It is finally the day—I’m here to share the most epic adventure of our Alaskan Cruise! Though it was the second stop on our itinerary, I saved my favorite port & excursion for last. Juneau, Alaska was not only a beautiful town, it was chockful of adventure! Those in our group opted to stroll around town, take a ride on the Mt. Roberts Tramway, and go hiking in the Tongass. But me, I’d been itching to do something I’d been dreaming of since I first heard of cruising to Alaska—dog sledding on a glacier. And that we did!
Our adventure started out on a bus ride through town with a great driver/guide. She pointed out important buildings, took us by Juneau’s locally famous humpback whale statue, and drove along a route with what seemed like hundreds of bald eagles soaring above. But the beauty was only beginning. We then arrived at a heliport to be fitted for special glacier boots and eventually a helicopter ride to Mendenhall Glacier. And that is where the epic adventure began!
We flew out of Juneau and over Mendenhall Glacier, taking in sights of the 13+ mile glacier’s crevasses (shown in the first photo in the middle row below) that looked like gigantic slits in the earth that one might disappear in never to return. Once passing the crevasses, we glided over a part of the glacier that looked like vehicle tracks, but it was actually the land and the ice coming together to form the massive glacier. From there, we flew over a smoother part of the glacier, ultimately caught sight of the dog mushing camp. Eeeekk, my dream was actually coming true!
We landed at the fully equipped camp greeted by hundreds of excited dogs and their handlers/sled drivers called mushers. These sweet pups were lined up in rows with dog houses, we are told they won’t even sleep in—that is how much they love the cold! You’ll notice the photos the dogs aren’t wearing shoes either. Our musher explained that the dogs actually prefer much, much colder temps than the glacier was experiencing at the time, a balmy 40 degrees during the day. It felt much colder if you ask me!
So, we were paired up with our musher to begin our ride. We hopped on the sled, and that is where the magic happened for me! I could not believe I took a cruise ship to Alaska, hopped off in Juneau, caught a helicopter to a glacier, and landed at a dog mushing camp to ultimately dog sled in the snow! It was beyond my wildest dreams! My husband & I were both smiling ear to ear, and put this at the top of our list, after our babies’ birth of course, of best experiences of our lifetime!
After our flight back to Juneau, we took a quick stroll through the port shops, we loved the ones with a Russian flare (also on my bucket list) and a ride up and right back down the Mt. Roberts Tramway. Maybe if we ever get back to Juneau, we’ll give that another try. Juneau was beautiful, even aside from the glacier & dog sledding, and is definitely worth booking an excursion to explore. Whale watching, hiking in the Tongass National Forest, and more are adventures to be had in Juneau.
This experience was truly incredible, and I find it hard to put into words just how beautiful it was. To be surrounded by nothing but mountains and snow with no sign of civilization in sight, yet to be amongst these thriving animals was beyond amazing! I have a newfound love & appreciation for dog mushing now, and someday hope to get back to Alaska for a winter dog mushing trip to see the Northern Lights. What can I say, my dreams just keep getting bigger & bigger!
And I hope yours do too! If you’re ready to make your dreams a reality, let’s chat about planning your own Alaskan cruise. Contact me to get started on the process, and I’ll have you sailing away before you can say “Gee” or “Haw”! You’ll have to head out dog sledding to learn what those terms are all about! ;) See you back soon!
Let me start out by saying, an Alaskan cruise is nothing short of amazing! Today’s post on our experience sailing to Dawes Glacier is just a sliver of why. I never realized just how blue water could be outside of the Caribbean. It was truly breathtaking and is a sight I won’t soon forget.
Our sailing began from our Juneau stop, which I’ll share tomorrow, and went on through Holkham Bay taking us to the sights of Dawes Glacier. This adventure brought us sights of seals basking on ice chunks, tiny boats navigating icy waters, and beautiful glacial waters streaming from mountainsides.
Our group gathered on the lounge deck to enjoy the views together, sharing binoculars, and pointing out noteworthy sights along the way. At the end of the road per say (where the sea began and the glacier ended), our ship’s captain turned the boat so both sides of the ship could enjoy the breathtaking views of Dawes Glacier in all its glory! It truly hard to envision the view, even from photos. It is something you must see for yourself.
For me, glacier cruising confirmed that taking our babes was the absolute best decision! Our sweet boy pointed out the calves of ice (chunks of glacier that have fallen off from the main glacier) that little by little appeared in the water the closer we sailed to the glacier. That is a moment frozen in time, no pun intended, that I will never forget!
If you’re looking for your own unforgettable experience, let’s chat about planning your own Alaskan cruise. Visit my Plan a Trip page to get started on the process. Talk soon!
Along with our stop in Victoria, I hadn’t initially planned to blog about Seattle. However, I ultimately decided I couldn’t help but share the goodness we experienced during our few days there. This was my 3rd visit there, having joined my husband a couple of time during his 90-day work stay there a few years back. Believe it or not, there were still places, and still are, left for us to explore! This trip was quite a bit different with twin toddlers in tow, but equally fun! We arrived mid-afternoon, taking it easy the first night, but we hit the ground running the next day.
We started out visiting The Museum of Flight. Our airplane loving babes, not to mention the husband, loved this spot! I must say, I quite enjoyed it myself. It held much more grandeur than other aircraft museums we’ve visited with dozens upon dozens of planes, helicopters, and other aircraft suspended from the ceiling, practically flying around our heads. Along with aircraft on view, you can take a stroll through the remake of the original Boeing factory. Quite the transformation back in time! The Museum of Flight is highest on my list of any of the aircraft museums I’ve been to, and I’ve perused quite a few. So, you’ll definitely want to check it out on your visit to Seattle.
Our next stop was the pier, for lunch at the Crab Pot, my favorite in Seattle, and a visit to The Seattle Aquarium. This time was so much fun with the babes in tow! The aquarium boasts an interactive tidepool, think Finding Dory, a gorgeous dome tank, and so much more. This was a huge hit for me, as always, and an even bigger hit with the babes!
Top end our full day, we checked into a new hotel right across from our cruise port, so convenient! We were able to watch a ship sail out that afternoon, and anxiously await the arrival of our own ship. Before heading to bed, we popped over to Pike Place Market for an afternoon visit (less crowds), just a short walk & elevator ride up from our hotel. We scooped up a beautiful bouquet & bundle of lavender for our ship cabin then called it a day.
The next morning, we loved waking up to seeing our ship right outside our window! This was the perfect ending to the beginning of our next big adventure—Alaska!
I’m so excited to wrap up this trip with two of our very favorites from the trip, glacier cruising & dog sledding, so be sure to check back over the next 2 days to read all about that!
Like I mentioned before, I’m going completely out of order on sharing the ports of our Alaskan cruise, but I hope you’ll love the last post I’m saving up just as much as me. I promise we are almost there! For now, I’m sharing our final stop before heading back to the home port. Today is all about the beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
This was my second visit to this beautiful harbor town, and, once again, it did not disappoint. Since we had already visited the big tourist attractions of Victoria like Butchart Gardens and Craigdarroch Castle, we decided to just enjoy the beautiful weather and go for a stroll. Oh, my was that a treat! Turns out we stopped during a car show called Deuce Days—highlighting old Deuce Coupes! Our walk not only took us by the beautiful sights of Victoria, but by endless old cars as well.
Along with the car show, we enjoyed venturing to Fisherman’s Wharf, the welcoming lawn of British Columbia’s Parliament Building, and The Empress Hotel. My favorite had to be The Empress. This time, the grounds were covered in the most extravagant hydrangeas flowers I had ever seen! Some of the plants were as tall as my shoulders and flowering bulbs as big as both of my hands! The vibrant florals that grow here are just incredible, which is why I always recommend checking out Butchart Gardens. If you haven’t been, that is a spot that is to not be missed!
I hope you enjoyed a bit of our Victoria stop! In the next couple of days, I CANNOT wait to share our last two big highlights of our Alaskan Cruise, but , first, I will share all about our home port—Seattle, Washington.
I am loving revisiting all of our adventures from Alaska, but I’m taking things a bit out of order from our itinerary, because I want to save THE best for last, so you’ll just have to wait on that! But, don’t worry, today’s Alaskan cruise stop is indeed beautiful! The next port I want to share is Skagway, Alaska where we experienced a taste of the Klondike by train.
Skagway was one of my favorite stops on our Alaskan cruise. It offered bustling, yet quaint, streets, stunning scenery, and major history. We explored around the town before heading out on a grand adventure aboard the White Pass Scenic Railway. On top of that, I achieved a life-long goal.
Before I get into that, I’ll share about our time in Skagway. We started out at a leisurely pace, walking into town and exploring the beauty. We enjoyed popping in the White Pass Railway store and station, browsing historical trains and sights, and strolling the streets of Skagway. We saw saloons of the gold rush era, lodges made entirely of sticks, and so many more unique sights.
After browsing around, we reported for our ride aboard the White Pass Scenic Railway just outside of our ship (super convenient!). The train ride was both more and less than I expect, especially after the ULTIMATE adventure the day before (more on that in a few days). I’d expected to see lots of snow and wildlife. Wildlife is unpredictable and I didn’t do my full research on the train ride, so I’d set myself up for that disappointment. That is of fault to no one but me.
However, I wasn’t expecting to see such lush forests, rolling creeks, and learn such rich history. Our conductor and guides created a full experience for the ride explaining history of the area as our ride went along. Though the train ride was not what I expected, it was so much more! I highly recommend it for a leisurely excursion and to experience unparalleled views of Alaska. If you’re looking for a unique experience, this is it.
Now, before I close, I want to share about the fulfillment of my lifelong dream. When I was a kid, before the days of debit cards, cell phones, and GPS, my great-uncle set out on a grand adventure. With a paper map book in tow, he hopped on his Harley-Davidson, and rode from Texas to the Arctic Circle in Alaska. I can’t pinpoint exactly when my lust for travel began, but I’d like to think that my uncle & his ride to Alaska had something to do with it.
I didn’t quite make it to the Arctic Circle, but I did make it to a Harley-Davidson shop in Alaska. In all my travels, I always get me, my mom, and brother a Harley T-shirt when I can. The Alaska one will definitely be our most treasured.
No matter your means, destination, or season in life, I hope you find the courage to just get out and ride & explore, paper map or no map. I would love nothing more than to be a part of making that dream come true. If you are looking for your own Alaskan adventure, or other destination, I would love for you to contact me for a quote. See you tomorrow for our next stop!