When was the last time you walked across a glacier?
When you think of cruises and shore excursions, you may think of warm tropical beaches and hikes through rainforests to ancient ruins, but for those who don't mind cooler weather, there are lots of great shore excursions if you take a cruise to Alaska.
For example, you can sign up for a helicopter tour that will allow you to see Alaska's glaciers and rugged natural wilderness in a way you never could from land. Many of the tours allow you to get up close and personal with those glaciers, even stopping to take a stroll across the frigid ice.
"Helicopter Glacier Trekking is the most exciting way to explore the scenic wonders of the glaciers flowing from the Juneau Icefield. Begin with a 25 minute scenic flight over mountain peaks and glacier features, such as icefalls and crevasses. You will land on one of the glaciers located within the 1500 square-mile Juneau Icefield and meet your professional glacier guide who will teach you basic mountaineering skills (no experience necessary) and the proper use of your equipment. You will be outfitted with top quality mountaineering gear for your adventure, such as outerwear (jackets, shell pants, and gloves), hard-shell mountaineering boots, harness, ice axe, and crampons. Your guides will lead you on a personalized hike that is both adventurous and easy, into areas of the glaciers not normally visited."
The only downside is that this tends to be a pretty expensive shore excursion, and if you weigh over 250 pounds, you'll have to pay for 1 ½ seats, but hey... how often do you get to ride in a helicopter and tramp around on a glacier?
More information at Alaska Tours.