Monday, October 4, 2010

Ready for the 2011 Alaska Season??

Set sail on an Alaska cruise and get ready to be mesmerized by awe-inspiring glacier fields and extraordinary wildlife not found in any other part of the United States. This is “big adventure” country and the best way to experience it all is on a cruise.

The 2011 Alaska season is closer than you think, and it is sure to be another record year, with a number of new and exciting sailings and shore excursions that go way beyond the ordinary.

Beginning at the end of April, cruise ships will start sailing the waters of Alaska and continue through September. This season, choose from a number of unique itineraries spanning from 7 to 14 days, exploring the breathtaking seaways and quaint ports of the Inside Passage and Gulf of Alaska. With each Alaska itinerary offering so much to see and do, the hardest part of your Alaska cruise experience may be choosing one.

In the land of the midnight sun, you will need every extra minute of daylight if you want to experience it all. From the awe inspiring blue ice of a massive glacial field to the expansive grandeur of its wildlife and nature, everything in Alaska is bigger and nothing gets you closer to the action than a cruise.

Catch sight of a humpback whale or wolf pups frolicking in the snow. Gaze at a 10-story crystal blue river of ice in Glacier Bay National Park and watch icebergs calving into the tidewater with a thunderous crack. Discover a nesting eagle high in a Sitka spruce or observe a family of brown bears foraging along a rocky beach.

From the breathtaking sights of Hubbard Glacier to the pioneering spirit of Juneau, the gold rush spirit of Skagway and the totem poles of Ketchikan, this is everything you ever imagined – and traveled so far to see. This is one of life’s greatest adventures!

Ready to book your Alaska vacation? Let CruiseOne Freer & Associates help you find that perfect itinerary that provides just what you are looking for. You can contact us toll free at 888-882-5793 or visit us on the web at

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Alaska by Cruise

The only way to see all of the best that Alaska has to offer is on a cruise!

Alaska is majestic land of stunning glaciers, rugged landscapes, and sweeping colorful valleys. It is one of the last few areas of the world where Mother Nature has been left alone so that wildlife is abundant and living in its natural state. And with close to 34,000 miles of shoreline, Alaska is definitely a coastal state.

Alaska cruises are very different from other cruises in the world because you can be almost constantly in sight of land, on both sides of the ship, with incredible and continuous close-up views of lush temperate rainforest, large fjords, quaint inlets, and soaring mountain peaks. Can you now imagine why many travelers call an Alaska cruise the most fulfilling as well as the ultimate cruise experience? Alaska cruises largely come in three distinct 7-night varieties:

1. Inside Passage Alaska cruise, which sails roundtrip from Vancouver
2. Seattle Alaska roundtrip cruise, which generally sails on the outside passage
3. Alaska Glacier Route cruise, which are voyages that travel one-way - either northbound from Vancouver to Seward or Whittier (near Anchorage) in Alaska, or the reverse southbound.

All these offer the opportunity to see magnificent glaciers up close, as well as charming ports of call, while cruising among majestic fjords, rainforest, and possible wildlife sightings. Which of the three itineraries you choose for your Alaska cruise will determine how much of Alaska you want to see. All Alaska cruises will usually include a stop in three of the four most notable Alaskan ports: Juneau, Alaska's capital, as well as Skagway, Ketchikan, and Sitka. All of these Alaskan cruises also tend to feature one day's up-close glacier sighting, of either Glacier Bay, Hubbard Glacier, or Sawyer Glacier.

The Inside Passage of coastal British Columbia and Alaska is a calm inland waterway protected from the mighty Pacific Ocean by numerous offshore islands. The tranquil natural scenery along the Inside Passage is so beautiful and breathtaking that it has to be counted as a large part of the whole reason in taking an Alaska cruise in the first place. These Alaska cruises that sail roundtrip from Vancouver mainly visit the towns (such as those ports mentioned above) and the coastline of Alaska's Panhandle, which is the most scenic and historic region of the state.

The Seattle Alaska roundtrip cruises tend to sail on the outside far off the coast of Vancouver Island and do not allow for the scenery and wildlife viewing opportunities of the Inside Passage cruises. These itineraries often include the same ports of call as the Vancouver roundtrip cruises, and will include one of the more southern glaciers like Sawyer Glacier or Hubbard Glacier.

Glacier Route cruises, also known as Gulf of Alaska cruises, do not double-back to Vancouver and instead disembark at the port of Seward or Whittier, thus going beyond the Panhandle and across the Gulf of Alaska, which allows for the chance to visit Prince William Sound and possibly feature the addition of College Fjord to the cruise itinerary. An Alaska cruise is the ideal way to see coastal Alaska. However, to complete the picture and see the "Heart of Alaska" you need to travel into the interior of Alaska. We recommend an Alaska cruise tour (also known as a cruisetour), which is an Alaska cruise plus a three to six day escorted land tour. Alaska cruise tours include travel by motorcoach or by special designed glass domed rail cars on the Alaska Railway. These Alaska cruisetours allow you to visit Fairbanks and spend time in or near Denali National Park. Here in Denali one can find the tallest peak in North America, Mount McKinley, standing at 20,320 feet high.

CruiseOne is the only thing you’ll need to plan your next cruise vacation; offering most major cruise lines, the very best direct prices along with excellent personal service, all at no additional cost to the traveler. Contact Kathy & Eric Freer, your Local Independent Cruise Specialists at (321) 735-0202 or toll free at (888)882-5793, or via the web at for more information.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ports in Alaska

Breathtaking scenery, gleaming glaciers, abundant wildlife, and Native American culture are only a few of the spectacular attractions that draw cruise vacationers to Alaska. With so much to see and do in Alaska, it's no wonder the state's official flower is the alpine forget-me-not!

Ships that visit Alaska on a seven-day itinerary typically sail along the Inside Passage and visit Glacier Bay National Park or Hubbard Glacier, stopping at four ports along the way. Most cruise lines also offer a variety of extended cruise-tour package options which take passengers deeper into Alaska via train and include land stays at lodges and sightseeing in Denali National Park - making their trip to Alaska even more comprehensive.

For climate and sunlight purposes, cruises to Alaska sail strictly during the summer months, from early May to mid-September. June, July and August can be classified as peak season when average daily high temperatures can reach 75 degrees Fahrenheit, so those looking for the best value should check sailing dates in May and September when temperatures hover around 50 degrees.

A variety of cruise ships sail to Alaska, including luxury vessels and midsize ships - most of which offer expanded kids programs for family vacationers. While the majority of ships sail from Vancouver, BC, Seattle is increasingly becoming a popular summer homeport for many lines. Both embarkation/disembarkation points allow ships to visit the most popular ports on an Alaska cruise, including Juneau, Ketchikan and Skagway.

Ports of Call

Alaska's capital city, Juneau, has a population of about 30,000 and one of the country's highest costs of living. It also houses many attractions, including the famed Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska State Museum, the Alaska Brewing and Bottling Co., St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church and the Red Dog Saloon, a famed Juneau bar/restaurant with swinging doors, sawdust floors and a display of Alaskan history.

Mendenhall Glacier
Described by John Muir as "one of the most beautiful coastal glaciers," the world-famous Mendenhall Glacier attracts curious vacationers who want to enjoy the rush of a helicopter ride and set foot on the surface of this massive piece of ice. Others can see the glacier from afar during a tour of Juneau or come face to face with it by during a kayaking or rafting adventure.

This "salmon capital of the world," is a quaint Alaskan town with a population of 7,922. The largest collection of totem poles in the world resides in Ketchikan at Totem Bight State Historical Park, Saxman Native Village and the Totem Heritage Center Museum. It's also popular for Creek Street - a former brothel district that is now lined with shops and offices.

Misty Fjords
Another popular activity is a flightseeing adventure over Misty Fjords National Monument. Encompassing an area of more than two million acres, this protected wilderness area boasts granite cliffs, waterfalls, crystalline lakes, and snowcapped mountains.

Back in the late 1890s, thousands of prospectors rushed through Skagway en route to the Klondike gold fields of Canada. Now the small town marks the beginning of the Chilkoot Trail - a 33-mile hike that takes three to five days - which begins in the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park and ends at Bennett Lake in British Columbia.

CruiseOne is the only thing you’ll need to plan your next cruise vacation; offering most major cruise lines, the very best direct prices along with excellent personal service, all at no additional cost to the traveler. Contact Kathy & Eric Freer, your Local Independent Cruise Specialists at (321) 735-0202 or toll free at (888)882-5793, or via the web at for more information.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Discover Alaska by Cruising!

Beat the heat this summer on a cruise to Alaska and discover a place as cool as ice. Be mesmerized by awe-inspiring glacier fields and extraordinary wildlife not found in any other part of the United States. This is big adventure country and the best way to experience it all is on a cruise.

Cruise lines are getting way more creative with their excursions and this year there are more choices than ever. Carnival boasts over 100 excursions including zip-lining across a rainforest near Ketchikan and a Wildlife Expedition, where you travel by helicopter to a dog sled camp on a glacier. Princess passengers can strike it rich on the Gold Panning & History Tour in Gold Creek or head out into the wilderness on the Fly-Out Fly-Fishing Adventure that takes you by bush plane into the Tongass National Forest. Holland America’s Sea Life Discovery by Semi-Sub takes riders through the harbor on a heated semi-submersible tour vessel, offering spectacular views of the sea floor, along with plant and aquatic life, up close without getting wet. Holland America also introduced the Glacier View Bike & Brew tour in Juneau, which combines bicycling through rainforests with a tour and tasting at Alaska Brewery. This season, Celebrity is offering more than 158 Alaska shore excursions that let passengers glide along the Alaskan coastline in a 20-foot fishing boat, travel by float plane to Anan Creek for bear-viewing, taste the wines and cheeses of British Columbia's Fraser Valley and more. Safari is the new word on Royal Caribbean with the lines new photo safari by land and sea in Juneau's Channel Islands and their Glacier Point Wilderness Safari from Skagway. Another popular tour amongst a number of cruise lines is the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Tour in Ketchikan.

In addition to increasing their shore excursions, Princess has also added a number of private shore excursions. These tours typically accommodate 4 to 10 people and are catered to those people who prefer not to travel in groups and are willing to pay a premium price for privacy. Tours include a Custom Hummer Adventure out of Juneau or Ketchikan, a private tour in a stretch SUV from Ketchikan and a tour on a private 30-ft. catamaran out of Sitka.

Cruise tours continue to be a popular way to enhance an Alaska cruise, giving guests a better opportunity to explore the wonders of this great state. Some Holland America cruisetours now offer an exclusive tour through Canada’s Kluane National Park. The line was recently awarded the exclusive rights to bring travelers through this designated UNESCO World Heritage site. The park is home to five of North America’s 7 tallest peaks. Holland America Line announced the Glacier Bay & Great Land Grand Tours will now arrive and depart from Vancouver, B.C. The 19- and 20-day cruise-tours, which combine a seven-day cruise with a land tour, previously started in Vancouver and ended in Seattle or visa versa. The cruisetour features two nights in Denali, Dawson City, Whitehorse and Anchorage. The line has also introduced new luxury Explorer Coaches to transport travelers to the sights.

Princess, Holland America, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity have also continued to enhance their domed rail cars ensuring passengers enjoy a comfortable ride while enjoying the breathtaking sites of Alaska.

CruiseOne is the only thing you’ll need to plan your Alaska cruise vacation; offering most major cruise lines, the very best direct prices along with excellent personal service, all at no additional cost to the traveler. Contact Kathy and Eric Freer, your Local Independent Cruise Specialists at 321-735-0202 or toll free at 888-882-5793, or via the web at for more information.

Photo used with permission of Icy Strait Point and Huna totem Corporation