As of 2009, there are many popular cruise lines that offer Alaska trips, departing from either Vancouver, British Columbia or Anchorage, Alaska. Cruise lines that offer Alaska trips include Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Celebrity Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line.
All Alaska cruises fall into one of two types: glacier cruises or inside passage cruises. Inside passage cruises often end in Seattle, Washington, and feature Alaskan Bay sites such as Juneau, Ketchikan and Skagway. Glacier routes offer more off-cruise excursions.
Alaska cruises depart regularly from May to September. July offers the warmest weather, September the rainiest.
Outdoor enthusiasts will love the optional day trips, which vary by cruise provider. Possible excursions may include Juneau's Dog Sled Summer Camp or Glacier Bay National Park, which offers prime wildlife viewing plus ranger-led talks on the formation and preservation of glaciers.
Most cruise lines offer pre- or post-cruise land excursions that allow you to set food on the rugged beauty of Denali National Park or take a bear tour to view black or brown bears in their natural habitat.