I’ve always dreamed of going to Alaska. In high school, I had a mural of magazine photos depicting beautiful places around the world and many of them were from Alaska. Over the years, we made plans to to visit Alaska but never followed through.
This summer, we finally made it to Alaska! It was different than I imagined but in many ways it was even better.
Not only have I wanted to visit Alaska, but I had my own Alaska bucket list. it included a visit to Denali National Park, train rides, Glacier National Park, wildlife viewing, etc.
Unlike last year’s trip, we didn’t have time to take three weeks off to tour the state. The different parts of Alaska I wanted to see aren’t connected by roads either. That means travel by boat or airplane.
After some research, I decided that I should pick either Denali National Park or Glacier Bay National Park and plan a trip around one of those parks.
I’ve always wanted to see Glacier Bay, but both parks would be amazing, so I asked my teenager. He said Glacier Bay, so that’s where we headed!
The next decision was whether or not to take a cruise to Alaska or travel independently. Only two percent of Glacier Bay visitors actually step foot in the park. The other 98 percent are cruise boat travelers. There are a few large cruise ship lines that have Glacier Bay on their itinerary. Only a couple of boats are allowed in the park a day.
There are also some small cruise ships that come in. These do dock at the park. These tours are considerably more expensive than regular cruises.
In the end, we decided to travel independently. This isn’t the best option for everyone, but we absolutely loved it. Not only did we get a chance to really enjoy the park, we felt like we got to meet a lot of Alaska residents and see a side of the state most people don’t get to.