First-time Cruising To Alaska

After seeing some of the photos our client, Charlotte Serold, shared with her Cruise Specialist, Jocelyn, I wanted to know what she had to say about the Great Land. Did she enjoy it? What was it like? I asked Charlotte if she would share her experience in the form of a blog post so others can see what Alaska has to offer. Thankfully, she accepted. Charlotte and her husband cruised to Alaska for the first time this past July and took some fantastic photos. All the ones published in this post, in fact, are Charlotte’s. Without further ado, please enjoy Charlotte’s post.

Alaska Glaciers and Mountains

Alaska is an amazing scenic landscape for photographers and sightseers to enjoy.  Although, I’m strictly an amateur photographer I found capturing the majestic mountains and glaciers of Alaska a challenge to frame.

Alaska landscapeThe weather was warmer than I anticipated.  Definitely there were times when my coat was necessary and a raincoat is essential.  However, overall I was surprised that the Alaska summer temperatures are pleasant.  The bright sunlight made the contrast with the snow capped mountains against the vivid blue sky and crystal blue ocean a beautiful sight.

Glacier

The Alaska weather was a welcome temporary relief; there is little to compare to my home near Dallas, Texas; with miserable heat and record drought.

Traveling the Inside Passage kept the ship fairly close to shoreline. At times it seemed as though you could reach out and touch the island shores. The Tour Director told us to be on the lookout for wildlife at the banks of the islands.  So I spent hours searching the shore expecting to see the brown bears waving at the ship while we sailed by the beaches.  When a bear was spotted hunting for his lunch on the water’s edge, I was shocked to realize they were mere specks even through my binoculars!  Now I had a perspective of distance.

We experienced different and interesting things at each port the ship docked.  Juneau is a busy seaport with a village like atmosphere. Our first excursion was whale watching in the Juneau bay.

whale watching in Alaska

How exciting it was to see those large animals gliding through the water.  They seemed to be gathering together and showing off their tails to entertain us.

Skagway has a wild-west adventure appearance, made me feel right at home!

White Pass Rail, Skagway

Riding the White Pass train along the gold rush trails was amazing to see and feel the history under our feet.

Ketchikan has a beautiful harbor filled with hundreds of seaplanes, sailboats, fishing boats, and yachts of all sizes.

Ketchikan

The native Indian history is most prominent in this area.

Ketchikan, Alaska

Then there is the breathtaking tour of Glacier Bay. It’s a fabulous experience to see the majestic Grand Pacific Glacier towering 25 stories above the water.  We were lucky enough to see the glacier’s edge calving.

Glacier Bay

Such an incredible sight and sound to experience!

In summary, Alaska is a destination not to be missed.  Our seven day cruise on Holland America’s ms Zuiderdam ship was an incredible experience for us.  This was our first big ship cruise and the ship was every bit as luxurious as we expected.

ms Zuiderdam

The crew members are personable and professional with the guests enjoyment their first priority.  There were lots of fun things to do and plenty of good entertainment plus informative lectures about each port.  We definitely will cruise again!

Thanks for sharing your experience and breathtaking photos with us, Charlotte!

About Vanny

Vanny is Cruise Experts Travel’s Social Media Coordinator. She is a passionate world traveler and has been given an exciting opportunity to share experiences, tips and advice on everything cruising and travel in Alaska.
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