Western Coves cruise, Alaska

Keeping on the Icy Strait

The Western Coves route is much more off the beaten path than the Eastern Coves. Juneau, Alaska’s capital, is the embarkation point before heading west and north, into some of the most stunning Alaskan straits. The first one that you cross on this route is the aptly named Icy Strait, with plenty of time to wrap up, sit out on deck and breathe in this northern nirvana. Enveloped by spruce forests and rocky shores; with seals basking in the summer sun; there are lots of paddling or rambling adventures to be had too.
Glacier Bay National Park

Glacier Bay National Park

This is popular with vast cruise liners as it isn’t too far from Juneau and is pretty accessible. However, go on a small ship cruise that can access the many different straits and narrows within this glacial landscape, and spend a few days here. Welcome to thousands of square kilometres of pure glacial gorgeousness, overlooked by the Fairweather Mountains. Every day takes you into another stunning landscape with each one offering a special treat, such as the Taylor Bay sea stacks, bears foraging on the shores of Dundas Bay, orange-beaked tufted puffins on Marble Island, the sound of Margerie and Grand Pacific Glaciers calving, or the sound of wolves at night. And then, equally as eerie, the sound of nothing at all.

Our ‘Favorite’ Finale – Haines

This cruise up the Favorite Channel has to be one of the finest finales to an Alaskan vacation, your skipper guiding you up to the idyllic town of Haines. Passing through the natural gems of Sullivan Island and Chilkat Island Marine State Parks, you arrive at this quaint, Alaskan town which is poised perfectly under snowcapped peaks. Just to give you a rough idea of how magnificent this town is in terms of mountains, it is overlooked by the Takinsha Mountains, the Chilkat Range to the south, Takshanuk Mountains to the north and the Coast Mountains to the east. With this elevation come hiking and mountain biking trails, river rafting and waterfall hunting. So, if you need to get your land legs back, this is the place to do it. Haines is also bursting with history and Tlingit cultural heritage. From gold rush to trading posts, a lot of people have passed through Haines. Today it is one of those places you may not want to leave. But Juneau is calling.
Travel Team
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Written by Catherine Mack
Photo credits: [Page banner: Elaine] [Glacier Bay National Park: Matt Zimmerman] [Our ‘Favorite’ Finale – Haines: Bob Familiar ]