My journey through Alaska on Princess started in Vancouver. I arrived a day before my cruise departed in order to explore the city. I ventured to Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain where I saw the wonderous landscape and experienced the serenity available just a short shuttle ride from the city center. I took a horse-drawn carriage ride through Stanley Park where I learned about the history of the park and Vancouver. Later in the day, I ate lunch on Granville Island before heading to the ship to board.
The first port my ship stopped at was Icy Strait Point. With a small population, there is not much to do other than take an excursion. I went whale watching and was happy to see two humpback whales (a mother and her calf). Back at port, I went on a wildlife and brown bear search. Sadly, it was too hot outside for the bears, so I did not see any; however, I was able to see salmon skipping down the river, eagles perched atop trees, mushrooms as large as my head, and many other wondrous flora and fauna.
Juneau was the next stop on the trip. I took advantage of the long day in port. After wandering through the quaint town, I went kayaking. This was extremely fun; we saw seals, listened to a sea lion roar, and viewed the incredible Mendenhall Glacier. Later in the day, I went to a salmon bake where I ate salmon covered in a maple glaze, along with a buffet of delicious sides from beans to corn bread. Before heading back to the ship, I went up Mount Roberts Tramway. Views from the top were unbelievably gorgeous. I only wish I had more time so I could have taken one of the hiking trails back down the mountain.
Skagway was my favorite stop of the trip. Mainly because of the excursions that I took. I went first to a Musher’s Camp where I got to meet sled dogs. I loved the sled ride; it’s incredible how strong the dogs are and how they work as a team. After saying goodbye to the dogs in training, I got to play with three different litters of sled dog puppies. It was pure heaven! The older puppies were rambunctious while the youngest puppies just wanted to snuggle. Later in the afternoon, I went ziplining through the forest. Ziplining is always fun, and I’m glad I got to experience it in another location.
The final stop of the cruise was Whittier where I took a five-hour catamaran cruise to see a variety of glaciers. It was amazing to see the glaciers up close, feel the cold breeze across my face, and watch calving. For lunch, I had salmon chowder, which was absolutely scrumptious. Back at port, I took a bus to Anchorage airport to head home. The scenery on the way was stunning. Overall, this trip was fantastic. The beauty Alaska has to offer is unending, and I hope to return one day soon.
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