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North America / Alaska Cruises / Unites States of America

Cruises to Anchorage

Cruises timetable and data for this port of call

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Anchorage main data and map

Amid the wild countryside that crowds around it on all sides, Anchorage has grown into a spirited, cosmopolitan city - by far Alaska's largest and most sophisticated. The relative affluence of its largely white-collar population - with a sprinkling of olive drab from nearby military bases - attracts fine restaurants and pricey shops, first-rate entertainment, and world-class sporting events. Flashy modern towers punctuate the skyline, and colorful flowers spill from hundreds of baskets on downtown lampposts. Traffic from the city's busy international airport, served by more than 15 international and domestic airlines, lends a more cosmopolitan air than you might expect from a city with a only 258,000 residents - nearly half the people in the state. Yet despite the 14 McDonald's, 2 Wal-Marts, and a 16-plex movie theater, the city has not entirely lost touch with its frontier spirit. Sled-dog races are still revered events, and moose and bear sightings in downtown Anchorage or on the Coastal Trail that rims the water are not uncommon. And the rugged countryside is just a short drive away. First incorporated in 1920, Anchorage is still a young city. Its citizens' median age of 30 years and an aggressive style make this - and not the capital city of Juneau - the state's power center. Nearly everything was built in the last few decades. An Anchorage home dating from the 1950s almost merits historic status. In addition to acting as the center for oil development in the state, Anchorage hustles its living as a government, banking, transportation, and communications hub. Anchorage residents are primarily from elsewhere in America - they include oil workers from such conservative oil-patch states as Oklahoma and Texas - and the attitudes they bring have fueled the conservative, pro-development mentality that characterizes the city and Alaska as a whole. Although representing less than 8% of the population, Alaskan Native peoples add an important cultural dimension. A growing Asian population is also having an impact, with well-stocked Asian food stores and restaurants an increasingly familiar sight. Anchorage got its start with the construction of the federally built Alaska Railroad, completed in 1917, and traces of the city's railroad heritage remain today. Once the tracks were laid, the town grew because its pioneer forerunners actively sought growth by hook and - not infrequently - by crook. City officials used to delight in telling how they tricked a visiting member of Congress into dedicating a site for a not-yet-approved federal hospital. Boom and bust periods followed major events: an influx of military bases during World War II; a massive buildup of Arctic missile-warning stations during the Cold War; reconstruction following the devastating Good Friday earthquake of 1964; and in the late 1960s the biggest bonanza of all - the discovery of oil at Prudhoe Bay and the construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline. Not surprisingly, Anchorage positioned itself as the perfect home for the new pipeline administrators and support industries, and it attracts a large share of the state's oil-tax dollars. In the last decade, Anchorage has become an increasingly important focus of travelers to Alaska. The central location, relatively mild climate, and excellent transportation system make it a natural place to begin or end a trip. Amid the wild countryside that crowds around it on all sides, Anchorage has grown into a spirited, cosmopolitan city - by far Alaska's largest and most sophisticated. The relative affluence of its largely white-collar population - with a sprinkling of olive drab from nearby military bases - attracts fine restaurants and pricey shops, first-rate entertainment, and world-class sporting events. Flashy modern towers punctuate the skyline, and colorful flowers spill from hundreds of baskets on downtown lampposts. Traffic from the city's busy international airport, served by more than 15 international and domestic airlines, lends a more cosmopolitan air than you might expect from a city with a only 258,000 residents - nearly half the people in the state. Yet despite the 14 McDonald's, 2 Wal-Marts, and a 16-plex movie theater, the city has not entirely lost touch with its frontier spirit. Sled-dog races are still revered events, and moose and bear sightings in downtown Anchorage or on the Coastal Trail that rims the water are not uncommon. And the rugged countryside is just a short drive away. First incorporated in 1920, Anchorage is still a young city. Its citizens' median age of 30 years and an aggressive style make this - and not the capital city of Juneau - the state's power center. Nearly everything was built in the last few decades. An Anchorage home dating from the 1950s almost merits historic status. In addition to acting as the center for oil development in the state, Anchorage hustles its living as a government, banking, transportation, and communications hub. Anchorage residents are primarily from elsewhere in America - they include oil workers from such conservative oil-patch states as Oklahoma and Texas - and the attitudes they bring have fueled the conservative, pro-development mentality that characterizes the city and Alaska as a whole. Although representing less than 8% of the population, Alaskan Native peoples add an important cultural dimension. A growing Asian population is also having an impact, with well-stocked Asian food stores and restaurants an increasingly familiar sight. Anchorage got its start with the construction of the federally built Alaska Railroad, completed in 1917, and traces of the city's railroad heritage remain today. Once the tracks were laid, the town grew because its pioneer forerunners actively sought growth by hook and - not infrequently - by crook. City officials used to delight in telling how they tricked a visiting member of Congress into dedicating a site for a not-yet-approved federal hospital. Boom and bust periods followed major events: an influx of military bases during World War II; a massive buildup of Arctic missile-warning stations during the Cold War; reconstruction following the devastating Good Friday earthquake of 1964; and in the late 1960s the biggest bonanza of all - the discovery of oil at Prudhoe Bay and the construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline. Not surprisingly, Anchorage positioned itself as the perfect home for the new pipeline administrators and support industries, and it attracts a large share of the state's oil-tax dollars. In the last decade, Anchorage has become an increasingly important focus of travelers to Alaska. The central location, relatively mild climate, and excellent transportation system make it a natural place to begin or end a trip.

Schedule for the upcoming cruises to Anchorage

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