Alaska & Yukon
Rather than an Alaska cruise we would like to suggest something more authentic. This is a pallet of many experiences, with breathtaking scenery and wildlife, with the added interest of the goldrush.
A rough outline: head north along the Pacific Coast up the Inside Passage using the state run ferry service of the Alaskan Marine Highway. A pleasant two day one night trip with the scenery getting more dramatic, the highlight is the zig zag through the Wrangle Passage. From Juneau you may wish to consider a side trip, with a hop by small aircraft across the mountains for a couple of days at the spectacular Glacier Bay. A cruise in the bay itself is a must, but the lodge is a very peaceful and relaxing place as a stopover point, add to that a Whale Watching trip to look for the humpbacks perhaps?
Re-join The A.M.H. for the most scenic part of the coast up the Lynd Canal to Skagway. This was the main frontier town for the Klondike Goldrush and still has the pioneer atmosphere with its wooden side walks. This was the point where each hopeful prospector had to haul one ton of supplies up the shear mountain side of the Chilkoot Trail to the Canadian Border at the top, before they were let into the Yukon. The historical aspect of this is fascinating, as they had to then fell timber and build boats & rafts, for when the ice melted and then sail or paddle the treacherous 500mile trip downstream via the rapids of Whitehorse to the gold fields at Dawson City, an extraordinary feet of endurance.
Out of Skagway now runs one the world’s most scenic railroads, which winds its way north. From Whitehorse it’s possible to describe a circle by road, using a combination of the Alaskan; Klondike and Top of the World Highways, with Dawson City at the top of the loop. Most of the route is paved road although part of it near Chicken is a gravel road. It is suitable by car, or for some real adventure by motorhome (RV). Despite the size of the vehicles, there are no traffic or manoeuvring issues in this part of the world and being self contained you can stay almost wherever you wish and take advantage of the views.The circular route will encompass a The Kluane National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary; jade blue lakes and some of the most dramatic scenery in the world.
Dawson is in effect the capital of the Klondike and is also still a frontier town with wood board walks and saloons. Parts of the town are especially photogenic as the thawing permafrost has caused numerous old wooden buildings to lean and topple at dramatic drunken angles. You can travel out of town and up the famous Bonanza Creek and to see the gold workings and vast old wooden dredgers.
To make it a once in a life time trip, we can add a side trip see the bears hunting salmon at the Katmai National Park.
Please note– due to the very short season in Alaska and The Yukon, it’s imperative this is booked 12-6 months ahead, as accommodation is very limited and often block-booked by the cruise ship companies for their excursions.
This is a rough frame work to expand and contract into the best fit, please call to discuss
A great book– If you wish to learn more about the Gold Rush, then we would like to recommend you reading the following book. Black Sand and Gold, by Ella Lung Marinsen, published by Binford & Mort
ISBN 10: 0832301892 / 0-8323-0189-2, ISBN 13: 9780832301896