Last August, my family took a week long Alaskan cruise. As I haven’t really shared much about the trip with people, I figured I could talk about it here and share some photos.
We left out of Vancouver, and spent most of the first day exploring the ship.
The second day was spent at sea, however, we were in the Strait of Vancouver, and most of the time there was land on either side of us. The sights were incredible, and the water was so beautifully blue. We got our binoculars out because there were whales breeching at one point in the day!
Our first stop was Juneau. We took a bus to see Mendenhall Glacier. We walked a path to a little beach, which is the best place to view the glacier. However, the beach is also right next to a mammoth waterfall. The water was heading more outward than down, and we got soaked! You can tell by the family picture that the camera was even getting wet. It was amazing.
After the glacier, we got to go whale watching. Now, I won’t bore you with all the whale watching photos, but I will tell you that that was one of the most fun experiences I’ve had. We saw so many breeches, and at one point a few of them were right next to (and swam under) our boat. Also, THOSE THINGS ARE HUGE. They were probably bigger than the boat we were on and when they blow they make the loudest, deepest sound I’ve ever heard produced by a living being.
Our second stop was Skagway – THE cutest, little, Western town. My mother (being the expert-trip-planner that she is) had already signed us up for a Hike-and-Float. Our tour guide met us right off the boat and drove us to the start of the hike. We hiked the Chilkoot trail (the start of the Gold Rush trail) for two miles (which was actually quite difficult at times) and at the end of our hike there were rafts waiting for us to bring us back downstream. After the Hike-and-Float we went to a bar downtown and enjoyed our afternoon before getting back on the boat.
Our next “stop” was Glacier Bay. I quote stop because we didn’t technically stop. The boat went into Glacier Bay and slowly, and I mean very slowly, showed us around. There were many small glaciers that we passed by (slowly) but twice the boat actually stopped for the passengers to stare in awe. We were lucky enough that our room was on the side parked near the glacier, so we actually just sat on our balcony most of the day. There is nothing to describe what that was like. The glacier was so massive, so blue, and so ominous. I didn’t quite realize how big it was until a huge chunk fell, and I didn’t hear the sound until a few seconds later. It was like hearing thunder after seeing lightning. And the wave that the fallen ice had created could’ve rocked the ship had we been closer.
Our final stop was snorkeling in Ketchikan! However I didn’t bring my camera off the ship because I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to use it!!
Alaska is the most beautiful, serene place I have been. To see such pure nature, untouched by man was humbling and breathtaking, and sharing those feelings with your most favorite people is something that cannot be matched. I can’t wait to go back. Enjoy the pics.