Channel the spirit of the Klondike, without the deprivations, during a day of trying your luck at sea. Begin in Juneau, on board a marine research vessel in search of great humpback whales. Your odds are good for spotting one, since you’ll be visiting their seasonal feeding grounds. Along the way, Steller’s sea lions, Dall’s porpoises, harbor seals, and bald eagles reward the watchful.
Back on Crystal Symphony, go for the gold at more traditional games of chance, such as blackjack, roulette, or baccarat at the casino – a swank alternative to panning for gold in frozen rivers. The casino is just one of the reasons Crystal has a reputation for lively nightlife and active socializing. “I tell new-to-Crystal guests, ‘You will always find something to do,’ ” Phillips says, and that includes after dark. While smaller ships tend to close down early, Crystal keeps the energy going, from the casino to the disco to the piano bar, where Phillips says he has spent some of his most memorable nights at sea.