Last month we spent a couple of weeks in Alaska and it was honestly one of the most beautiful trips that we’ve taken. Today I’m excited to share our full itinerary and a fun video of highlights from our trip. Phil had already been to Alaska last summer and I had a serious case of #FOMO so when he got the opportunity to go again this year, I had to jump on board! Two weeks was the perfect amount of time to spend there because we were able to fit in a lot of sightseeing and food tasting. We were on a cruise ship that took us from Vancouver, Canada to as far north as Seward, Alaska (almost to Anchorage). It was a great way to see a lot of the popular tourist cities and experience Glacier Bay (twice!) which was definitely the highlight of our trip. Phil performed every night on the ship and we were able to sightsee during the day. For those of you that don’t know, Phil is a professional pianist and vocalist (check out his music here). Ok aside from being lucky enough to be married to a talented guy, we also get to travel a lot for his work. Since you can really blog from anywhere, I always try to travel with him.
Alaska is so beautiful, I highly recommend going at least once in your lifetime. Parts of it reminded me a little of New Zealand. There are a lot of fiords similar to Fiordland National Park in New Zealand (check out our New Zealand itinerary here) and the mountain views are breathtaking. Unlike anywhere I’ve been though, there is so much untouched land. Seeing a glacier up close was pretty incredible although the size and depth is hard to grasp even up close.
Stops on our cruise included: Ketchikan, Juneau (a must!), Glacier Bay (a must!), Skagway, Seward and Haines (I’d skip this).
The most beautiful views were in Skagway, Juneau and of course, Glacier Bay. I highly recommend these three ports. Glacier Bay is a must! Juneau was my favorite city (also the capital). There’s so much to do there from exploring Mendenhall Glacier and Nugget Falls, riding the Mt. Roberts tramway for breathtaking views of Juneau and eating the best seafood at Tracy’s King Crab Shack. I could’ve easily spent more time in Juneau – we had a total of two full days there.
Seward, AlaskaIncredible views in Resurrection Bay in Seward. There isn’t a whole lot to do in Seward, but I think that’s the point. The views are absolutely incredible and a lot of people come here to camp and hike. We spent one day here and we were blown away with how beautiful it was. We did spend an hour at the Alaska SeaLife Center aquarium which was actually really fun. They have a puffins enclosure where you get up close with puffins which I’ve always wanted to see in person. The aquarium is a rehabilitation center and is focused on studying northern marine life so they do a lot of good!
Juneau, AlaskaHiking Mount Roberts. The view from the tram up to Mount Roberts. Fun fact, the Mount Roberts Tramway is one of the most vertical trams in the world. I’m terrified of heights, but I’m so glad I rode the tram because the views at the summit are breathtaking. Visiting Mendenhall Glacier National Park was one of our favorite things that we did in Alaska. A short hike leads you to Nugget Falls which is an incredible 377 foot waterfall and you get a great view of Mendenhall Glacier not to mention great photo ops too!
Ketchikan, Alaska Clearly we didn’t take a ton of pictures in Ketchikan, but there’s quite a few clips of what we did in the video below. It’s honestly a great little town with a fair amount of things to do. On the first day that we were there, we rode the Cape Fox Hill-Creek Street funicular (tram) to Cape Fox Lodge on the top of the hill and hiked in the woods where there was a great view of Ketchikan. There’s also some of the town’s most notable totem poles outside of the lodge too. We also spent time shopping through the town and along Creek Street Boardwalk.
Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska Glacier Bay is an absolute must if you go to Alaska. We went through it twice (once each week) on our cruise ship and it was actually very different each time we were there. The first time we were there it was really warm and we were able to see quite a bit of ice melting off of the glacier. The second time that we were there, it was much cooler (I wore my huge knitted scarf) and it was still chilly. We still saw ice melting off of the glacier and honestly it was much easier to get crisp photos without the intensity of the sun. Each time I wore a light bomber jacket, but the second time I layered up. I highly recommend doing a cruise if you want to get the best views of Alaska. It’s such a great experience to cruise the inner passage and Glacier Bay and there’s so much sea life to see right from the ship. We saw dolphins, seals, otters and whales come up to our ship and it was pretty incredible. If you do a cruise, you’ll likely be able to see more cities than otherwise. However, if you aren’t a fan of cruises, I would recommend going to Juneau for sure and Denali National Park – which we didn’t have the chance to do. Our cruise did have a land portion where you could get off in Seward and spend a week exploring northern Alaska, but since Phil was performing every night, it wasn’t part of our itinerary.