Cruising in Alaska

Have you ever thought about taking a cruise but just couldn’t decide where to go? Maybe you’ve always wanted to go to Alaska and experience the outdoors. Well, it’s more plausible than you might think, as Stephen Jermanok of The Boston Globe desribes from his latest family vacation.

I wanted a real cruise, one that would appeal to my daughter, Melanie, 9, and to my 77-year-old father. Alaska and the weeklong jaunt aboard the Oosterdam fit the bill handsomely. We liked the fact that Holland America has been taking passengers through the Inside Passage since 1947. And unlike a Mediterranean cruise where you must try to see Barcelona or Rome in a day, six hours is the perfect amount of time to see Juneau, Sitka, or Ketchikan.

We enjoyed two days at sea, traveling close to 900 nautical miles from Seattle to Juneau. Binoculars in hand, we would stroll the outside promenade in the early morning, finding porpoises and some of the humpback whales that make their way to the Inside Passage each summer from Hawaii.

To my landlubber wife, arguably the best part of the trip is that you’re sheltered on both sides of the Inside Passage by islands, so there were no powerful swells.

Along the Inside Passage, bald eagles pose for pictures at the Alaska Raptor Center in Sitka.

Read more about Jermanok’s trip on