Alaska was never really on my list of places to see. I reckon it’s because I think of Alaska as an extension of Canada. Lots of snow, some mountains and some ocean. When I was presented with the opportunity to visit Alaska on a cruise I could not turn it down. Please take it from me, Alaska is so much more than I thought. It is picturesque. So gorgeous.
We were cruising with Holland America Line on the Volendam ship. Like most, if not all Alaska cruises, our journey began from the port in Vancouver. What better way to get to Vancouver from Edmonton than a road trip?! After our 12 hour car ride we had some extra time to hit all of our favourite spots in Vancouver. For myself that is Granville Island. The market, the beer, the restaurants, it’s all so good!! If you are embarking on a cruise it is good practice to arrive early to the city where the ship will leave from. You want to give yourself a time buffer, if in the off-chance something should happen that will put you behind schedule. I can’t imagine anything worse than missing your ship! Coming from me, a girl who missed her flight to her moms wedding…. but that’s a story for another day!
Anyways, our cruise was a 7 day affair, starting and ending in Vancouver. The itinerary was as follows;
> Cruising the Inside Passage
> Tracy Arm
> Glacier Bay
The ship was nice, a modest size and it did have everything we needed. I have been spoiled thanks to my aunt and the only other ships I have cruised on have been the Oasis and the Allure. The Volendam didn’t have all of the extras that the sister ships had, but they had amazing food, friendly service and nice rooms. Plus their towel animal game was on point.
They also had something called a dessert extravaganza one night…. So yeah the Volendam was pretty bad ass.
To be quite honest I don’t remember anything standing out about Tracy Arm. Our next part of the tour was cruising through the inside passage which was gloriously beautiful. Our next port was Juneau. Here we visited the shopping area and happened into the Alaskan Brewery Co. Store. There we learned about the brewery tour, and twist our rubber arms but we unanimously agreed to go. It was one of the highlights of the trip. We got to learn about Juneau. Our guide gave us some insider tips, for example, you want to see the famous bald eagles? Head to the city dump, we drove passed and saw dozens of them! The tour was awesome, the beer was even better. Highly recommended.
Our next stop was Skagway (my favourite)!! This place was so cool. I found it to look and feel very authentic. Here we decided to do an excursion. We choose the White Pass Summit Scenic Railroad. This railroad was built over 110 years ago for the Klondike Gold rush, you ride up to the White Pass Summit which sits at 2, 865 ft. You get to the Yukon/Alaskan Border and then make the journey back down. All the while listening to the history of the railway and the gold rush. Very cool!
We then cruised by Glacier Bay. Wow. That’s about the only way I can describe that place. Besides cruising up surrounded by whales (!!!!!!!) this place is just majestic. It’s huge and unbelievably beautiful. You can hear the glacier cracking, it sounds like thunder and if you are patient you can see bits if glacier fall off into the water.
*** Video to come. Forgive me, I’m in the boonies, hot spotting wifi from my phone 🙁 ***
Ketchikan was our next and final stop on this amazing trip. The town I also felt to be very authentic. We visited Creek Street which is quite the sight to see. The street is built up on stilts above the water. We took a ride in an old school funicular up to the lodge and had a nice overview of the city. For a cost of $2 a person this is something you shouldn’t miss.
And just like that our trip had come to an end. It seems to take forever for a holiday to arrive and then in the blink of an eye it’s over. This was an amazing trip, something I would never have done on my own. A big thanks to my future mother-in-law for inviting me as her travel partner!
Now go out and book yourself on an Alaskan cruise! I promise you will not be disappointed!