Cruise Along The Beautiful Alaska Coast On This Voyage

Travelers looking to experience dynamic landscapes, diverse wildlife, and vast opportunities for outdoor adventure won't have any trouble finding it in Alaska. The 49th state is home to no less than 100,000 glaciers, 3,000 rivers, 3 million lakes, and 20 mountain peaks that rank among the highest in the U.S. With statistics like these, it's no wonder it's often referred to as America's Last Frontier.

A particularly stunning portion of Alaska is its southwestern coastline and a great way for travelers to enjoy the spectacular scenery here is by booking the 7-Day Inside Passage Cruise with Holland America Line. The Inside Passage itinerary travels from Vancouver, British Columbia to Ketchikan, Alaska with stops along the way that are designed to highlight the best of the area's ports, terrain, activities, and culture.

This itinerary is served by four ships including the Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam, and Zuiderdam. Once the ship you've boarded departs from Vancouver, you'll be well on your way to some of the must-see places in Alaska through the scenic Inside Passage. This network of protected waterways puts everything from mountains and rainforests to glaciers and fjords within easy view. As you sail towards your first port of call, there's a good chance you'll be able to see humpback whales and orcas breaching in the waters below the ship's decks.

Experience the Tracy Arm Inlet, Juneau, and Skagway

This Inside Passage route takes passengers through the heart of the Tracy Arm Inlet. Here, you'll find mountains covered in glaciers and impressive cliffs towering on all sides. You'll enjoy views of coastal temperate rainforests making up a fraction of the massive Tongass National Forest which sprawls across 5.7 million acres. There's also a good chance you'll spot bears, mountain goats, eagles, and seals.

Alaska's capital city, Juneau, is your first port of call on this itinerary. The World Population Review puts the city's resident count at just over 31,500 but numbers boom during high tourist season when more than 1 million travelers visit. Juneau is home to glaciers, fantastic seafood restaurants, and unique wildlife. Some of the top sightseeing options to enjoy here include whale-watching tours through Auke Bay, hiking the Mendenhall Glacier, or booking a dog sledding tour through Juneau's mountainous backcountry.

Next up, you'll cruise through to Skagway which was a primary hub during the historic Klondike Gold Rush of the late 1800s. Today, it's a scenic gateway for travelers looking to explore stunning landscapes. Cruise passengers can debark and enjoy taking a ride on the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad winding through mountains, past waterfalls and glaciers. There are also options to hike the gorgeous Chilkoot Trail and pair it with a thrilling river rafting excursion.

Enjoy gorgeous Glacier Bay and Ketchikan

The scenic voyage continues as you cruise through Glacier Bay National Park. The park is part of a protected World Heritage Site with good reason. As you sail through, you'll be privy to a vast collection of seven tidewater glaciers to admire. The wild coastlines here are sure to inspire, but it's often the array of wildlife that calls Glacier Bay National Park home that impresses first-time guests. Be sure to bring your binoculars for this part of the journey because there's a good chance you'll be able to observe harbor porpoises, sea otters, humpback whales, orcas, sea lions, and 280 unique bird species. Bears, moose, and lynx can be elusive but also roam the park's terrain.

While glaciers have a way of being a thrilling focal point along the Inside Passage, your cruise stop in Ketchikan is a chance to explore local fjords instead. Ketchikan sits on the banks of the Tongass Narrows and enjoys a green forested landscape filled with waterways rich in salmon. It's also home to the Misty Fjords National Monument which is best explored by seaplane. Once you're back in town, destinations like historic Creek Street provide easy access to souvenir shops, restaurants, and galleries while simultaneously providing a place to soak up breathtaking waterfront views.