alaska-feature

A woman in Ketchikan, Alaska during a cruise.

One of the most epic U.S. states to visit is Alaska and the best way to travel around is by cruise. Alaska is known as “The Last Frontier” because it is the 49th state and there’s a lot of untouched nature to explore.

Alaska is the largest state in the continental United States. It’s famous for its incredible glaciers, millions of lakes, the best seafood, amazing wildlife, breathtaking landscapes and fun outdoor adventures. Some of the best spots cannot be accessed easily on land, so it’s essential to find the right cruise that will allow you to see how beautiful this state is!

Celebrity Millennium in Alaska

In May 2023, I did an Alaskan Southbound Glacier Cruise with my mom on the Celebrity Millennium. This luxury cruise ship is the oldest in Celebrity’s fleet. It features spacious staterooms, fine-dining restaurants, elevating design concepts, the exclusive The Retreat ®, an award-winning spa, friendly staff and crew members, fun entertainment and incredible offshore experiences.

I had the best time exploring Alaska with the Celebrity Millennium! In this article, discover the best way to travel to Alaska and check out the unique places I explored with one of the best cruise lines.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like. Celebrity Cruises hosted me on their Southbound Glacier Cruise from Seward, AK, to Vancouver, BC. Click here and use code SAILCELEBRITY for an additional $100 in onboard credit.


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The Best Way to Travel around Alaska with Celebrity Cruises

Best Way to See Alaska in 7 Days: Cruise or Land?

Seeing natural wonders in Alaska during a cruise - best way to travel Alaska.

There are many ways to explore The Last Frontier. You can fly into a specific area and do a land-based vacation via a road trip, take a bus tour, RV around the state or do a cruise.

Alaska is also home to the tallest mountain in North America – Denali, at 20,308 feet above sea level!

If you love treks, hiking Denali will help you scratch off one of the Seven Summits of the World. I recommend hiking Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa first! Even if you’re not a big hiker, Denali National Park is still an epic place to explore in Alaska. The park is open from late May through mid-September.

Even though Alaska is filled with National Parks, mountain towns, beautiful scenery and untouched land, its fishing villages and charming port towns along the Inside Passage make this state special! The only way to truly see Alaska’s fantastic small towns and villages is through a cruise and Celebrity Cruises stop at the best ports. It’s truly the best way to visit Alaska for the first time!

The Inside Passage is along Southeast Alaska in the Pacific Northwest and borders Canada’s Yukon Territory and British Columbia. As you cruise through the Inside Passage, you’ll appreciate the incredible glaciers, dazzling islands, peaceful coves, glistening bays, astonishing National Parks and breathtaking fjords.

Traveling to Alaska and Getting to the Cruise:

Visiting Anchorage, Alaska before a cruise with Celebrity.

Alaska’s largest airport is Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in Anchorage and for Celebrity CruisesSouthbound Glacier Cruise, it’s best to fly there. You can find affordable flights through Skyscanner!

My mom and I flew to Anchorage a day before the ship departed Seward at 7 pm. We traveled from Newark Airport in NJ to Anchorage with a layover in Seattle, Washington. It’s best to fly in at least a day before your cruise departs in case of any flight delays or cancellations. We spent the night in Anchorage and stayed at the Hampton Inn.

Below are other hotels to stay at in the city. Anchorage also has a plethora of rental properties you can choose from. If you want to ensure you see the midnight sun or the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), it’s best to head up north towards Fairbanks and near the Arctic Circle.

Luxury Accommodation: Hotel Captain Cook

Mid-Budget Accommodation: Hyatt House Anchorage

Budget Accommodation: Holiday Inn Express Anchorage

Anchorage, Alaska before a cruise.

Doing the Southbound Glacier Cruise is one of the best ways to travel Alaska because you can also explore the state’s largest city – Anchorage! Some of the best things to do in Anchorage are to take a trolley tour, enjoy craft beer and delicious seafood at 49th State Brewing, walk along the Coastal Trail, visit one of the many shops in the downtown area and do one of the many local day hikes. Anchorage is an excellent base for many outdoor adventure day trips!

Salmon and rice from 49th State Brewing in Anchorage.

Depending on the time of year you visit Anchorage, you will experience longer days, where the sun goes down closer to midnight and rises at around 4 am, or shorter days, with only a few hours of daylight. The summer months are when the days are longer in Alaska and the winter months are primarily dark.

The best option from Anchorage to the cruise ship port in Seward is reserving a bus ride with Alaska Cruise Transportation‘s “ACT BIG BUS.” We did the Anchorage to Seward Narrated Direct Transfer straight to the cruise ship terminal. ACT has other bus tours that are longer and will allow you to get off the bus. The direct transfer costs $69 USD per adult and $60 USD per child 12 and under.

Another way to get to Seward from Anchorage is to take the Alaska Railroad. National Geographic Traveler ranked this train ride one of their Top Ten Train Rides in North America because of the incredible scenic views.

Best Time to Visit Alaska for a Cruise:

The beauty of Alaska during May.

Overall, the best time of the year to do a Southbound Glacier Cruise with Celebrity Cruises is anytime between late April through early October. This is when the weather is the best, you’re more likely to spot incredible wildlife and the days are much longer.

For a trip like this, it’s best to pack a variety of different outfits. Since we started north and went south, the weather got warmer each day. It would be the opposite if you booked the Northbound Glacier Cruise.

During May, the temperatures in Seward, Alaska (where the cruise starts) range from a high in the low 50s°F to lows in the high 30s°F with an average of 10 rainy days. In June, temperatures range from the high 50s°F to upper 40s°F with a total of 8 rainy days and in July and August, temperatures are from the lower 60s°F to low 50s°F with around 8-12 days of rain.

Vancouver’s temperatures range from a high in the low 60s°F to upper 40s°F in May, with 9 rainy days. In June, temperatures range from the upper 60s°F to the mid 50s°F with a total of 7 rainy days and in July and August, temperatures are from the low 70s°F to upper 50s°F with around 4 days of rain.

A woman in Skagway, Alaska during a cruise stop.

Overall, July and August are the peak season to visit Alaska. If you prefer to visit with fewer crowds and more affordable prices, it’s better to travel to the 49th state in May, June or early September.

Below is what I packed for when we were on the ship and when we docked:

Best Way to Travel Alaska: Celebrity Cruises

A woman on an Alaskan cruise.

My mom and I had an unforgettable experience traveling around Alaska with the Celebrity Millennium. We saw some of the most breathtaking places on our planet, explored all the charming port villages, ate incredible food (both on and off the ship), enjoyed all the cruise entertainment in the evening and made countless memories.

A cruise is a great way to see The Last Frontier’s hidden gems. Below is everything we did during our Alaska trip. The below itinerary will give you insight into everything we did on our memorable cruise!

Best Alaska Trip: Best Alaska Cruise Itinerary

A sunset on a cruise.

Day 1: Departing from Seward, Alaska

Traveling to Seward:

Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska.

The Southbound Glacier Cruise departs outside Kenai Fjords National Park from Seward, Alaska. Since the ship leaves the port in the evening, you can plan for a fun cruise through the fjords. There are numerous boat tours to choose from. Overall, the Kenai Fjords are breathtaking and extraordinary for wildlife viewing, where you can see whales, puffins, bald eagles, seals, bears and more.

One of the top reasons why doing a cruise with Celebrity is the best way to travel around Alaska is because you can visit the incredible Kenai Fjords! It consists of glaciers, coastal fjords, islands and over 400 miles of irregular and rugged coastline. The Kenai Fjords are a must-see in Seward. Even though I didn’t do a Kenai Fjords cruise, we saw them on our bus tour from Anchorage to Seward.

Other epic things to do in Seward are to hike the Harding Icefield, stroll along the Seward waterfront and enjoy a delicious seafood meal, say hi to the sea otters at the Alaska SeaLife Center, go whale watching and do deep sea fishing. There are many gems along the Kenai Peninsula!

Seward, Alaska

What is great about Alaska is that it’s known for its breweries and beer culture. Every spot that the ship docked at had a new brewery to discover and in Seward, the best one to visit is Seward Brewing Company. Not only are they known for their beer, but also their halibut curry.

Boarding the Celebrity Millennium:

A woman enjoying her AquaClass Stateroom on Celebrity Millennium - best way to travel around Alaska.

Boarding Celebrity Cruises in Seward is easy. To save time, download the Celebrity App, where you can self-check-in, upload your travel documents, create your schedule and more. You’ll head to your stateroom once you show your boarding pass and enter security.

During my time on the Celebrity Millennium, my mom and I stayed in the AquaClass Stateroom. It had a private balcony, eXhale bedding, premium bathroom amenities and more. What is great about being part of the AquaClass is that we had access to complimentary fitness classes, unlimited access to the Persian Garden, complimentary dining at Blu restaurant and a personal spa concierge. If you love luxury travel, booking a Retreat Suite or AquaClass Stateroom will be best!

Red wine and macarons from Celebrity Cruises.

The other staterooms you can stay in on Celebrity Cruises are the Concierge Class Stateroom, Veranda Stateroom, Ocean View Stateroom and Inside Stateroom.

My mom and I ate at Blu for dinner on our first night as we enjoyed views along the Gulf of Alaska and Prince William Sound. It’s a spa-style restaurant with continental cuisine. I had the asparagus and mushroom cream soup as an appetizer, red snapper for my main meal and apple pie a la mode for dessert. Everything was delicious!

Dinner at Blu restaurant on Celebrity Cruises - best way to travel around Alaska.
Red snapper from Blu restaurant on Celebrity Cruises.
Apple pie a la mode from Blu restaurant on Celebrity.

After dinner, we enjoyed a talented performance in the theater, followed by Celebrity After Dark at the Sky Lounge. It was ABBA night during our first evening! Celebrity Cruises‘ entertainment never disappoints!

When traveling in Alaska with Celebrity Cruises, getting the Premium Drink Package is best. It includes all alcoholic beverages that are $17 USD or under. You can utilize this package at any restaurant, bar on deck, in the theater, at the casino and more. Overall, doing a cruise through Celebrity is the best way to travel to Alaska because the majority of food, entertainment and amenities are included.

Day 2: Seeing Hubbard Glacier on a Day at Sea

A woman on Celebrity Cruises - best way to travel around Alaska.

Enjoying the Ship:

Another reason taking a cruise is the best way to travel Alaska is because it allows you to relax, enjoy a day or two at sea and take advantage of everything the ship offers!

On the second day of our Alaska vacation, we started by enjoying the buffet breakfast at Oceanview Café. You can find anything and everything at the breakfast buffet that will suit your morning cravings. There are all American classics like scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, bacon, pancakes, etc., an omelet and carving station, a bakery section, an Asian breakfast area and more.

Afterward, I did one of the yoga classes before having lunch at the Spa Café, which has delicious healthy foods like salads, sandwiches, fresh fruit smoothies, and juices.

Sailing Around Hubbard Glacier:

Hubbard Glacier in Alaska.

One of the best parts about our day at sea, and one of the most memorable adventures on the cruise, was seeing the epic Hubbard Glacier. It’s one of Alaska’s most exhilarating natural jewels!

Hubbard Glacier is situated off the coast of Yakutat in the narrow Disenchantment Bay. It was named after Gardiner Hubbard, the founder and president of the National Geographic Society. A remarkable fact about Hubbard Glacier is that it’s the largest tidewater glacier in the world at seven miles wide, 76 miles long and over 600 feet above sea level! It also borders Yukon Territory in Canada.

This incredible glacier was formed 400 years ago from snowfalls on Mount Logan. While most of Earth’s glaciers shrink, Hubbard Glacier thickens. You can also see whales, harbor seals and otters along the Yakutat Bay, near the glacier.

A woman at Hubbard Glacier on Celebrity Cruises.

Unfortunately, the day we saw Hubbard Glacier wasn’t the clearest. Still, as we hung out in the Bay, the Celebrity crewmembers circled the ship around so we could enjoy 360° views of the breathtaking scenery. Thankfully, it went from low visibility to a clear day and we were finally able to see the glacier!

During this experience, Celebrity’s crewmembers opened the helipad for everyone! (It’s at the head of the ship.) We were able to see the best views of Hubbard Glacier from there!

Seeing Disenchantment Bay on an Alaskan cruise - best way to travel Alaska.

During this experience, all the bars were open on the upper deck for you to grab a drink while you admired all the scenic views. Staff members were also handing out hot chocolate to keep you warm. It was a fun experience for all! Afterward, we warmed up to a coffee at Café al Bacio, Celebrity’s European-inspired café and gelateria.

Every stateroom on Celebrity Millennium has binoculars, so it’s best to bring those during the day you see Hubbard Glacier!

Formal Night on Celebrity Millennium:

A woman enjoying a formal night on Celebrity Cruises - best way to travel Alaska.

Our second evening on the ship was formal night, so everyone was dressed up! My mom and I enjoyed a delicious Italian dinner at one of the specialty restaurants on the ship – Tuscan Grille. We savored the charcuterie board, crab cakes, Margherita flatbread and a limoncello cake. Everything was tasty!

A charcuterie board on Celebrity Millennium - best way to travel Alaska.
Margherita flatbread from Tuscan Grille on Celebrity Millennium.

In the evening, there was a Motown performance at the Sky Lounge, which we enjoyed! Being able to go on adventures during the day and have fun at night is one of the top reasons why cruising is one of the best ways to travel to Alaska!

Day 3: Exploring Alaska’s Capital, Juneau

Arriving in Juneau, Alaska:

Exploring downtown Juneau, Alaska during a cruise.

Our first port of call was to Alaska’s capital – Juneau! This is also where my mom and I did our first offshore excursion through Celebrity Millennium. After having breakfast at Oceanview Café, we headed off the ship to meet our tour group.

What is interesting about the city of Juneau is that it’s the only U.S. capital city inaccessible by road. That’s one of the top reasons cruising is the best way to see Juneau, Alaska! You’ll find everything from larger cruise ships to small ships at the port. In fact, it’s one of the busiest ports in the state.

Offshore cruise excursions in Alaska.

There are many fun things to do in Juneau, Alaska, from a seaplane excursion to dog sledding. During our day in Juneau, we did Alaska’s Whales, Glaciers and Rainforest Trails, which unveils the natural wonders of Juneau and exposes you to the Alaskan wilderness.

When you do an offshore excursion with Celebrity Cruises, they make it easily accessible to find your tour group when you first get off the gangway. Our group took a bus from the port to the marina in Gastineau Channel. We then hopped on a boat that took us deeper into the channel.

Experiencing Alaska’s Whales, Glaciers and Rainforest Trails:

The mountains of Juneau in Alaska's capital.

During our whale-watching experience, we were surrounded by the most breathtaking landscapes! There were majestic snow-capped mountains, beautiful Alpine trees and stunning wildlife. The custom safari vessels that sailed around Gastineau Channel were designed and perfect for wildlife viewing.

The Gastineau Channel is home to humpback whales, orcas, porpoises, sea lions, seals, sea birds, bald eagles and other marine life. During this excursion, it’s best to have a camera on hand, specifically with a telescopic lens, to capture these incredible creatures!

Whale watching - best way to travel and see Alaska.
Seals and Sea Lions in Juneau.
A bald eagle on Gastineau Channel

We saw two humpback whales – Flame and Sasha, who travel over 3,000 miles from Hawaii to Alaska. Humpbacks mate and give birth in the warm, protected waters of Hawaii during the winter months and will return to Alaska in the summer, their feeding ground. These incredible whales will travel long distances in less than 28 days.

After our whale-watching experience, we did a short, easy hike through the Tongass National Forest to Mendenhall Glacier. During our walk through the secluded forest, we learned about the nature and biodiversity of this area before reaching the shores that showcase the beautiful glacier and Nugget Falls.

A woman at Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska.

When we finished the tour, we stopped for lunch at the famous Tracy’s King Crab Shack, known as The Original King Crab Shack, established in 2006. Please note that there is a line to get into Tracy’s, but it goes quickly. It’s one of the most efficient restaurants!

There are two Tracy’s King Crab Shack locations in Juneau. The one my mom and I went to was closer to the port. You’ll be given a number once you order at the counter and tell the staff members your first name and where you’re from. They will come and find you when your food is ready.

Visiting Tracy's King Crab Shack in Juneau, from the cruise.

My mom and I shared the #1 Crab Shack Combo, which came with either crab bisque or clam chowder, four mini crab cakes, garlic rolls and a 14oz crab with butter. You can choose from Red King Crab, the most expensive, Snow/Tanner Crab or Dungeness Crab, the least costly. Overall, this was my best meal in Alaska; everything was incredible!

After our meal, we strolled around Juneau, shopped, visited Alaskan Fudge, admired all the totem poles and took in all the beautiful views from the harbor. We also visited Devil’s Club Brewing Company and enjoyed some great beer!

A woman exploring Juneau, Alaska.

Other great things to do in Juneau, Alaska are to ride the Goldbelt Tramway and take in all the breathtaking views, learn about Alaska’s history at the Alaska State Museum and enjoy the Gold Creek Salmon Bake!

When we returned to the ship, we had a quick dinner at Oceanview Café and enjoyed a Boogie Wonderland Show! Later in the evening, there was a silent disco, which was a blast. A silent disco is a silent rave where people listen to music on wireless headphones versus a speaker system and dance the night away. It was our first time doing this and we both loved it!

Day 4: Enjoying Alaska’s Klondike Gold Rush Town, Skagway

Visiting Skagway, Alaska:

The beautiful port town of Skagway, Alaska.

One of the best ways to experience Alaska is to enjoy everything Skagway offers! It’s a historical town famous for the Klondike Gold Rush during the 19th Century. It is also where the White Pass Railroad starts.

Skagway is another great place where my mom and I had our second excursion when traveling in Alaska. We docked in Skagway around 7 am and had to be at our White Pass Scenic Railway excursion by 7:30 am. Because we had little time, we grabbed a quick coffee and croissant at Café al Bacio.

Cafe al Bacio on Celebrity Millennium

Not only is cruising the best way to travel around Alaska, but the White Pass Scenic Railway excursion is also a unique way to see the state’s natural beauty through one of the most remote areas of The Last Frontier!

Riding the White Pass Scenic Railway:

White Pass Railway

The White Pass Railroad makes Skagway one of the best places to visit in Alaska! When you do the White Pass Summit Excursion, it will be around three hours round-trip to and from Skagway to the White Pass Summit, which is on the border of British Columbia. The entire railroad route goes from Skagway, AK to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.

Doing the Whitepass Scenic Railway - best way to travel and see Alaska.

Discovered by George Carmack, Skookum Jim and Dawson Charlie in 1896, the White Pass and Yukon Route were founded on gold. In 1897, a headline in the Seattle-Post Intelligence of the discovery of gold in the Canadian Klondike spread like wildfire and tens of thousands of gold-crazed people arrived in Skagway to begin their trek to the Yukon.

Many people and horses died after experiencing treacherous conditions on the Chilkoot Trail and the White Pass Trail. There was a desperate need to get to the Klondike more easily. The turn of the 19th Century was the era of railroad building and Sir Thomas Tancrede and Michael J. Heney joined forces and The White Pass & Yukon Railroad Company was organized.

A woman on the Whitepass Scenic Railway in Skagway, Alaska.

Construction on the railroad started in 1899 and was completed in 1900. The railroad begins at sea level and goes almost 3,000 feet in elevation. The construction of this railroad was a challenge and it became a Civil Engineering Landmark in 1994, like the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Statue of Liberty in New York City. It was a $10 million project financed by the British, engineered by Americans and contracted by Canadians.

During the White Pass Summit Excursion, you will learn all about the history of this railway route, admire the most breathtaking views and be able to go outside onto the observation platform.

Alaskan Fry Bread from Klondike Doughboy.

Skagway is a popular stop for big cruise ships, so the town is crowded with tourists. Other great things to do in Skagway, Alaska are to go on a hike, get Alaskan Fry Bread at Klondike Doughboy, stroll down Main Street and go shopping, enjoy lunch and tour the brothel museum at the Red Onion Saloon (they have great bar pies), see the unusual Arctic Brotherhood Hall, visit Skagway Brewing Co. and Klondike Beer and see The Days of 98 Show.

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway, Alaska.

When we returned to the ship, we enjoyed dinner at Metropolitan Restaurant, the main dining room on the Celebrity Millennium. I had escargot as an appetizer, pollock with cannelloni beans as my main course and sticky date cake for dessert. Everything was tasty!

Later in the evening, we enjoyed a comedy show!

Day 5: Visiting Alaska’s Icy Straight Point

A woman enjoying a beautiful day in Hoonah, Alaska while doing a cruise - best way to travel Alaska.

Another reason visiting Alaska by cruise is the best way to travel the state is that you can explore historical spots like Hoonah on Icy Straight Point.

Hoonah is the most prominent Tlingit village in Alaska and is nestled against White Alice Mountain’s base, surrounding the Tongass National Forest. It’s on Chichagof Island, along Icy Straight Point, in the heart of the Inside Passage. The Tlingit Indians have lived on Icy Straight for thousands of years and were famous for their salmon cannery.

Views from Icy Straight Point's mountain.

Celebrity Millennium docked at Icy Straight Point at 6 am, allowing passengers to get off the ship early and enjoy everything this native-owned area offers before other cruise ships arrived. In fact, some passengers saw brown bears hanging out when they first got off the ship!

Before we exited the ship, my mom and I enjoyed an excellent breakfast at Blu. I had French toast with strawberries and my mom had eggs with potatoes. Everything was delicious and it was one of our favorite breakfast meals.

Adventuring around Icy Straight Point:

The beaches in Icy Straight Point, Alaska.

Overall, Icy Straight Point allows you to see epic wildlife from humpback whales to orcas and brown bears to eagles during your Alaska vacation. There are plenty of whale-watching and bear-search excursions you can sign up for through Celebrity Cruises.

Also, this spot is home to one of the world’s largest zip lines – the Icy Straight Point ZipRider. The Icy Straight Point ZipRider offers six 5,330’ ziplines that drop 1,330’. On this fun adventure, you’ll soar 60 mph above a rainforest. The overall tour is around an hour and a half.

A woman exploring Icy Straight Point.

Other fun things to do at Icy Straight Point are to enjoy a high-speed ocean raft adventure, kayak, tour The Cannery Museum, watch a totem pole carving, cook your catch-of-the-day, and do a guided hike.

During our day at Icy Straight Point, my mom and I rode the Sky Glider to the top of Hoonah Mountain, which offers scenic views of the forests and Glacier Bay. You may also spot astonishing wildlife on this journey. The Sky Glider is a high-speed electric gondola like the one at Walt Disney World.

Hiking in Icy Straight Point.

Once you’re at the top, you can enjoy a local Tlingit performance or go on a guided tour. When hiking in Alaska, it’s important to either do a guided experience or go with 10 or more people due to the number of grizzly bears. These bears will likely stay away when they hear a lot of noise. You can also bring a bear bell or bear spray on a hike during your Alaska trip.

Wandering around Hoonah, Alaska:

Seeing Icy Straight Point on an Alaskan cruise - best way to travel around Alaska.

When we returned to the bottom of the mountain, we did the 1.5-mile coastal walk to Hoonah. Along this coastal walk are breathtaking views of the mountains, Glacier Bay and enchanting wilderness. On this journey, you can visit Keet Plaza and admire the bronze Orca statue that artist Wyland created, stroll along the beaches (there’s a chance you may see starfish) and stop at Lil’ Glen’s Donuts for unique-flavored mini donuts (I tried the huckleberry and chocolate espresso butterscotch donuts).

Salmon tacos from the Fisherman's Daughter in Hoonah, Alaska.

It takes a half-hour to get from the port to the heart of Icy Straight Point’s coastal town, Hoonah, by foot and two great places to visit once you’re there are Icy Straight Brewing for a refreshing beer and The Fisherman’s Daughter for an incredible lunch! (There is also a free bus that goes from the port to the center of Hoonah. Make sure you tip!)

Icy Straight Brewing offers excellent views and fantastic brews, from a red ale to an American IPA and a blonde ale to an oatmeal stout. The Fisherman’s Daughter is a locally-owned restaurant known for its salmon tacos. My mom and I had the tacos for lunch that day and it was one of our best meals on the trip!

Savoring a Specialty Dinner on Celebrity Cruises:

Sushi from Sushi on 5 on the Celebrity Millennium ship - best way to travel Alaska.

An Alaska cruise on the Celebrity Millennium ship is incomplete without dining at one of the few specialty restaurants. Like purchasing a drink package, you can also buy a Specialty Dining Package!

After exploring Icy Straight Point, my mom and I had our second specialty meal onboard at Sushi on 5. This restaurant is my favorite on Celebrity Cruises! You can enjoy incredible cocktails, specialty sushi rolls, ramen/hot pot, omakase and delicious desserts at this lovely spot. My mom and I both had a different crafted cocktail and miso soup with edamame. We also savored the best tuna, rainbow and scallop rolls.

Another excellent specialty restaurant on Celebrity Millennium is Le Petit Chef! I’ve eaten at Le Petit Chef on past Celebrity Cruises and can attest that it’s one of the most fun 3D, Michelin-Star dining experiences! Not only is this cruise one of the best ways to travel around Alaska, but it’s also a great way to enjoy one of the only interactive restaurants in the world.

Later in the evening, we enjoyed an aerial show of a couple who performed the Power of Love that tells the story of how they met in Ukraine, fell in love and how their relationship has blossomed over the years. After the show, we danced to The Waves in the Sky Lounge. They are the Millennium ship’s fantastic cover band.

Day 6: Wandering through the Fishing Village of Ketchikan, Alaska

A woman exploring Ketchikan, Alaska on a cruise.

Ketchikan is a charming fisherman’s city located at the southernmost entrance to Alaska’s Inside Passage in Tongass National Park.  It’s also Alaska’s First City and the salmon capital of the world!

Ketchikan was one of my favorite ports of call during my Alaska cruise with Celebrity! It’s known for its award-winning salmon, jaw-dropping scenery, impressive lumberjacks and rich Native culture. Overall, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Ketchikan, from canoeing to sailing the Misty Fjords, fishing, and a doing seaplane tour.

Creek Street in Ketchikan, Alaska.

Like the other ports of call on Celebrity’s Southbound Glacier Cruise, you cannot include Ketchikan in an Alaska road trip itinerary. Ketchikan is not part of the Alaska Marine Highway System! That’s why taking a cruise is the best way to travel Alaska and its Inside Passage.

Seeing the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show:

A woman at the Lumberjack Show, organized by Celebrity Cruises - best way to travel and see Alaska.

One of the most memorable things in Ketchikan is seeing the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show! My mom and I got tickets through Celebrity Cruises and had the time of our lives. This show is a rowdy Alaskan axe competition that reflects southeastern Alaska’s rich logging history.

The audience was split into two teams (USA and Canada; it didn’t matter where you were from), and you would cheer on your two lumberjacks and boo the other two men from the opposing team. This show features lumberjacks’ fantastic skill and strength while keeping you entertained.

Strolling through Ketchikan, Alaska:

After the show, my mom and I enjoyed walking around Ketchikan, admiring the idyllic views and totem poles as well as shopping.

A woman exploring Ketchikan, Alaska.

We visited the iconic Creek Street, which was once Alaska’s red light district. Nowadays, it’s a colorful and historic street on a stilt-mounted boardwalk with different stores. During your time in Ketchikan, you can also do an organized tour of Creek Street and learn about the days of Prohibition, bootleggers, fishing, brothels and backroom saloons.

Regarding food and drinks, my mom and I had lunch at the Alaska Fish House. I savored salmon and chips (similar to fish and chips, but with breaded salmon) and my mom had the blackened halibut tacos. Afterward, we went to Bawden Street Brewing Co. to enjoy some local beer. We loved the cucumber sea salt sour beer; it had a unique and refreshing taste!

Alaska Fish House in Ketchikan.
Salmon and chips and blackened halibut tacos from Alaska Fish House in Ketchikan.

Ketchikan was the first port where the weather was mild and we could enjoy the outdoors without being cold. When we got back on the ship, we were able to grab a gelato from Café al Bacio and enjoy the upper deck.

The Metropolitan Restaurant had a lobster night in the evening, so you bet I was there! I had my usual escargot for my appetizer, a lobster tail for dinner and then a Napolean with ice cream for dessert. Everything was incredible!

A woman on an Alaskan cruise with Celebrity - best way to travel Alaska.

After dinner, an Italian magician performed and we ended the night with another Silent Disco at the Sky Lounge.

Day 7: Sailing through the Inside Passage and Having a Spa Day

The Inside Passage in Alaska on a sunny day.

Our final day on the ship was sailing through the most protected part of Alaska’s Inside Passage. What is nice about traveling to Alaska by cruise versus land is that days are allotted to pure relaxation.

What makes cruising one of the best ways to travel Alaska is that you can enjoy a spa day, sit by one of the many hot tubs, take a fitness class and enjoy all the restaurants with the most incredible views! We sailed through fjords and bays and saw astonishing wildlife, like whales.

After having breakfast at Metropolitan Café, my mom and I did a Fun and Fit Dance Class with our Cruise Entertainment Director, Sarah! We had a great time dancing to classics from Shakira to the Black Eyed Peas. My mom and I worked up a sweat too!

Relaxing on the Celebrity Millennium: Best Way to Travel Around Alaska

A woman enjoying a drink at the Sunset Bar on the Celebrity Millennium - best way to travel around Alaska.

When the dance class was over, we walked along the track on the upper deck, enjoying the views of the Inside Passage, and then went to the Sunset Bar for a mimosa! The Sunset Bar is located at the back of the ship, where you can enjoy stunning ocean views. What is nice about the Sunset Bar is that it’s behind Oceanview Café, which also offers an all-you-can-eat buffet for lunch.

In the afternoon, my mom and I had our spa appointment. We did a 75-minute-deep tissue massage with a special oil and stone treatment. It was the first time in a while that I went into a relaxed state.

A woman enjoying the hot tub on the Celebrity Millennium - best way to travel Alaska.

What is nice about the spa on Celebrity Millennium is that you can choose from 120 rejuvenating treatments. Being in the AquaClass, you can also enjoy the SEA Thermal Suite and Persian Garden. It’s everything you need to nourish your mind, body and spirit. From there, we headed to the hot tubs on the top deck!

During our final evening, my mom and I had dinner at Blu and it was one of the best meals we had on the ship! I started with ceviche and then enjoyed roasted duck with mashed potatoes and blueberry for my main dish. The dessert was a mango pudding.

Roasted duck with mashed potatoes and blueberry from Blu restaurant on Celebrity Cruises.

At night, we watched one last performance in the theater. It was Broadway-themed, and we had a blast singing to all the different classics. We then went to the Martini Bar, where I enjoyed an espresso martini. (Celebrity has the BEST espresso martinis!) We also got to enjoy a karaoke night!

Day 8: Disembarking in Vancouver, British Columbia

Stanley Park in Vancouver

The following day, we arrived in Vancouver. My mom and I enjoyed one last breakfast at Oceanview Café before we got off the ship and explored Gastown and Stanley Park.

Our flight back home was in the afternoon, so walking around and exploring Vancouver on a beautiful spring day was lovely. (The last time I was in Vancouver was during the winter.)

Another reason why doing your Alaska vacation through Celebrity Cruises is the best way to travel is that you can also visit Canada!


Skagway, Alaska during a spring day.

Discover more awesome cruises and places to visit in the Pacific Northwest:

Best Cruise for First Time Cruisers – Sailing the Celebrity Apex to Cozumel

Vancouver in Winter Itinerary: Top 10 Things to Do

Four Days in Seattle, Washington

I hope you all enjoyed reading about my first Alaskan cruise experience on the Celebrity Millennium and discovering why it’s the best way to travel to Alaska. Don’t forget to click here and use code SAILCELEBRITY to get an additional $100 USD in onboard credit. If you have any questions, please email me at info@browneyedflowerchild.com.

Basic Facts of the United States:

Currency: United States Dollar, Capital: Washington D.C., AK State Capital: Juneau, Time Zone: Most of Alaska is on Alaska Daylight Time, but the Aleutian Islands are on Hawaii-Aleutian Daylight Time. Vancouver, B.C. is on Pacific Standard Time

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

Shop my Alaska Look:

Click here to shop my Poshmark closet!

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4 Comments

  1. Kim Deer on June 16, 2023 at 9:49 pm

    Thanks for sharing our Alaska cruise trip! This was one of my favorite trips with you Taylor. Such beautiful landscapes as we sailed the Inside Passage. The glaciers were breathtaking. The whales, seals and orlther sea life were so beautiful. The Celebruty cruise ship was so beautiful and the food, drinks and entertainment were amazing. The shows at night were unbelievably performed. Such an amazing trip! Never saw this many stunning landscapes. Great blog and photography ~ loved this amazing Alaskian read! Such a gorgeous place to visit! Love you, mom 👩🏻 xoxo 💖

    • Taylor Deer on July 14, 2023 at 2:39 pm

      It really was an amazing time! Love you too!

  2. David on July 13, 2023 at 2:27 pm

    Very interesting factors, I really wants to get a journey in the alaska. Its my dream, to be on there and enjoy some food there.

    • Taylor Deer on July 14, 2023 at 2:39 pm

      Thank you! Alaska is a beautiful destination! The seafood is absolutely incredible!

Leave a Comment





alaska-feature

A woman in Ketchikan, Alaska during a cruise.

One of the most epic U.S. states to visit is Alaska and the best way to travel around is by cruise. Alaska is known as “The Last Frontier” because it is the 49th state and there’s a lot of untouched nature to explore.

Alaska is the largest state in the continental United States. It’s famous for its incredible glaciers, millions of lakes, the best seafood, amazing wildlife, breathtaking landscapes and fun outdoor adventures. Some of the best spots cannot be accessed easily on land, so it’s essential to find the right cruise that will allow you to see how beautiful this state is!

Celebrity Millennium in Alaska

In May 2023, I did an Alaskan Southbound Glacier Cruise with my mom on the Celebrity Millennium. This luxury cruise ship is the oldest in Celebrity’s fleet. It features spacious staterooms, fine-dining restaurants, elevating design concepts, the exclusive The Retreat ®, an award-winning spa, friendly staff and crew members, fun entertainment and incredible offshore experiences.

I had the best time exploring Alaska with the Celebrity Millennium! In this article, discover the best way to travel to Alaska and check out the unique places I explored with one of the best cruise lines.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like. Celebrity Cruises hosted me on their Southbound Glacier Cruise from Seward, AK, to Vancouver, BC. Click here and use code SAILCELEBRITY for an additional $100 in onboard credit.


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The Best Way to Travel around Alaska with Celebrity Cruises

Best Way to See Alaska in 7 Days: Cruise or Land?

Seeing natural wonders in Alaska during a cruise - best way to travel Alaska.

There are many ways to explore The Last Frontier. You can fly into a specific area and do a land-based vacation via a road trip, take a bus tour, RV around the state or do a cruise.

Alaska is also home to the tallest mountain in North America – Denali, at 20,308 feet above sea level!

If you love treks, hiking Denali will help you scratch off one of the Seven Summits of the World. I recommend hiking Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa first! Even if you’re not a big hiker, Denali National Park is still an epic place to explore in Alaska. The park is open from late May through mid-September.

Even though Alaska is filled with National Parks, mountain towns, beautiful scenery and untouched land, its fishing villages and charming port towns along the Inside Passage make this state special! The only way to truly see Alaska’s fantastic small towns and villages is through a cruise and Celebrity Cruises stop at the best ports. It’s truly the best way to visit Alaska for the first time!

The Inside Passage is along Southeast Alaska in the Pacific Northwest and borders Canada’s Yukon Territory and British Columbia. As you cruise through the Inside Passage, you’ll appreciate the incredible glaciers, dazzling islands, peaceful coves, glistening bays, astonishing National Parks and breathtaking fjords.

Traveling to Alaska and Getting to the Cruise:

Visiting Anchorage, Alaska before a cruise with Celebrity.

Alaska’s largest airport is Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in Anchorage and for Celebrity CruisesSouthbound Glacier Cruise, it’s best to fly there. You can find affordable flights through Skyscanner!

My mom and I flew to Anchorage a day before the ship departed Seward at 7 pm. We traveled from Newark Airport in NJ to Anchorage with a layover in Seattle, Washington. It’s best to fly in at least a day before your cruise departs in case of any flight delays or cancellations. We spent the night in Anchorage and stayed at the Hampton Inn.

Below are other hotels to stay at in the city. Anchorage also has a plethora of rental properties you can choose from. If you want to ensure you see the midnight sun or the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), it’s best to head up north towards Fairbanks and near the Arctic Circle.

Luxury Accommodation: Hotel Captain Cook

Mid-Budget Accommodation: Hyatt House Anchorage

Budget Accommodation: Holiday Inn Express Anchorage

Anchorage, Alaska before a cruise.

Doing the Southbound Glacier Cruise is one of the best ways to travel Alaska because you can also explore the state’s largest city – Anchorage! Some of the best things to do in Anchorage are to take a trolley tour, enjoy craft beer and delicious seafood at 49th State Brewing, walk along the Coastal Trail, visit one of the many shops in the downtown area and do one of the many local day hikes. Anchorage is an excellent base for many outdoor adventure day trips!

Salmon and rice from 49th State Brewing in Anchorage.

Depending on the time of year you visit Anchorage, you will experience longer days, where the sun goes down closer to midnight and rises at around 4 am, or shorter days, with only a few hours of daylight. The summer months are when the days are longer in Alaska and the winter months are primarily dark.

The best option from Anchorage to the cruise ship port in Seward is reserving a bus ride with Alaska Cruise Transportation‘s “ACT BIG BUS.” We did the Anchorage to Seward Narrated Direct Transfer straight to the cruise ship terminal. ACT has other bus tours that are longer and will allow you to get off the bus. The direct transfer costs $69 USD per adult and $60 USD per child 12 and under.

Another way to get to Seward from Anchorage is to take the Alaska Railroad. National Geographic Traveler ranked this train ride one of their Top Ten Train Rides in North America because of the incredible scenic views.

Best Time to Visit Alaska for a Cruise:

The beauty of Alaska during May.

Overall, the best time of the year to do a Southbound Glacier Cruise with Celebrity Cruises is anytime between late April through early October. This is when the weather is the best, you’re more likely to spot incredible wildlife and the days are much longer.

For a trip like this, it’s best to pack a variety of different outfits. Since we started north and went south, the weather got warmer each day. It would be the opposite if you booked the Northbound Glacier Cruise.

During May, the temperatures in Seward, Alaska (where the cruise starts) range from a high in the low 50s°F to lows in the high 30s°F with an average of 10 rainy days. In June, temperatures range from the high 50s°F to upper 40s°F with a total of 8 rainy days and in July and August, temperatures are from the lower 60s°F to low 50s°F with around 8-12 days of rain.

Vancouver’s temperatures range from a high in the low 60s°F to upper 40s°F in May, with 9 rainy days. In June, temperatures range from the upper 60s°F to the mid 50s°F with a total of 7 rainy days and in July and August, temperatures are from the low 70s°F to upper 50s°F with around 4 days of rain.

A woman in Skagway, Alaska during a cruise stop.

Overall, July and August are the peak season to visit Alaska. If you prefer to visit with fewer crowds and more affordable prices, it’s better to travel to the 49th state in May, June or early September.

Below is what I packed for when we were on the ship and when we docked:

Best Way to Travel Alaska: Celebrity Cruises

A woman on an Alaskan cruise.

My mom and I had an unforgettable experience traveling around Alaska with the Celebrity Millennium. We saw some of the most breathtaking places on our planet, explored all the charming port villages, ate incredible food (both on and off the ship), enjoyed all the cruise entertainment in the evening and made countless memories.

A cruise is a great way to see The Last Frontier’s hidden gems. Below is everything we did during our Alaska trip. The below itinerary will give you insight into everything we did on our memorable cruise!

Best Alaska Trip: Best Alaska Cruise Itinerary

A sunset on a cruise.

Day 1: Departing from Seward, Alaska

Traveling to Seward:

Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska.

The Southbound Glacier Cruise departs outside Kenai Fjords National Park from Seward, Alaska. Since the ship leaves the port in the evening, you can plan for a fun cruise through the fjords. There are numerous boat tours to choose from. Overall, the Kenai Fjords are breathtaking and extraordinary for wildlife viewing, where you can see whales, puffins, bald eagles, seals, bears and more.

One of the top reasons why doing a cruise with Celebrity is the best way to travel around Alaska is because you can visit the incredible Kenai Fjords! It consists of glaciers, coastal fjords, islands and over 400 miles of irregular and rugged coastline. The Kenai Fjords are a must-see in Seward. Even though I didn’t do a Kenai Fjords cruise, we saw them on our bus tour from Anchorage to Seward.

Other epic things to do in Seward are to hike the Harding Icefield, stroll along the Seward waterfront and enjoy a delicious seafood meal, say hi to the sea otters at the Alaska SeaLife Center, go whale watching and do deep sea fishing. There are many gems along the Kenai Peninsula!

Seward, Alaska

What is great about Alaska is that it’s known for its breweries and beer culture. Every spot that the ship docked at had a new brewery to discover and in Seward, the best one to visit is Seward Brewing Company. Not only are they known for their beer, but also their halibut curry.

Boarding the Celebrity Millennium:

A woman enjoying her AquaClass Stateroom on Celebrity Millennium - best way to travel around Alaska.

Boarding Celebrity Cruises in Seward is easy. To save time, download the Celebrity App, where you can self-check-in, upload your travel documents, create your schedule and more. You’ll head to your stateroom once you show your boarding pass and enter security.

During my time on the Celebrity Millennium, my mom and I stayed in the AquaClass Stateroom. It had a private balcony, eXhale bedding, premium bathroom amenities and more. What is great about being part of the AquaClass is that we had access to complimentary fitness classes, unlimited access to the Persian Garden, complimentary dining at Blu restaurant and a personal spa concierge. If you love luxury travel, booking a Retreat Suite or AquaClass Stateroom will be best!

Red wine and macarons from Celebrity Cruises.

The other staterooms you can stay in on Celebrity Cruises are the Concierge Class Stateroom, Veranda Stateroom, Ocean View Stateroom and Inside Stateroom.

My mom and I ate at Blu for dinner on our first night as we enjoyed views along the Gulf of Alaska and Prince William Sound. It’s a spa-style restaurant with continental cuisine. I had the asparagus and mushroom cream soup as an appetizer, red snapper for my main meal and apple pie a la mode for dessert. Everything was delicious!

Dinner at Blu restaurant on Celebrity Cruises - best way to travel around Alaska.
Red snapper from Blu restaurant on Celebrity Cruises.
Apple pie a la mode from Blu restaurant on Celebrity.

After dinner, we enjoyed a talented performance in the theater, followed by Celebrity After Dark at the Sky Lounge. It was ABBA night during our first evening! Celebrity Cruises‘ entertainment never disappoints!

When traveling in Alaska with Celebrity Cruises, getting the Premium Drink Package is best. It includes all alcoholic beverages that are $17 USD or under. You can utilize this package at any restaurant, bar on deck, in the theater, at the casino and more. Overall, doing a cruise through Celebrity is the best way to travel to Alaska because the majority of food, entertainment and amenities are included.

Day 2: Seeing Hubbard Glacier on a Day at Sea

A woman on Celebrity Cruises - best way to travel around Alaska.

Enjoying the Ship:

Another reason taking a cruise is the best way to travel Alaska is because it allows you to relax, enjoy a day or two at sea and take advantage of everything the ship offers!

On the second day of our Alaska vacation, we started by enjoying the buffet breakfast at Oceanview Café. You can find anything and everything at the breakfast buffet that will suit your morning cravings. There are all American classics like scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, bacon, pancakes, etc., an omelet and carving station, a bakery section, an Asian breakfast area and more.

Afterward, I did one of the yoga classes before having lunch at the Spa Café, which has delicious healthy foods like salads, sandwiches, fresh fruit smoothies, and juices.

Sailing Around Hubbard Glacier:

Hubbard Glacier in Alaska.

One of the best parts about our day at sea, and one of the most memorable adventures on the cruise, was seeing the epic Hubbard Glacier. It’s one of Alaska’s most exhilarating natural jewels!

Hubbard Glacier is situated off the coast of Yakutat in the narrow Disenchantment Bay. It was named after Gardiner Hubbard, the founder and president of the National Geographic Society. A remarkable fact about Hubbard Glacier is that it’s the largest tidewater glacier in the world at seven miles wide, 76 miles long and over 600 feet above sea level! It also borders Yukon Territory in Canada.

This incredible glacier was formed 400 years ago from snowfalls on Mount Logan. While most of Earth’s glaciers shrink, Hubbard Glacier thickens. You can also see whales, harbor seals and otters along the Yakutat Bay, near the glacier.

A woman at Hubbard Glacier on Celebrity Cruises.

Unfortunately, the day we saw Hubbard Glacier wasn’t the clearest. Still, as we hung out in the Bay, the Celebrity crewmembers circled the ship around so we could enjoy 360° views of the breathtaking scenery. Thankfully, it went from low visibility to a clear day and we were finally able to see the glacier!

During this experience, Celebrity’s crewmembers opened the helipad for everyone! (It’s at the head of the ship.) We were able to see the best views of Hubbard Glacier from there!

Seeing Disenchantment Bay on an Alaskan cruise - best way to travel Alaska.

During this experience, all the bars were open on the upper deck for you to grab a drink while you admired all the scenic views. Staff members were also handing out hot chocolate to keep you warm. It was a fun experience for all! Afterward, we warmed up to a coffee at Café al Bacio, Celebrity’s European-inspired café and gelateria.

Every stateroom on Celebrity Millennium has binoculars, so it’s best to bring those during the day you see Hubbard Glacier!

Formal Night on Celebrity Millennium:

A woman enjoying a formal night on Celebrity Cruises - best way to travel Alaska.

Our second evening on the ship was formal night, so everyone was dressed up! My mom and I enjoyed a delicious Italian dinner at one of the specialty restaurants on the ship – Tuscan Grille. We savored the charcuterie board, crab cakes, Margherita flatbread and a limoncello cake. Everything was tasty!

A charcuterie board on Celebrity Millennium - best way to travel Alaska.
Margherita flatbread from Tuscan Grille on Celebrity Millennium.

In the evening, there was a Motown performance at the Sky Lounge, which we enjoyed! Being able to go on adventures during the day and have fun at night is one of the top reasons why cruising is one of the best ways to travel to Alaska!

Day 3: Exploring Alaska’s Capital, Juneau

Arriving in Juneau, Alaska:

Exploring downtown Juneau, Alaska during a cruise.

Our first port of call was to Alaska’s capital – Juneau! This is also where my mom and I did our first offshore excursion through Celebrity Millennium. After having breakfast at Oceanview Café, we headed off the ship to meet our tour group.

What is interesting about the city of Juneau is that it’s the only U.S. capital city inaccessible by road. That’s one of the top reasons cruising is the best way to see Juneau, Alaska! You’ll find everything from larger cruise ships to small ships at the port. In fact, it’s one of the busiest ports in the state.

Offshore cruise excursions in Alaska.

There are many fun things to do in Juneau, Alaska, from a seaplane excursion to dog sledding. During our day in Juneau, we did Alaska’s Whales, Glaciers and Rainforest Trails, which unveils the natural wonders of Juneau and exposes you to the Alaskan wilderness.

When you do an offshore excursion with Celebrity Cruises, they make it easily accessible to find your tour group when you first get off the gangway. Our group took a bus from the port to the marina in Gastineau Channel. We then hopped on a boat that took us deeper into the channel.

Experiencing Alaska’s Whales, Glaciers and Rainforest Trails:

The mountains of Juneau in Alaska's capital.

During our whale-watching experience, we were surrounded by the most breathtaking landscapes! There were majestic snow-capped mountains, beautiful Alpine trees and stunning wildlife. The custom safari vessels that sailed around Gastineau Channel were designed and perfect for wildlife viewing.

The Gastineau Channel is home to humpback whales, orcas, porpoises, sea lions, seals, sea birds, bald eagles and other marine life. During this excursion, it’s best to have a camera on hand, specifically with a telescopic lens, to capture these incredible creatures!

Whale watching - best way to travel and see Alaska.
Seals and Sea Lions in Juneau.
A bald eagle on Gastineau Channel

We saw two humpback whales – Flame and Sasha, who travel over 3,000 miles from Hawaii to Alaska. Humpbacks mate and give birth in the warm, protected waters of Hawaii during the winter months and will return to Alaska in the summer, their feeding ground. These incredible whales will travel long distances in less than 28 days.

After our whale-watching experience, we did a short, easy hike through the Tongass National Forest to Mendenhall Glacier. During our walk through the secluded forest, we learned about the nature and biodiversity of this area before reaching the shores that showcase the beautiful glacier and Nugget Falls.

A woman at Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska.

When we finished the tour, we stopped for lunch at the famous Tracy’s King Crab Shack, known as The Original King Crab Shack, established in 2006. Please note that there is a line to get into Tracy’s, but it goes quickly. It’s one of the most efficient restaurants!

There are two Tracy’s King Crab Shack locations in Juneau. The one my mom and I went to was closer to the port. You’ll be given a number once you order at the counter and tell the staff members your first name and where you’re from. They will come and find you when your food is ready.

Visiting Tracy's King Crab Shack in Juneau, from the cruise.

My mom and I shared the #1 Crab Shack Combo, which came with either crab bisque or clam chowder, four mini crab cakes, garlic rolls and a 14oz crab with butter. You can choose from Red King Crab, the most expensive, Snow/Tanner Crab or Dungeness Crab, the least costly. Overall, this was my best meal in Alaska; everything was incredible!

After our meal, we strolled around Juneau, shopped, visited Alaskan Fudge, admired all the totem poles and took in all the beautiful views from the harbor. We also visited Devil’s Club Brewing Company and enjoyed some great beer!

A woman exploring Juneau, Alaska.

Other great things to do in Juneau, Alaska are to ride the Goldbelt Tramway and take in all the breathtaking views, learn about Alaska’s history at the Alaska State Museum and enjoy the Gold Creek Salmon Bake!

When we returned to the ship, we had a quick dinner at Oceanview Café and enjoyed a Boogie Wonderland Show! Later in the evening, there was a silent disco, which was a blast. A silent disco is a silent rave where people listen to music on wireless headphones versus a speaker system and dance the night away. It was our first time doing this and we both loved it!

Day 4: Enjoying Alaska’s Klondike Gold Rush Town, Skagway

Visiting Skagway, Alaska:

The beautiful port town of Skagway, Alaska.

One of the best ways to experience Alaska is to enjoy everything Skagway offers! It’s a historical town famous for the Klondike Gold Rush during the 19th Century. It is also where the White Pass Railroad starts.

Skagway is another great place where my mom and I had our second excursion when traveling in Alaska. We docked in Skagway around 7 am and had to be at our White Pass Scenic Railway excursion by 7:30 am. Because we had little time, we grabbed a quick coffee and croissant at Café al Bacio.

Cafe al Bacio on Celebrity Millennium

Not only is cruising the best way to travel around Alaska, but the White Pass Scenic Railway excursion is also a unique way to see the state’s natural beauty through one of the most remote areas of The Last Frontier!

Riding the White Pass Scenic Railway:

White Pass Railway

The White Pass Railroad makes Skagway one of the best places to visit in Alaska! When you do the White Pass Summit Excursion, it will be around three hours round-trip to and from Skagway to the White Pass Summit, which is on the border of British Columbia. The entire railroad route goes from Skagway, AK to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.

Doing the Whitepass Scenic Railway - best way to travel and see Alaska.

Discovered by George Carmack, Skookum Jim and Dawson Charlie in 1896, the White Pass and Yukon Route were founded on gold. In 1897, a headline in the Seattle-Post Intelligence of the discovery of gold in the Canadian Klondike spread like wildfire and tens of thousands of gold-crazed people arrived in Skagway to begin their trek to the Yukon.

Many people and horses died after experiencing treacherous conditions on the Chilkoot Trail and the White Pass Trail. There was a desperate need to get to the Klondike more easily. The turn of the 19th Century was the era of railroad building and Sir Thomas Tancrede and Michael J. Heney joined forces and The White Pass & Yukon Railroad Company was organized.

A woman on the Whitepass Scenic Railway in Skagway, Alaska.

Construction on the railroad started in 1899 and was completed in 1900. The railroad begins at sea level and goes almost 3,000 feet in elevation. The construction of this railroad was a challenge and it became a Civil Engineering Landmark in 1994, like the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Statue of Liberty in New York City. It was a $10 million project financed by the British, engineered by Americans and contracted by Canadians.

During the White Pass Summit Excursion, you will learn all about the history of this railway route, admire the most breathtaking views and be able to go outside onto the observation platform.

Alaskan Fry Bread from Klondike Doughboy.

Skagway is a popular stop for big cruise ships, so the town is crowded with tourists. Other great things to do in Skagway, Alaska are to go on a hike, get Alaskan Fry Bread at Klondike Doughboy, stroll down Main Street and go shopping, enjoy lunch and tour the brothel museum at the Red Onion Saloon (they have great bar pies), see the unusual Arctic Brotherhood Hall, visit Skagway Brewing Co. and Klondike Beer and see The Days of 98 Show.

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway, Alaska.

When we returned to the ship, we enjoyed dinner at Metropolitan Restaurant, the main dining room on the Celebrity Millennium. I had escargot as an appetizer, pollock with cannelloni beans as my main course and sticky date cake for dessert. Everything was tasty!

Later in the evening, we enjoyed a comedy show!

Day 5: Visiting Alaska’s Icy Straight Point

A woman enjoying a beautiful day in Hoonah, Alaska while doing a cruise - best way to travel Alaska.

Another reason visiting Alaska by cruise is the best way to travel the state is that you can explore historical spots like Hoonah on Icy Straight Point.

Hoonah is the most prominent Tlingit village in Alaska and is nestled against White Alice Mountain’s base, surrounding the Tongass National Forest. It’s on Chichagof Island, along Icy Straight Point, in the heart of the Inside Passage. The Tlingit Indians have lived on Icy Straight for thousands of years and were famous for their salmon cannery.

Views from Icy Straight Point's mountain.

Celebrity Millennium docked at Icy Straight Point at 6 am, allowing passengers to get off the ship early and enjoy everything this native-owned area offers before other cruise ships arrived. In fact, some passengers saw brown bears hanging out when they first got off the ship!

Before we exited the ship, my mom and I enjoyed an excellent breakfast at Blu. I had French toast with strawberries and my mom had eggs with potatoes. Everything was delicious and it was one of our favorite breakfast meals.

Adventuring around Icy Straight Point:

The beaches in Icy Straight Point, Alaska.

Overall, Icy Straight Point allows you to see epic wildlife from humpback whales to orcas and brown bears to eagles during your Alaska vacation. There are plenty of whale-watching and bear-search excursions you can sign up for through Celebrity Cruises.

Also, this spot is home to one of the world’s largest zip lines – the Icy Straight Point ZipRider. The Icy Straight Point ZipRider offers six 5,330’ ziplines that drop 1,330’. On this fun adventure, you’ll soar 60 mph above a rainforest. The overall tour is around an hour and a half.

A woman exploring Icy Straight Point.

Other fun things to do at Icy Straight Point are to enjoy a high-speed ocean raft adventure, kayak, tour The Cannery Museum, watch a totem pole carving, cook your catch-of-the-day, and do a guided hike.

During our day at Icy Straight Point, my mom and I rode the Sky Glider to the top of Hoonah Mountain, which offers scenic views of the forests and Glacier Bay. You may also spot astonishing wildlife on this journey. The Sky Glider is a high-speed electric gondola like the one at Walt Disney World.

Hiking in Icy Straight Point.

Once you’re at the top, you can enjoy a local Tlingit performance or go on a guided tour. When hiking in Alaska, it’s important to either do a guided experience or go with 10 or more people due to the number of grizzly bears. These bears will likely stay away when they hear a lot of noise. You can also bring a bear bell or bear spray on a hike during your Alaska trip.

Wandering around Hoonah, Alaska:

Seeing Icy Straight Point on an Alaskan cruise - best way to travel around Alaska.

When we returned to the bottom of the mountain, we did the 1.5-mile coastal walk to Hoonah. Along this coastal walk are breathtaking views of the mountains, Glacier Bay and enchanting wilderness. On this journey, you can visit Keet Plaza and admire the bronze Orca statue that artist Wyland created, stroll along the beaches (there’s a chance you may see starfish) and stop at Lil’ Glen’s Donuts for unique-flavored mini donuts (I tried the huckleberry and chocolate espresso butterscotch donuts).

Salmon tacos from the Fisherman's Daughter in Hoonah, Alaska.

It takes a half-hour to get from the port to the heart of Icy Straight Point’s coastal town, Hoonah, by foot and two great places to visit once you’re there are Icy Straight Brewing for a refreshing beer and The Fisherman’s Daughter for an incredible lunch! (There is also a free bus that goes from the port to the center of Hoonah. Make sure you tip!)

Icy Straight Brewing offers excellent views and fantastic brews, from a red ale to an American IPA and a blonde ale to an oatmeal stout. The Fisherman’s Daughter is a locally-owned restaurant known for its salmon tacos. My mom and I had the tacos for lunch that day and it was one of our best meals on the trip!

Savoring a Specialty Dinner on Celebrity Cruises:

Sushi from Sushi on 5 on the Celebrity Millennium ship - best way to travel Alaska.

An Alaska cruise on the Celebrity Millennium ship is incomplete without dining at one of the few specialty restaurants. Like purchasing a drink package, you can also buy a Specialty Dining Package!

After exploring Icy Straight Point, my mom and I had our second specialty meal onboard at Sushi on 5. This restaurant is my favorite on Celebrity Cruises! You can enjoy incredible cocktails, specialty sushi rolls, ramen/hot pot, omakase and delicious desserts at this lovely spot. My mom and I both had a different crafted cocktail and miso soup with edamame. We also savored the best tuna, rainbow and scallop rolls.

Another excellent specialty restaurant on Celebrity Millennium is Le Petit Chef! I’ve eaten at Le Petit Chef on past Celebrity Cruises and can attest that it’s one of the most fun 3D, Michelin-Star dining experiences! Not only is this cruise one of the best ways to travel around Alaska, but it’s also a great way to enjoy one of the only interactive restaurants in the world.

Later in the evening, we enjoyed an aerial show of a couple who performed the Power of Love that tells the story of how they met in Ukraine, fell in love and how their relationship has blossomed over the years. After the show, we danced to The Waves in the Sky Lounge. They are the Millennium ship’s fantastic cover band.

Day 6: Wandering through the Fishing Village of Ketchikan, Alaska

A woman exploring Ketchikan, Alaska on a cruise.

Ketchikan is a charming fisherman’s city located at the southernmost entrance to Alaska’s Inside Passage in Tongass National Park.  It’s also Alaska’s First City and the salmon capital of the world!

Ketchikan was one of my favorite ports of call during my Alaska cruise with Celebrity! It’s known for its award-winning salmon, jaw-dropping scenery, impressive lumberjacks and rich Native culture. Overall, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Ketchikan, from canoeing to sailing the Misty Fjords, fishing, and a doing seaplane tour.

Creek Street in Ketchikan, Alaska.

Like the other ports of call on Celebrity’s Southbound Glacier Cruise, you cannot include Ketchikan in an Alaska road trip itinerary. Ketchikan is not part of the Alaska Marine Highway System! That’s why taking a cruise is the best way to travel Alaska and its Inside Passage.

Seeing the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show:

A woman at the Lumberjack Show, organized by Celebrity Cruises - best way to travel and see Alaska.

One of the most memorable things in Ketchikan is seeing the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show! My mom and I got tickets through Celebrity Cruises and had the time of our lives. This show is a rowdy Alaskan axe competition that reflects southeastern Alaska’s rich logging history.

The audience was split into two teams (USA and Canada; it didn’t matter where you were from), and you would cheer on your two lumberjacks and boo the other two men from the opposing team. This show features lumberjacks’ fantastic skill and strength while keeping you entertained.

Strolling through Ketchikan, Alaska:

After the show, my mom and I enjoyed walking around Ketchikan, admiring the idyllic views and totem poles as well as shopping.

A woman exploring Ketchikan, Alaska.

We visited the iconic Creek Street, which was once Alaska’s red light district. Nowadays, it’s a colorful and historic street on a stilt-mounted boardwalk with different stores. During your time in Ketchikan, you can also do an organized tour of Creek Street and learn about the days of Prohibition, bootleggers, fishing, brothels and backroom saloons.

Regarding food and drinks, my mom and I had lunch at the Alaska Fish House. I savored salmon and chips (similar to fish and chips, but with breaded salmon) and my mom had the blackened halibut tacos. Afterward, we went to Bawden Street Brewing Co. to enjoy some local beer. We loved the cucumber sea salt sour beer; it had a unique and refreshing taste!

Alaska Fish House in Ketchikan.
Salmon and chips and blackened halibut tacos from Alaska Fish House in Ketchikan.

Ketchikan was the first port where the weather was mild and we could enjoy the outdoors without being cold. When we got back on the ship, we were able to grab a gelato from Café al Bacio and enjoy the upper deck.

The Metropolitan Restaurant had a lobster night in the evening, so you bet I was there! I had my usual escargot for my appetizer, a lobster tail for dinner and then a Napolean with ice cream for dessert. Everything was incredible!

A woman on an Alaskan cruise with Celebrity - best way to travel Alaska.

After dinner, an Italian magician performed and we ended the night with another Silent Disco at the Sky Lounge.

Day 7: Sailing through the Inside Passage and Having a Spa Day

The Inside Passage in Alaska on a sunny day.

Our final day on the ship was sailing through the most protected part of Alaska’s Inside Passage. What is nice about traveling to Alaska by cruise versus land is that days are allotted to pure relaxation.

What makes cruising one of the best ways to travel Alaska is that you can enjoy a spa day, sit by one of the many hot tubs, take a fitness class and enjoy all the restaurants with the most incredible views! We sailed through fjords and bays and saw astonishing wildlife, like whales.

After having breakfast at Metropolitan Café, my mom and I did a Fun and Fit Dance Class with our Cruise Entertainment Director, Sarah! We had a great time dancing to classics from Shakira to the Black Eyed Peas. My mom and I worked up a sweat too!

Relaxing on the Celebrity Millennium: Best Way to Travel Around Alaska

A woman enjoying a drink at the Sunset Bar on the Celebrity Millennium - best way to travel around Alaska.

When the dance class was over, we walked along the track on the upper deck, enjoying the views of the Inside Passage, and then went to the Sunset Bar for a mimosa! The Sunset Bar is located at the back of the ship, where you can enjoy stunning ocean views. What is nice about the Sunset Bar is that it’s behind Oceanview Café, which also offers an all-you-can-eat buffet for lunch.

In the afternoon, my mom and I had our spa appointment. We did a 75-minute-deep tissue massage with a special oil and stone treatment. It was the first time in a while that I went into a relaxed state.

A woman enjoying the hot tub on the Celebrity Millennium - best way to travel Alaska.

What is nice about the spa on Celebrity Millennium is that you can choose from 120 rejuvenating treatments. Being in the AquaClass, you can also enjoy the SEA Thermal Suite and Persian Garden. It’s everything you need to nourish your mind, body and spirit. From there, we headed to the hot tubs on the top deck!

During our final evening, my mom and I had dinner at Blu and it was one of the best meals we had on the ship! I started with ceviche and then enjoyed roasted duck with mashed potatoes and blueberry for my main dish. The dessert was a mango pudding.

Roasted duck with mashed potatoes and blueberry from Blu restaurant on Celebrity Cruises.

At night, we watched one last performance in the theater. It was Broadway-themed, and we had a blast singing to all the different classics. We then went to the Martini Bar, where I enjoyed an espresso martini. (Celebrity has the BEST espresso martinis!) We also got to enjoy a karaoke night!

Day 8: Disembarking in Vancouver, British Columbia

Stanley Park in Vancouver

The following day, we arrived in Vancouver. My mom and I enjoyed one last breakfast at Oceanview Café before we got off the ship and explored Gastown and Stanley Park.

Our flight back home was in the afternoon, so walking around and exploring Vancouver on a beautiful spring day was lovely. (The last time I was in Vancouver was during the winter.)

Another reason why doing your Alaska vacation through Celebrity Cruises is the best way to travel is that you can also visit Canada!


Skagway, Alaska during a spring day.

Discover more awesome cruises and places to visit in the Pacific Northwest:

Best Cruise for First Time Cruisers – Sailing the Celebrity Apex to Cozumel

Vancouver in Winter Itinerary: Top 10 Things to Do

Four Days in Seattle, Washington

I hope you all enjoyed reading about my first Alaskan cruise experience on the Celebrity Millennium and discovering why it’s the best way to travel to Alaska. Don’t forget to click here and use code SAILCELEBRITY to get an additional $100 USD in onboard credit. If you have any questions, please email me at info@browneyedflowerchild.com.

Basic Facts of the United States:

Currency: United States Dollar, Capital: Washington D.C., AK State Capital: Juneau, Time Zone: Most of Alaska is on Alaska Daylight Time, but the Aleutian Islands are on Hawaii-Aleutian Daylight Time. Vancouver, B.C. is on Pacific Standard Time

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

Shop my Alaska Look:

Click here to shop my Poshmark closet!

4 Comments

  1. Kim Deer on June 16, 2023 at 9:49 pm

    Thanks for sharing our Alaska cruise trip! This was one of my favorite trips with you Taylor. Such beautiful landscapes as we sailed the Inside Passage. The glaciers were breathtaking. The whales, seals and orlther sea life were so beautiful. The Celebruty cruise ship was so beautiful and the food, drinks and entertainment were amazing. The shows at night were unbelievably performed. Such an amazing trip! Never saw this many stunning landscapes. Great blog and photography ~ loved this amazing Alaskian read! Such a gorgeous place to visit! Love you, mom 👩🏻 xoxo 💖

    • Taylor Deer on July 14, 2023 at 2:39 pm

      It really was an amazing time! Love you too!

  2. David on July 13, 2023 at 2:27 pm

    Very interesting factors, I really wants to get a journey in the alaska. Its my dream, to be on there and enjoy some food there.

    • Taylor Deer on July 14, 2023 at 2:39 pm

      Thank you! Alaska is a beautiful destination! The seafood is absolutely incredible!

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