Looking back on 2021 – it was a good year in many ways.
How did this past year go by so fast – again.
As I reflect on 2021, both photographically and personally, I can say that I was fortunate to have had a good year. Yes, the continuing Covid pandemic had an impact, but I prefer to focus on all the positives instead.
There are many options for excursions on an Alaska cruise. It’s easy to do Skagway excursions on your own and go off the beaten path with a self drive trip to explore the road to Carcross Yukon and back again. I am sharing my Skagway travel experience including tips on how to get the most of your independent day in Skagway.
A cruise through southeast Alaska is a convenient way to stop and discover the coastal towns that are not always easy to get to by other means. My recent Alaska cruise offered many Skagway excursions to discover this historic port. Tempting as they were though, this time I chose to take my own road less traveled to Carcross, Yukon in Canada.
If you are a quilter taking a cruise in Alaska, taking a dedicated Alaska quilting cruise, or are just exploring Alaska on your own, you will find this list of Alaska quilt shops helpful.
An Alaska cruise is at the top of many people’s wish list. Quilters can get the best of both worlds by participating in a quilting cruise that includes an Alaska itinerary. But you do not have to be on a dedicated quilter’s cruise to explore and enjoy the quilt shops in an Alaska destination. This list of Alaska quilt shops will allow you to indulge in fabric shopping at all of these popular Alaska destinations.
Want to visit Fairbanks in winter? I am sharing my one week itinerary, personal experiences and tips on seeing the northern lights in Fairbanks, along with ideas for other things to do in Fairbanks and the surrounding area.
Alaska is a popular travel destination. With glaciers, an abundance of wildlife and the tallest mountain in North America, the diversity of things to see and do is as big as the state. But for most people, an Alaska journey usually takes place in the summer months. Not for my husband and I. Always on the lookout for unique travel experiences, we chose to visit Fairbanks in winter so that we could see the northern lights.
One of the best reasons to visit Fairbanks, Alaska in winter is to see the amazing sculptures created during the World Ice Art Championships that are held here each year. The year we visited, this highly detailed and delicate ice sculpture was my favorite. Two acrobats are frozen in time as they perform their aerial acrobatics with ice rings. This sculpture was impressive to see during the day, but it really came alive at night once it was lit up.
One of the experiences I enjoyed most during my winter visit to Denali National Park a few years ago, was spending some time with the park’s sled dogs. Since Denali NP is under snow for so many months of the year, the rangers use sleds pulled by Alaska huskies to patrol the park. The day we were there, most of the dogs were out with the rangers, but a few were taking it easy in their little wooden dog houses. We were told that if the dogs come out and get on top of their dog houses, they are willing to be social and get attention. This beautiful pup was quite friendly and happy to have us provide some love. And since we were the only people in the park that day because it was the middle of February, we had the dogs all to ourselves.
The tallest peak in North America can often be difficult to see. But on a visit to Alaska one winter, I was fortunate to see Denali peeking out above the clouds. In fact, the 20,310 foot tall mountain was visible from almost 200 miles away as I was driving from Anchorage to Fairbanks.
This was an epic year of travel for me – the best ever. I was very fortunate to be able to go somewhere special each month.
I visited National Parks in the US as well as a few new places in my home country. I had a completely unique experience as a volunteer citizen scientist in Kenya. And my feet touched the soil of South America for the first time. To top it all off, I was totally spoiled on a one of a kind barge cruise on the Burgundy Canal in France. I don’t think any year in travel can get much better.
Alaska is a popular travel destination, and there is no easier way to see southeast Alaska than on a cruise ship. Use my Alaska cruise excursion tips for Alaska’s most popular cruise ship ports to help you plan your best bucket list Alaska trip.
I have always felt that if you ever only take one cruise in your whole life, it should be to Alaska. It is a huge state with some of the least accessible national parks in the US, including the very popular Glacier Bay National Park which can only be visited by boat. The various ports of call and the many choices offered on Alaska cruise excursions provide opportunities to easily see more of this incredibly scenic state. Here are my Alaska cruise excursion tips based on the Alaska cruises I have taken in the last few years to help you plan your best Alaska trip possible.
One of my Alaska cruise excursions in Sitka took us to The Fortress of the Bear, a non for profit sanctuary that saves orphaned bears. When a bear mother dies, her orphaned cubs cannot survive without her and would have to be euthanized by state game officials. The Fortress of the Bear organization has converted old, unused water clarifier tanks from a defunct paper mill into large habitats for orphaned Alaskan brown bears and black bears. The sanctuary serves as both a rescue and rehabilitation center and as an educational facility. It’s probably the closest you will ever be able to get to a bear and see them behave as they would in a the wild.