If you have the chance to speak with someone who has visited Alaska, you’ll likely hear them use words such as majestic, breathtaking, awe-inspiring, and otherworldly to describe the natural beauty of the 49th state in the U.S. It’s no surprise that this stunning landscape has been the inspiration for famous painter Bob Ross’ iconic landscapes. My wife, Amanda, and I wanted to experience this allure while enjoying top-notch service, so we embarked on an Alaska cruise on Celebrity Cruises’ Eclipse for our honeymoon. After the trip, we both agreed that we couldn’t have selected a more charming area to explore or a better cruise line to do it with.
Our seven-night Hubbard Glacier cruise out of Vancouver enabled us to reach out-of-this-world destinations while enjoying the bountiful perks of a luxury cruise. Even if we didn’t leave the ship, the cruise along Inside Passage offered 500 miles of Alaskan wilderness filled with snowcapped glacial mountains and lush pine forests, providing scenery that had us in awe the entire journey. We chose the Hubbard Glacier cruise to get an up close and personal view of a glacier and our ship captain’s ensured our needs were met. Federal law prohibits cruise ships from venturing within a half mile of any glacier and it truly felt like we could almost reach out and grab a piece of ice because we felt so close and even saw some sea lions enjoying their day. It was later announced that we were just short of .6 miles, which showed the entire crew’s professionalism.
With a desire to ensure our honeymoon provided the utmost luxury we could experience, we chose Celebrity’s Acquaclass stateroom, which gives guests a fully immersive, next-level wellness experience. Along with using the Persian Gardens to relax during at-seas days, Acquaclass guests also receive access to an exclusive restaurant, Blu. Having a private dining area to share with other Acquaclass guests took our onboard experience to the next level. The clean cuisine and bountiful, healthy options ensured we could enjoy a five-star meal without the guilt of overeating. While eating at Blu was undoubtedly a treat, we wanted to try what specialty dining offered on the ship. With Celebrity being the only cruise line offering Le Petit Chef at sea, we had to witness what the interactive dining experience set on a custom 3D table animation art form was all about. The culinary journey was magical as we witnessed the world’s “tiniest chef” prepare our meal via a cartoon, further elevating the tasting.
An Alaska cruise is only complete with a round of adventurous excursions, and Celebrity offers a near-endless amount of activities and adventures to explore the Last Frontier. After careful consideration, we decided to tackle the Alaskan wilderness by land, air, and sea. Our first port stop was in Sitka and an ocean raft trip to the rugged volcanic coastline of Kruzof Island. Along with seeing a group of nesting bald eagles and various bird species, the highlight was encountering a group of sea otters playing in a kelp forest. The ultimate thrill was a helicopter tour from Juneau to the Herbert Glacier in the Tongass National Forest, home to a 240-purebred husky camp. We interacted with the dogs and their puppies and experienced an incredible sled ride, a truly wonderful adventure witnessing how enthusiastic and powerful the dogs were pulling the sled. By land, we booked a UTV Safari around Mahoney Lake near Ketchikan, which gave us more majestic views of Alaska’s pristine beauty and rainforest.
Experiencing the beautifulness of Alaska will always remain one of our favorite adventures. While there are many ways to enjoy the state, a cruise on Celebrity certainly met and exceeded our expectations. From the friendly staff to the fantastic culinary offerings and adventurous excursions, our only disappointment was having to disembark the ship. Still, we were comforted that Celebrity has many more Alaskan itineraries for us to enjoy and we genuinely look forward to booking our next Alaska summer cruise, if only to get away from this summer heat.