An Alaska cruise is a trip that everyone should take at least once in their lifetime. And I say that as someone who isn't always the biggest fan of ocean cruising. The phenomenal scenery of rugged coastlines, mountains, waterfalls, and glaciers had us captivated. We were content to sit on our balcony and simply watch the beauty pass us by. In fact, we were hesitant to look away because of the abundant opportunities for wildlife viewing. We saw whales, dolphins, seals, and bald eagles, all from the comfort of the ship. I was really hoping to see some sea otters, but no such luck.
Every port of call on our Alaska cruise itinerary was fantastic and the amount of time we spent at each one was perfect, especially for someone like me who hates being rushed. The shortest amount of time we had in port was eight hours, but our other stops were 13 and 14 hours.
Vancouver. We've been to Vancouver many times, but when our ship sailed away, we got to see it from a whole new vantage point. Yes, Vancouver still is one of Canada's most beautiful cities! We passed by many islands, big and small, as our captain navigated through scenic gorges like the precarious Seymour Narrows. Much of the landscape is covered by dense forest, but if you watch closely, you'll see some waterfalls along the way!
Ketchikan. Ketchikan is a very small, pretty town along the Tongass Narrows. It began as a Native village, a heritage that can be seen in the many totem poles displayed around town. Ketchikan has transitioned from a fishing village, to a logging centre, then back to a fishing community. Today, it also attracts the cruise ship crowds, many who head towards CREEK STREET, Ketchikan's former red light district. My favourite day on the cruise was in Ketchikan because this is where we went on our bear viewing excursion. We enjoyed an amazing float plane trip to Neets Bay, where we were lucky enough to witness a black bear lunching on some salmon. And boy, was he ever a messy eater!
Skagway. Skagway turned out to be the cutest of all the towns we visited. Its appearance remains largely unchanged since 1897, when Skagway became the gateway for gold-seekers embarking on the Chilkoot and White Passes.
Skagway was also very small, so after walking around for about an hour, we rented a car and drove up the Klondike Highway into THE YUKON. The drive is incredibly scenic and the unique landscape will make it hard for you to keep your eyes on the road!
Many of the places we visited in Alaska are accessible by boat or plane only. By doing a road trip, we would have missed out on Ketchikan, Juneau and Glacier Bay. What a shame that would have been!
My usual complaint about cruises is not having enough time in each port of call to experience the destination on a deeper level. This was not an issue on our Alaska cruise. I appreciated being given plenty of time for exploring the ports of call and having a wide variety of activities to choose from at each location.