Thursday, August 16, 2012

Alaskan Cruise: For the Young and Young At Heart

My friends convinced me that I wanted to join them for an Alaskan cruise.  A lot of folks think it is crazy that I had to be convinced to join this once in a lifetime experience, however it is true.  I like to spend my time on land exploring not relegated to a few hours of excursions.

Needless to say, I enjoyed myself a lot.  There is great food and fun on the cruises and traveling to Alaska via a cruise ship cannot be knocked.  There are incredible views at every turn, enjoyable times sitting in a jacuzzi as the cruise ship navigates through the Tracy Arm Fjord, dancing every night and excursions that will forever be imprinted on my heart.

A view of the fog getting ready to hug our ship.
  Our first stop took us to Ketchikan, Alaska.  Ketchikan, while being known as the Salmon Capital of the World, is also known for being the host to the Misty Fjords National Monument.  There are thousands of ocean inlets in this protected area.  We chose to take a float plane through the Misty Fjords.  I loved being co-captain, while one of my passengers was quite green...and not with envy.

Our chariot awaits our return.

One of the incredible views to be seen from the float plane.

Another view of the Misty Fjords from the float plane.

Arriving back in Ketchikan.
 We awoke early the next morning to take in the sights of the Tracy Arm, another fjord located in the Tongass National Forest.  The ship took us through the pass where we were able to view the magnificence of the Twin Sawyer Glaciers.

Along the Tracy Arm there are ice pieces ranging in many sizes and all pretty stunning.

The Twin Sawyer Glaciers
 Our next stop took us to the capital of Alaska, Juneau.  While in Juneau we were able to visit the Icefields and Hubbard Glacier.  We also did a little hiking on top of Mount Roberts where the entire town can be viewed.  Juneau was one of my favorite stops as it allowed for some awesome excursions and I thought the people were incredibly friendly and fun to be around.

A view of Juneau from our helicopter.

A view of the Icefields in Juneau we were getting ready to hike.

Hubbard Glacier

I enjoyed a drink from the Hubbard Glacier and it was quite cold and refreshing.

I had a lot of faith in my fellow humans to take this picture leaning into a giant hole of the Hubbard Glacier.

A view of bogs in Juneau.

A sunset view from the top of Mount Roberts.

Another view of sunset from the top of Mount Roberts.

A view of our cruise ship, the Infinity, from the tram that takes you to the top of Mount Roberts.

Another stop on my Alaskan journey included the quaint town of Skagway.  Skagway is truly a depiction of quiet with the streets closing early.  At this stop we meandered through the town and located the White Summit Pass train that took us to Glacier Lake, Canada where we kayaked.  All views from the train and the kayaking are incredibly picturesque and truly offer you the scope of nature's magnificence.

The view from our port in Skagway.

Camp Skagway, Camp 1 of the Arctic Brotherhood, is made out of driftwood.

A view from the White Summit Pass Train over a glacier river.

Another incredible view from the White Summit Pass Train from Skagway, Alaska to Glacier Lake, Canada.

The White Summit Pass Train headed over what appears to be quite the rickety bridge.

Kayaking on Glacier Lake is a wonderful way to spend the day.

A cruise discussion would not be complete without discussing the food and activities. 

Dancing With the Stripes competition is a fun way to spend an evening. 

There is dancing at night, which is fun and a nice offset to the "all you can eat" food available on the ship ranging from escargot to an ice cream shop.  This is not to mention the varied libations available at the many bars on the cruise ship.

While you are eating breakfast, you may have an opportunity to see whales or just enjoy the beauty of the ocean and tranquility of those moments.

Going on the upper decks at night certainly requires some layering against the cold, but is well worth the views.

My Alaskan cruise was a once in a lifetime experience.  But, I won't let that stop me from experiencing it again!