Southeast Alaska may be part of the United States, but it sits in an icy wonderland separated from the rest of the country. It is a mostly wild place, with disconnected cities and towns that are reminiscent of the late 1800’s. Glaciers move in minuscule increments while whales play off the shores. This area of Alaska is pristine and, thanks to American Cruise Lines, today’s Outpost is all about what the traveler can find here.
Juneau, the capital of Alaska and second-largest city by area in the United States, has no roads leading to another city. It lies at the base of Mount Juneau, where the traveler can see glaciers atop the mountain from the roads below. These are the Mendenhall Glacier and the Lemon Creek Glacier. Though, the adventurous traveler can witness up to 30 glaciers that make up the massive Juneau Ice Field with a bit of a hike up Mount Juneau. Even from downtown, scenic hiking trails are only 10 minutes away. Here the traveler has many options for to enjoy the great outdoors. Ziplining, fishing, hiking, camping, wildlife and whale watching—all ready to be experienced.
North of Juneau is Skagway, a small town with the population of 1,057 that doubles in the summer tourist season. It is a quaint town, with store fronts that remain traditional in the vein of the Gold Rush era. A popular port for cruise ships, the passengers will find about 100 buildings from this era. Leading directly from downtown Skagway are trails that take the lucky explorer to pure wilderness and sights that bewilder the senses. From coastal rainforests to snowy alpine zones, the Chilkoot Trail offers a 33-mile trail that can be done in any increments the traveler chooses. The setting for Jack London’s The Call of the Wild, travelers looking for the wonder of nature will not be disappointed by Skagway’s out-of-the-way appeal.
There are other natural areas that are not so close to cities and towns, such as Glacier Bay. This national park and wildlife reserve covers 3.3 million acres of mountains, glaciers, rainforest, wild coastlines, and fjords that are untouched by the hand of man. Tracey Arm, south of Juneau, is a fjord with 1,500-foot vertical cliffs jutting into the air. At the end of the fjord is the North and South Sawyer Glacier, an impressive sight at the end of a trip through the vertical cliffs.
The coasts and mountains of southeast Alaska are perfect for the traveler looking to get away from the noise of civilization. That’s why American Cruise Lines has created their 8-day/7-night Southeast Alaska Cruise. With stops to all the aforementioned places, the traveler will be taken care of with pleasant, comfortable accommodations and breathtaking views of whales, eagles, and scenic shorelines.