Alaska departing Seattle
Setting sail from Seattle, this seven-day experience is the intimate Pacific Northwest escape you’ve been craving. As you approach Juneau, you’ll savour the region’s lush seascapes and marine life. Known for its small-town charms and grandiose landscapes, Juneau is a veritable playground for the wanderlust. After exploring landmarks like Mendenhall Glacier, venture to Skagway where you’ll dive into the city’s swashbuckling history. Then visit Glacier Bay, celebrated for its spectacular scenery and wildlife before hopping over to Ketchikan, the “Salmon Capital of the World.”
Seattle is a world-class city with many wonderful attractions.
The Seattle Center, location of the 1962 World’s Fair, has become a premier destination for arts, entertainment and leisure activities. The 74-acre campus is home to The Experience Music Project, The Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, and The Space Needle.
Downtown Seattle hosts the Seattle Art Museum, The Seattle Symphony, and Pike Place Market.
Historic Pioneer Square is the destination for the Seattle Underground Tour and is adjacent to CenturyLink Stadium and Safeco Field.
For a more detailed guide of things to do, places to eat, and personal accommodations, go to VisitSeattle.org
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Downtown Juneau sits snugly between Mount Juneau, Mount Roberts and Gastineau Channel, and is a maze of narrow streets running past a mix of new structures, old storefronts and quaint houses featuring early 19th-century architecture left over from the town’s early gold mining days. The waterfront bustles with cruise ships, fishing boats and floatplanes zipping in and out. With no road access to Juneau, it is the only state capital in the United States that can only be reached by aeroplane or boat.
Juneau’s lively downtown is compact, easy to navigate on foot and always a favourite with visitors. Within easy walking distance of the cruise ship docks are many of Juneau’s main attractions, including the state capitol building, Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, several museums and historic South Franklin Street, where turn-of-the-century buildings today are gift shops, restaurants and pubs.
Skagway rarely disappoints visitors. A seven-block corridor along Broadway features historic false-front shops and restaurants, wooden sidewalks, locals in period costumes and restored buildings, many of which are part of the National Park Service-managed Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. Beginning in 1897, Skagway and the nearby ghost town of Dyea was the starting place for more than 40,000 gold-rush stampeders who headed to the Yukon primarily by way of the Chilkoot Trail.
Today Skagway survives almost entirely on tourism, as bus tours and more than 400 cruise ships a year turn this small town into a boomtown again every summer. Up to five ships a day stop here and, on the busiest days, more than 8,000 visitors — 10 times the town’s resident population — march off the ships and turn Broadway Avenue into a modern-day version of the Klondike Gold Rush.
Located just a few miles from park headquarters, the town of Gustavus is the jumping-off point for adventures in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve and a charming little village of artists, fantastic gardens, wild strawberries, stunning views and even a small golf course.
With its spectacular glaciers and abundance of marine wildlife, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve has become the crown jewel in the itinerary of many cruise-ship and independent travellers. The bay features seven tidewater glaciers that spill out of the mountains and deposit icebergs of all shapes, sizes and shades of blue into the ocean.
Bartlett Cove is the park headquarters and the site of a campground, a large commercial lodge, restaurant and bar and the only maintained hiking trails in the park.
Ketchikan is known as Alaska’s “first city” due to its location at the southern tip of the Inside Passage – it is the first city you reach as you cruise north, and for many visitors, their first introduction to the beauty and majesty of Alaska.
If you spend enough time in Ketchikan chances are good it will rain at least once. The average annual rainfall is 162 inches, but it has been known top 200 inches. Local residents call it ”liquid sunshine” and umbrellas are rarely used. Rain or shine, the beauty of Ketchikan’s setting is immediately apparent. The city is backed by forested slopes and distinctively shaped Deer Mountain and faces Tongass Narrows, a waterway humming with floatplanes, fishing boats, ferries and barges hauling freight to other Inside Passage ports.
Just 90 miles north of Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Ketchikan hugs the bluffs that form the shoreline along the southwest corner of Revillagigedo Island. Stretching 31 miles long but never more than 10 blocks wide, Ketchikan is centred on Tongass Avenue.
With the mildest climate in Canada, gardens bloom year-round in Victoria. The city is tied closely to both land and sea and the rugged natural beauty of the Pacific coast encourages all-season adventures in the great outdoors.
Easily explorable by foot and at your own pace, a visit to Victoria can be as relaxing and rejuvenating as it is educational and exciting. Take advantage of the diverse historical, architectural and multicultural makeup that comes from being the oldest city in the Pacific Northwest.
From First Nations history to British colonial and Asian traditions, and the landmarks, culture, cuisine, festivals and vibrant atmosphere that come with them, Victoria, B.C. is one of the world’s favourite destinations.