(10 a.m. EST) -- Cruisers who want to visit the 49th state before the 2018 high season will want to check out Alaskan Dream Cruises. The line's new five-night "Alaska's Spring Wilderness & Wildlife Safari" itinerary kicks off in March -- marking the first Alaska cruises of the 2018 season.
Roundtrip from Sitka, Alaskan Dream Cruises' 10-passenger Misty Fjord cruise ship will offer five departures from mid-March through mid-April. Highlights include a chance for wildlife viewing and birdwatching, as well as kayaking, paddle boarding and hiking.
"As locals, we anxiously await the spring season every year," said Alaskan Dream Cruises Senior Vice President Jamey Cagle. "Residents know about the amazing wildlife, including humpback whales, that follow the herring migration during this time."
The Alaska Native-owned, small-ship cruise line is also introducing two special departures of its seven-night "Alaska's Glacier Bay & Island Adventure," sailing roundtrip from Juneau. These departures give cruisers the chance to spend two days in Glacier Bay National Park with the opportunity for small-group hikes onshore in the park. Both departures are in the summer (June 22 and August 24).
--By Dori Saltzman, Senior Editor