Head To Alaska The Last Frontiers

Alaska Cruise 2008Creative Commons License photo credit: philip pannenko

Imagine being a resident of Alaska in a town of 900 and watching thousands of passengers unloading off six massive cruise lines. Back in the 1800s, the Gold Rush brought a similar bombardment of settlers to what was a pristine swatch of land containing mountains, frozen volcanoes, forests and glaciers. If you love history, then an Alaskan adventure is a “must.” Not only will you see leftover historic mines, but you can also learn about the native Alaskan people, who bared the elements and lived off whales and moose.

In Juneau, a classic Alaskan tour is the “Four Glaciers By Helicopter & Dog Sled Adventure.” On this once-in-a-lifetime expedition for lovers of the great outdoors, you’ll soar over four real glaciers, which are the Taku, the Hole-in-the-Wall, Dead Branch and East Twin, while catching a bird’s eye view of moose, goats, bears and caribou. Then you will land on Norris Glacier where you’ll meet up with your Alaskan malamute and Alaskan husky dogsled team. Your guide will describe the 1,000-mile Iditarod Race that traverses from Anchorage to Nome. Your trip will include some hiking through crevasses and navigating streams for two hours of ethereal zen. This journey is for the fearless, the cold-insensitive, the adventurous and the athletic. If you are skier you will find plenty of ski slopes in Alaska.

Do you love the water but find the Alaskan cruise thing too far removed? Hoping for a relaxing and unique wildlife-viewing experience? In Haines, Alaska, you might find the “Wildlife River Adventure” more your speed. First, you’ll take a bus through this quaint one-horse town, then you’ll visit the world-renowned Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. You’ll jet-boat through the narrow glacial channels of the Chilkat River, delving deep into the Alaska wilderness with eagle-nested trees and the playful sea otter’s mud-and-snow-hut dens. The expedition finishes up with hot cocoa around a campfire or inside the heated pavilion.

As one of the later states to join the union, Alaska is a wealthy land of natural beauty, profitable oil and a plethora of wildlife. After summer solstice on June 21st, the days are long, with Ketchikan, Anchorage, Fairbanks and Barrow receiving 19.5 – 24 hours of sunlight per day. Summer temperatures are around 60 – 70 on the Inland Passage, where most cruise ships stay. You can find a seven-night Alaskan cruise for as low as $699, so what are you waiting for?

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