Posted on 06/12/2018
Unlike anywhere else on the planet, Alaska brims with sprawling wilderness, dramatic glaciers and vibrant native heritage. A voyage to this corner of the world calls out to your adventurous spirit and encourages you to get to know a fascinating and truly wild side of North America. What to do when you finally get to America’s last frontier? Our Destination Specialists share the top 7 icons you shouldn’t miss.
1. Hubbard Glacier | North America’s largest tidewater glacier, the majestic Hubbard Glacier is 76 miles long and about 7 miles wide. The ice you see at the terminal face is approximately 450 years old, over 2000 feet thick at some locations and will leave you speechless. Cruise Hubbard Glacier this summer.
2. Totem Poles | Colorful totems reflect the native heritage of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people, illustrating family lineage and sacred cultural heritage. In Ketchikan, you can visit the Totem Heritage Center, which is a national landmark housing 33 totems preserved from abandoned Tlingit and Haida villages, while Sitka offers an impressive collection of totems near its visitor center and along the walking trail.
3. Bald Eagles | America’s most iconic and majestic symbol, bald eagles are abundant in Alaska with the population estimated to be at 30,000. The Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve near Haines is a particularly good spot as well as along the banks of the Stikine River near Wrangell.
4. Historic Gold Mine Towns | Skagway is a very well-preserved gold rush town – check out The Chilkoot Trail just outside of town, which is the centerpiece of the town’s gold rush history. You can also ride a train along the White Pass and Yukon Railway, which is known as Alaska’s Gold Rush Train and offers a glimpse into the 19th century miner landscape. Alaska’s gold mining past is alive in Juneau as well – retrace the historic route taken by Joe Juneau and Richard Harris in their search for gold, visit Last Chance Basin and try your hand at panning for gold in Gold Creek.
5. Inside Passage | One of the most stunning locations in the world, this protected passage is calm and filled with everything from snowcapped mountains and calving glaciers to wildflowers and plenty of wildlife every summer. You can even spot migrating whales. Explore the Inside Passage with us.
6. Russian Culture in Sitka | Once the capital of Russian America, Sitka was a booming West Coast center for trade, diplomacy and the arts during the early 1800s. You can soak up the Russian influence with a scenic walking tour of the city, stopping at St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral, the Russian Bishop’s House and the Russian Orthodox Cemetery as well as many historic houses that showcase a Russian influence.
7. Denali | Alaska is home to 17 of our nation’s 20 highest peaks, including the majestic Denali, which is North America’s tallest peak. Explore this icon in comfort on our 4-day pre- or post-cruise Denali land tour.
We look forward to seeing you in Alaska this summer!