The Last Frontier

This past July I had the amazing opportunity of going on an Alaskan cruise with my family! Upon arriving in Anchorage we got settled into our rooms the Hotel Captain Cook, leaving us the rest of the day to explore the the city. While in Anchorage we took a trolley tour of the city that gave us a glimpse of the city and it’s infamous Earthquake Park!

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{Our first glimpse of Alaska was flying over the mountains!}

To make our way from Anchorage to Seward, AK, (where we would board our ship) we took a 4 hour train ride across the state. While on the train we took in the most beautiful scenery, speeding past mountains and through various tunnesl(so many photo opportunities!); it really was a day to remember!

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{The train ride was absolutely beautiful!}

Having never been on a cruise ship before, I was taken aback by how massive the MS Noordam was. Once we found our rooms and got settled for the week the exploring began! Be it soaking in the hot tub on the Lido deck at sunset or eating one too many pieces of pizza at the all-you-can eat buffet (who’s counting?), there was always something to do!

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{Boarding the MS Noordam in Seward, AK!}

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{Our first evening on the ship, leaving the coast behind us heading out to sea!}

On the days that we were docked we had the opportunity to step off the boat for a few hours and either explore the city or to venture off into the last frontier (with a guide of course!) through one of the many excursions offered through Holland America! My favourite day was by far our stop in Haines; after leaving the ship we met up with our guide and a short time later were making our way down the Chilikat Inlet with about 30 other passengers. On top of the beauty that was the Chilikat Inlet, we even got a chance to see 3 Orca whales surface by our boat! After about minutes on the boat we pulled up to shore where we were met by three tour guides who would show us the area for the rest of the afternoon. After a quick snack we all geared up (life jackets and rubber boots are a must!) we made our way through the forest to the canoes which brought us about a 1 mile walk from the base of the Davidson Glacier. The closer the closer we got to the glacier the colder the air got– glacier ice freezes at -2 degrees Celsius and is also a different density than normal ice giving it the blue colour! By supper time we were back in Haines re-boarding the cruise ship, and boy was I ready for supper!

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{This photo was taken roughly 1 kilometer from the base of the Davidson Glacier, it was quite the hike but definitely worth it!}

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{Being able to touch the glacier was a really awesome experience (and a very cold one!)}

Okay so maybe I was wrong, I have two favourite days (can one really be expected to choose?)! The other day that I loved was actually one of the days that we spent out at sea. The captain took our ship through Glacier Bay National Park which is actually a UNESCO heritage sight. The water was almost a turquoise colour and we had the most perfect weather, with a good lens or pair of binoculars you could see bears walking on the shore with there cubs and even the odd seal floating by on pieces of glacier ice!

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{The turquoise water was beautiful!}

We didn’t end up going on excursions every day we were docked, we chose to explore the city of Juneau on our own for the day which ended up being a lot of fun! I had the opportunity to try crab cakes, find myself some souvenirs and explore the historic district which made for a pretty awesome day. Juneau is a unique city, built in 1880 when the dream of striking rich during the gold rush attracted many a hopeful. There is no way to drive into Juneau, it is situated at the base of a number of mountains and is split in half by the Gastineau Channel! It is home to one of the Mount Roberts Tramway, one of the tallest vertical tramways in the world, taking visitors up a staggering 1800 feet and offering amazing views of the city below!

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{Hanging out at the waterfront in Juneau!}

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{Almost at the top of the Mount Roberts Tramway in Juneau!}

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{The top of the Mount Roberts Tramway!}

All in all, Alaska was a dream! But like any experienced traveler knows, efficient packing is an important part of the planning process– but who says efficient can’t also be cute!? Here are some of my picks for your Alaskan adventure!

XO Emma

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This dress is the perfect choice for gala night!

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This scarf would be perfect for a day spent at sea– drape it over your shoulders to get double the wear as a shawl!

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A warm jacket is a must for an Alaskan cruise! You may find that the weather is warm the whole trip, but if that isn’t the case you will be thankful you brought a jacket (yes, even in July)! The weather out at sea can change quickly, and the temperature drops significantly in the evening! The fleece lining on this coat is actually a vest making this choice not only fashionable and warm, but a smart choice for anyone with limited space in their suitcase!

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This romper is not only a fashionable option but it also works well for layering, which should always be kept in mind when packing for longer vacations! Throw on a turtleneck underneath for a cooler day or evening spent on the ship to transition with the weather and/or time of day! 

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A good pair of leggings are a must when visiting Alaska! Throw on a black t-shirt, some sneakers and a light grey cardigan for a day exploring the city, or pair it with a shirt-dress and heels for dinner and a movie in the ship’s movie theater! 

 

 

 

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