Biking might sound simple, but it's one of the best ways to experience Alaska's great outdoors, filled with plenty of fresh air and mountain views. (Plus, a bike tour in port helps you burn all those calories you racked up at the buffet.)
Cruise lines that offer these excursions include Princess, Norwegian and Holland America, to name a few. Or, book independently through a local operator -- bike tours can be as easy as renting the bike.
Here are some of our favorite options for Alaska bicycle tours you can book during your Alaska cruise.
Klondike Summit to Sea Excursion
The Klondike Summit to Sea shore excursion takes you up, up, up the Klondike Highway (via a motor coach from Skagway) -- almost to the Yukon border -- and then sends you flying back down. The ride, which is almost entirely downhill, is 15 miles long but you barely feel it.
Your grip on the brakes is rewarded by gorgeous views of the White Pass mountains, waterfalls and even the port's famed train. You do need to bring your passport, as you go through U.S. Customs on the way down (there are a few miles between the U.S. and Canada in this area). It's also a good idea to wear layers; the weather can vary and the Klondike bicycle tour goes rain or shine.
Bike & Brew Glacier View Excursion
Biking and beer go together like, well, anything and beer. Alaska has some primo microbrews and on the Bike & Brew Glacier View tour in Juneau, you'll get to sample some of the finest, after your ride.
What's nice about this shore excursion is that you bike along viewpoints for Mendenhall Glacier, one of the port's main natural attractions. Your final stop on the ride is the glacier's visitor center, where you can break to follow the short walking trail to the glacier. The terrain for the ride is gentle, so you won't break too much of a sweat before you hit the drink.
Rainforest Trail Bike & Hike Adventure Excursion
Most Alaska newbies don't know that Southeast Alaska, where most Alaska cruises stop, is home to North America's largest temperate rainforest. On the Rainforest Trail Bike & Hike Adventure, you head into the Tongass National Forest from the port in Ketchikan to complete a short, 3-mile bike ride.
After your ride, enjoy a snack of clam chowder and smoked salmon before taking a guided nature walk.
Tip: The excursion provides rain gear, but dress like you're in a rainforest with layers, waterproof gear if you have it and closed-toe shoes.
Anchorage Bike Tour Excursions
Anchorage; passengers normally board in Whittier or Seward, several hours away. But, we'd be remiss not to direct cruisers who spend time here before or after their sailing to take a spin on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail with one of the many Anchorage bike tours.This trail stretches 11 miles along the Anchorage waterfront and takes you out of the city through old-growth forest with dramatic views of the coastline (and, if you're lucky, moose). Self-guided bike tours are common, so rent bikes at one of the operators downtown or
.Note: The last mile of the trail is all uphill, so feel free to turn around before then with no guilt. (It's still a 20-mile round trip ride!)
Whitehorse City Explorer by Bicycle Excursion
The capital of Canada's Yukon might not be in Alaska, but it's a pivotal stop on cruise tours that go into the territory. The Whitehorse City Explorer by Bicycle tour is short -- only 90 minutes -- but the ride gives you pleasant views of the Yukon River and the mountains that surround Whitehorse on all sides.
Since cruise tours into Yukon often require long motor coach trips between destinations, this bike ride is a great way to stretch your legs without a long time commitment.