On the Klondike Highway outside Skagway, you can bike down a mountain past rugged cliffs, your hands hurting from squeezing the brakes so often.
Or in Juneau, you can swing above the treetops on a zip line, strapped into a harness with only a clamp on a wire holding you in the sky or get in a dog sled to ride across a real glacier. Watch eagles come close enough to examine their weapon-like claws or go fishing for salmon that you can freeze-pack and ship home for a family meal.
Alaska is one of those places where you want to get off the beaten path and experience the landscape – the real Alaska. Luckily, the cruise lines make it easy with shore excursions that range from the sublime to the extreme — from a ride on the White Pass & Yukon Railroad to see the beautiful scenery to a hike in crampons on the crevices of a glacier.
Recognizing that the Alaska demographic is fairly broad, cruise and excursion companies offer active itineraries – hiking, biking and kayaking – in addition to tours for history-lovers, those interested in native culture and those looking for pure entertainment – like the rather hokey Lumberjack Show and Duck Tours in Ketchikan. There is truly something for every taste.