Have you taken an Alaska cruise? Have you gone to Alaska without a ship? If you have, I hope you’ll share your thoughts in the Comments section below. I enjoyed a cruise and land tour of Alaska a few years ago. It was one of my most-enjoyed travel experiences.
My Alaska vacation began with three days in Seattle. What a great city! If I were younger I think I’d live there. It reminded me of the way San Francisco was forty years ago! (My next post will tell you more about the wonderful days we spent in Seattle.) We were bused to Vancouver to catch our ship. A quick taste of that fascinating city has put it on my short list. I can’t wait to return!
Once underway we sailed north in the “Inside Passage.” If you look at the map shown here, you’ll see that the United States somehow got possession of most of the coastline of Canada along the Pacific coast. The area includes the towns of Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway. Each of these popular cruise ship ports-of-call is quite “touristy” but that doesn’t mean they aren’t interesting and fun. The scenery of mountains and water along the Inside Passage is gorgeous.
If you take a cruise that is a round trip out of Seattle or Vancouver you will travel only in this lower part of Alaska. To experience more of that great state you must take a one-way cruise which will begin or end in the center of the state. My cruise included days at the cruise company’s resort hotel at Denali National Park where I spent one (long) day on a bus, taking a “tundra tour” deep into the park. We spotted bears and other wild animals from the bus windows but we didn’t see Mt. McKinley — it was fogged in that day. Surprisingly we saw it when we returned to Anchorage. We could see America’s tallest mountain from the street outside our hotel although it was about 200 miles away! (Incidentally the name of Mt. McKinley was changed back to “Denali,” its original name, in 2015.)
The best part of the journey for me was the glass-top train trip from central Alaska to Anchorage. A day-long adventure, the trip allowed us to see many miles of wilderness beauty.
In the posts that will appear here over the next few days I’ll tell and show you more of my experience on an extended Alaskan cruise/tour. I hope you will join me by sharing your experiences in Alaska in the Comments section below.
P.S. I have been trying to make some changes and improvements to the structure of this blog – trying off and on for weeks. For the moment I’ve given up and will be posting new content regularly. If things look a little odd, that’s why. I hope to find a way to make changes – I’ll keep trying!