Alaska is the largest state of the United States by area; it is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait. Approximately half of Alaska's 698,473 residents live within the Anchorage metropolitan area. As of 2009, Alaska remains the least densely populated state of the U.SAlaskan whales travel waters surrounded by glaciers, bears roam the land, salmon swim the rivers and eagles soar overhead. Alaska is an ideal area for exploring by ship - forested islands, waterfalls and calving glaciers mainly situated on the narrow coastal strip between mountains and sea. The waters of the Bering Sea contains some of the most remote and spectacular islands on earth.
Alaska Cruises generally route through the Inside Passage departing from Seattle or Vancouver and explore the twisting and sheltered waterways between the coast and the offshore islands. They go as far north as Skagway and Glacier Bay before returning south calling at ports like Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan on the way.
Some of the cruises also venture further North into more glacial territory cruising up to to Seward & Whittier near Anchorage or the reverse southwards. They follow the sheltered Inside Passage and then enter the more exposed Gulf of Alaska and enter Yakutat Bay or Prince William Sound passing some of Alaska's largest and most active glaciers.
The Alaskan cruise season is from May to September with July and August generally the most popular months. Temperatures during the summer months range from 10C to 25C and can fluctuate day by day. Statistically, May and June are the driest months.