Sponsored by Crystal Cruises©
The majority of Alaska is unlike anywhere else in the world: untouched by modern times, untainted by suburban sprawl, untamed by civilization. This wild expanse is undeniably a place lost in time, a sight to behold, an experience to treasure. What exactly makes Alaska so magical? It may be impossible to paint the full picture, but here are a few highlights of Alaska.
Time can sometimes be a tricky thing to comprehend—it usually takes something big, something grand, to truly grasp a sense of history. Few things accomplish this like a glacier, and few glaciers are like the Mendenhall. First forming in the Juneau Icefield over 3000 years ago, the Mendenhall Glacier predates the majority of Ancient Rome. Unlike a great many other glaciers (and major historical landmarks), it’s very accessible. Lying just 12 miles outside of Juneau, the 13-mile stretch of ancient ice is massive—meaning there’s ample opportunity to explore the various vantage points of it. Hiking the area isn’t particularly difficult (compared to say, summiting a mountain), but expect the views to take your breath away all the same.
On August 16, 1896, gold was found along the Klondike River, and Manifest Destiny moved north. The stampede of gold miners provided a population boom to the tiny settlements that had been established at this edge of the world, paving the way to the towns filled with rich history today. For example, a visit to Skagway provides a glimpse back in time, thanks to its prominent place in the path of the prospectors long ago. The town itself still houses buildings from the era, the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad run vintage locomotives, and the Trail of ’98 Museum allows you to discover the intricacies of the past thanks to a prominent collection of antique memorabilia. For a more hands-on approach to history, the Chilkoot trail provides the chance to trace the footsteps of the yesteryear up the steep mountainside—offering views that have barely changed in the last century.
It might be the prevalence of modern cities or the impact of zoos on our perceptions, but somewhere in society, we lost appreciation for what animals are—wild. Nothing imparts that appreciation quite like witnessing them in their natural habitat. From catching glimpses of humpback whales as they surface to spotting bears and bucks far off amongst the foliage or seeing salmon shooting by in bays and rivers. From eagles far overhead to more intimate moments like kayaking with playful otters, there’s an absolute bevy of wildlife to witness.
Ready to voyage out into the Earth’s fantastic final frontier and experience the highlights of Alaska? As with any adventure, it’s best not to go it alone. Contact one of our cruise specialists today, and they can help you with every facet of your trip. From tailoring for individual preferences to booking with industry-leading cruise lines like Crystal Cruises, plotting an adventure has never been easier.