By Robert Schrader | Published on March 14, 2022
A honeymoon in Alaska allows you to celebrate your love in one of the world's most unspoiled natural settings. From towering walls of ice to lush evergreen forests to vibrant summer wildflowers and blazing autumn colors, it's difficult to imagine a more beautiful place to kick off married life. But as gorgeous as Alaska is, you don't have to just be a spectator when you cruise here.
From exhilarating hikes on craggy trails to kayaking in glacier lagoons and immersing yourself in indigenous culture and American history, let America's Last Frontier be the first adventure you have with the love of your life.
If you board your Alaska honeymoon cruise in Vancouver, your first port of call will be Ketchikan, one of Alaska's southernmost cities. As you disembark the ship onto the historic Creek Street boardwalk, make a reservation at one of the waterfront restaurants for a romantic dinner with breathtaking views.
Before you wine and dine on the seaside, head onshore to work up an appetite with a hike along the Rainbird Trail, a 1.3-mile out-and-back jaunt that offers stunning views of downtown Ketchikan with the mountains of Tongass Narrows rising above the cruise terminal. Or, if you married a history buff, admire the Totem Poles of the Ketchikan area's indigenous Tlingit people and hear stories from the talented wood carvers who show off their skills here.
Another place you can find adventure on your honeymoon in Alaska is Sitka. Although it's not far from Ketchikan, Sitka offers plenty of experiences and excursions to diversify your time in southern Alaska. If you and your spouse share a love of animals, take a walk on the wild side — or flight on the wild side — at Alaska Raptor Center, a sanctuary that cares for injured American bald eagles and other native birds. Or, make memories at Sitka's Fortress of the Bear, a refuge that allows you to get close (well, not too close) to orphaned black and brown bears being prepped for life in the wild.
Speaking of life in the wild, you can experience that in Sitka, too. Catch a whale-watching cruise off the coast of Baranof Island, or hike Sitka National Historic Park's cultural Totem Trail. You can even experience Alaska's wild with your taste buds, with a romantic meal spotlighting Alaskan reindeer, king crab, or salmon at any number of restaurants in downtown Sitka. It's no wonder so many Alaska cruise honeymoon packages call here!
Alaska's capital city of Juneau might not be the first place you think to visit on your honeymoon in Alaska. However, if you're seeking a romantic adventure that doesn't require a long trek from civilization, you're in the right place with an Alaskan glacier cruise. Take a bus from downtown to Mendenhall Glacier. Enjoy bonding with a hike of the 3.5-mile West Glacier trail or working together on a tandem kayak in the Tracy Arm fjord.
If you do decide to hike to Mendenhall Glacier, keep an eye out for signs guiding you to Nugget Falls, whose bridal veil-style flow is the perfect place for newlyweds to share a spontaneous kiss after working up a sweat.
If you take a longer Alaska honeymoon cruise, or start up north in Anchorage instead of embarking from south of the border, Skagway is a place you're sure to stop. Strike relationship gold when you ride the White Pass Railway, which follows the same route as the gold miners during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898. If the stunning Yukon Scenery doesn't make you want to hold hands, the cozy train speeding around the bend above century-old mines is sure to do the trick.
Of course, you can hit the trails instead of the rails if you prefer. The Dewey Lakes and Skagway River Bridge trails are both less than a mile from downtown, and take you into scenic spruce forests with enchanting hemlock underbrush. Spend the day in nature, enjoying each other's company in the peaceful forests. Then, dine by candlelight in one of the quaint bistros in historic downtown, collecting the day's memories.
But it doesn't end there. If your honeymoon in Alaska takes you all the way north to the Kenai Fjords near Seward, be sure to stop to take in their beauty. Get in a kayak and paddle out into the fjord, assuming you didn't get your fill of Arctic scenery as the ship passed the Hubbard Glacier en route. Together, admire the breathtaking scenery and diverse animal life including puffins, sea otters, whales, and sea lions.
Add another dimension to your adventure by taking one of many tours centered around the famous Iditarod Dog Sledding competition that takes place here every winter. End your day with a meal or cocktail in Seward's cute town center, and don't be shy about staying up late afterward, especially if you cruise in June or July. Seward, due to its far northerly latitude, is one of Alaska's best places for taking in the midnight sun.
To recap some of the adventures you can enjoy during your Alaska honeymoon cruise, here are the top highlights:
Ketchikan: In Alaska's lush southeast, explore an old-style American downtown, or immerse yourself in indigenous culture.
Sitka: A stone's throw from dense, deciduous forests, Sitka is also a regional hub for creative, nature-to-table cuisine.
Juneau: Get out of town while in Alaska's capital, and hike to take in great views of stunning Mendenhall Glacier.
Skagway: Whether you experience it by rail or trail, the legendary Klondike Gold Rush looms large in present-day Skagway.
Seward: Kayak or raft through the Kenai Fjords, or stay onboard and enjoy views of Hubbard Glacier from the ship.
You should also keep in mind that many seafaring Alaska vacations for couples cruise through Inside Passage, an inland sea filled with icebergs, glaciers, clear skies, and crystalline waters.
No matter what form your honeymoon in Alaska takes, it's sure to be a trip you'll never forget. To really seal the deal on your love, combine the fierce natural beauty of America's 49th state with the adrenaline only an Alaskan adventure can send speeding through your veins.
Explore the southern cities of Ketchikan, Sitka, or Juneau, and pair days hiking in the midst of glaciers with nights dining on the charming waterfront. Or head north to Skagway and Seward, where Gold Rush scenery and Icy Fjords serve as a backdrop to treks, train rides, and whitewater rafting. Unforgettable moments happen every day you spend this far north — don't delay any longer and risk missing a single one.