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ALASKA: BY SEA AND LAND
We just returned from another magical trip to Alaska, combining great early-fall weather with a Holland America cruise from Vancouver to Seward and time on land exploring new areas (for us) of this great state.
Highlights have to include:
*A day in Vancouver before we sailed, including a wide variety of fresh seafood (and lively vibe) at downtowns Coast restaurant and a restorative jetlag-solving room at the lovely Fairmont Waterfront.
*Yet another nice cruise with Holland America, including our first visits to the lesser-known (for now) ports of Haines and Sitka. We enjoyed several excellent shore excursions (a favorite was the Bike & Brew in Juneau, which ended at Alaskan Brewing Company) and great glacier viewing in the Inside Passage, as well as excellent onboard dining (we love the Food & Wine Culinary Arts Center classes), sublime spa treatments, and typically great Holland America staff and service.
*A stay at Sewards peaceful Seward Windsong Lodge near Exit Glacier; wildlife watching and scenery gawking with Kenai Fjords Tours; kayaking out of Seward; rental car excursions around the Kenai Peninsula (a new Holland America offering); great views at Alyeska Resort; a stay at Tutka Bay Lodge, which is one of a trio of famed Within the Wild wilderness lodges; a great visit to Kodiak Island, including our first Kodiak bear sighting (see video) and lovely stay at Channel View Bed & Breakfast ; plus an overnight in cosmopolitan Anchorage before (sadly) heading home.
We returned with a ton of new photography and a wide variety of story angles. Heres an Alaska feature that just ran in AAA Journeys.