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An adventure to the last frontier!

Alaska is one of those places that reminds you of how lucky you are to live on such a beautiful earth. When you gaze out in any direction you’ll see snow capped mountains and evergreens growing on top of each other from the meeting of land and deep green water all the way to the tip top of mountains. I was lucky enough to see this amazing land on the Disney Wonder cruise ship with my family.

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Disney Wonder in Skagway, AK

Day 1: We left out of Vancouver Monday afternoon and set out to a day at sea.

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Day 2: During our time at sea, we spotted dolphins and whales from our balcony. My family & I spanned across 4 balconies & worked as a huge mega unit of whale watchers… excitingly passing the binoculars off to each other like a baton in a relay race. Laine and Bree spent time coloring and participated in activities at the “Oceaneers club/lab” (a space created for kids just their age on the ship).

Day 3: We arrived in Skagway, Alaska on Wednesday. The Beard family signed up for a zip lining excursion, the Mathis family signed up for a city tour, and the Dodson family signed up for a dog-sled adventure. My mom, brother, & I walked through the town which has kept its old town character. We stopped in a few places to read about the small town and its role during the Klondike Gold Rush.

Day 4: The next day we were supposed to cruise down the Tracy Arm fjord, however the water was iced over. Our captain took an alternate route down Endicott Arm fjord to Dawes Glacier. As we cruised down this fjord we spotted seals on an iceberg & a bear on the shore. Though our route changed, we were NOT disappointed. We were impressed with the scenery and glacier. We even got to see the calving processΒ (chunks of the ice break off) take place also!

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Endicott Arm Fjord
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A Princess cruise ship on the other side of Endicott Arm Fjord
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Hanging glacier spotted along Endicott Arm fjord
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Endicott Arm fjord, one of my favorite pictures
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Where liquid meets ice
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Dawes Glacier
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Family selfie on our balcony. Missing Bree, Matt, & Eddie.

Day 5: The next day we arrived in Juneau, Alaska. We signed up to do a whale watching and hike excursion through Disney. We hopped in with Gastineau Guiding Company (they were great) and headed toward our whale watching boat. On the way we saw a massive amount of bald eagles!

After we boarded the boat, we went by the company’s crab pot to see what it had caught. Joaquin leaned over and pulled it out of the water to find a variation of fish, crabs, and snails in the pot!

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Joaquin pulling up the crab pot!

After learning about the different species in the crab pot, we set out to see some whales. Luckily it was a great day for it- we saw multiple humpback whales, harbor seals, & even dorsal fins belonging to a pod of killer whales! Thankfully the company provided binoculars for us to use.

After whale watching we were given snacks & headed to Tongass National Forest. Throughout our hike, our guide pointed out different types of plants and Laine, Bree, & Joaquin took water samples before we arrived at the beautiful Mendenhall glacier.

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Laine & Mendenhall Glacier in the background
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Mendenhall glacier
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Tongass National Forest

After our hike, the Beard family, my mom, brother, & I hopped off the van in downtown Juneau.Β  Jon, Laine, & Joaquin raced to the Mount Roberts Tramway lift while my mom, brother, & I went to the famous Tracy’s King Crab Shack.Β  Jacob & I ordered their #1 combo while Mom ordered the crab bisque for lunch. Sara ordered a crepe at the Alaskan Crepe Escape. It was worth every penny. πŸ™‚

After lunch, we walked through the downtown area of Juneau. It reminded us of Skagway but just a little larger.

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Juneau,Β  AK

Day 6: After Juneau, we cruised the next day to Ketchikan, Alaska. We debarked the ship and attended the Great Alaskan Lumberjack show. It was a competition between the US & Canada in skills requiring saws of all sorts (including chainsaws). Afterwards, we walked through the town & stopped into stores that looked interesting. My mom & I discovered a cute gourmet chocolate shop called KetchiCandies and bought an assortment box and chocolate covered mint patties… I will confess, they didn’t last long mainly because of me. IMG_2479

After exploring the town, my mom & I split fish & chips at the Alaska Fish House, conveniently right by our ship. It was delicious! We went during an off time so we actually found a place to sit inside. Other members of our family hung out & ate pizza at Fat Stan’s nearby.

After we had enough of shopping around, we called it a day and headed back to the ship.

Day 7: We had one more day at sea & luckily the weather was absolutely perfect- clear sunny skies with a perfect temperature. We made sure to enjoy every moment we had left.

We were also given a beautiful evening.

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Cheers to great times exploring beautiful Alaska with the ones you love most! Thanks, Disney!

-Chesney

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