The Decision: to Cruise or not to Cruise

Flag of Alaska

Flag of Alaska

My husband and I are travelers by nature. Not ones who like to follow the beaten path, but we like to set our own goals and timelines. We would never have guessed our travel plans could ever include a trip on a cruise line, but after several months of researching our desires, our financial limits and our time constraints through work, we determined a cruise would be the best way to experience Alaska.

We were interested in the culture of Alaska current, the history of the people, but mostly the sites and sounds of Alaska’s frontier. We both enjoy our visits to warm beaches, don’t misunderstand, but something about seeing a new great mountain range, calving glaciers, rainforests in the northern hemisphere, peaceful fiords really had us excited. We also couldn’t wait to try the fresh ocean-side cuisine. Alaska isn’t an easy land to travel via car. Getting to many cities can only be accomplished via boat or plane. We wanted to best orientate ourselves along but knew without an unlimited budget and over a month of time, we would never see everything on our list.

Denali - Mt. McKinley

Denali - Mt. McKinley, highest point in North America

Once we started getting serious about our plans, we contacted a travel agent who had helped us with a few trips in the past, including our unbelievable honeymoon to South Africa Our travel agent works with executive clients out of Manhattan, helping to plan their dream vacations. She and her husband travel frequently themselves and we knew they would be best suited to help us put our ideal cruise together.

She suggested a few lines based on our desire to find a line without the masses of people or preplanned itineraries. We wanted to come and go as we pleased, eat what we pleased and enjoy a few quiet nights on the deck of the ship. We ultimately selected Holland America Lines and were very pleased with the results, as you’ll learn through the continuation of this blog. We also scheduled several on-shore excursions through the cruise line and ended our journey with two days on our own in Denali.