Our Alaskan Cruise Experience (And the Tips We Picked Up Along the Way)
We're super excited to share our first experience of Alaska. Another amazing trip to feed our travel hungry souls. While this is typically our busy wedding season, our wonderful couples have opted for more Fall and Winter weddings this year, leaving us free to enjoy Summer and spend some amazing time with our families. While some might see an Alaskan Cruise as a retiree’s trip, we found it to be the perfect way to experience Alaska’s beauty, explore a few of its cities and get a taste of the state’s history. Here is our take on this amazing trip, why we highly suggest it and a few tips we picked up along the way.
First of all, we’d like to credit this whole experience to our aunt & uncle who went on this trip a few years ago and convinced 50 of our family members to come with them next time. It was the family trip of all family trips and the memories we will cherish forever cannot be made up. With the perfect amount of dance parties and fireball, the Yunker group sure made a name for ourselves on this ship!
We opted for Back Country Jeep & Canoe Safari and it was everything you can imagine. Driving the Jeep Wrangler through old logging trails through the Tongass National Forest was the exact adventure we were looking for. We crossed Lake Harriet Hunt and took a short walk through the rainforest before snacking on some yummy chowder. Learning about the wildlife and the history of the area was an added bonus and made for an unforgettable day.
Our next stop was Juneau (Juneau, it’s the capitol of Alaska?). Although we didn’t book an excursion, we had no trouble finding stuff to do. While some family members went snorkeling and others whale-watching, we took the Mount Roberts Tramway up the mountain side where we took a hike through the rainforest and enjoyed the incredible scenery. We made our way back through the city in search of some delicious crab legs and a good local beer. We stopped in at the world famous Red Dog Saloon but then found our way to the adventurous ales at Devils Club Brewing Co. We found a dinner of delicious crab at Alaska Fish & Chips Co. where we watched several seaplanes make their landing and then take off again for more evening adventures
Our third port stop was Skagway. This compact city is lined with gold-rush-era buildings and more jewelry stores than one city would ever need. We took off on a Glacier Point wilderness safari through beautiful fjords, rainforests and towering mountains to get up close and personal with the Davidson Glacier. Canoeing across a gorgeous lake, feeling the cool air and touching the glacier ice was such an amazing experience. After a quick drink at Skagway Brewing Co., we were back on the ship for good (well, until the cruise ended in Seward).
The following day, we were up early to hear all about Glacier Bay National Park from the park rangers. We highly suggest making this a priority during your Alaskan Cruise, as they are very informative. We had so much fun that day sitting on the deck of the boat watching, in aw, as we floated by several glaciers. We wrapped ourselves in blankets as the air got cooler the closer we got to the Grand Pacific Glacier and Margerie Glacier. We saw bald eagles, otters, seals and mountain goats and did our best to just take it all in.
After one more day at sea, we ended our cruise in Seward. And so began our 24 hour trek home (literally, “planes, trains & automobiles”). We took the train to Anchorage and enjoyed even more splendid views of mountains, lakes, rainbows, dall sheep and a moose! Everything is so vast and beautiful, it’s just one amazing thing after another. We walked around Anchorage and had lunch at Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse and then made our way to the airport.
If you have gotten to this point in the blog, then it’s probably pretty obvious that we absolutely loved our first ever Alaskan Cruise. I could even see us doing it again! From the huge breathtaking mountains and fjords to the amazing wildlife and the cute Alaskan towns, we can’t say enough good things about this trip. Not to mention, we got to do it with some of our favorite people :)
Our Alaskan adventure was everything we could have asked for and more.
Here are a few simple tips for planning your Alaskan cruise:
- Dress in layers!: Obviously watch the weather leading up to the day, but the temperature may change based your elevation, how close you are to a glacier and if the sun is out that day!
- Pack your dramamine: I’ve been on three cruises in the Caribbean and never noticed any motion from the ocean. I don’t know what caused it, but I was definitely feeling a little queazy on this ship!
- If you stop in Skagway, the train ride excursion sounded amazing. We didn’t do it ourselves, but we had a lot of family go on it sounded awesome!
- We had the option of taking a bus or a train to Anchorage from the boat and opted for the train. We would highly suggest this! Each car has a host telling you where you are and pointing out awesome things to see. It’s a nice little tour and (I imagine) more comfortable than the bus. Plus, it goes places the bus can’t, so you get to see more!