Get Away: Alaskan Cruise
Correct me if I'm wrong, but getting lost at sea doesn't sound like a relaxing vacation. Maybe if you're Jon Ronson, and it's your thing to chase down weird people in harsh climates, but if you're someone like me, you've got a long way to go before you're on that level. Still, I'm determined to dream up a vacation inspired by Mr. Ronson's Lost At Sea, so I faced my fear of deep water and this is what I came up with: an Alaskan cruise. Read our recommendation of Lost At Sea.
I took a cruise once before, over a decade ago, in the Bahamas with my family. I think it was a pretty good experience. Here's what I remember: everyone but me got seasick on the first night and had to eat soup for dinner, there was some sort of glow-in-the-dark kids' club, and I got my hair braided at Nassau. That's about it. Since I have so little cruise experience to draw on, I turned to more knowledgable parties to help me see what my options are. It seems unlikely that I'd fly to Alaska only to hop on a cruise ship for seven days but who knows! Life could take me anywhere. Anywhere might as well have a view of Russia.
Departures Magazine has a great list of the top Alaskan Cruises. Of their picks, here are the two I'd consider. Remember, money is no object.
(Click images to enlarge.)
Oceania – Fit for foodies
Oceania is known for its commitment to excellent local cuisine. These photos come from the Marina but another of its ships, the 684-passenger Regatta, boasts five restaurants whose specialties include whole lobster with crushed chile peppers. Yum. "In keeping with the food focus, the popular Wild Alaska Culinary Extravaganza offers expert instruction on grilling local salmon and halibut, preparing Dungeness crab and more," according to Departures. A seven-day cruise starts at $1,800 – an amazing deal, if you ignore how much it'll cost to fly to Vancouver (where the ship docks) in the first place.
American Safari Cruises - Luxury adventure
Sometimes, I just want to cruise around on a yacht. I have the urge to stand on deck singing "I'm on a boat!", Instagram the hell out of the scenery, and wear oversized sunglasses. All at the same time. So sue me. Luckily, American Safari Cruises makes that dream possible all the way up in Alaska. This cruise line has only three small ships (though they're adding a fourth next year), but what they lack in size, they make up for in amenities and access. Via Departures: “'At that small size, there’s no place you can’t go,'” says Aaron Saunders, a three-time Alaska cruiser and cruise expert who edits From the Deck Chair on AvidCruiser.com. “'You’re able to react to the moment,'” agrees Florida-based attorney Corby Meyers, who has sailed Alaska with ASC for the last five summers. “'If there’s a bear on the beach, you anchor, get in a skiff and go.'” Sign me up for a Jacuzzi suite. Expect to spend at least $4,795 for seven days on ASC.
Head to head: Are you a foodie traveler or does the thrill of an adventure get your heart racing?