Seattle is the gateway to Alaska. If Alaska was Heroin, Seattle would be Marijauna. Sure, there are other ways to Alaska, flying direct, driving through Canada or taking a boat across the Pacific, but really, you are going to start in Seatlle. Why? Because that is where most cruise ships start, of course.
Actually, Alaska has a couple very interesting ways to get to it lovely shores for anyone not interested in taking a cruise. Driving will take awhile, but on the way you can see a lof the Rocky Mountains, which, if you have time for it, is a must do. Banff and Jasper can be a side trip on your way up. But if you hate roads and public infrastructure, try the Alaska Marine Highway. This is the way to do it. A finctional ferry that goes from Seattle up to Seward, stopping at any town worth seeing on the way. Avoid the newlywed games, mandatory tipping and dry burger buffet by taking the Alaska Marine Highway. When you get up there, this is what you may see.
Seattle, Washington - This city is the typical start for any trip up to Alaska and a great city for fresh seafood. Namely, the world famous Pike Place Market. This market was founded on the notion of connecting the producers directly with the consumers. This is where you can buy fish, produce and crafts from the worlds most popular farmers market. The smell of salt water in the air lets you know the seafood is fresh.
Above is our most popular photo of the glaciers. The fishing boat in the foreground shows perspective as you near the wall of centuries old ice. Everything is huge. Glacier Bay National Park is over 5,000 square miles. The water level can go as deep as 1400 feet and last year the park was visited by over 400,000 travelers, most of which came via cruise ships. Find out some more very interesting facts at the National Park Services web site.
Keep your eyes out for the glacial calving. You can predict where it will happen as little pieces begin to fall into the water, watch that area and usually the bigger piece will eventually loose its hold and fall in after. This makes a thunderous splashing sound and often the larger pieces create a wave that you can feel on the ship.
This was taken from the hiking trails on top of Mount Roberts in Juneau Alaska. You have to take a tram half way up the mountain and from there you can go hike, eat or buy souvenirs. If you are working as a crew member onboard the ships, get a reduced ticket price on the Tram operators.
Yukon Territory - Here we have a "sunny" day in Yukon Territory, located in the Northwest corner of Canada. In the days of the gold rush, prospectors came from North America to find their riches in this cold northern land and by 1899 they all left, as did the gold. Yukon Territory has very short summers with average temperatures from 14 to 16 Celsius and and winter temperatures ranging from +4 to -51 Celsius. As well The Yukon has the only North American Highway which crosses the Arctic Circle. Oddly enough, the Yukon has volcanoes which are part of the Pacific Ring Of Fire.
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