SHOP THE LOOK
As much as I love the holiday season, the last couple of weeks before Christmas can always be a bit…stressful. That’s why it’s the perfect time to have a treat yo-self moment…something you can look forward to after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is over, and if I could make a recommendation to anyone, it would be to start planning a 2018 Alaskan cruise, now! I probably sound like a broken record player, but there simply aren’t enough words to explain how much Cole and I loved every second of our 7-Day Alaska cruise experience with Princess Cruises earlier this September. So instead of bombarding you with last minute holiday gift guides and sales, I’m taking a break from it all by dedicating this week on the blog to sharing ALL the photos (and videos, hopefully…working on it, y’all!) from the remaining stops on our Alaskan cruise.
Earlier this month, I shared our wonder-filled ventures in the capitol of Alaska, Juneau, and I’m starting this week off with my travel guide to the second stop on our Alaskan Cruise, gorgeous Skagway! Click through to read my recommendations on the top five things to do in Skagway, Alaska.
1. All Aboard The Scenic White Pass and Yukon Route Railway
Cole and I started our day in Skagway with the town’s number one tourist attraction. The Scenic White Pass Railway is one of those things you absolutely must do while you’re in Skagway. The train picks you off just steps from where the ship docks (literally) and there are several excursion options with various lengths of passage/time in case you’d like to squeeze in more than one excursion. Since we were docked at Skagway from dusk until dawn, Cole and I had room for two excursions, with extra time to explore the town, and we started our day on the railway. Just a little tip: I definitely recommend the earliest morning excursion option for the Skagway Scenic Railway if you’d like to fully enjoy your day in Skagway and do more than one excursion. When the train arrived back at the dock, there was a line of people a mile long to get on the afternoon train, and Cole and I had no wait at all on our morning visit.
Dubbed the “scenic railway of the world” this classic train ride makes all of your childhood train ride dreams a reality. As you journey along the railway that connects Skagway with Yukon, Canada, you’ll take in miles and miles of breathtaking views, from waterfalls to glaciers, amongst gorgeous valleys and mountains, journeying 3,000 feet above sea level. The train ride is complete with a tour guide who will fill you in on the famous Klondike Gold Rush history of the scenic route. Just one more tip – if you do choose the morning option, be sure to eat breakfast AND bring a snack on board. Cole and I did none of the above and were reallllly hungry by the time lunch came around.
2. Take in Stunning Views Right From The Dock
Skagway is located in a glaciated valley, surrounded by lush green mountains and just across from one of the most Northern fjords of the Alaskan Inside Passage. From the second we docked, I couldn’t get over how stunning the views were from every angle. We took these shots literally just steps away from where the Ruby Princess was docked. Skagway is so beautiful that I definitely recommend taking some time to explore the scenic views right from the dock and the darling village too, especially if you luck out with stunning sunny weather like we did!
3. Take a Helicopter Tour!
If you remember from my post on our first stop in Juneau, Cole and I were a little bummed at first by our helicopter tour in Juneau being cancelled due to visibility (but we quickly found more than enough fun things to see and do!), so you can imagine our surprise and excitement when we woke up to find helicopter glacier tour excursion tickets in our cabin box (because Princess’ customer service is just that wonderful!!) I had never been on a helicopter ride before, so I was SO excited for our afternoon tour. So excited, in fact, that I wasn’t even that sad about missing the husky puppy meet and greet on board the Ruby Princess during our scheduled tour (okay maybe this crazy dog lady was a little sad, but it was SO worth it!!) If the excursion had just included the helicopter ride alone, it would have been my favorite excursion, but it got even better…read on to the next point to find out about our glacier trekking experience.
I know that helicopter tours are on the expensive side, but if there is any place you’re going to do a helicopter ride, Alaska is it!! Our helicopter took us over turquoise blue fjords and crystal clear mountain top lakes, awe-striking glaciers, rolling mountains of green and more. It was truly some of the most beautiful sights Cole and I have ever seen! And that was just the start of it…
Another tip – if you really want to do an Alaskan helicopter/glacier tour, since they are available at several stops in Alaska, I recommend booking it on your first stop like Cole and I did in Juneau, and if it happens to be cancelled due to weather (and you will get your money back!), you can rebook for one of the following stops.
4. Walk on a Glacier!
Just when we thought our helicopter tour of Alaska’s inside passage couldn’t get any more magical, we touched down on the Meade Glacier. Equipped with special boots and trekking poles to safely and securely walk on the ice, we met our glacier tour guides who guided us on our 40-minute glacier trekking experience. Standing on top of a glacier allows you to truly take in the magnitude and beauty of one of the world’s natural wonders. Our tour guides were AMAZING too!! They guided us to a place where we could throw a rock down to hear the echo and see just how deep the ice went. I swear 5 seconds passed by…it was incredible!! Then we got to do something I’ve personally always wanted to do…drink the glacier water! It was as pure as delicious as I imagined! The magic didn’t end at our glacier walking tour. We got to board our helicopters once more for another 20 minute ride across Alaska’s vast beauty back to Skagway.
Tip – if you’re going to splurge one one excursion….make it the helicopter/glacier excursion. You’ll see some of the most breathtaking views of Alaska and get to do something that not a lot of people can cross off their bucket list…walk on a glacier!!
5. Eat More Alaskan King Crab!
After a long and beautiful day of exploring Skagway, Cole and I were ready for some more local Alaskan fare. After Googling some reviews, Cole found a local spot just walking distance from the ship, but still off the beaten path of the main village area – Skagway Fish Co. Once again, we had to go for the Alaskan King Crab…and it did not disappoint (just writing this is making me seriously crave some now!!) Not only was the food divine, but the wait staff was extremely welcoming and friendly. SO nice, in fact, that the restaurant contacted our ship the following day to let me know that this dodo brain had left her wallet at the restaurant (all for the photo above, y’all!) They offered to immediately ship it to our next stop, Ketchikan, so I didn’t have to go home without it. The staff was SO beyond kind and I am still SO greatly appreciative of the kindness of the local Alaskans in Skagway!
Stay tuned later this week to see photos and my full tips + guide on the final two stops on our Alaskan cruise!!
**Thanks so much to Princess Cruises for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.