With a matchless combination of magnificent, jaw dropping scenery and a whole raft of nature in the raw wilderness, summertime Alaska is one of the most popular and compelling cruise journeys on the planet.
In high summer, the sun seldom sets, if at all. The sense of peace that this remote, laid back wilderness engenders is utterly irresistible to many who return year after year. Often called 'the last frontier', Alaska is actually the first choice for many seasoned cruisers each summer.
Out in these waters, old frontier towns such as Ketchikan still bask in the spirit of the old 'gold rush', with speakeasy bars and old, monolithic hand carved totem poles that, in many cases, have stood for centuries. Often, it's quite an awe inspiring spectacle just gazing up at their random, different styles of carving.
If time and tide allows, you should definitely consider taking a seaplane ride high above all that vast, unspoiled beauty. I think that sampling that amazing scenery alone would justify this, but the sheer thrill of lifting up- and then alighting again- on water would also be an experience to truly remember.
Of course, this being a region big on fishing, you would expect the salmon to be nothing short of superlative. And the Alaskan king crab is famed for its succulent taste the world over.
However, remember that this is still also still mainstream USA in so many ways. You'll be able to tuck into a steak as large as Seward itself, or get your burger or hot dog fix in most places along the route of your voyage.
In the woods and pine forests, keep a (very) sharp eye out for the local grizzly bears that still inhabit these parts. Look up and you might just see a bald eagle or two, circling intently overhead, waiting to pounce on some careless salmon. Here, nature really does put on a twenty four hour a day floor show for those with eyes to see.
I would also recommend taking clothing in layers, as the weather can be very changeable even during those long summer nights. A waterproof jacket would be an absolute must, especially on excursions ashore, and a pair of good walking boots is something worth bearing in mind, especially if you're a devout hiker. With the weather being so unpredictable, definitely best to be safe rather than sorry.