I am fortunate enough to get to travel to different countries across the globe and this summer I was lucky enough to get the chance to go on an Alaskan cruise! I can not say this enough, I am so thankful for the opportunities that I have in my life and that I get to travel so much.
On May 28, 2017, after flying out to Seattle, we set sail on Princess Cruises, Emerald Princess Ship to our first port of Ketchikan, Alaska! We booked an “Adventure Kart” excursion for this port! We drove up a mountain in these adventure karts and when we got to the top there was an amazing look out down the mountain.
After an eventful day we hopped back on board the ship and set sail to Juneau, Alaska.
Juneau was probably my favorite stop on this trip. To start off our day, we stopped at a Rainforest Garden. The garden had all sorts of plant life that are native to Alaska all in one place. You go on a self-guided tour through the lush rainforest path and learn all about the indigenous plants that the state has to offer. I was really happy when I got to the end and they gave us a cookie and hot tea because it was raining and a bit cold.
After the rainforest, we went to see the Mendenhall Glacier. The Mendenhall Glacier is one of the more popular glaciers in Juneau and is very easy to see. The bus will drop you off at the visitor center which is approximately 2 miles away from the closest point you can get to the glacier. Of course I had to get very close to the glacier and I am so glad I did! After a 2 mile hike, I was greeted by a great, big waterfall and was even closer to the glacier than I would have been had I stayed back by the visitors center. If you ever get the chance to visit the Mendenhall glacier, I wholeheartedly believe that the best point of view is to go down the Nugget Falls trail and if you are able to take the 4 mile hike (2 miles there and 2 back) then it is worth every step.
We then hiked all the way back to the bus and headed back into town. In town the Mount Roberts Tramway brings you all the way up the mountain so you are able to look down on the whole town. Unfortunately it was very cloudy (a guide on the Tramway mentioned that there are only about 80 days of sun per year) but there were a few moments when the sun peaked through the clouds and it was spectacular.
On to our next and final stop in Alaska– Skagway! We did an excursion in Skagway that took us to an old saloon! We went to The Red Onion Saloon where there were beautifully dressed madams who gave us a tour of the house, gave us a delicious breakfast and even told us about the paranormal stories that have occurred in the house! If you are interested in learning more about the madams or the history of the saloon check out their website.
Our next stop in Skagway was to an amazing suspension bridge in Yukon, Northern British Columbia. The Yukon Suspension bridge is a pedestrian cable suspension bridge. While walking across the bridge is a bit nerve wracking, the bridge is very stable and once you get across there are signs that tell you about all the history of the Yukon.
Victoria, British Columbia is the next stop on this amazing cruise! Meghan Ory who plays Red in Once Upon a Time, Pamela Anderson, Nelly Furtado, and so many more famous people were actually born in Victoria! We went on a tour of Craigdarroch Castle! It is a beautiful castle that was built between 1887 and 1890. The castle has 39 rooms and is 25,000 square feet! Many movies have been filmed at the house, including most recently, “the Boy.” Although the staff I talked to said the house was not haunted, my mom and another woman said that in certain rooms their camera was malfunctioning, both in the same room and location. This woman also said that there were also parts of the house that she felt the temperature drop. Note that there are no fans, AC, vents or windows open in the house.
Finally, our journey comes back to where it began. When we returned to Seattle we visited Pike Place Market and of course the inner white girl in me had to get Starbucks! And of course we went up the Space Needle! Seeing Seattle from such a high point it truly an amazing thing!
I can honestly say that this trip was one of the best ones I have been on. Alaska is so magnificent and green. If you ever get the opportunity to visit, I say go for it! Alaska has so much to offer and what I did on my vacation this summer was just the tip of the iceberg.
I would like to end this with a special little shout out to my wonderful parents, The Ciraolos, The Stumpers, The Judys, The Ciraulos, The Griffins of Maine, Annie, and Mary. Thank you all for making this trip so spectacular! It wouldn’t have been the same without you! Xoxo