For my wife’s parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, it was decided that a cruise would be the easiest and most economical way for 30 people to all get together, celebrate, have fun, and not become an undue burden on any one family. So, after nearly two years of planning, we set sail for Southeast Alaska from Vancouver, BC. We could have gone on any number of cruises, but for a diverse family who appreciates the mountains and didn’t want to be in the tropics in mid-July, this was the best option.
It was a fantastic way to see a part of the world that none of us had seen before, and it allowed everyone to take things at their own pace. The kids—there are 14 of them, ranging from 3 to 20 years old—had an incredible time. And while you can fly into Ketchikan and Juneau, and drive to Skagway, they’re all difficult to get to. In addition, cruising allows you to see some of the world’s largest glaciers—in Glacier Bay National Park and College Fjord—which you cannot get to without a boat or airplane. These glaciers and the surrounding landscape really are incredible, and I’m grateful to have seen them close up in this way.
All that said, the act of cruising on a large ship is about as far from an ecological vacation as I can imagine. (more…)