Take the Trip of a Lifetime

Alaska is considered to be one of the most scenic places in the world.  Its untouched landscape of forested mountains and majestic wildlife is unparalleled anyplace else.  As there are few roads that lead into the state, the best way to experience it is by sailing along Alaska's Inside Passage.  Many cruise lines sail the Inside Passage and offer one or two week travel options.  When experiencing Alaska by boat, there are many things to consider so that you get the most from your trip.

Alaska's arctic climate causes many travelers to pack more than they need.  Though the weather is colder than in most other areas, people in Alaska still experience moderately warm summers.  On most days, a sweatshirt or light jacket is all that is needed.  A rain jacket is also important because Alaska tends to receive a lot more rain than other American states.  When outside, many travelers prefer to dress in layers so that clothing can be removed as the weather becomes warmer.  What may seem like a cool and rainy day in Alaska can quickly change to become quite mild.

The mountains bordering the Inside Passage shield a lot of the wind and make it nearly impossible to feel the movement of the ship.  Most people will only notice the boat begin to sway when it reaches open water.  Though this movement is minimal, it is best to bring some nausea medication to ward off any bouts of seasickness.  Pack a non-drowsy formula so that you do not miss anything during your trip.

Alaskan cruises offer great opportunities to shop.  Whether aboard the ship or on shore, there are many different jewelery and souvenir shops to choose from.  Most of the jewelery stores operating in each town are owned by the cruise lines and are only open for the summer tourist season.  Those looking for great deals should consider booking their cruise in late September when these stores discount their jewelery by as much as seventy-five percent.

Each town that you visit while on your cruise will have many different excursions to take part in.  Most ships will have an information package at their reception desk which list excursions that can be booked through the cruise line.  If you and your family have your heart set on one of the more popular excursions, such as tours by plane, helicopter, or train, it is best to book it ahead of time.  There are many other other excursions not affiliated with the cruise line that can be purchased when on shore.  These tend to be offered for a discounted price and can be booked right up to the moment that the excursion is set to begin.


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