The Inside Passage Alaska refers to an ocean passage
running along the coast of the Alaska Panhandle and the western shore of British Columbia, Canada.
The route is somewhat protected by off-shore islands and
glaciers and as such experiences less severe whether than
the open ocean further out from the Inside Passage Alaska.
For this reason, and because the passage runs close to
Alaska’s most popular tourists towns, the route
is the main course for cruise ships in the area. Some
Alaska Inside Passage cruises will run the length of the
passage, while other will travel just part of it. A full
Inside Passage Alaska Cruise will last about 10 days.
The Inside Passage Alaska passes by Ketchikan in the south and moves up through the Alexander Archipelago, past cities such as Point Baker and Edna Bay. Further north, the route passes through Frederick Sound and by Sitka and eventually Juneau. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve and the town of Skagway are at the northern-most end of the passage, and these two areas are a popular destination for Alaska Inside Passage cruises.
A typical Inside Passage Alaska cruise will last for 7 days. July and August are the most popular months for these cruises, but they run from late April until early September. Private charter boats which hold between 8 and 12 guests are available for $30,000 and include a sailing crew and food. Alaska small cruise ships and larger cruise ships are also available, with prices ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 depending on whether you travel during the busy season or the slow season.
Alaska Inside Passage cruises depart from a few different cities within Alaska, with the two most popular being Anchorage and Petersburg. Typical Inside Passage Alaska cruises offer guests views of glaciers, wild life and sometimes whales. Temperatures along the Inside Passage Alaska are between 40 and 55 degrees in May and September and between 45 and 65 degrees in June, July and August. Although these temperatures are fairly moderate, it is a good idea to wear layers and bring along warm gear.
One popular way to enjoy the Inside Passage is through a sea kayaking trip out from your cruise ship. Due to their smaller size and maneuverability, sea kayaks can get much closer to glaciers by navigating through the ice chunks that surround most glaciers. Sea kayaking is not included in the cost of your cruise, but your cruise company will be able to book a kayaking trip for you for under $100 per person.
Wildlife hikes, usually with snowshoes, are also popular trips from Inside Passage cruise ships during the day. Bears, wolves, elk and bald eagles are just a few of the animals roaming wild in the forests of Alaska. Glacier Bay Park in particular is a fantastic place to hike. Some cruise ships offer these guided hiking tours for free, while others do not. Check directly with your cruise line for specific information. Guided city tours of cities along the Inside Passage are also available and are most popular in Sitka and Juneau.