Hi my name is Ella (Philip’s niece) and recently I was lucky enough to go on a wonderful cruise up along the coast of Alaska, through the Inside Passage, capturing dozens of breath-taking pictures of my experience.
Many of the destinations that are visited during the awe-inspiring cruise through the Inside Passage are made so special because of their limited access and how pristine they are kept because of the tiny populations. With greenery everywhere you look it’s hard to imagine being back in a city.
Coming into port in Skagway Forest in Ketchikan leading to the Native American Village
We were also able to immerse ourselves in more traditional cultures as we visited a still functioning Native American village, complete with hand carved totem poles which towered above us.
Totem pole in Ketchikan
Creek Street in Ketchikan
Skagway also provided a look into the past, a tiny town which was overrun in the late 1890s when the gold rush into the Yukon Valley in Canada began.
Yukon Valley in Canada just past the Alaskan border
This mountain pass, which now takes about 30 minutes by bus, was home to hundreds of starving and freezing people who came to find their weight in gold, only to find they were two years too late.
Now this town only has one high street, and a grand total of two students graduated from high school this last year.
Border between Alaska and Canada
To access Juneau it is impossible except by air or by sea, reducing pollution and traffic into the city significantly.
Tram from Juneau into the mountains
Just a 10 minute tram ride puts you- quite literally- in the clouds making the whole experience even more atmospheric.
View from the tram in Juneau
About half an hour by bus gets you to the most magnificent glacier park, where we were greeted by a black bear who was feeding on the thousands of salmon who come up the rivers to spawn. Here you can see rumbling waterfalls (a force of nature themselves) next to giant frozen rivers of ice.
Glacier and waterfall park
Glacier Bay, however, provided the unforgettable views and even sounds as glaciers caved all around us, the crashes thundering through the bay, as the ice tumbled into the turquoise water.
As we left Glacier Bay and headed for our last port of call we were lucky enough to see not only humpbacks, but also seals and sea otters.
Leaving Glacier Bay
On our last night we stopped in Victoria (our only stop in which we actually ported in Canada) for the evening and I quite literally fell in love with this city, which was built solely for Queen Victoria, even though she never visited.
Waterfront in front of the Empress Hotel in Victoria, Canada
The waterfront took my breath away as the sunset over the harbour and the warm-air climate (quite contrasting to Alaska) allows for flowers to grow in abundance all year round.
Sunset over waterfront in Victoria