A couple weeks ago I was up in Alaska for a 7 day Holland America cruise. We began our journey by flying into Fairbanks, AK and heading up to Denali National Park for a day.
It was a dreary day in Denali so we couldn’t see the mountain, which they say is pretty common for this time of year. We did a little hike to this lake, and me and my sister saw a moose and a baby moose crossing our path.
After hiking, we had dinner back our hotel and then I made a s’more over the open fire.
After Denali, we had a 10-hour bus ride to Seward, AK where our cruise ship was departing from.
Our first day on the ship, we were at sea so we took part in some onboard activities, such as BINGO! (I didn’t win. Bummer).
We also did a sip & savor where we had wine and the best crab cake I’ve ever had!
And we went to America’s Test Kitchen demonstration, all about salmon!
Our next day we were still on the boat, but we were at Glacier Bay National Park.
It was gorgeous! We sailed into Glacier Bay and the water was beautiful.
And then we stopped for about an hour to watch the main event, Margerie Glacier. It was amazing to watch the glacier as large ice chunks broke off and fell into the water. And we could hear them breaking and falling off.
On our way out of Glacier Bay, we saw some sea lions lounging on the rocks.
And I got to see the National Park rangers getting off our cruise ship.
The next day, our first stop on land was Haines, Alaska. We met our tour guide, Jen, and went on a 4 hour tour of Haines.
We saw bald eagles, and even got to see Speedy the bear walking along the river.
After the tour, we walked around town and had some food. Then we took the Fast Ferry from Haines to Skagway because we heard it had nice views. It wasn’t exactly fast, but we did get to see some fjords (waterfalls).
The next day we were in Juneau, Alaska. We walked around town, did some shopping, and went to see the capital building.
We then got tickets to go up in the tramway to get views of the city and harbor from up high. It was a little scary going up in that little tram.
We learned that Oprah had just been there the day before! Dang we missed her.
After the tramway, we went on a whale watching excursion. We were hoping to see humpback whales, but we ended up seeing a big pod of orcas. Our guides said that is very rare and at one point we were the only boat around the whales so the captain turned the engine off and we just floated around watching them. It was amazing!
Here’s a short video I took of the whales:
On the boat ride back to shore, we saw some sea lions and a glacier in the background. It was gorgeous out there!
Our next port of call was Ketchikan, Alaska. The boat didn’t dock until 11am so we had a lazy morning eating breakfast at the buffet and got in a workout in the weight room on board.
Once we were on shore in Ketchikan, it was a dreary day and it was raining a little bit. They said Ketchikan is one of the rainiest cities in the world – they measure their rainfall in feet rather than inches.
We walked around town and did some souvenir shopping. We were hoping to see some salmon swimming upstream, but no luck. Then we headed over to the lumberjack show. It was a bit cheesy but overall entertaining.
After the show we headed out to Totem Bight State Park. We saw some totem poles and learned about the history.
On the drive back to the cruise ship we saw a lot of bald eagles and even saw another bear! Once back on the ship, we learned there was going to be a 5k race the next day – our final day at sea. I was so excited because that meant I would get to check off another race state!
Our final day at sea began with the 5k on deck for a cause – supporting cancer research across 5 countries. Every Holland America cruise ship does this and so far has raised over $5 million! We walked 10 laps around the outside deck. The boat was really rocking that day so it was funny to watch everyone swaying with the waves while walking.
Race state #18 complete – Alaska!
We went to another America’s Test Kitchen demonstration and played BINGO again. Still didn’t win. Boo. I also really enjoyed the towel animals that our state room stewards left at night.
It’s Thursday so I’m linking up with Thinking Out Loud.
Overall it was a great trip! Stay tuned for the rest of the trip – our few days in Vancouver!