Yes, this is the best year to visit Alaska. Read that again.
It is hands down THE best year to visit Alaska!
With the pause on large scale cruise travel in the United States and Canada, some of the states most treasured spots will be devoid of the massive crowds that we've seen in the past.
Alaska's vastness makes it so simple to maintain social distance and, if you're vaccinated, the safety of a vacation in 2021-for you and the people around you-has been boosted significantly.
Epic Yet Domestic
With ongoing international travel restrictions, Alaska is your grand destination with no passport needed. Just a three-hour flight from Seattle, and with nonstop service from many other US airports, you can go from your doorstep to the "last frontier" in a day. Perk: They also drive on the right side of the road, speak English, and accept US currency. (Shockingly, we've been asked that).
What you need to know
If you're planning Alaska this year, here are a few things you should take notes on.
Understand Alaska's entry requirements
Importantly, Alaska requires proof of a negative COVID-19 test before entering. All visitors should follow the recommendations outlined in the state's guidelines. These can change at any time.
If you do not want to get a test before arrival, you can test when you arrive and isolate until you have your results.
Once you have your test results you will fill out a travel declaration form in the Alaska Travel Portal. If you have health insurance you will need to upload a front-and-back image of your ID card.
If you are even casually thinking about visiting Alaska in 2021, finish reading these tips then contact us to book something. It's a HOT destination right now and everything is selling out.
Alaska is poised to be one of the most popular destinations for spring and summer travel. If you don't lock in reservations now, you may be shut out.
Alaska's wide-open spaces are naturally made for social distancing. Pair that with the fact that cruising is paused and it means that this could be the best time ever to visit the state.
Glacier Bay, Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, and Skagway are all popular spots. They are normally clogged with cruise passengers during the summer but you will not have to worry about that this year.
Small-ship cruising in Alaska
You can still take an Alaskan cruise with a handful of small-ship operators that are not affected by the CDC's rules since their vessels are much smaller than the cruise ships that normally sail the Inside Passage. Let us know if you are interested in this.
Escorted and Independent tours
With a pause on cruising, Princess and Holland America are offering escorted and independent land tours of the state. They can do this because they own various lodges in the region and also work with Gray Line Alaska as part of its normal cruise/land tour packages. Talk with your Travel Agent directly to learn more about the six-and seven-night packages, all of which include a visit to Denali National Park and stays at Westmark Fairbanks Hotel, McKinley Chalet Resort at Denali and Preserve or Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge. All amazing resorts!
If you're comfortable traveling this spring and summer a trip to Alaska may be the perfect reset after a tough year.
The natural beauty of the mountains and Inside Passage; the abundant wildlife, from eagles to Dall sheep to humpback whales; and the opportunity to learn more about the state's indigenous tribes culminate to create a pretty amazing getaway.
Let's get started planning this once in a lifetime opportunity.
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