Alaska was a great cruise to do. It was something I never thought I actually do but was definitely worth completing and being with family was even better.
We started with boarding the cruise ship in Vancouver to head northbound to Alaska cruising along the coast of British Columbia and Alaska. It was a 7-day cruise that would end in Seward, Alaska.
The first two full days on board the cruise was only sailing up the coast. We enjoyed the views of British Columbia and saw a lot of wildlife in the ocean as well – whales, porpoise dolphins and a few other animals.
Our first stop was Ketchikan – the rainiest city in Alaska and the fourth largest city in the state. It rains 300 days of the year but the day we were there was sunny with not a rain cloud in site. Some of us did a ‘duck tour’ of the town which is how we found out it was the fourth largest city with a population of about 9,000 people. It’s a salmon fishing / cannery town as well.
The following day we were in Juneau, the third largest city in and the capital of Alaska. Again, the weather was perfect with no sign of rain. Juneau was named for the gold prospector, Joe Juneau. It has no roads connecting the city to the rest of Alaska or North America – this is due to extremely rugged terrain surrounding the city. Most of the family did various excursions in Juneau. The one I did with my parents as a glacier walk on Mendenhall Glacier with a helicopter ride. It was fascinating being on the glacier and getting the history of how the glacier ice gets to be what it is, a little lesson on the texture of the ice, and a little taste test of the glacier water (the cleanest water I’ve ever tasted).
Our third stop of Skagway. It was a really small town. We did one excursion here as well where we were ferried to forested area for a picnic lunch, did a little hike through the rainforest before kayaking (well, partially kayaked before it was motorized) to the bottom of a glacier. This was worth doing to see the varied landscape and do a wide variety of activities. It did feel like it got windier and cooler as we got closer to the glacier.
The remaining two days were spent cruising on the water. We cruised through Glacier Bay National Park which you read about here. Some of the park rangers came on board to give information on the park and point out some of the wildlife that have made this park home. On our final full day on board the ship, we cruised to the Hubbard Glacier. We learned that the glacier ice when it reaches the foot of the glacier ice is about 400 years old.
We finally ended the cruise in Seward. We walked around the town before we boarded a train to ride through some of Alaska to end in Anchorage to spend the night before our flight the next day. The train ride was beautiful and the staff on board the train pointed out a lot of wildlife as well.