Kyra’s Amazing Alaska Cruise – Part 5

Kyra Tristan Glacier edit

A popular belief is that an Alaskan cruise is a trip to take if you’re looking for a slower paced vacation; and for some this can be true. However, I am here to tell you that I believe it is a perfect trip for all types of travellers!

For the adventure seekers, there are tons of fun and exciting excursions available at each port. Some of these include the ZipRider zip-line in Icy Strait, ATV adventures, tree-top climbing apparatuses, helicopter tours, railways, boating trips, hiking, gold-panning, dog-sledding, gondolas, and wildlife spotting.

For the foodies, there are so many delicious food venues and options onboard you’ll be in heaven! Bordeaux or Provence for daily changing menus, the Pizzeria for delicious pizza made right in front of you, The Grill for burgers and hot dogs, and of course the buffet Horizon Court. There are also a couple of specialty restaurants onboard such as Sabatini’s for Italian food and Bayou Cafe for New Orleans inspired cuisine! All food was delicious and beautifully presented! Plus there’s room service or you can splurge on a balcony dining experience like we did for a super special meal. Did I mention, the dessert options are just endless??

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For those interested in wildlife and scenery, I can assure you that you will get your fill of beautiful and stunning views of mountains, forests, waterfalls, rivers, glaciers, valleys, etc.! There’s lots of exciting wildlife spotting opportunities throughout the entire trip! We saw whales, lots of sea otters, and tons of bald eagles right from the ship especially in Glacier Bay and College Fjords!

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Onboard the ship, they have activities that may appeal to all guests such as trivia games, dancing contests, karaoke times and contests, gambling and gambling contests, dance parties, Movies Under the Stars, and so much more to keep yourselves entertained while at sea! This is in addition to the pools, hot tubs, spa, salon, shuffle boards, foosball tables, mini golf course, etc. onboard as well.

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I believe Alaskan cruises are a great trip for any type of traveller! I have been to Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Europe and various other places but my Alaskan cruise with Princess has now become one of my favourite trips so far even as a traveller in my 20’s!

Ready to start planning your own Alaskan cruise?  I would love to help get you there!  You can find me at our Sutherland office or call me at 306-955-1449 or email kyra@uniglobevacation.com.   I can’t wait to help you see Alaska too!

Kyra’s Amazing Alaska Cruise – Part 4

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Today we sailed through Glacier Bay National Park! The first glacier we visited was Margerie Glacier which is 250 feet high above the waterline and has a base about 100 feet below sea level. It was absolutely gorgeous and we were lucky enough to have a perfect view right from our balcony. The ship stayed at this glacier for about 1 hour, but the captain turns the boat around after 30mins so the other side of the boat has a good view as well. We were also lucky to witness the glacier calving. Calving is when chunks of the glacier break off into the water. When this happens, it sounds like thunder!

Next up was Lamplugh Glacier. Smaller than Margerie, but still beautiful! We just sailed by this one as we were sailing onwards to Johns Hopkins Inlet at Jaw Point for a jaw dropping view of Johns Hopkins Glacier! One of the most beautiful views in the park! Again, the boat turns after a bit to give the other side of the ship a better view. It was just stunning!

After viewing the glaciers, we sailed back out of Glacier Bay National Park. It is a wildlife hotspot filled with marine life. There was a naturalist onboard with us for pointing out wildlife and providing commentary on the glaciers, park, and wildlife. We saw whales, seals, and sea otters!

I even got to see a playful seal completely jump out of the water twice as he was following the ship.

You don’t want to miss Glacier Bay, so get out and enjoy the beautiful scenery!

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Kyra’s Amazing Alaska Cruise – Part 3

For Skagway, we decided to pre-book the White Pass Railway tour! It is a beautiful and very scenic 2.5hour roundtrip train ride up the mountains to the summit and back. The train picks up right at the cruise port.

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On the ride, we seen stunning mountains, valleys, waterfalls, old train bridges, and train tunnels that we got to travel through! That was pretty neat!

While onboard, there is commentary about the old Gold Rush days, how it was built, facts, and they also point out beautiful views not to be missed!

Each car has a bathroom, a fire heater, and two by two seats. You are even able to go stand outside on the train car platforms for better views!

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Insider tip, don’t worry about sitting on the wrong side on the train. Since it is a round trip ride, the train loops around and goes the same way back. So if you had the mountain out your window on the way up, you will get the scenery on your side on the way back! No seat is a bad seat!

I highly recommend this amazing tour while visiting Skagway!

Stay tuned for my next blog from Glacier Bay National Park.  I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Kyra’s Amazing Alaska Cruise – Part 2

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Today we arrived in Juneau and had our first excursion! We had pre-booked with Princess to go dogsledding and were super excited for this tour. Plus, who doesn’t love puppies! The sled dog camp was only about a 20min scenic ride from the cruise port. Once we got there, we got to learn a bit about dogsledding before going on a ride. We learned about the mandatory equipment and the processes of dog sledding.

Did you know that the average cost to participate in the famous 1,150 mile Iditarod race is $40,000 and the maximum number of dogs per team is 14?

After the kennel talk, we got to go on a 1.5mile ride around the camp. We were pulled by a team of 15 dogs ranging from experienced to just learning. It was a fast and exhilarating ride with beautiful scenery.

Then it was time for a hot beverage and puppy snuggles! The pups were 3 weeks old and absolutely adorable!

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The camp has a beautiful suspension bridge which offered beautiful views of the camp and Tongass Rainforest!

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All in all the tour was about 2.5 hours and I would highly recommend considering this tour while in Juneau!

Stay tuned for more from our amazing Alaska adventure.

ED’S 82 DAY GRAND ASIA & PACIFIC SAILING WITH HOLLAND AMERICA – PART 2

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October 6, 2018

On the map, Unalaska is a tiny dot far off in the middle of strong seas. But somehow, a diverse group of people make this remote island home, and share it willingly with visitors.

Seemingly in the middle of nowhere, Unalaska is affixed geographically on the Aleutian chain, and historically in the midst of 10,000-year-old Unangan culture, and in the eras of Russian fur traders, Captain Cook, World War II, and of a commercial fishing industry that ranks above all others in the United States.

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Unalaska, the small, wind-swept volcanic rock, draws researchers, tourists, adventurers, birders, World War II buffs, fishermen, and seasonal workers – so many that the population swells from about 4,000 in winter to nearly 10,000 in summer.

Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch fans often meet their favorite captains and crew, whether by chance in town or at the Carl E. Moses Boat Harbor where most of them are docked when not at sea.

For us, it just felt good to get back on land after a week of being at sea.  Frankly there is not much to see in Dutch Alaska (Unalaska).  We walked into town from the ship (about 2 miles) before it started raining (it rains a lot here) to the Safeway store which is a destination onto itself as it stocks many of the ships for their time at sea.  Big store with lots of canned goods and supplies.  There is another store nearby that also stocks the ships but had more hardware and such.  While there is an old Russian Orthodox church to visit, it was about 3 miles up the road and it was pouring rain, so instead we opted for the Norwegian Rat Saloon for a pint of a local brew.

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Aside from a small museum and some great hiking (did I mention it was pouring rain?), that’s about it for Dutch Harbour.  However, the scenery is spectacular and we were treated to some sunshine once we were back on board the ship.

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During supper, as we cruised out the bay, we saw several pods of humpback whales, always exciting to see their magnificence.  After supper, we were treated to a BBC Film called The Earth.  This segment featured Alaska and was accompanied by the ship’s musicians’.  It was a wonderful performance.

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