Cruising the Canadian and Alaskan Coast


Canada and Alaska are painfully overlooked by the masses when holidaying in North America, with the vast majority of visitors flocking to old favourites in Florida, New York and California. However, venture further north than these tourist traps, and you’ll stumble across beautiful tundra of ice, welcoming locals, incredible wildlife and some of the most stunning views the planet has to offer.

Here, we take a look at some of the beautiful sites and cities to visit when cruising the Canadian and Alaskan coast.

Inside Passage

inside passage in alaska

An archipelago of icy islands off the Pacific coast of North America, the beautiful Inside Passage extends through south-eastern Alaska to the Canadian province of British Columbia. It is possible to navigate through the small islands and crusts of snowy land – providing exceptional views in both port and starboard directions.

Stretching for more than 25,000 miles of coastline, the Inside Passage provides an authentic and encompassing impression of the Canadian and Alaskan backdrop.

Glacier Bay National Park

If you’re visiting Canada and/or Alaska, we’d put good money on spotting glaciers to be well up your to-do list. So rather than mucking about, head for the Glacier Bay National Park, just west of the Alaskan capital, Juneau. The park is made up of 5,130 square miles of mesmeric glaciers, water systems and marine ecosystems. Currently, there are 15 tidewater glaciers in the park, creating incredible ice-water displays and iceberg formations.

The region is also home to a huge array of wildlife, giving you a chance to glimpse grizzly and black bears, deer, marmots, lynxes, cougars, seals, dolphins, orcas, whales, bald eagles and little otters.


Although much of the appeal of Alaska lies in its wildness, the capital city of Juneau offers a little culture and sophistication in this icy mass. The capital city of the state, Juneau is home to the Alaska Folk Festival, Juneau Jazz & Classics and a vibrant art scene.

The remote location of Alaska and its capital; Juneau retains a more peaceful atmosphere than many of the USA’s other major cities.


The coastal Canadian city of Vancouver is the third largest settlement in the country, but thanks to its incredible ethnic diversity and beautifully maintained public spaces it manages to maintain the air of back-to-back villages. Routinely voted amongst the world’s most liveable cities, Vancouver may be massive but it is entirely pleasurable to explore on foot.

Vancouver city view

Stanley Park is an absolute must-visit if you ever find yourself in Vancouver. The 1,001-acre public park is surrounded by the Vancouver Harbour and English Bay – providing a stunning backdrop for a picnic or a little exploration.

The Rocky Mountaineer

Fancy exploring Canada’s inland? The Rocky Mountaineer train follows a picture perfect track through the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. Recognised seven times by the World Travel Times as the ‘World’s Leading Travel Experience by Train’, the rail service explores Canada’s eponymous Rocky Mountains as well as stunning coastal regions in between visits to major cities and settlements. The Rocky Mountaineer provides a truly authentic slice of Canadian Life.

mountains in alaska

Hudson Bay

Only navigable when the conditions are right, Hudson Bay feels more like the Arctic than Canada – with the waters quick to freeze over when the temperatures plummet. In fact, Hudson Bay was the growth centre for the sheet of ice which completely covered the northern stretches of North America during the last Ice Age.

However, when the waters are not frozen; Hudson Bay is a beautiful body of saltwater which covers 470,000 square miles surrounded by the provinces of Nunavut, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.

Canada and Alaska are amongst the most stunning places in the world to explore via a cruise passage. For a full range of great deals of cruises to these icy hotspots, visit our dedicated Canada and Alaska pages, or call our team on 0808 2746 777 today.


About Author

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Claire has worked in the travel industry since leaving college in 1994. One of this blog's most regular contributors, Claire covers cruise news and industry trends.

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