Back from the Final Frontier

Anchorage, Alaska

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I’m on my way back from a week-long cruise along Alaska’s inner-passage. The very impressive Final Frontier.

First of all, Regent Seven Seas Mariner is the bomb. I’m not that big of a fan of cruises: the masses, the eating schedules and the unauthentic travel experience (hey, get out the cameras, there’s another t-shirt shop!). But Regent is the exact opposite. It’s a small boat (around 700 passengers), with a fantastic level of service (nearly 1:1 passenger to staff ratio).

We visited ports that larger ships might not have been able to get to. The day trips were well planned and organized. And, the unlimited Alaskan king crab legs, trays of smoked salmon, delicious shrimp and free-flowing drinks never got old (well, except towards the end, kind of).

After a day in Vancouver, we hit the seas and visited the ports of Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Sitka, Seward and Anchorage, Alaska. We scoured trails on Israeli-made ATVs, took helicopters to an isolated dog mushing camp on Mendenhall Glacier to race with huskies being trained for the Iditarod, went kayaking in a pristine lake after a ride on the White Pass Railroad, hiked in Tongass National Forest, spotted sea otters, humpback whales, brown bear cubs, seals and bald eagles on a wildlife cruise and watched in awe as huge pieces of ice calved off of Hubbard Glacier.

Alaska is rugged and vast. The terrain reminded me of Maine on steroids. If given the chance, it’s certainly worth the visit. The state is a reminder of the awe and beauty nature can instill in us all — and the importance of taking whatever steps we need to preserve it for future generations to enjoy.

I’ve just put up a small sampling of photos on Facebook. Enjoy!

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