Flying is the way to go if you are pressed for time. My favorite airline for getting around Alaska is Alaska airlines. Alaska airlines is actually based in Seattle, Washington, but they have been here since I was a kid. They fly all over Alaska. I give them 4 stars!
The inside passage cruise is spectacular! Cruise ship are great. You get all your meals plus entertain all while you travel through some of the most beautiful spots in the world. You don’t even have to make your bed if you don’t want. The cabin steward will come and make it again perfectly anyway. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, the cabin steward might create an origami critter out of your hand towels and leave it on the bed. They are so talented.
The negative thing about cruises is that you are on their schedule and you always have it in the back of your mind that you have to get back at a certain time. That is the drawback of a cruise. You are stuck to someone else’s schedule. You can’t just take off and do what you want to for as long as you want.
It is a wonderful drive. Long, yes! But still wonderful. I have made the drive about 7 times and if I had the time and resources, I would jump in the truck and take off now. Of course, I would actually be heading out of Alaska. It would be nice to visit family in the lower 48. Ok, I got lost on a rabbit trail but no worries the Alaskan highway which used to be not better than a rabbit trail in parts is now almost totally paved. Hills have been shaved down and curves straighten. So basically , they have taken all the fun out of it. I can say that because if a tire needed changing or a u joint went out it was my husband changing it. So I know he is glad they have taken the fun out of it. They used to sell shirts that people wore like badge proclaiming that they did indeed drive the Alaskan Highway and survived.
There are still frost heaves and such and sometimes you can almost get airborne if you are going the right speed when you hit one of those heaves. Overall driving the Alaskan highway is an adventure onto itself.
Remember Canadian gas is more expensive but keep that gas tank full. Sometimes gas stations are just not where you need them. There have been nights when we have had to sleep in the truck because the gas stations were not open.
Invest in a Milepost 2015. I have a link to Amazon if you want to buy one.
Alaska Marine Highway
The Alaska marine highway is a good option to a cruise because you can take your vehicle with you. Then you can drive all over Alaska exploring on your own time schedule. It’s a beautiful cruise but not at all in the class of a big cruise ship. These ferries do have cabins but they book up fast and they are spendy. If you don’t get a cabin then you spend your time in a deck chair for days. You won’t get a cute little critter made out of a towel sitting on your deck chair in the morning, but you may have a stranger sitting there. Having taken advantage when you got up to us the facilities to take your chair. If you don’t need to bring your vehicle along, price wise the Alaska Marine Highway (my opinion)is expensive. I much rather travel in comfort with an all inclusive cruise ship.