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Princess Cruises' Alaskan Treehouse

clock 14th February 2018 | comment0 Comments

Regarded by many as the experts of cruising in Alaska, Princess Cruises are constantly finding new ways to immerse their guests in the beauty and spirit of this part of the world. Their latest innovation certainly helps to achieve this – allowing visitors the opportunity to be up close to the wilderness and enjoy the vast views. Welcome, the Denali Treehouse.

 

 

Built at their Mount McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, the treehouse boasts some incredible views of the surrounding Denali National Park. At around 500 square feet there is ample room for guests to mingle and relax with a hot chocolate, or don a pair of binoculars to watch the local birdlife. The treehouse is also the venue for various hosted activities;

• Meet and Greet with Todd Huston – join world-record holding Todd as he recounts the stories of the first successful ascension of nearby Mount Denali while you make the short hike to the treehouse. Here you’ll be able to mingle and absorb the views with hot drinks and doughnuts.

 

 

• Sappy Hour – a wonderfully informative event in which guests will be taught about local products made with nearby spruce and birch trees. Sample a taste of the unique rare birch syrups.

• Trivia – each day an Alaska-themed quiz will be held in the treehouse, where you can get to know fellow travellers, as well as this rich North American land.

The treehouse has been built with reclaimed Alaskan wood from Ketchikan and Palmer, and was featured on Animal Planet’s Treehouse Masters TV show.

Take a look at our range of Alaska cruises with Princess Cruises.



The Best Time to Cruise in Alaska

clock 5th January 2018 | comment0 Comments

Cruising season in Alaska tends to run for just five months, from May to September, although some cruise lines might offer itineraries from late April to early October. In this time, the experience you’ll have in Alaska can be greatly varied, so it’s important to consider what you want to see and do, when deciding when to cruise. To help you decipher the different opportunities, take a look at our month by month guide.

 

May

An early time in the season, May is when you’re likely to get some great deals on cruises to Alaska. That being said, it’s still important to book as early as possible, as Alaska is becoming ever more popular as a cruise destination. Notorious for rainfall, those who want to avoid the wet weather as much as possible would do well to visit in May, as the average is just a 25% chance of rain. The temperature generally ranges from 3.5 – 12°C, and there are around 17 hours of daylight. The cold temperature means that the trees are not yet in bloom, making it easier to spot birds and other wildlife living in the trees.

June

June tends to be a slightly more expensive time to cruise in Alaska, however this month is still before the peak of the season, meaning crowds and families are still fairly minimal. Daylight hours are now at around 19, however on June 21st – the summer solstice – you can expect almost a full 24 hours! This is a fantastic and fascinating experience that everyone should have at least once. This month sees an increase of rainfall, and also in temperature; lows of around 8°C, and highs of 16.5°C. This warmth unfortunately means mosquitoes, so be sure to pack some insect repellent at this time of year. June can offer the chance to spot baby moose, as this is their birthing season.

 

July

Right in the middle of the season, July is certainly the busiest month to visit Alaska, and tends to be the most expensive as well. Temperatures range between 10 and 18.5°C, and rainfall remains high. Visitors will experience around 19 hours of daylight, and will have the opportunity to see plenty of wildlife. July sees an influx of salmon, which also means a higher chance of seeing bears and various birdlife. It tends to be now that many sea lions are born in Alaskan waters, so be prepared with your camera on the top deck of your ship. Like most areas of North America, Independence Day is celebrated in Alaska with great gusto – the fireworks display in Anchorage is a particular highlight.

August

Those who aren’t fazed by wet weather should consider cruising in August, when there is over 50% chance of rain each day. Temperatures are between 9 and 17°C, and daylight hours return to around 17. Not yet considered the end of the season, visitors remain in great quantity, and prices are still quite high. It’s a great time of year for seeing salmon, bears, and impressive bald eagles. The Alaska State Fair is also held in August, in a pretty town called Palmer, around one hour north of Anchorage. Stock full of fun fair rides, live music, food, and other entertainment, this is truly a fun day out for all the family.

 

September

The final month of the season, September is certainly much less busy, and it tends to be quite a bit cheaper for cruising. While there is still over 50% chance of rain, temperatures will decrease to between 5 and 12.5°C, and daylight hours are down to around 14. Visitors at this time of year tend to have more luck when it comes to sighting the Northern Lights if you’re heading towards the north. September is also mating season for moose, goats, caribou and musk ox, giving you a higher chance of seeing these creatures.

 

 

No matter when you decide to cruise to Alaska, you can rest assured that your chances of seeing some stunning wildlife – as well as scenery – are high. Cruise ships tend to stay close to the shore, meaning that you will be able to see all kinds of flora and fauna from the ship, with minimal effort. All that remains for you to do is keep your camera nearby!

 

Sail to Alaska onboard Norwegian Bliss

 

Norwegian Cruise Line’s 16th ship, Norwegian Bliss, will be embarking on some amazing cruises to Alaska in the summer of 2018. The latest NCL ship will boast some brilliant, innovative features when it comes to entertainment, dining, and facilities. After an invigorating day exploring Alaska, return to your ship for some delicious cuisine at Q, an all-American steak house, and then finish your evening in The District Brew House, where you’ll find 24 different draught beers, and 50 bottled. And with onboard activities like laser tag, the largest at-sea race track, and a beautiful spa, you can rest assured that any downtime during your cruise can be filled with fun. Find out more about cruising onboard Norwegian Bliss.



What can be seen on an Alaska Cruise?

clock 18th October 2017 | comment0 Comments

For many people Alaska remains a far-off land full of mystery and intrigue, and as such it can be found on many a bucket list. Thankfully, more and more cruise lines are introducing Alaska itineraries, bringing this fascinating destination closer than you might think.

If you have booked, or are thinking of booking an Alaska cruise, you might be wondering just what this northernmost American state has to offer. It is well known that the scenery here is spectacular, but what exactly are you likely to see?

Stunning Wildlife

Alaska is home to some beautiful creatures, both on land and in the surrounding waters. When cruising in Alaska, ships will stay close to the shore, allowing you the optimum chance to see all kinds of wildlife.

As soon as you begin to approach Alaska, keep your eyes peeled for fantastic animals such as humpback and killer whales, dolphins, porpoises, puffins, and bald eagles. Then, when you get closer to the shore and on any days spent exploring on land, you might see mountain goats, grizzly, brown, and black bears, wolves, moose, porcupines, and salmon among others.

To see Alaskan wildlife in its natural habitat is a truly wonderful experience. Sightings will help you to appreciate the complexities of the different interactions within the Alaskan environment.

Beautiful Landscapes

Supporting all these creatures is a majestic land which boasts some incredible vistas. Aside from the crystal clear waters that border the region, visitors will come across some very pretty lakes, rivers, and streams – many of which have waterfalls.

In Alaska, your average view – whether in town or in the countryside - will generally contain commanding mountains, pine tree-filled forests, or extensive green plains, if not all of them. Even when in the centre of a busier area, such as capital city Juneau, the pretty and colourful buildings only serve to compliment the wider scene.

True Wonders of Nature

Visitors to Alaska are often blessed with the sight of some real natural spectacles. There are over 600 official glaciers found all over the state, but in fact there are an estimated 100,000 altogether. These are breath-taking to see, and it is sometimes even possible to see great portions of ice cascading away. You might also see floating icebergs in the seas around Alaska, which are remarkable to watch.

Some lucky tourists are fortunate enough to see the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. It is thought that the best time for this is between September and April, and of course they can be seen on land or from your cruise ship.

Considering everything that can be discovered in this enriching part of the world, it is no wonder that so many people feel the need to explore it. If you are among these, have a look at our Alaska cruises today, or for more information, sign up to receive our new Alaska brochure.



Spotlight on Malaysia

clock 26th September 2017 | comment0 Comments

Malaysia is an interesting and exciting country, with a mainland uniquely separated by the South China Sea.

The destination offers a beautiful blend of cultures, with European, Chinese, Indian, and Malay influences impacting on the architecture, food, and general atmosphere of the place. Visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to how and where to spend their time, and it is likely that a return trip (or indeed trips!) will be necessary to see everything.

 



Kuala Lumpur

 

The capital of Malaysia is undeniably enchanting and invigorating. Here you will find some fantastic shopping opportunities, fascinating museums, impressive modern architecture, and not forgetting the delicious food. Both upscale restaurants and tasty street food can be found peppered throughout the city.

 

Sarawak

 

Located on the Island of Borneo, this Malaysian state is home to some incredible wildlife. Go on safari to see orangutans, crocodiles, all kinds of species of birds, and other beautiful creatures. If you have time, visit Gunung Mulu National Park where you can see more wildlife, including an immense colony of bats.

 

Cameron Highlands

 

This stunning area of Malaysia will bring a breath of fresh air – literally. Located at between 1,100 and 1,600 metres above sea level, the Cameron Highlands boast simply remarkable vistas, with bright green rolling hills stretching as far as the eye can see. The land was developed when the British were in Malaysia, to enable an escape from the heat of the lowlands.

 



George Town

 

On the island of Penang, George Town demonstrates the influx of cultures that have been present in Malaysia. There are colonial buildings, mosques, and Chinese style buildings all within this small town. Take in all the sights, visit the museums, and spend time in cafes and restaurants serving everything from otak otak (steamed fish curry), to cakes and ice cream.

These are just four of the top spots to visit in Malaysia, and it is entirely possible that you will want to spend all your time exploring only one of them considering how much they have to offer. The country truly has something for everyone; you just need to think about the kind of holiday you’re after before deciding where to spend your time.

Could Malaysia be the next adventure for you? Find out more about our Asia cruises and start planning your holiday today, and be sure to sign up for our new Asia brochure.



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