Alaska Cruise Diary: Skagway & Ketchikan

The bustling metropolis of Skagway, Alaska:

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It’s an adorable, little town (population 800) that looks like a movie set. In the winter it completely closes down and even during the summer it’s very tranquil. We chose to spend our day in Skagway hiking the trails right outside town. The sights were beautiful.

This is Icy Lake:

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The water is really, really blue (no photo editing):

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On the sandy beach of Icy Lake we spotted this:

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Two people told me “there are no bears” before we left on our hike: the park ranger at the office where we picked up the trail map, and the guy at the sporting goods store where we picked up the bear pepper spray. Right… no bears, I wasn’t buying it. I was, however, feeling a lot more confident with bear pepper spray in our possession, and we made lots of noise as we hiked (please read these tips for what to do if you see a bear). Also, the terrain was open and allowed for a better line of sight than the thick brush where we saw the bear in Juneau. The trails looked like this:

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This is Lower Dewey Lake:

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And this was our big reward, Upper Reid Falls, the end of the trail. By the time we got there, we were so exhausted and sore. Hiking for approximately 5 miles is no joke, especially up to 850 feet elevation.

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We rested a bit and took a moment to celebrate.

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More proof that Skagway looks like a movie set:

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The evening of our hike, we enjoyed a special treat onboard the Carnival Legend called The Chef’s Table. The first part of the experience was in the main kitchen. We sampled 4-5 “appetizers” that were like works of art, and I volunteered to help the Head Chef make their famous chocolate melting cake. (He’s either laughing at my cooking skills or I have mad jokes. I’ll let you guys decide.)

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The second part of the evening involved a 7-course, sit-down dinner with lots of wine. The experience is an additional cost, but they spoil you beyond belief and it was well worth it, even for a self-described not-really-a-foodie like myself. The food tasted as good as it looked:

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Our last port was Ketchikan. Another adorable town with a slightly bigger population (approx. 8,000):

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Our first stop was the “Canopy Adventure & Wildlife Expedition.” It boasts 7 zip lines and more than 4,500 feet of cables. The bears don’t come out until salmon season, so there wasn’t much wildlife. It was still a fun experience though!

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After the zip lining we headed to their gift shop area, where we found these winged beauties. All of them are unable to live in the wild due to their various injuries and are cared for by a local nonprofit. The glory of a bald eagle that close up is hard to describe. They are giant, majestic creatures.

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We spent the rest of the day shopping and hanging out in downtown Ketchikan:

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I couldn’t have asked for a better honeymoon. Alaska was cool and all, but my favorite part of this trip was this guy right here.

This is the end of our cruise diary but I’ll be sharing a “What to Pack for Alaska” post in the next couple weeks with details on outfits and packing recommendations!

This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind.