The Last Frontier ALASKA – May 2016

Day 1: Flying Into Anchorage

6.5 hours (!) in a plane.

Day 2: Alaskan Railroad (Anchorage to Seward)

Alaska Sea Life Center in Seward, A

Day 3: Cruising the Hubbard Glacier

This tidewater glacier may be a bit of sleeping giant. Off the coast of Yakutat—200 miles NW of Juneau—Hubbard is certainly gigantic: it's more than six miles wide where it meets the ocean. It’s also been very active in the past, having had two major surges in the past 30 years. Those surges were big enough to cross the bay, turning the fjord into a lake and threatening to flood the coastal town of Yakutat. For now, the glacier isn’t surging, but you could say that it’s a pretty light sleeper— it does calve a lot. The face is up to 400 feet tall, and icebergs 3 to 4 stories in height aren’t uncommon. Granted, most of that ice is below water, but the ice can be so thick that cruise ships can’t get too close. In the right conditions, however, your ship might be able to get within 1/2 mile of the face.

Day 4: Juneau, Alaska

Mendenhall Glacier

The Juneau Icefield's most visible ambassador, 13-mile long Mendenhall Glacier ends at Mendenhall Lake. The glacier and surrounding landscape is a federally designated unit of the Tongass National Forest. Nestled up next to the glacier is Nugget Falls, a waterfall that drops 377 feet in two tiers onto a sandbar in Mendenhall Lake.

Alaska King Crab Feast, Mount Roberts Tramway, Lady Balitmore

Day 5: Skagway

Grizzly Falls Zip-lining, Tongass National Forest

Day 6: Icy Strait Point

Whale watching in Glacier Bay

Chichagof Island is home to more brown bears than humans, where eagles soar overhead and humpback whales are regularly seen just offshore. Surrounded by towering rainforest and set against the backdrop of mist-shrouded mountains, Icy Strait Point is Alaska Native owned-and-operated, with all profits directly supporting the community of Hoonah, Alaska’s largest Native Tlingit village.

Day 7: Ketchikan

Creek Street is a historic boardwalk perched on pilings along the banks of Ketchikan Creek in Ketchikan, Alaska. A former Red Light District, it is now a quaint place to enjoy local arts and culture.

The Totem Heritage Center preserves and perpetuates the living artistic traditions of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian peoples that gave rise to the original totem poles on display and provides the opportunity to discover, learn and practice Native arts to inspire cultural understanding. Outside the Totem Heritage Center, the salmon swim upstream.

At the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center, we explored the unique natural and cultural history of the Tongass National Forest, where people have lived in harmony with nature for thousands of years.

Day 8: Vancouver

Stanley Park, Vancouver's first, largest, and most beloved urban park, is designated a national historic site of Canada. The 400-hectare natural West Coast rainforest boasts scenic views of water, mountains, sky, and majestic trees along Stanley Park's famous Seawall. The park is also home to Canada's largest aquarium.

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