When I first learned that my family and I were going on a cruise to Alaska, I didn’t know what to expect. I pictured a wood cabin covered in snow in the middle of a gigantic forest. The blazing summer heat was getting to me and I was excited to feel the cool Alaskan air against my skin. I had heard great things about Alaska and I was about to experience it myself.
Soon enough, I found myself in a plane heading to Vancouver, Canada. As soon as we landed and got to our hotel we ate lunch. However, despite how tired we were, we knew that we had to see the sights of Vancouver.
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We jumped in a van and took a tour around our hotel. The highlight of the day was seeing the Vancouver Canucks stadium. As my mind drifted to sleep, I imagined what surprises would await and what fun we would have in our journey to “the last frontier.”
My eyes got wide as soon as I stepped on the Diamond Princess. We found our stateroom (that had a balcony) and went to have lunch by the pools. There was a giant movie theatre screen hovering over us playing footage about Alaskan traditions. Over the next few hours, I enjoyed the ship, but then it was time for the sail away party on the main deck. Everyone on board was having a blast. That night, we ate dinner in the beautiful two tiered dining room. In two days, I would be in Alaska.
The first day in Alaska came in no time. I awoke that morning and looked outside as the bright sun poked through the clouds. I was wearing shorts comfortably, but I needed a sweatshirt for warmth. I peered around the corner of my balcony and saw a small village called Ketchikan. After eating an early yet delicious breakfast, we headed on over to our tour guide. She drove us to a semi-remote area that is known for its wildlife sightings. As we walked through the forest, she encouraged us to be quiet and keep our eyes open. By the end of the tour, we came across two bears, some rather large salmon, and a bald eagle. Our first day in Alaska was like a dream.
The next stop was an old sleepy city called Skagway. During this excursion, we took military style Humvees up into the mountains to meet Iditarod racing dogs and their trainers. We rumbled around in the trucks as they climbed the narrow slopes. I felt the air getting thinner and colder around me. When we finally reached the top, I petted the barking dogs and went on a simulation dog sledding ride. It was tough saying bye to the dogs, but we had a great day.
Looking back, my favorite excursion was our bottom fishing trip in Juneau. We were fishing for halibut in 500 feet deep water. I was the second person to get a bite on the boat. A halibut tugged on my line and it fought me for a good 20 minutes. I reeled it onto the boat and the experts measured it to be 40 pounds and 40 inches. It was a really nice size fish. The best part was my dad attempting to catch a bigger fish than me. Once he thought he had a trophy size fish on his line, but it turned out to be a giant rock instead. That cracked me up.
We spent the rest of our adventure visiting Denali National Park. Alaska was one of my favorite trips I’ve ever taken. The itinerary was unbeatable and everyone had boat loads of fun. I would gladly go back to Alaska any time again. I would highly recommend that anyone take a family vacation to explore Alaska because it’s one of the most unique atmospheres in the world.
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