Of all the places I’ve had the privilege to sail to, Alaska is still planted firmly at the top of my list. I never get tired of visiting this stunning locale, and next July, I’m headed back there again.  And this time, you can all come along with me – in person!

I’m honoured to announce that I will be personally escorting Vancouver-based Cruise Expert Travel’s exclusive, 11-Day Best of Alaska Ultimate Cruise Tour departing from Fairbanks, Alaska on July 6, 2013.

Come along with me on an exclusive Alaskan CruiseTour next year, in conjunction with Vancouver’s Cruise Experts Travel! Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

The adventure begins in Fairbanks, Alaska.  Home to just under 100,000 residents in the overall metropolitan area, the northern city of Fairbanks serves as a fantastic jumping-off point for the adventures that lie ahead of us.

Climb aboard the Riverboat Discovery during our cruisetour for a trip back in time! Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises

After an overnight stay and breakfast at the hotel, we’ll set off for a journey aboard the Riverboat Discovery for a look at how travel to Fairbanks was accomplished in the late 1880’s.  Some of the most beautiful scenery in Alaska is yours to enjoy on this relaxing morning cruise, showcasing just how remote much of this great state really is.  In the evening, we’ll head to Pioneer Park for an authentic Alaskan Salmon Bake dinner – an event not to be missed on any trip to Alaska (the salmon is delicious!)

But Alaska’s true beauty is arguably most evident in Denali National Park, which is why we’ll spend an entire day and overnight stay in what is affectionately referred to as the Crown Jewel of the North. Here, we’ll travel deep into the pristine wilderness of the park in search of bears, moose, caribou, and dall sheep on a half-day tour.

The breathtaking beauty of Denali National Park is ours to discover during a full day and overnight stay. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia / Creative Commons

After an overnight stay in Denali, we’ll head to Anchorage.  On the way, we’re stopping at the home of a man named Martin Buser, a four-time Iditarod Musher.  He’s going to teach us the ins and outs of mushing sled dogs in Alaska, as well as sharing some of his Iditarod experiences.  For those unfamiliar with it, the Iditarod is a massive annual sled dog race that runs every March from Anchorage to Nome.  It takes between nine and fifteen days to finish successfully, over some of the harshest conditions in the state.

There will be time to explore Anchorage as we spend the night here before setting off for Seward and Princess Cruises’ Coral Princess!

Princess Cruises’ Coral Princess, sister-ship to Island Princess (above) will be our home for seven glorious days of cruising fun! Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

Once onboard, a week of fun, relaxation and adventure are in store for us.  One of the key features of this cruise itinerary is that it visits not one, but two, of Alaska’s most spectacular glaciers: the 122-kilometer Hubbard Glacier and the breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site that is Glacier Bay, Alaska. Along with Denali National Park, these two picturesque days will likely leave you speechless.

Few things can match the beauty and grandeur of Glacier Bay, Alaska. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

In Skagway, Alaska, those who have never been to this Gold Rush town should definitely take in an excursion aboard the White Pass & Yukon Railroad, a narrow-gauge rail system built in 1898 to transport prospectors from Skagway to nearby Whitehorse, in Canada’s Yukon. While it transports tourists today, this amazingly scenic journey was literally the lifeline for Skagway for decades.

The railroad was a critical lifeline for the Gold Rush town of Skagway, Alaska. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

The next day, Coral Princess arrives in the Capital of Alaska, Juneau.  Here, you can visit nearby Mendenhall Glacier, take the tram up to the top of Mount Roberts, or simply explore some of the city’s numerous shops and attractions, like the tongue-in-cheek Red Dog Saloon.

The State Capital of Juneau, Alaska. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

Finally, Ketchikan is one of my favorite ports of call in Alaska.  Why? It’s quaint and accessible, yet bustling with personality and culture.  It’s also the self-proclaimed “Salmon Capital of the World”, so be sure to indulge in some of Alaska’s locally-caught seafood while you’re ashore; you won’t regret it!

Ketchikan – the Salmon Capital of the World, and one of my personal favorite ports of call in Alaska. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

For our last day aboard Coral Princess before she arrives back at Vancouver’s Canada Place cruise ship terminal, we’ll get to take part in one of the most scenic cruising experiences anywhere in the world: a journey through the glorious Inside Passage running parallel to the Alaskan and British Columbian coast.

Sailing the magnificent Inside Passage: one of the prime reasons to take an Alaskan cruise. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

It’s also a great opportunity to spend one last day enjoying all the comforts that the elegant Coral Princess has to offer, like Movies Under the Stars, the Sanctuary, or the unique Bayou Café & Steakhouse.

The beautiful atrium aboard Princess Cruises’ Coral Princess. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

The full itinerary:

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So come along with myself and Cruise Experts Travel next July on this exciting adventure to the Last Frontier! Can’t be there in person? No worries – we’ll be covering the entire Cruise Tour here in an exciting Live Voyage Report!

Click here for full details and pricing on this exclusive Cruise Tour offered by Cruise Experts Travel!  Other dates are also available in both North and Southbound directions.


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