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Vacation: Destination, Alaska

Last month, my family set sail on our second Carnival cruise.  We were headed to Alaska and excited to stop at Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan and Victoria which is in British Columbia, Canada.    

We flew to Seattle to catch our boat and I instantly fell in love. The weather was mild- not at all like the humid Midwest or South that we’re used too. Nestled between the mountains and water, Seattle couldn’t be in a better location.

We spent time exploring Pioneer Square, the Waterfront and Downtown, but I couldn’t resist thinking that someday I’d love to make a second trip to Seattle to see everything I didn’t have time for this time around– like the troll that lives under the bridge!

The weather was beautiful while we were there. It didn’t rain at all. It was so clear on the day that we sailed out of the port that we were able to catch a glimpse of Mt. Rainier.   

Mt. Ranier

Our cruise was a seven day cruise. Two days would be spent at sea but unlike the Caribbean, there was plenty to see for most of the journey.  Like the whales in this picture:

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You did see them didn’t you? Well, maybe I didn’t get the best picture but I promise, we really did see a few whales and it was so neat!

If we weren’t whale watching, there was beautiful scenery to view, especially as we made our way through Endicott Arm. Our boat was scheduled to travel through Tracy Arm Fjord, but conditions weren’t favorable for passage so we made a detour.

Floating ice burgs…

waterfalls…

and beautiful glaciers.

Our first stop in Skagway was our favorite. Quaint and historic, we enjoyed a quick visit to the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park followed by a stop to the Visitor’s Center to find out what the locals consider “must see sites”. We took several of their suggestions. One led us on a quick hike outside of town to Yakutania Point which was stunning. I could have stayed there all day but after relaxing for about 30 minutes, taking in the incredible view,  it began to rain.

  

As we were making our way back to the boat, we noticed that the tide was coming in. Guess what appeared with the high tide? SEALS! One of the highlights of our trip – we watched the seals as they played and then as they began to hunt their dinner- salmon!

  

Next stop: Juneau, where we were able to get a glimpse of true Alaskan weather. Overcast, chilly and rainy. Good thing I packed our umbrellas and ponchos. They certainly came in handy.

We ventured out to explore but didn’t make it further than the Alaska State Museum. We enjoyed our visit, but definitely would have gotten more out of if we’d taken the time to learn more about Alaska before we went. Of course, I had intended to do that before things got so crazy. 

Our next stop, Ketchikan is the Salmon Capital of the World but we didn’t see any salmon. Not from the salmon viewing area anyway. We tried to visit the eagle viewing area that was on our map but didn’t find it. Too late we learned that we could have taken a 45- minute walk through the rainforest.

It also rained and since we weren’t enjoying yet one more day out in the rain we decided to walk back to the boat and call it a day. Still, we did see some pretty views.

Back on the boat we headed for home. Our boat was only scheduled to be in Victoria for a short time but high winds caused a bit of delay so it was already dark by the time we arrived so we opted to stay on the ship.

Have you been to Alaska? What were some of the highlights from your visit?

Flight 93 Temporary National Memorial- Shanksville, Pennsylvania
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Jenilee Goodwin

Wednesday 14th of September 2011

how wonderful! an alaskan cruise is on our dream vacation list! the pictures are great... I'm glad you had such a great time!

mnewell0293

Tuesday 13th of September 2011

yes we have been and I think what we liked the most was the gardens and how large the veggies got. We did many excursions including one lunch at a bed * breakfast that offered fresh food cooking in front of you with a wine pairing. It was fun and OH so good and healthy!  We cant wait to go back!

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