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Visiting Alaska by Land or by Cruise?


Pros and Cons of Alaska Travel Modes
Map of Alaska Showing Popular Travel Regions - Land Tour and Inside Passage

Map of Alaska Showing Popular Travel Regions: Land Tour and Inside Passage (click map to view large version)

Source: Map Resources

An Alaska vacation is often a significant investment of time and money. You want to make sure you choose a travel mode and itinerary that fits the tastes and expectations of you and your Alaska travel partners.

Here are some things to consider when planning your Alaska vacation.

Visit Alaska by Large- to Mid-sized Cruise Ship
A large ship cruise can sound like heaven or hell, depending on your personality. A cruise ship does offer a wide variety of experiences, however, and is a good choice for travel groups where members have a mix of tastes and dispositions.


  • variety of options for dining and activities
  • stay in same room every night, unpack once and settle in


  • can be crowded in public areas
  • additional expenses (shore excursions, photos, spa treatments, beverages, etc) can add up significantly
  • potential for seasickness

Visit Alaska by Small Cruise Ship


  • no crowds, more intimate
  • smaller vessels can get closer to scenery and wildlife


  • less room to move around
  • limited dining options

Visit Alaska by Escorted Land Tour


  • no stress over travel logistics (directions, nightly reservations, parking, admission tickets, etc)
  • efficient way to visit Alaska's highlight attractions


  • change rooms each night
  • no sleeping in
  • food quality varies

Visit Alaska by Land on Your Own
This is a good choice for people who plan to include camping in their itinerary.


  • truly independent
  • can linger or stop at will
  • can go off the beaten path


  • planning itinerary can be time consuming
  • worry over travel logistics can be stressful (directions, finding services, parking, etc)

However you plan to visit the grand and glorious state of Alaska, you'll be sure to come home with memories to treasure for lifetime.

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