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Alaska Inside Passage Cruise Vs. Pybus Point Lodge: What to Consider Before Your Next Alaska Vacation

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Alaska Inside Passage Cruise Vs. Pybus Point Lodge: What to Consider Before Your Next Alaska Vacation

A humpback whale leaping above the ocean's surface.

Are you looking for a unique and immersive Alaska experience? Maybe you’ve already been on an Alaskan cruise and your appetite for adventure just wasn’t quite satisfied. Maybe you’re considering going on a cruise, but you want to make sure that you’re actually going to get off the boat and see what Alaska is all about. Or maybe you’re looking for a more intimate Alaska experience, and you aren’t too thrilled about the idea of sharing the moment with 5,000 strangers on the deck of a cruise ship. If that sounds like you, you’re going to want to hear about Pybus Point Lodge!

Now don’t get us wrong, we're not saying that you shouldn't go on a cruise. Cruises are a fantastic way to get a glimpse of Alaska. However, we believe that Alaska is best experienced beyond the deck of a cruise ship, even on a small ship cruise.

You might think that cruises offer plenty of opportunities to go on shore excursions, but you'll be surprised at how expensive and stressful these excursions can be. 

At Pybus Point Lodge, we offer an all-inclusive vacation experience. Our lodge includes everything from meals and lodging to fishing and glacier tours, all starting right from our own dock. You'll never have to worry about rushing from place to place, and you can simply relax and enjoy your vacation. Each day, you can let your full-time guide know what activities you'd like to do.

In this article, we'll guide you through everything you need to know to plan your ultimate Alaskan adventure including what Alaskan cruises have to offer, what sets Pybus Point Lodge apart, and more!

Cruises Are Fun–But There’s Another Way

One of our custom-built boats up next to an amazing iceberg.

Like we said before, cruises are a great way to see Alaska. Especially if you’d like to travel all across the state and explore multiple different towns and tourist attractions. And we’re the first to admit it, cruises can be a great value option for tourists, but that value can come at a cost. One of the biggest downsides to a cruise, is that you really only get to scratch the surface of what Alaska has to offer.

If you really just want to visit some cool small towns and see Alaska’s shoreline during your vacation, then a cruise is a great option. Most major Alaska cruises are excellent for showing you the touristy side of Alaska. And with a quick google search, you can easily find all sorts of Alaska small ship cruises, Alaska glacier cruises, and Alaska Inside Passage Cruises, that promise a more intimate experience. 

The downside to these types of cruises is that they only offer a glimpse of the real Alaskan wilderness. Even most small ship Alaska cruises follow the same routes as the major cruise lines and stop at the same touristy ports.

If you want to get off the beaten path and see the real Alaskan wilderness however, Pybus Point Lodge is a great alternative to an Alaskan cruise!

Now we know what you’re thinking. “Why would I stay at some little lodge when I could go on a big fancy cruise?” And that’s a fair question. Alaskan cruises offer travelers the same comfy room every night along with free dining and entertainment. That all-inclusive experience can really save you a whole lot of stress while you’re on vacation. 

That’s why our all-inclusive resort offers guests the same comfort and all-inclusive experience as a cruise, with the added bonus of experiencing the true Alaskan wilderness. Plus, at our resort, “all-inclusive” actually means “all-inclusive”. 

Nearly every Alaskan cruise that you could purchase only comes with room and board. Once you pull into town, they leave you on your own to find local companies to take you out for what can often be an outrageous fee. At Pybus Point Lodge on the other hand, our all-inclusive vacation package includes luxury lodging and gourmet dining, along with all of our excursions and land tours

If you want to explore the best Alaska cruise itinerary and experience the state beyond just the touristy areas, Pybus Point Lodge is the way to go. Our lodge is located near the Juneau Alaska cruise port and offers stunning ocean-front cabins, hot tubs with scenic views, and more. A stay at Pybus Point Lodge for a truly unforgettable Alaska experience.

Pybus Point Lodge Vs. An Alaskan Cruise

Lodging And Dining

The front porch of one of our luxury cabins.

What To Expect On An Alaskan Cruise

When it comes to room and board, what you can expect really depends on the amount you want to spend. For most of us, that means staying in your standard hotel-style bedroom. A bed, a tv, and if you’re lucky a window with a view. 

And when it comes to dining, you already know what to expect. In fact this is probably one of the most popular reasons that people go on a cruise. The food is all you can eat, and you can find somewhere to get a slice of pizza or a cheeseburger at any time–day or night. The cuisine offered ranges from cruise line to cruise line and ranges from low to high end. 

So if being able to eat as many cheeseburgers as you want at 3:00 AM is a major aspect of your Alaskan vacation, the cruise lines might just have us beat. If you’d rather spend your vacation on epic excursions in the remote Alaskan wilderness, keep reading.

What To Expect At Pybus

Two of our luxury cabins.

At Pybus Point Lodge, you have the option of renting a full cabin or a private room. All of our hand-built ocean-front cabins (located in the picturesque Cannery Cove) are brand new and equipped with everything you need for a comfortable stay, including a cozy bed, TV, full kitchen, and more.

The living room of one of our luxury cabins.

Dining at Pybus Point Lodge is an experience in itself, with three gourmet meals served daily, thanks to our talented in-house culinary team. Our menu features a range of dishes, from classic breakfast favorites to imaginative creations from our master Chef, made with fresh ingredients flown in from Juneau multiple times a week.

A delicious meal served at Pybus Point Lodge.

One of our favorite dishes is the catch of the day. Each and every day of your vacation you have the opportunity to go fishing for wild halibut, salmon, and more with a professional guide. If you choose to go fishing, you can even enjoy your catch for dinner, expertly prepared by our kitchen staff. There's no fresher way to dine in Alaska!

Some freshly caught halibut served at Pybus Point Lodge.

So if you're looking for an all-inclusive Alaskan adventure, where luxury lodging and gourmet dining are paired with exciting excursions and land tours, Pybus Point Lodge is the way to go!

Land Tours And Excursions

What To Expect On An Alaskan Cruise

An Alaskan cruise promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but it comes with its own set of challenges. While many major cruise lines offer "all-inclusive" packages, the moment you step off the boat, you're on your own. It's up to you to find a local company that can help you have the excursion of your dreams, within the limited time frame set by the cruise line.

The Cost of Alaskan Land Tours

With an 8-hour stop in Juneau Alaska, you'll have to pick and choose among the numerous activities available, such as fishing, whale watching, seaplane rides, visiting the Sawyer glacier, kayaking, and hiking through the rainforest. Unfortunately, you won't have enough time to experience everything that Juneau has to offer and might end up feeling unsatisfied.

To make matters more frustrating, Alaskan land tours aren’t cheap. These companies make their money off of tourists and they know just how much they can get away with charging. For example, a seaplane ride and a whale watching excursion in Juneau could cost $400 per person. These expenses can add up quickly, especially  if you're traveling in a group. If you’re traveling with another person you’ve just added another $800 to your vacation with one day’s worth of activities! 

Time Constraints on Alaskan Cruises

On an Alaskan cruise, you only have a limited time to explore the stunning landscapes and unique experiences that Alaska has to offer. You might be paying for a 7-day cruise, but realistically you might only have 3 to 4 days for shore excursions, and not all activities are available at every port. This means that you might have to make difficult choices and only participate in a select few activities, and you’ll walk away from town knowing that you hardly scratched the surface of what the town has to offer.

Why Choose Pybus Point Lodge

A few of our guests snapping a photo of a massive iceberg.

Pybus Point Lodge offers a unique and unforgettable Alaskan experience with all-included excursions, and the freedom to create your own itinerary.

Every day at Pybus Point Lodge is an excursion day, with no fluff days like you might experience on a cruise. You'll be paired with your own full-time boat guide, who's dedicated to showing you the best of Alaska. Every day your boat captain will be available to take you whale watching, to tour the majestic Sawyer Glacier, to catch wild Alaskan fish, and more!

A pod of humpback whales enjoying a meal!

Plus, our  full-time adventure guide is always available to take you on an exciting excursion, such as kayaking, rainforest hikes, and on our natural warm springs excursion.

A few of our guests relaxing in the Baranof Warm Springs.

To make things even better, most of our excursions are customizable and can be tailored to you and your group's specific interest. You’re even able to squeeze multiple different excursions together into the same day. One of the benefits of staying with a small all-inclusive resort instead of a cruise line is that you’ll always receive a custom, personalized experience. Our guides’ only job is to make sure that you have the Alaskan vacation that you’ve always dreamed of! 

Wildlife Viewing

A big group of sea lions near Pybus Point Lodge.

What To Expect On An Alaskan Cruise

Nearly every Alaskan cruise that you can find advertises the chance to see wild animals like humpback whales, killer whales, bald eagles, brown bears, and more. These advertisements however can be a tad bit misleading. We’re not saying that you won’t get to see these animals, we just think that the experience can be a lot better.

First of all, animal watching from the deck of a massive cruise ship with a few hundred other tourists might not be the experience that you’re looking for. While it’s true that you might see some whales or sea lions, you’re going to be viewing these animals from a pretty far distance. 

Cruise ships are massively tall, often times taller than a football stadium. If you’re going to pay all that money to travel to Alaska and go on a cruise, we’d hate for you to wind up stuck in the nosebleed section when you could have had front row seats.

If you’re lucky, the cruise line you booked with has a few smaller boats that can detach from the main ship to take people out sightseeing. This can be an awesome way to get a taste of Alaska for an hour or so, but most likely your sightseeing opportunities are going to be fairly limited to viewing one type of animal for a short period of time.

What To Expect At Pybus

A group of seals hanging out on an iceberg.

At Pybus Point Lodge, we know that our guests are coming to Alaska to really experience the animals and scenery that make the state such a special place. That’s why we provide every group that comes to visit us with their own full-time guide. Guests at Pybus Point Lodge are free to choose their own adventure along with their own coast guard certified captain in a small, custom-built boat.

Every day you and your captain can work together to set the day's agenda. If you’d like to spend the day on the hunt for whales, sea lions, and brown bears your captain will make it happen. Unlike the captains employed by cruise line’s, the captains at Pybus Point Lodge spend all summer in the same area and know the habits of the local animals like the back of their hand. 

A huge group of bald eagles right in front of Pybus Point Lodge.

Even our biggest boats only have a maximum capacity of 12 passengers, with most of our boats only being able to take up to six people. So when you’re at Pybus Point Lodge, you know that you’ll always have a front row seat. You’ll also always have your knowledgeable guide around to answer any questions you might have while exploring Alaska’s waters.

One of our new boats heading back home after seeing the Sawyer Glacier.

What Pybus Offers That Cruises Don’t 

Unbeatable Location

A beautiful view of our dock and fish house.

One of the major highlights of Pybus Point Lodge is our absolutely unbeatable location. While passengers on a cruise ship get to see a lot of neat towns and some of the coastline, guests at our Alaska all-inclusive resort get to live in the heart of some of Alaska’s most scenic landscape.

A map of the ABC Islands.

Our resort is located on Admiralty Island, a sprawling 1,600 square miles of undisturbed old-growth rainforest. Aside from a small town of indigenous Tlingit people on the other side of the island, Pybus is the only human settlement on the island with the nearest town at least being at least an hour's boat ride away. 

Admiralty Island happens to be located in one of Alaska’s most famous regions, the Inside Passage. In fact, many major cruise lines travel through this region so their passengers can gawk at Alaska’s natural beauty from the deck of the ship. This region is so popular that most major cruise companies advertise having an Alaska Inside Passage cruise.

To make things even more exciting, Admiralty Island is home to the highest brown bear population in North America. There are roughly 1,600 brown bears on the island meaning that there are more brown bears on Admiralty Island than in the rest of the lower 48 states combined! There are so many bears on the island that the local Tlingit people named the island Kootznoowoo which translates to “fortress of the bear”.

Two brown bears hanging out in Pybus Bay.

So why simply cruise through Alaska’s Inside Passage when you could spend your whole vacation immersed in it? While you’re at the lodge we’re more than happy to show you around Admiralty and the surrounding islands! Whether you’d like to hike through the forest or paddle around the shorelines, there’s always something exciting around the corner.

Some kayakers enjoying the calm water.

World Class Fishing

A group of self-guided anglers showing off their 165lb halibut!

For many people, it would be insane to visit Alaska without spending at least one day fishing. Alaska is home to some of the best sport fishing on the planet, and the water around Pybus Point Lodge is chock full of fun species like halibut, salmon, and ling cod.

Lucky for you, the guides at Pybus Point Lodge aren’t simply boat captains. Each and every guide at Pybus is an experienced fishing guide who’s well prepared to help you catch your own wild Alaskan fish! At the end of the day, your guide will filet each and every fish you caught and our dock team will hand rinse, pack, vacuum seal, and freeze everything that you caught. At the end of your trip our dock team will pack everything you caught throughout your stay into a sturdy, mylar insulated box that you can take home with you!

And we don’t just offer saltwater fishing. In addition to our captains and our adventure guide, we also have a freshwater guide on staff who’s always available to take you out for an Alaskan fly fishing adventure! The area around Pybus has multiple rivers where you can catch salmon and trout. Everything you need from rods and reels to waders and your guide are all included, free of any additional charges.

A former guest fly fishing in a nearby stream.

Book Your Trip!

The beautiful Pybus Point Lodge.

So instead of going on an Alaskan cruise, book your stay at our Alaska all-inclusive resort today!

At Pybus Point Lodge, we believe that an Alaskan vacation should be about the experiences. That's why our all-inclusive packages include everything you need for an unforgettable experience in the Last Frontier. You won't have to worry about how much each activity costs or how much time you have to fit everything in, we've got you covered.

Our experienced guides are passionate about Alaska and have a wealth of knowledge about the local area. They're here to help you create a customized itinerary based on your interests and preferences. Whether you're looking for a thrilling adventure or a peaceful retreat, we have something for everyone.

In addition to our all-inclusive package, we also offer a variety of top-notch amenities to make your stay as comfortable and relaxing as possible. Our lodge features comfortable rooms, delicious meals, and a welcoming atmosphere. You'll have everything you need to unwind after a day full of activities and memories.

An Alaskan vacation is more than just a trip - it's an opportunity to create lifelong memories and experiences. Come join us and see what the Last Frontier has in store for you. Click here to book your own all-inclusive Alaskan vacation!

Alaska Packing List PDF


Download, share, or print out our PDF Packaging list to make sure you bring all the gear you need for your Alaska vacation!


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Discover why people like you can’t stop talking about Pybus Point Lodge. More than 30 years ago, the lodge opened as a simple fishing camp, drawing a devoted following in spite of basic accommodations. With new owners and experienced captains and crew, our corner of Alaska has become an unbeatable fishing and eco-tourism resort.

Andrea Tate

Incredible Experience!

Pybus Point Lodge has some of the most stunning scenery I’ve ever seen. I mean absolutely breathtaking! In addition to the amazing fishing, I hiked to a beautiful secluded lake, soaked in some hot pots, saw several waterfalls, went whale watching, saw bears and all kinds of wildlife and marine life. As a photographer, photographing a wedding under a waterfall will remain a highlight of my life.

Shirley Johnson

Pybus Point Lodge - WOW!

We had the best time! This was our first visit to Pybus, but it definitely will not be our last. The stunning scenery, amazing fishing experience, and the joy of meeting new friends – all outstanding! We did not want to leave!!! If you are thinking about this trip – don’t think any more, just book it. You will not regret it!!!

Sharon Hedding

Trip of a Lifetime!

We had such an amazing time the staff was so wonderful and the lodge was fantastic! capt Joe was so helpful and always doing what ever he could do to make each day special. a special thank you to both Scott and Jody for taking the time to make us feel like family. can't wait to go back next year

Jason Nielsen

Wonderful and Magical Place

We had an amazing business retreat to Pybus Point Lodge.  Everything was top notch... the fishing, the staff, the boat captains, the food, the accommodations, and especially the scenery. I really liked that Pybus took care of everything from start to finish. Chef John is an amazing cook. We had delicious hot meals the entire trip.  The cabins were amazing and very comfortable.  The fishing was awesome and that’s coming from a guy that doesn’t fish that much.

Brandon Foote

We brought home 100lbs of fish!

My wife and I spent a week at Pybus Point this Summer. We had a beautiful, private room overlooking the bay and our own new, ensuite, private bathroom. What an amazing place for couples to get away together. We set our own breakfast time, met our boat captain after, fished the day along, and returned to clean up and enjoy a nice dinner at the restaurant. Next time Alaska is on the trip list, Sherrie and I will go together, and it will be to Pybus Point!

Kent Danjanovich

Fun in Alaska

This was my first trip to Pybus Point. I stayed in one of their new cabins. The accommodations were incredible, the view onto the bay in the mornings was stunning. I loved the staff and the food was really very good. All of this and they have new boats to take you out onto fairly calm waters to fish. The fishing guides were great. Overall a great experience. Definitely going back.


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