Cruise Ships, Helicopters, and Trains! Oh My!

I’ve been excited to write about our cruise to Alaska (summer of 2015) for a LONG time.  Alaska was really never on my list of must-see destinations, and yet, it was one of the most stunning and wild places I’ve ever seen.

We began this journey by flying to Vancouver, BC and getting on a MASSIVE cruise ship.

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We ran through this ship like kids in Disney Land.  There was a casino, multiple restaurants, a spa, an art gallery, multiple pools and hot tubs, and very few places to get away from the multitude of patrons aboard this vessel.  Our serenity became the small balcony attached to our room from which we saw puffins, dolphins, humpback whales, seals, bald eagles and some of the most vibrant sunsets I can remember (Scott took a lot of photos of me watching the sunset).

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The itinerary for this cruise included stops in Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Skagway, Hubbard Glacier, and Seward.  We then took a train inland to Anchorage, Denali State Park, and Fairbanks.  This was an adventure TRULY based around visuals (and good company)!  We spent so much of our time cruising, flying, riding or touring and never got bored of the sights and views of this amazing terrain.

In Ketchikan, we saw our first several eagles.  We never thought we would get sick of seeing these powerful birds, but they are EVERYWHERE in this part of our country!

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Almost as plentiful as the wildlife, is the Native American history.  Since we were traveling with a big group of Natives (Scott’s dad and family), we spent a lot of time exploring sights like the one below.

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Icy Strait Point was the one place we visited that we hadn’t hear of AT ALL.  This is just more proof that word of mouth doesn’t always reach the best destinations.  We had some beers on the rocky beach and took a ride on one of the largest, single zip-lines in the world.

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The zipline allowed us to sore through the air above pine trees that scraped the sky.  After this feeling of being on top of the world, we were incredibly humbled by the size and power of humpback whales.  We were lucky enough to have a whole pod breeching, playing and putting on a show for us.

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In addition to fulfilling my bucket list item of flying in a helicopter, our next stop in Juneau allowed us to walk on the jaw-dropping Mendenhall glacier and taste blue waters from the icy source.

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Scott’s aunt getting some glacier water
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Scott getting an icy taste
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standing on the glacier in our ice boots with glacier silt on our cheeks

As opposed to the Mendenhall glacier which we saw via helicopter as it snaked in between mountains, the Hubbard glacier can only be fully appreciated via ship and drops off into the frigid waters of the North.  We watched from the deck of our cruise ship as seals dove from floating chunks of ice.  We were startled by deafening cracks splitting the crisp air as pieces of the glacier broke away and crashed into the sea.  Scott took some of my favorite photos while his family and I stared on in awe.

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For the remainder of this journey, we said bon voyage to our cruise ship and traveled inland by train and bus.  I believe that this portion of the trip warrants it’s own post as there are so many stunning photos of wildlife and scenery.  For now, I leave you with a preview of our train and picture of us waiting for the ZipLiner.

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-Lexi

P.S. isn’t my fiancé amazing at capturing these moments?!  Going back through these photos makes me so proud of him.  What a boss.  The header photo for this story is one of my absolute faves!

 

 

3 thoughts on “Cruise Ships, Helicopters, and Trains! Oh My!

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