Our Alaskan Cruise Experience (And the Tips We Picked Up Along the Way)

Toledo Destination Photographers travel to Alaska. 

We're super excited to share our first experience of Alaska. Another amazing trip to feed our travel hungry souls. While this is typically our busy wedding season, our wonderful couples have opted for more Fall and Winter weddings this year, leaving us free to enjoy Summer and spend some amazing time with our families.  While some might see an Alaskan Cruise as a retiree’s trip, we found it to be the perfect way to experience Alaska’s beauty, explore a few of its cities and get a taste of the state’s history. Here is our take on this amazing trip, why we highly suggest it and a few tips we picked up along the way. 

First of all, we’d like to credit this whole experience to our aunt & uncle who went on this trip a few years ago and convinced 50 of our family members to come with them next time. It was the family trip of all family trips and the memories we will cherish forever cannot be made up. With the perfect amount of dance parties and fireball, the Yunker group sure made a name for ourselves on this ship!

Toledo wedding photographers on Alaskan Cruise
Toledo Wedding Photographers pose with Family in Alaska
Toledo Photographers travel to Alaska

On our 7-day Alaskan Cruise aboard the Norwegian Jewel, we made three stops (Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway). We took off from Vancouver, spent a day going through the inside passage and made our first stop at Ketchikan. 

Ohio Wedding Photographers travel to Ketchikan, Alaska
Destination wedding photographers travel to Alaska

We opted for Back Country Jeep & Canoe Safari and it was everything you can imagine. Driving the Jeep Wrangler through old logging trails through the Tongass National Forest was the exact adventure we were looking for. We crossed Lake Harriet Hunt and took a short walk through the rainforest before snacking on some yummy chowder. Learning about the wildlife and the history of the area was an added bonus and made for an unforgettable day. 

Toledo destination photographer in Alaska
Canoe at Lake Harriet Hunt.
Northwest Ohio destination photographers

Our next stop was Juneau (Juneau, it’s the capitol of Alaska?). Although we didn’t book an excursion, we had no trouble finding stuff to do. While some family members went snorkeling and others whale-watching, we took the Mount Roberts Tramway up the mountain side where we took a hike through the rainforest and enjoyed the incredible scenery. We made our way back through the city in search of some delicious crab legs and a good local beer. We stopped in at the world famous Red Dog Saloon but then found our way to the adventurous ales at Devils Club Brewing Co. We found a dinner of delicious crab at Alaska Fish & Chips Co. where we watched several seaplanes make their landing and then take off again for more evening adventures

Northwest Ohio travel wedding photographers in a city in Alaska
destination wedding photographers pose together in front of mountain 
ohio destination wedding photographer sits on top of mountain in alaska
Photo of the Norwegian Jewel from the Mount Roberts Tramway.
alaska cruise hiking experience tips
alaska experience travel blog
hiking in alaska travel blog
Foggy morning views from Mount Roberts in Juneau Alaska.

Our third port stop was Skagway. This compact city is lined with gold-rush-era buildings and more jewelry stores than one city would ever need. We took off on a Glacier Point wilderness safari through beautiful fjords, rainforests and towering mountains to get up close and personal with the Davidson Glacier. Canoeing across a gorgeous lake, feeling the cool air and touching the glacier ice was such an amazing experience. After a quick drink at Skagway Brewing Co., we were back on the ship for good (well, until the cruise ended in Seward).  

Skagway's klondlike gold rush national historical park in alaska
train in stagway, alaska
meadow photographed during alaska cruise trip
alaska travel cruise tips
ohio wedding photographer captures Alaska skyline
waterfall and forest in alaska captured by destination photographers
alaska port experience travel blog
canoe trip to alaska in seward, alaska
Alaska cruise travel tips
alaska cruise experience travel tips and tricks

The following day, we were up early to hear all about Glacier Bay National Park from the park rangers. We highly suggest making this a priority during your Alaskan Cruise, as they are very informative. We had so much fun that day sitting on the deck of the boat watching, in aw, as we floated by several glaciers. We wrapped ourselves in blankets as the air got cooler the closer we got to the Grand Pacific Glacier and Margerie Glacier. We saw bald eagles, otters, seals and mountain goats and did our best to just take it all in. 

destination wedding photographers travel to Alaska on cruise
Ohio destination wedding photographers travel to Alaska on a cruise
northwest ohio destination wedding photographers capture Alaskan wildlife
swatch studios travel blog 
Ohio wedding photographers travel to Alaska
Toledo husband and wife destination photography duo travel to Alaska 
River detail taken by destination wedding photographers
Glacier detail on Alaska Cruise taken by wedding photographer

After one more day at sea, we ended our cruise in Seward. And so began our 24 hour trek home (literally, “planes, trains & automobiles”).  We took the train to Anchorage and enjoyed even more splendid views of mountains, lakes, rainbows, dall sheep and a moose! Everything is so vast and beautiful, it’s just one amazing thing after another. We walked around Anchorage and had lunch at Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse and then made our way to the airport. 


If you have gotten to this point in the blog, then it’s probably pretty obvious that we absolutely loved our first ever Alaskan Cruise. I could even see us doing it again! From the huge breathtaking mountains and fjords to the amazing wildlife and the cute Alaskan towns, we can’t say enough good things about this trip. Not to mention, we got to do it with some of our favorite people :)

Our Alaskan adventure was everything we could have asked for and more. 

    Ohio Wedding Photographers take phots on Alaska Train
    Photography by Toledo Ohio destination photographers
    close up of flowers taken by toledo area wedding photographer

    Here are a few simple tips for planning your Alaskan cruise:

    • Dress in layers!: Obviously watch the weather leading up to the day, but the temperature may change based your elevation, how close you are to a glacier and if the sun is out that day!
    • Pack your dramamine: I’ve been on three cruises in the Caribbean and never noticed any motion from the ocean. I don’t know what caused it, but I was definitely feeling a little queazy on this ship!
    • If you stop in Skagway, the train ride excursion sounded amazing. We didn’t do it ourselves, but we had a lot of family go on it sounded awesome!
    • We had the option of taking a bus or a train to Anchorage from the boat and opted for the train. We would highly suggest this! Each car has a host telling you where you are and pointing out awesome things to see. It’s a nice little tour and (I imagine) more comfortable than the bus. Plus, it goes places the bus can’t, so you get to see more!