Located on the extreme northwest tip of North America, the state of Alaska is a stunning and culture-rich area that is perfect for exploring. If you’re going to cruise to Alaska for the first time, you’ll want to be sure to pick up some unique items to bring home with you. Whether you share them with your loved ones or keep them all to yourself, here are 8 souvenirs you should consider including in your luggage home.
1. Alaska Native Art
The art style of native Alaskans is exquisite, with vibrant colors and patterns that would liven up any room. Representing the history, culture, and traditions of the local people, Alaska Native art is rarely found outside of the state. Buying distinctive artwork while in the area is a great way to bring the feel of your cruise vacation home with you. From blankets to masks, you’ll be sure to find the perfect fit.
2. Ulu Knives
Made in Alaska, the Ulu knife was originally used by native Inuit women. This knife is truly all-purpose. In Inuit culture, it is used for anything from cutting hair to trimming snow and ice for igloos. Many visitors purchase an Ulu knife as one of their Alaska souvenirs so that they can use for chopping food at home. The variety of lovely and unique handles and styles makes these a great choice for personalized gifts.
3. Glacial Mud
The idea of bringing mud home with your Alaska gifts may seem odd, but don’t worry — it isn’t that unusual. When used as a beauty product, mineral-rich Alaska glacial mud has shown to have multiple benefits. It can nourish skin and nails, be used as a facial mask, or even cover the body to draw out toxins. Using a mud mask or body treatment is also a great reminder to slow down and take time for yourself — something you’ll know all about after your cruise!
4. Birch Syrup
Not to be confused with its maple counterpart, birch syrup is a unique treat that can be found when you visit Alaska. Due to the prevalence of birch trees, this type of syrup is readily available in local stores all over the state. Bring it home and use it drizzled on pancakes and waffles, or as a flavoring in recipes.
5. Spirits, Wine, and Beer
If you like bringing home a bit of the food and drink culture, Alaska has its own unique spirits, wines, and local beers to choose from. Local breweries offer everything from sours to stouts, while Alaskan wine is mostly made with fruit other than grapes. Whether you’re looking for a new craft brew or a unique take on traditional vintages, Alaska certainly has what you’re looking for.
6. Bear Claw Pasta or Salad Server
One of the quintessential Alaska products to buy as a souvenir is a bear claw salad or pasta server. Made of wood (not bear claws, don’t worry), these servers can be found in many souvenir shops around the state. Their unique shape makes them ideal for serving food, while their design is a fun reminder of your cruise vacation.
Going home from Alaska to an equally cold and snowy town? A pair of Alaskan-made mukluks are just what the doctor ordered. These soft boots, originally made by the Inuit, are lined and covered with fur to keep your feet warm and toasty inside. With a wide variety of designs and styles, you’ll be able to fit anyone’s fashion sense — or, you know, just buy a pair for yourself.
8. Alaskan Jade
A more rare and elegant gift or souvenir to buy would be something made of Alaskan jade, a lovely green stone that is the official state gem. Used in anything from jewelry and dolls to tools or carvings, souvenir shops are sure to have something perfect for yourself or a loved one.
To find these Alaska products and more, why not book an Alaskan cruise? Sailing from Vancouver or Washington State, there are several options for a cruise that will help you see the sights of the gorgeous land. With ports like Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, and Sitka, you won’t miss out on any of the great attractions!
Note: Onboard activities, shore excursions, and dining options may vary by ship and destination.