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As one of the world’s most popular cruise destinations, Alaska understandably experienced a decrease in visitors when COVID-19 halted sailings. Fortunately, the state’s landscape makes it well-suited for social distancing, and Alaska is looking forward to welcoming travelers in 2021 with new tours and experiences.
“Alaska is lucky that so much of what draws visitors is its wide-open outdoor spaces and natural beauty,” said Sarah Leonard, president and CEO of the Alaska Travel Industry Association. “There are plenty of socially distanced ways to enjoy Alaska’s great outdoors and wildlife. Travelers can stay in remote lodges or cabins, take a recreational vehicle or road trip, learn about Alaska native culture and spend nights chasing the northern lights.”
Whether by land or on the water, there are endless ways to enjoy the Last Frontier in 2021.
Small-Ship Cruising Small-ship cruising is an excellent option for clients who enjoy sailing in Alaska but are apprehensive about traveling on a large ship.
As the name suggests, UnCruise Adventures offers nontraditional cruising on ships that accommodate only 22 to 84 passengers. The line specializes in relaxed adventure-based itineraries that take advantage of the unpredictable, spur-of-the-moment opportunities that Alaska provides.
According to Liz Galloway, public relations and communications director for UnCruise, travelers understand the new normal and appreciate the line’s high safety standards, which she credits for increased 2021 bookings, especially for Alaska.
“Smart travelers are looking for trip options that are flexible, accessible and remote,” Galloway said. “Guests are taking time to research travel to new areas — including small-boat travel — and are going with brands committed to safe future travel.”
On the luxury end of the cruise experience spectrum, Crystal is debuting its newest ship next year: Crystal Endeavor. Dubbed the world’s most luxurious polar-class expedition yacht, Crystal Endeavor will offer five Alaskan voyages — and with only 200 passengers, clients can expect intimate onshore excursions.
Smart travelers are looking for trip options that are flexible, accessible and remote.
Air- and Land-Based Tours For travelers who may be hesitant to cruise at all, land-based adventures can provide new experiences for those who have only visited Alaska by ship.
Any trip to Alaska is an adventure, but Go Hike Alaska’s new five-day, four-night backpacking trip is perfect for extra-adventurous clients. The journey takes hikers along the 27-mile Kesugi Ridgeline, considered among the best locations to view Denali, North America’s highest peak.
“Travel advisors interested in providing a fresh look at Alaska tourism should recommend Go Hike Alaska’s five-star-rated services,” said Matt Worden, owner of Go Hike Alaska. “Our lineup of day hikes, backpacking trips and foraging and cooking classes is for all to enjoy, but our new backpacking trip is a must-do adventure during a visit to Alaska.”
Although the state is spectacular by land and sea, the best way to see Alaska may be from the air. Alaska Helicopter Tours offers once-in-a-lifetime custom Alaska adventures for travelers of all ages, including flightseeing and heli-hiking.
“In a matter of minutes, guests are in a true wilderness where they don’t see anybody else,” said Jennifer Brandon-Hanks, director of tour operations for Alaska Helicopter Tours. “Helicopters can hover in front of massive glacier walls and majestic waterfalls, and land on mountaintops with expansive views of wild Alaska.”
The DetailsAlaska Helicopter Tourswww.alaskahelicoptertours.com
Go Hike Alaskawww.gohikealaska.com