Alaska is an amazing state. It is by far the largest state in the US based on land area, but it is also one of the least populated. Less than 1 million people live in Alaska and the majority of those that do live there live in the Anchorage area.
The combination of a lot of land and not a lot of people adds up to a whole lot of wilderness, which is the main tourist attraction in Alaska. People visit for the incredible, grand scenery and to watch to abundant wildlife. Alaska is home to Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America, as well as scores of other impressive peaks. Since Alaska has more coastline than the rest of the US combined, Alaska starts out at a low elevation (sealevel) so the mountains are that much more impressive.
There are relatively few roads in Alaska. In fact, some cities are not even accessible by roads. Juneau, the Capital of Alaska, is not connected to any other cities by road. To get a car into Juneau you’d need to take a ferries from Haines and Skagway.
Because of the somewhat difficult access, one of the most popular ways to visit Alaska is by going on a cruise.
Cruises to Alaska provide a lot of benefits, like a constant stream of scenery and potential whale watching as you float from one port to the next and access to multiple cities, some of which cannot be accessed at all by car.
In a future article we’ll discuss some tips on specific ports in Alaska and suggestions on how to make the most of your trip. We’ll look at Skagway, Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Seward to name a few. If you have questions before then, feel free to let us know.