Even though today is the first official day of summer, mentally I have been on a lounge chair bathing in sunshine with the soothing sound of waves lapping at the sides of a ship in my ears and the cool sensation of ocean spray on my skin for months now. We have trudged our way through the winter, admittedly my least favorite of all seasons, and I’m ready to make that daydream a reality. I’m ready to book our next cruise.
Last night my husband and I sat down at the computer to do a little planning for our next trip. At this point we have sailed all over the caribbean and the Bahamas and I was ready to make the case for the Mexican Riviera. A trip to Los Angeles to catch the boat? Cabo San Lucas? Puerto Vallarta? Yes, please.
Only my husband, while tempted by the chance to dip his toes in the Pacific Ocean for the first time, had a very different idea for this year’s cruise.
“Let’s go to Alaska!”
“Alaska?” I was not enthused. A pina colada by the glacier did not sound appealing.
“Yes. I’ve always wanted to take an Alaskan cruise. Don’t you want to change things up a little?”
He looked so hopeful that I agreed to at least take a look at the shore excursions Norwegian Cruise Line had to offer. I pulled the computer onto my lap and began to explore the itinerary. Five minutes into my research of Alaskan adventures I realized how very sneaky my husband is. Many of the excursions were things I had talked at length about wanting to do together in our travels. Only the pull of a sunny locale had me wearing blinders. My husband knew that a little investigation would change my mind.
Here are the top three excursions that won me over:
- Whale-watching and wildlife quest – Seeing a whale in its natural habitat has been on my life list since I was a teenager. I’ve always been fascinated by marine life and this excursion holds the opportunity to not only see humpback whales but also sea lions, porpoises, bald eagles, and harbor seals.
- Mendenhall Glacier Lake Canoe – “See a glacier” is another item from my list of travel to-dos and this excursion in Juneau allows you to paddle in a traditional Native canoe to the face of the Mendenhall glacier. My heart beats faster just thinking of the photographs I could capture at the base of a glacier.
- Dogsledding and Glacier Flightseeing Helicopter – I imagine that a glacier is something to appreciate from above and below and, thanks to too much reality television, I’ve long dreamed of taking a scenic helicopter ride. Plus, dog-sledding is something I’ve been interested in since I briefly became obsessed with the movie “Iron Will” at the age of ten.
My husband has his eye on fly fishing, zip-lining, and a tour of British Columbia that involves crossing a suspension bridge. Clearly negotiations are ongoing, but I am now totally sold on the idea of ending our long, hot, southern summer with a cool trip to Alaska.
Have you ever been on an Alaskan cruise? What did you love best?
Photo credit: iStock