If you follow me on IG, you likely saw that in the middle of August I did a 7 night cruise to Alaska. Honestly something that has always been on my bucket list and there was just so much to write about that it has taken me a while to get this up and running. I completely disconnected while I was away so that slowed the launch of this post as well.
This was actually my first ever cruise, and honestly I am so glad it was on Celebrity. If you’ve followed me for a while, you know I typically go boujee when I travel so this lined up with my expectations, haha! But there are a TON of affordable options on other cruise lines, and even just lower levels of celebrity. I’m going to do an entire other post on choosing the best cruise for you because that is a whole post in itself.
Let’s talk about this cruise! It was a 7 night cruise from Vancouver, BC through 3 Alaska ports and back to Vancouver. I’ll dive into each port and what I chose to do. Comment your favorite section below!
- Starting Port: Vancouver
- Day 2: at Sea
- Day 3: Sitka
- Day 4: Hubbard Glacier (cruising)
- Day 5: Juneau
- Day 6: Ketchican
- Day 7: at Sea
- Departure in Vancouver
Vancouver needs its entire own blog post, so click the link here to read more detail on what to do, where to go and what to eat. HOWEVER, a few things you need to know when going for a cruise specifically…
The airport is about 30 miutes outside the city, however Public transportation is very easy to navigate in vancouver. A train ride from the airport to the city is only about 25-35 minutes max. We ended up staying in a casino 10 min from the airport and had no issues getting in or out of the city.
The main transit line runs right through the center of the city. It actually drops you off close to the cruise terminal if you take it to waterfront.
If you want to save money but still have access to the city, I recommend staying at Rock Hill Casino in Richmond. We had a great time at this hotel and still feel we were able to explore quite a bit for the few days were were there.
Day 2: At Sea
One thing I want to note for at sea days in Alaska, even in the summer, PACK WARM! We were in leggings and a sweat shirt the entire time. I was a little nervous given that it was an alaskan cruise and we wouldn’t be outside much while at sea that it would be super crowded inside, but honestly, celebrity does a great job designing their ships. We had plenty of space to go to the gym, sit in the solarium, and hang out at bars with out crazy crowds. I will say, we had an amazing drink package and drank quite a bit of wine when we got on the cruise in Vancouver at 10:30 am day 1. Given that this was my first cruise, that was likely a bad idea. I had to take some dramamine and put sea sickness bands on even though I grew up on boats. Bring it all just in case! Alaska at sea when outside of the inside passage is one of the more rocky cruises I’ve heard.
Day 3: Sitka
Sitka was my favorite stop by far(it’s where the proposal with Sandra Bullock was filmed!). Absolutely breathtaking! We did not book an exception this day, which I’m honestly glad we didn’t. The downtown area is super cute and they have a tone of small local shops to visit, great food as well. We had lunch at Beak which has some great local beers and cider. I had their salmon chowder and it did not disappoint.
Day 4: Hubbard Glacier (Cruising)
This was an amazing experience. While cruising we were able to get extremely close to Hubbard Glacier while still on the cruise ship. It was DOWN POURING thank god we had hiking boots to roam the decks because watching seeing the glacier from the top deck was amazing. There were excursions to get closer, but our captain was able to get close enough that I am so glad we didn’t spend the $250 to get maybe 100 yards closer.
Day 5: Juneau
Juneau the capital of Alaska? Juneau we had an excursion booked, but honestly you didn’t need one if you want to limit your excursions. Like Sitka, tons of shopping and food. For this port tho we did a whale watching tour which did not disappoint! We saw about 8 whales including a few babies, seals, and dolphins! The second half of this excursion brought us to Mendenhall Glacier which is absolutely beautiful to walk around, much warmer weather than Hubbard. When we got back from the tour, we had about an hour so we grabbed a drink at this cute “open air” bar called Griz Bar. Again, local brew’s, ciders and next to it is an amazing Taco food truck that honestly was some of the best Taco’s I’ve ever had.
Day 6: Ketchikan
As soon as we got off the ship to Ketchikan, I said it was my favorite port. Turn the corner and head towards the Salmon run and I changed my mind. There is a huge homeless and addict/half way house population in Alaska and they seemed to have all be in downtown Ketchikan. Keep this in mind if you are traveling alone. I am a city girl and will navigagte almost any part of a city – no matter how bad- but this area made me slightly uncomfortable. Fortunately for us, we were able to head to the Tongas Rainforest for a 3 mile hike and it was BEAUTIFUL! Our guide was born and raised with tribal roots and really took the time to answer questions and make sure we really saw the nature in front of us.
Day 7: at Sea
This day, we just relaxed! We made trips to the spa, we read books, and ate food. They had some pretty good activities at night This night so we did go out for a while (till about 1 am). I will note, Celebrity is geared towards adults, by this I mean old people. If you are looking for a clubby cruise, maybe not celebrity. This cruise was much more Zen and focused on relaxation, exploring nature, etc.
Day 8: Depart in Vancouver
We spend two days on the front end in Vancouver and we spent an additional night on the back end. We got in around 8am, went back to the first hotel, and then explored the city. Given we were heading back to the east coast, I am so glad we go off the boat that day and decided to stay one more night rather than rushing to the airport. However, the airport is relatively close to the cruise terminal (about 30 min by bus) and the cruise line has shuttles. We decided to do our own thing.
I am currently in process of working on a Vancouver post – because that in its self was amazing. Let me know any questions or comments you have below/follow up posts your thinking of!