Guess what we’re thinking of doing. Yes, another cruise. But this time to Alaska!! How cool is that (literally)? 🙂
It’s on the Norwegian Pearl and we’re looking at May 2012.
We’re planning this trip with another couple and we’re looking forward to exploring a whole new world. Here are some of the excursions that have caught our eye so far. Debating about the dog sledding – pricing is pretty steep for dog sledding on snow plus helicopter ride ($500+ per person). They also have dog sledding on trails (not snow) but somehow that doesn’t seem as authentic…
Juneau: Mendenhall Glacier & Salmon Bake
Work up an appetite walking around the Mendenhall Glacier before you head off to the salmon bake. This traditional salmon bake will be all you can ask for and more.Travel through Juneau’s downtown to the Mendenhall Glacier. Stroll the many walkways or enjoy the Visitor Center, then board your motorcoach for a trip to a traditional Alaskan Salmon Bake. At the Gold Creek Salmon Bake, wild Alaskan caught salmon is grilled over an open alderwood fire. Enjoy the Bonanza barbecued ribs, Cheechako baked chicken, Chilkoot baked beans, Tongass wild-rice pilaf, a variety of fresh salads, corn bread, blueberry cake, and lemonade, coffee or tea. Beer and wine are available for an additional charge. Dine beside Salmon Creek, nestled in the lush foliage of Southeast Alaska’s rainforest, under translucent domes that protect you rain or shine. Afterwards, roast marshmallows over a crackling campfire and view the beautiful Salmon Creek waterfall; remnants of the historic Wagner Mine can also be seen. Return to your ship at your leisure aboard one of the Salmon Bake shuttle buses. Note: The salmon served isalways wild Alaskan Salmon. This tour operates in all weather conditions.
Skagway: Yukon Expedition & White Pass Railway
Besides the gold, see why old-timers were attracted to this place. A deluxe motorcoach takes you to the top of White Pass with its breathtaking views, into Canada and the Yukon Territories. Pan for gold, lunch and get a picture with real racing dogs.
Climb aboard a deluxe motorcoach for a 65-mile journey to experience the magic of the famed Yukon Territory. You’ll climb the South Klondike Highway to the top of the White Pass at 3,292 feet above sea level. Majestic peaks, waterfalls, and glaciers can all be experienced on this incredible drive. Leaving the White Pass and the U.S. behind, you’ll enter Canada, and see the unspoiled beauty of the Yukon Territory. Marvel at the chain of lakes that form the headwaters of the Yukon River, explore the rustic town of Caribou Crossing (Carcross), snap a quick photo of the ‘world’s smallest desert,’ and enjoy the tales of the Klondike Gold Rush. At Caribou Crossing, you’ll be treated to a delicious chicken barbeque lunch complete with grandma’s famous homemade donuts. After your meal, you’ll have the opportunity to tour the Yukon’s museum exhibit of local wildlife, including the Ice Age Wooly Mammoth. Carry on to the Dog Musher’s Village, where you can visit with Yukon Quest dog mushers and take pictures with the racing dogs and puppies. Once back at Fraser, British Columbia, you’ll board the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad for an unforgettable and breathtaking ride.
Ketchikan: Lighthouse, Totems & Eagles Excursion
Lots to see including eagles. Your boat tour offers views of the Guard Island Lighthouse, a lush rainforest, historic Ward Cove Cannery, the floating city of Loggerville, Revillagigedo Island of the rich and famous, and Guard and Gravina islands.This excursion guarantees excellent eagle viewing. Majestic totems and a waterfront clan house demonstrate the historical native culture at Totem Bight State Park. Get a close-up view of Guard Island Lighthouse. Enjoy a short narrated drive through Ketchikan en route to meet your Captain and Alaskan crew. Board your vessel, where you’ll hear professional narration, while you munch on salmon spread, cheese, crackers, fresh fruit, and cookies. Hot chocolate, coffee, tea, water, or soft drinks are all free. Relax in the heated main cabin or experience the open-air observation deck. Observe the areas of harvest and ancient old growth, and learn of the historical and modern uses of this very special temperate rainforest and its complex ecosystem. Cruise by historic Ward Cove Cannery and Loggerville, Alaska’s only ‘floating town.’ One half of this tour features the Revillagigedo Island waterfront; with its homes of the local ‘rich and famous,’ while the remainder explores the remote Guard Island and primitive Gravina Island. Binoculars are provided for your use. Eagles, of course, are guaranteed and we usually see harbor seals and abundant moon jellyfish. Whales, deer, blue heron and a variety of gulls and sea birds are also common. Note: We recommend you bring a warm, rainproof jacket to wear on the observation deck.
Stay tuned for more developments on this. I’d knock off a few items on the Life List (cruise to Alaska, travel to the Yukon, travel to British Columbia, maybe dog sledding) – this would be cruise #7 (of a target 10 on my life list goals).