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What Side of Ship Is Best for Alaska Cruise

What Side of Ship Is Best for Alaska Cruise?

When planning an Alaska cruise, one important question that often arises is which side of the ship is the best to choose. The answer to this question can vary depending on various factors, such as the direction of the cruise, the ports of call, and the scenic highlights you wish to witness. In this article, we will explore the different sides of the ship and provide some insights to help you make an informed decision.

Port Side (Left Side):

The port side of the ship is often considered the best choice for northbound cruises, where the ship sails from Vancouver, Canada, to Alaska. This side of the ship offers stunning views of the coastline and the breathtaking scenery of the Inside Passage. As the ship sails north, the port side will face the land, allowing you to enjoy panoramic views of the rugged mountains, lush forests, and charming coastal towns. Additionally, on the port side, you may have a better chance of spotting wildlife, such as whales, sea lions, and bald eagles, as they tend to gather near the shore.

Starboard Side (Right Side):

For southbound cruises, starting from Alaska and heading towards Vancouver, the starboard side of the ship is often recommended. This side offers similar scenic views to the port side but from a different perspective. While the port side faces the land during northbound cruises, the starboard side faces the land during southbound cruises. This means that by choosing the starboard side, you can enjoy the same breathtaking landscapes, but with a different backdrop. You can still witness the majestic mountains, dense forests, and charming towns, and may also have the opportunity to spot wildlife.

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Other Considerations:

While choosing the side of the ship is important, it is also crucial to consider other factors that can enhance your cruise experience. Here are a few additional aspects to keep in mind:

1. Itinerary: Examine your cruise itinerary and determine which ports of call you are most excited about. If there are specific destinations that you are looking forward to, choose the side of the ship that offers the best views during those stops.

2. Balcony or Window: If you have a balcony or a window cabin, the side of the ship may be less critical as you will have the opportunity to enjoy the views from the comfort of your own private space.

3. Weather: Weather conditions can vary during an Alaska cruise, and the side of the ship that provides the best views can change accordingly. Be prepared to adapt and take advantage of the weather patterns.

4. Glacier Viewing: Glacier viewing is one of the highlights of an Alaska cruise. To ensure the best sightlines, consider booking a cabin that faces forward or has a wrap-around balcony.


Q: Are there any specific cabins that offer the best views?
A: Cabins located towards the front or rear of the ship often provide better views, as they offer a wider perspective of the surroundings.

Q: Can I switch sides of the ship during the cruise?
A: It is generally not possible to switch sides once the cruise has started. However, most cruise ships offer plenty of outdoor decks and viewing areas from where you can enjoy the scenic beauty on both sides.

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Q: Will I miss out on anything if I choose the “wrong” side?
A: No need to worry! The beauty of an Alaska cruise lies in the fact that the scenery is mesmerizing from all angles. Even if you end up on the “wrong” side, you will still have plenty of opportunities to witness the enchanting landscapes and wildlife.

In conclusion, when it comes to choosing the best side of the ship for an Alaska cruise, it ultimately depends on your personal preferences, itinerary, and cabin location. The port side is often recommended for northbound cruises, while the starboard side is ideal for southbound cruises. However, keep in mind that the beauty of Alaska can be enjoyed from all sides of the ship, and there are ample opportunities to witness the stunning landscapes and wildlife throughout your journey.

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