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Anchorage, Alaska

Anchorage is a modern-day boom town, growing from a circle of railroad tents back in 1914 to the largest city in Alaska. Today Anchorage has a big city skyline and enviable cultural offerings, including the outstanding Museum of Art and History. Yet many side-streets are still unpaved, and the locals have the unpolished charm of the frontier.



Glacier Bay, Alaska

The stunning amphitheater of glaciers and granite peaks is best viewed from the sea. The ice in Glacier Bay fe ll as snow centuries ago, on the mountains that ring the bay. Compressed by its own tremendous weight it flows seaward, producing some of the fastest-moving glaciers known. In the summer, rare Humpback whales come here to feed - with luck you'll see one of these gentle giants.


Hubbard Glacier, Alaska

75 miles long and covering over 1,350 square miles in area, the Hubbard Glacier is the largest tide-water glacier in North America. It is also one of the most impressive, a 300-foot wall of ice rising sheer and jagged from the ocean. You may hear the rumble and see the monumental splash as the glacier breaks off in great ice chunks, known, as "calves."


Inside Passage

Protected from the open sea by forested isles, sheltered from windy mainland by the tallest coastal mountains in the world, this 1,000 mile waterway seems custom made by nature for a cruise. The deep, calm waters of the passage meander between dense pine forests where wild game abounds, with occasional rustic towns along the way.


Juneau, Alaska

Alaska's capital can only be reached by air or sea, but it is well worth the effort to enjoy the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the city, and its spectacular natural setting between towering mountains and the sea. Visit the Mendenhall, the only glacier inside the city limits, then return to the glory days of the Gold Rush at the historic Red Dog Saloon.


Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan is the salmon capital of the world, and a paradise for fishermen and nature lovers alike. The canneries bustle the year 'round, while the rustic boardwalk on Creek Street and the stilt buildings in the harbor preserve a distinct pioneer feel. Nearby is Totem Bight, the world's largest collection of authentic totem poles.


Misty Fjord, Alaska

This is the heart of the Alaskan wilderness, a two million acre expanse of crystalline lakes, thousand foot waterfalls, and towering mountains. Following the deep sea channels that wind their way back into this natural wonderland, you will experience the eternal beauty and serene silence of Misty Fjord, and unforgettable adventure.


Seattle, Washington

Queen of the Pacific Northwest, Seattle grew rich as the gateway to Alaska and the Orient. Today it is among the world's most flourishing seaports, with nearly 50 miles of wharves, as well as a trend setter of American Culture. Its natural attributes are no less impressive, with the snow capped Cascades inland, and the gorgeous island strewn Puget Sound out to sea.


Sitka, Alaska

Guarded by the blunt volcanic dome of Mount Edgecumbe, Sitka has the richest history in Alaska. Founded by Russian fur magnate Alexander Baronof in 1799, it celebrates it heritage in distinctive architecture, like onion-domed St. Michael's cathedral. Visit the Historic Park, with a ruined Indian fort where Tlingit Indians battled Russian settlers in 1804.


Skagway, Alaska

Located at the northern end of the Inside Passage, Skagway is also the beginning of the Chilkoot Trail, which led prospectors to the rich goldfields of the Klondike and the Yukon. Once "the roughest town on earth," its Gold Rush Cemetery is full of historic headstones. Skagway still has lively saloons, and townsfolk who love to dress up in gold-rush garb.


Tracy Arm/Endicott Arm. Alaska

These showcases of glacial evolution are also art galleries of Nature, graced with stunning ice sculptures in white and blue. The vast "Arms cut deep into the Coast Mountains, branching in smaller fjords covered with virgin spruce and hemlock. With luck you could see brown bear fishing for salmon, a porpoise, and orca, even a Humpback whale.


Valdez, Alaska

The Most northerly all-year port in North America, Valdez" prized harbor was discovered by Spanish explorers om 1790. The town itself didn't appear until 1898, when it became a gold rush center. In the 1970's Valdez hosted a second rush, this time for "black gold," becoming the southern terminus ofthe trans-Alaskan pipeline that starts in Prudhoe Bay.


Vancouver, British Columbia

Flower-clad Vancouver is one of Canada's most charming cities. Visit the excellent museums and historic Gastown district, or admire the natural setting of the city, tucked between a sheltered cove and the majestic British Columbia mountains. Ties with the Orient give Vancouver an Asian mystique, and make it China Town one of North America's largest,.


Victoria, British Columbia

An oasis of greenery and order at the tip of Vancouver Island, Victoria is almost as British as the queen for whom it was named. After a sumptuous High Tea at the Empress Hotel, take a scarlet double-decker bus to the Victorian houses of Parliament, then lose yourself in Butchart Gardens, where the British green thumb is raised to dazzling heights.



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Revised: September 26, 2009