If you’ve ever wondered why The Voyage of The Glaciers cruise, from Canada into Alaska, is considered one of the most popular cruises in the world, on so many travellers’ Bucket List, I hope my social media pics have given you some indication. If you haven’t seen them, this is like a highlights package of all your wilderness dreams come true.
Each day, one hit after another – single elements you’d be happy with as stand-alone adventures – are served up on a daily platter. We went salmon fishing in Ketchikan, the salmon capital of the world. We put four rods in the chilly waters and within minutes all four rods spring to life. Jackpot. This is from someone who has a fishing jinx normally!
Next day, in Juneau, we go whale watching and 25 minutes off the shore we spot humpbacks frolicking happily at the base of a glacier, coming right for us with their noisy spray shooting high up into the air. Today, I’m writing to you after collapsing on my cabin bed after going dog sledding high up in the mountains with 15 gorgeous Huskies. Tomorrow it’s the glaciers, viewed from my cabin balcony. I tell you, I’m getting whiplash from all the amazing sights we are seeing.
For what it’s worth, this has given me such an insight into how smooth a cruise can run and the positive impact it can have on a town. Pretty much all the places we have visited have refined their tourism craft to perfection, as thousands of cruise visitors descend on their towns during ‘the season’ of May to October. Feel free to judge that, but let me assure you the locals are right on board as their towns that used to rely on industries like gold mining are given a second lease of life.
If anyone is involved in regional tourism, I think this is a great example of how, when you respect and honour your past, it can flourish into the future. I really cannot fault this trip. The local food has been fresh and delicious and you just know I’m shopping up a storm.
Having done this same journey 10 years ago with my husband, I can see how they’ve really refined what they’re doing. There are so many more activities on offer and they’re all with a local flavour: Getting you into the wilderness, where bears cross the street in front of you, you meet mushers who’ve actually raced in the epic Iditarod; your fishing isn’t a sanitised experience; and every day, you’re getting outside chatting to locals and learning. Am I raving? I’m just impressed and will always sing the praises of tourism that supports the local community.
So, next week, I’ll tell you all about the glaciers; disembarking the cruise and heading to such iconic places as Denali to see more glaciers; Fairbanks, when I dearly hope to see the Northern Lights; and plenty more wilderness adventures.
Can’t wait to share it all with you.
THIS WEEK, ON JOURNEYS TO COME…
GUEST TRAVELLER: One fine foodie day in Lisbon
“From beachside day trips to rooftop bars, historic sites and co-working spaces, Lisbon has just about something for everyone. While the things to see and do in this hilly coastal town seem almost endless, I’ve put together a whirlwind itinerary to get a mere taste of this incredible city in just one day.” READ MORE
ASK THE CONCIERGE: In Sao Paulo, on life’s front seat
“São Paulo is one of the world’s great food cities and one of the top three cities in the world for graffiti street art, alongside New York and Berlin, as well as the nightlife capital in Brazil so, despite not being a great beauty like Rio, it’s here where you get the best restaurants and nightlife.” READ MORE
“Iceland has bewitched me – it’s the one place on this planet that’s really gotten under my skin. Iceland is a place of magic, wonder and other-worldliness where locals believe in trolls, fairies, and the hidden people – and it has me to desperate to return.” READ MORE
Q&A: Tips for travelling to Canada & Alaska
Catriona shares her Top 10 Tips for travelling to this gorgeous part of the world. READ MORE
PODCAST: Exploring the flavours and fashion of India
In this week’s episode of Journeys to Come’s podcast, Catriona Rowntree explores India with fashion designers, a spice expert and a travel writer. Discover where and when to visit and get insider tips on places to eat and explore from passionate travellers. LISTEN HERE