The 49th State, the largest in the U.S., is perfect for cruisers, with numerous opportunities to appreciate its vast natural beauty. Sail along the Inside Passage to visit the immense ice formations of Glacier Bay and Icy Strait, as well popular ports such as Ketchikan, Skagway and Juneau, the only U.S. state capital that's not accessible by car. Or travel further north to the Kenai Peninsula and nearby Anchorage, a perfect jumping-off point for cruise tours to Denali, Fairbanks and Canada's Yukon. Maybe you'll see a bear!

What is the best time to cruise to Alaska?

Alaska cruise season is typically May through September, and some locals say early June is one of the best times to visit the state. For more: Best Month to Cruise to Alaska.

What cruise lines go to Alaska?

Alaska is one of the most popular cruise destinations around, and as a result almost all cruise lines head to Alaska during the summer. Visit the Last Frontier on a mega-ship or a small expedition vessel; cruisers heading to Alaska are spoiled with variety. To narrow down the choice: Cruise Lines going to Alaska.

What are some things to do in Alaska?

Alaska is filled to the brim with activities from flightseeing and fishing to dogsledding and gold-panning -- and everything in between. For more ideas: Best Alaska Shore Excursions.

Do you need a passport to take a cruise to Alaska?

You can visit Alaska without a passport on a closed-loop sailing (one that begins and ends in the same U.S. port). Examples include Seattle and San Francisco sailings. Be sure to bring your passport if you plan on crossing the border from Skagway into Canada's Yukon Territory -- or exploring any Canadian port of call.

What should I pack for a cruise to Alaska?

Layers! The weather changes frequently in Alaska and necessitates waterproof gear in addition to gloves, hats and even T-shirts and shorts. For the full list: What to Pack for an Alaska Cruise.