Shore excursion participation in Alaska is extremely high compared to other cruise destinations, with an estimated 80 to 90 percent of passengers purchasing at least one excursion. Among the most popular shore excursions are guided hikes and kayak trips, salmon bakes and dance hall shows, and experiences like ziplining, dogsled rides and glacier tours by helicopter.
Unlike many other popular cruise destinations, Alaska’s cruise business extends well beyond port communities to affect areas that are hundreds of miles from the ocean. In addition to day trips during their cruise, many Alaska passengers travel throughout the state on pre- or post-cruise land tours, whether on their own or through a tour company. Some 22 percent of passengers who cross the Gulf of Alaska to the Southcentral region participate in an extended land tour, often consisting of a rail segment and overnight stays in Fairbanks, Anchorage or Denali National Park and Preserve.