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What a cruise to Alaska is really like
On my recent trip to阿拉斯加州I sailed with Disney Cruise Lines, although based on the research I did of other companies sailing to the “49th state” the itineraries are basically the same (when leaving from the port of加拿大温哥华). So I thought I would do a general run-down on what an Alaskan cruise is like on a seven-night sailing.
When one thinks of阿拉斯加州, the image of the enormous land mass that is America’s largest state usually comes to mind. The Alaska land portion is home to sites and places like Denali National Park and Anchorage. Well, “Inside Passage” sailings (what seven night cruises are commonly referred to) don’t go anywhere near them.
What’s the Inside Passage, you ask? It is a coastal route for vessels along a network of passages which traverse through the islands on the Pacific coast of North America. So yes, it’s Alaska, but the land directly to the east. To go deep into the heart of Alaska, one needs to either visit himself, or do a popular “land/sea” combo, meaning you get the best of both worlds.
-Endicott Arm (fill in for Tracy Arm)
Cruise lines will list Tracy Arm as one of their stops, Disney’s included. However, due to a near constant high density of ice, they are not able to visit (no cruise ships visited Tracy Arm during the 2016 cruise season). Well, 2017 seems to be off to the same start. I was on a sailing in the first week of June and we went to Endicott Arm instead, an equally beautiful and impressive fjord. (As substitutes go, I think this was probably the best I’ve ever had.)
When we first entered the fjord, the scenery greatly reminded me of Norway, specifically theGeirangerfjordarea. But as we drew nearer to the famed Dawes Glacier, we started seeing chunks of ice in the water, which was neat. I had signed up for a port excursion that would transport us on a catamaran (a much smaller sized boat compared to a cruise ship) and being on a smaller vessel really allowed us to get up close to the glacier. No words can describe the thrill and amazement of seeing something like a glacier and also learning how it had created the fjord (Endicott Arm). And let me say, the sound of ice breaking off a glacier (what an iceberg is) truly sounds like thunder. No joke.
We did see some wildlife here, a couple of bears from a distance, and then two seals lounging on a chunk of ice.
Skagway was the farthest north we went so this was the port where we had the most sunlight. It’s a super tiny city but its population of 800 people balloons during cruise season when tens of thousands of visitors descend on it. Skagway’s biggest fame is that during the Klondike Gold Rush, it was the starting off point for prospectors as they made their way into Canada’s Yukon Territory.
One of the most popular excursions is riding on the historic White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad which takes passengers on vintage locomotives past the Chilkoot Trail. However, another popular option, and one that I chose, was going on an overland route (same itinerary, but more options to stop, take photos etc). It was incredibly cool to say that I’ve been to the Yukon now.
朱诺is the capital of Alaska and it was probably the most visually striking state capital I’ve ever been to (sorry,檀香山). Juneau is near to countless outdoor attractions including Mendenhall Glacier and whale watching opportunities. Being the biggest city we visited, there was obviously a greater and more diverse selection of eateries and shops.
My biggest tip for Juneau-go on the funicular here. My guidebook had said there was one in Ketchikan (our next port) and as we had already had a full day in Juneau on our excursion, I figured I’d save the funicular for Ketchikan. Well, that was a mistake. While the one in Juneau literally goes up a mountain, the one in Ketchikan is more like a tram going up a hill. Major disappointment.
Ketchikan is best known for its many Native American totem poles that can be found throughout the city. It’s also close to Misty Fjords National Monument which is glacier-carved. Any nature enthusiast, mild or extreme, would adore it. Some popular attractions near to the cruise ships’ terminal include the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show and crab tours (the Bering Sea Crab Fisherman’s Tour is the number one attraction for Ketchikan on TripAdvisor).
Creek Streetis also lovely to just wander along as it’s home to many picturesque wooden buildings from the last century (just ignore the fact that at one time it housed the city’s red light district).
Pre and Post Cruise
Vancouveris Canada’s third largest city and has a ton to offer visitors, so be sure to leave time to explore this gem of British Columbia. Seriously, the sea air and those mountain views- be still my heart.
The cruise terminal is located right in the downtown, literally in the heart of its popular attraction Canada Place. In theory this seems good; depending on where you stay, you could walk to the terminal on embarkation day. However, it’s a madhouse there in terms of traffic. Another cruise also left (and arrived back) on the same days as my cruise and especially on the day we returned to Vancouver, it was a nightmare getting a taxi (endless lines). If you can swing it, I would almost advise doing the Vancouver tourist portion post-cruise and walk to your hotel after you disembark.
betway必威体育首页红为首的旅行者’s pro tip-大多数航班回东海岸要么离开温哥华机场清晨（之前，你可以得到后续的邮轮停靠机场），或在深夜（可怕的红眼睛）。但太平洋门户酒店提供机场每天速度房间里，花费低于$ 100美金，你必须使用一个房间，而不是挂在机场的意思（也有在现场池）。当你考虑你多少钱已经支出，这是绝对值得的。
I had read that the weather in May/early June would be less rainy than in September (the two times of the year I was considering). Well, take that with a grain of salt. The weather wasn’t too bad and for the most part I packed the right clothes. And I think spending hours out on a boat near to a glacier, well anyone would end up feeling chilled to the bone. Most days were in the high 50s to low 60s.
Tank top in Vancouver, winter hat, scarf and gloves in Alaska-all in a week’s time.
The worst weather we had was in Ketchikan when it lightly rained, mildly hailed, turned semi-sunny, and then repeated. Fortunately, none of these weather patterns seemed to last longer than 10 minutes. My biggest disappointment was that I never had any blue sky days so none of my pictures look that phenomenal but c’est la vie, it’s Alaska.
水在最糟糕的，我们离开凯奇坎到第二天早上（我们的第二次海日）傍晚。水是令人难以置信的岩石。我不明白在邮轮上晕船，但一切都是向上和向下，当你觉得它在船上一样大的游轮，是在告诉。我很担心我们的brunch at Palo就毁了，结果（所有丰富的食物，如游轮是半漂泊一起），但幸运的是我很好。我采取了晕海宁，作为预防措施的前一天晚上，所以也许这帮助避免任何不愉快。但对于大多数的巡航，水域都非常平静。
My favorite thing
The younger me (i.e. during my study abroad years) never would have dreamt of visiting Alaska. I just always had more interest in getting to as many countries as possible, and trips of an entirely nature based level? Pass. But now I love the idea of visiting all 50 states in my country and am just thrilled I made it to one as far away as Alaska, since I’ve already been toHawaii.And of course thenature-themed trips, j’adore now as a 30-something traveler.
It really is a cruise like no other
A lot of people told me that while they would never have interest in going on a cruise (they’re most likely referring to加勒比海的人), they would consider an Alaskan one. And now having done both, I can safely say that an Alaskan cruise is entirely unique and different in that regard. The clientele is also a bit different but more importantly, most people are there to see the stunning and varied landscapes and natural phenomenon that grace them. You’re not there to sip tropical drinks and sunbathe (well, for the latter it’s much too cold). You’re there to appreciate Mother Nature.