HAWAII & ALASKA
The rugged beauty and near-endless nature of Alaska. The unmatched, postcard-ready paradise of Hawaii. Can’t decide between these stunning locations? On one of our Fire & Ice cruises, you’ll get the best of both of these sought-after worlds.
So, how does it work? You’ll kick things off with a holiday Hawaii-style, soaking in its irresistible vibe, as well as the islands’ unlimited sun. Then when you’re finished saying aloha in paradise, get ready to turn down the temperature ahead of your flight to Alaska, where an epic landscape of raw, rustic splendour lets you get your inner explorer on like the pioneers of the past.
These two lands couldn’t be any different, but that’s what makes them such an incredible pairing.
With the best Alaska Hawaii cruise deals going (seriously: you could save up to £2,000 a couple), we’ll make sure you see everything both states have to offer for less than any other cruise holiday provider.
World-famous beaches. Deep blue waters. Warm welcomes all around. It’s hard not to fall in love with Hawaii. Secluded and charming, the vibrant colours and mellow vibes make it unlike anywhere else in the States. All of this means Hawaii is as unique as it gets, and that’s just the way the locals like it.
On a Hawaii cruise, there’s no shortage of things to delight and entice you. Make way for Hanalei Bay, the beach that couldn’t be any more perfect. Take your breath away with a trip to Volcanoes National Park, and then catch it ahead of a hike with local guides.
Prefer to kick back and relax? Good vibes are never in short supply here, so sip on locally made rum at a beach shack with the heat on your back. Just don’t forget the sun cream!
3,000 miles north of Hawaii, it’s onto Alaska. Ditch the beach towel and throw on your winter boots because things are about to get colder – but no less amazing! Grand and sweeping, Alaska unfolds with a scenic beauty that’s unlike anywhere else on Earth. Sure, it gets cold, but the people, wildlife, glaciers and nature get the insides glowing with a world-changing warmth.
So, what’s in store on an Alaska cruise? Whether you stay on deck or venture on land, there’s plenty of sights to see. For glaciers, how about Mendenhall? Juneau’s most famous ice floe, this 13-mile mammoth is an unbelievable vision, turning a deep blue when the clouds come in. Or there’s the Tongass National Forest, the largest of its kind in the US. Almost as big as Ireland, it houses small towns and villages within, and offers a tranquil stroll for ramblers, roamers and hikers of all stripes.
Hawaii’s state capital, home to Waikiki and Manoa Falls, is as authentic as it gets. The best beaches, the finest restaurants and a multitude of historic museums, cultural and scenic attractions are all here to showcase Hawaii with plenty of sunshine for good measure.
Points of Interest
Pearl Harbor & USS Arizona Memorial
A top tourist destination, this historic harbour features five sites, each honouring the crewmen who lost their lives during the Japanese attack on 7 December 1941.
A favourite amongst those flocking to Oahu, this breathtaking vantage point offers up incredible panoramic views of the island’s windward side.
Diamond Head Crater
Formed more than 100,000 years ago and once used as a strategic military lookout, this state monument was so named by 19th-century sailors who thought they’d discovered diamonds. The reality is they weren’t so lucky, but this still remains a real Hawaiian gem.
Queen Emma Summer Palace
A beautifully persevered Hawaiian-Victorian Palace that was previously the summer retreat of the Hawaiian monarchy, this special museum now houses a collection of royal antiques and Queen Emma’s belongings.
Still a relatively young city, Seattle may be a kid by some standards, but its rich history, unashamed uniqueness and future-forward growth mean it’s more than ready to hang with the older crowd. Here’s what you can find while you’re here…
Points of Interest
The city’s most iconic structure, the Space Needle stands at 605 feet. Head and shoulders above the rest of Seattle, you’re in for some spectacular view up here.
Pike Place Market
The oldest open-air farmers’ market on the West Coast, if you eat at a restaurant in Seattle, chances are it’s come from here. Go for a wander around its maze of arcades, before sampling the unbelievable local produce that’s on offer.
A 17-square block found in the southwest corner of downtown, the city’s oldest neighbourhood is full of architectural masterpieces and plenty of well-worn charm. Go for a walk here and you’ll definitely have a story to tell everyone back home.
Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
Seeing how fish are caught might not sound like much of a visitor attraction, but this is Seattle after all. Underwater glass panels let you view jumping salmon, while the nearby botanical gardens and bird houses add plenty of whimsical charm to your jaunt.
Chihuly Garden and Glass
A standout example of Seattle’s arty side, this collection of curated glass art is without comparison. A showcase of local sculptor Dale Chihuly’s finest work, you’ll even be able to witness live glassblowing demonstrations, and trust us, they’re well worth staying for.
Seattle Great Wheel
A 175-foot Ferris wheel that’s 12 minutes from start to finish, the Great Wheel is the biggest of its kind here on the West coast. You’ll share the experience with others, but the views are all your own to savour once you’re at the top.
There’s gold in them there Juneau hills – or at least there was back in the day. Away from the prospectors of the past, Alaska’s capital is more about breath-taking glaciers and stunning views of its surrounding water and mountains.
Points of Interest
Juneau’s most popular attraction, the mighty Mendenhall Glacier stretches 12 miles from the Juneau Icefield to Mendenhall Lake. Get your boots on and leave some footprints on it of your own!
Mount Roberts Tramway
A tram ride away, Mount Roberts offers up some stunning panoramic views of the channel and city below. While you’re at the top, be sure to check out its trails, shops and nature displays before heading back down.
Explore the clear blue waters of Alaska’s inside passage, where you can keep a watchful eye out for whales and orcas frolicking in their watery playground.
Macaulay Salmon Hatchery
Witness the hundreds of adult salmon swim their way up a 450-foot fish ladder, before exploring the interior aquarium, a showcase of Juneau’s local marine life in their natural environment.
Alaska State Museum
Ready for a bit of education, Alaska-style? Recently renovated to the tune of $140 million, this museum-library-auditorium has just about everything you need to know about the region’s history and geography. A treat for both trivia fans and curious minds.
Old Glacier Highway
Running along the Inside Passage, you won’t find any places of business on this highway. As for roads that lead to the outside world, they don’t exist either. Instead, 45 miles of ice, stuffed between ocean and mountain, are waiting to wow you all from the convenience of your ship’s deck.
The Salmon Capital of the World, Ketchikan’s fishing prowess is matched only by its native heritage, and it’s this same blend of cultures that combines with jaw-dropping wilderness to create a truly one-of-a-kind location.
Points of Interest
Totem Bight State Park
An 11-acre park home to 14 totem poles – each with its own story to tell – this stretch of greenery offers a glimpse into the Tlingit and Haida cultures that colour the culture of Ketchikan far and wide.
This historic boardwalk, found along the banks of Ketchikan Creek, was once the area’s Red Light District. Remnants of its debauched side remain over at Dolly’s House, but for a more innocent jaunt, there’s plenty of local art and culture to enjoy here too!
Misty Fjords National Monument
A natural mosaic of sea cliffs, steep fjords and rock walls jutting 3000 feet out of the oceans, Misty Fjords is rife with varied wildlife including mountain goats, black bears, killer whales and harbour seals, who all call this nature-crafted area their home.
Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show
Ever wanted to watch mountain men battle it out by showing off their chopping, sawing, tree climbing, axe throwing and log rolling skills? Now you can! Be warned, this show of skill and strength is as burly as it gets.
A Tlingit village home to 475 residents, this historic location lets visitors explore at their own pace, or you can pay extra for a guided tour from a native – complete with a drum-and-dance performance and a visit to the totem carving shed. It’s well worth forking out for!
Tongass Historical Museum
Centred around Ketchikan’s fishing industry, there are plenty of local historical and Alaska Native artefacts to be found here, all of which connect the city’s storied past to its colourful present.
Said to be one of the most beautiful cities in southeast Alaska, Sitka is a picturesque gem famous for its fishing, annual summer music festival, and unusual Russian heritage from days gone by.
Points of Interest
Sitka National Park
Alaska’s smallest park houses some pretty huge history: it’s where the Tlingits were defeated by the Russians in 1804. Let its Totem Trail tell you the story of battle before you arrive at the site of the fight itself near Indian River.
A recreation of a Russian guardhouse used to protect their stockade from both Tlingit natives and surrounding wilderness, history comes alive in this blast from Sitka’s incredible past.
Princess Maksoutoff’s Grave
The spot where the wife of Alaska’s last Russian governor is buried, this tiny grave site might be small but it’s a fascinating glimpse into Sitka’s history, centuries before the Cold War heated up.
Castle Hill & Totem Square
The same location where Alaska was transferred from Russia back to the USA, Castle Hill was also once home to the governor of Russian America. Nearby, Totem Square houses Russian cannons and a totem pole featuring a two-headed Russian eagle carved into it.
Fortress of the Bear
This fearsomely named facility is actually a site for rescued brown bears who were abandoned as cubs. While they’re not in their natural habitat, the bears here get plenty of playtime, and it’s well worth seeing them have fun with their furry pals.
St Michael’s Cathedral
Alaska’s finest Russian Orthodox cathedral for over 100 years, the St Michael’s of today is actually a replica after a fire destroyed the original in 1966. The good news is the treasures within, saved by Sitka’s residents, are very much the real deal.
Once the starting point for more than 40,000 gold rush pioneers back in 1897, the Skagway of today is more Mild West than Wild West – and that’s definitely for the best. Laid-back and colourful, it remains an authentic piece of Alaska whichever way you slice it. Here’s what to expect…
Points of Interest
White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad
Linking Skagway with Yukon, Canada, this 41-mile round trip offers up some truly spectacular scenery, a tempting teaser ahead of the main course: the summit of the White Pass.
Red Onion Saloon
Once Skagway’s most exclusive bordello, the Red Onion Saloon is now a historic brothel museum showcasing its more sordid past. Your very own Madam will be on hand to show you around, but remember: just like any other museum, you can look but you can’t touch.
A true playground of the wilderness, Yukon features an extensive network of waterways, all backdropped by sprawling mountains. A 65-mile drive from Skagway, this lush coastal landscape, giving way to the rugged wild, is worth the ride.
Skagway isn’t exactly hustle and bustle, but Haines, the sleepy nearby town, is one for travellers who like things as tranquil as they come. Laid back and lush, there’s plenty of wildlife to be on the lookout for and – psst – its drinking scene is pretty impressive in its own right.
So called because of the colour, this blue-hued body of water is a real sight to see. It’s a 75-mile drive from Skagway, but for a trip less travelled, it’s perfect for letting your inner explorer break free for the day.
An easy-going two-mile loop, Yakutania Point was once said to be used by rumrunners during Prohibition. Nowadays, it’s a lot more innocent, but for a tranquil trail hike, it’s a great place to go for a stroll.
TWO WORLDS, ONE HOLIDAY
Experiencing two totally different landscapes, climates and cultures on holiday is a rare treat – especially when you can do it without breaking the bank.
A beautiful and remote paradise, Hawaii is an incredible destination packed with wonderous surprises at every turn. Beaches that look like they’ve been plucked out of a film. Mountainous cliff faces and volcanoes. A warm, welcoming spirit that gets under the skin. These things all make Hawaii a must-visit.
Almost, but not quite, its polar opposite, Alaska is equally magnificent in its own way. A majestic realm of ice, lakes, mountains, and wildlife, Alaska is a unique cruise destination, and one that might fly under the radar of most travellers. But step one foot onto its vast lands, and you’ll soon see what all the fuss is about.
But despite only being six hours apart, why is Alaska cold and Hawaii hot? Well, it’s down to a few different factors. Alaska is much further north than Hawaii, so it gets less intense, year-round sunshine. Hawaii is also much closer to the equator, so the sun is basically perched directly over the state every single day, bathing it in lovely heat from morning to evening.