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There are plenty of cruise itineraries where you can disembark and enjoy the town just a short walk from the ship, Alaska has some quaint little villages just a short stroll from most ports but to truly get the most out of the inside passage cruise you really need to get off the beaten track and explore into the Alaskan wilderness for that true Alaskan wildlife experience. Here are some of our favourite shore excursions in Alaska's most popular destinations.
Where there is salmon, there are hungry bears. Or more likely, full bellied bears, often feeding their young during the annual salmon spawning season around July. For bear viewing excursions that won't require a flight, MendenHall glacier in Juneau is a Black Bear hotspot. For Brown bears take a short boat ride from Skagway and visit the small village of Haines which is known for its Brown bears.
Alaska from the air
While cruising Alaskan waters offers some stunning views. Often the best views always come from above. There are few roads in southern Alaska, therefore float planes and helicopters are a popular excursion from your cruise ship. So soar above the towering mountains surrounded by one of the largest rainforests in America. Some other highlights are sightseeing over the Misty fjords monument from Ketchikan. Or from Alaska's capital, Juneau, helicopter up to the majestic laces of the Juneau ice field where carving of the ice often will give you a thrill.
Killer whales in Alaska.Francois Gohier/VW Pics/UIG via Getty Images
Have a Whale of a time
Alaska is famous for Whales. The inside passage is one of the best places in the world for seeing both hungry humpbacks and the magnificent orca in their natural playground. Do you know Juneau offers the best destination for while watching and is also the best area to see the elusive orca whales.
Fishing in Alaska
Alaska is the ultimate fishing destination. Commercial fishing is one of the areas major industries. Most ports offer fishing excursions, especially at Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan. The Norwegian village of Peterborough is home to one of the biggest commercial fishing vessels. For the ultimate sporting angler experience why not try an adventure in the Bering sea on a Fisherman's tour. Home to the TV show world's deadliest catch.
Wildlife at eye level
Want to get up close to Harbour seas, Sea lions, Dall's porpoises or even humpback whales at eye level? So many tiny islands, kayaking is big in Alaska. What better place to paddle the glassy water than getting on a shore excursion from Sitka, Skagway or Juneau where you can paddle out to the spectacular Nelinho glacier.
Mushing with the locals
There are very few Alaskan tours more iconic than the stunning helicopter dogsled glacier excursion. Famous from Juneau, your excursion begins with an exhilarating 25 minute flight. Touchdown on the high edges of the gorgeous Juneau ice field, where a crew of excited K9 athletes await. Climb into your custom dog sled and striking out in the snow with these extreme endurance Alaskan dog sledding Huskies. Helicopter dog sled tours are always in demand. Book this one early.
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