It is finally the day—I’m here to share the most epic adventure of our Alaskan Cruise! Though it was the second stop on our itinerary, I saved my favorite port & excursion for last. Juneau, Alaska was not only a beautiful town, it was chockful of adventure! Those in our group opted to stroll around town, take a ride on the Mt. Roberts Tramway, and go hiking in the Tongass. But me, I’d been itching to do something I’d been dreaming of since I first heard of cruising to Alaska—dog sledding on a glacier. And that we did!
Our adventure started out on a bus ride through town with a great driver/guide. She pointed out important buildings, took us by Juneau’s locally famous humpback whale statue, and drove along a route with what seemed like hundreds of bald eagles soaring above. But the beauty was only beginning. We then arrived at a heliport to be fitted for special glacier boots and eventually a helicopter ride to Mendenhall Glacier. And that is where the epic adventure began!
We flew out of Juneau and over Mendenhall Glacier, taking in sights of the 13+ mile glacier’s crevasses (shown in the first photo in the middle row below) that looked like gigantic slits in the earth that one might disappear in never to return. Once passing the crevasses, we glided over a part of the glacier that looked like vehicle tracks, but it was actually the land and the ice coming together to form the massive glacier. From there, we flew over a smoother part of the glacier, ultimately caught sight of the dog mushing camp. Eeeekk, my dream was actually coming true!
We landed at the fully equipped camp greeted by hundreds of excited dogs and their handlers/sled drivers called mushers. These sweet pups were lined up in rows with dog houses, we are told they won’t even sleep in—that is how much they love the cold! You’ll notice the photos the dogs aren’t wearing shoes either. Our musher explained that the dogs actually prefer much, much colder temps than the glacier was experiencing at the time, a balmy 40 degrees during the day. It felt much colder if you ask me!
So, we were paired up with our musher to begin our ride. We hopped on the sled, and that is where the magic happened for me! I could not believe I took a cruise ship to Alaska, hopped off in Juneau, caught a helicopter to a glacier, and landed at a dog mushing camp to ultimately dog sled in the snow! It was beyond my wildest dreams! My husband & I were both smiling ear to ear, and put this at the top of our list, after our babies’ birth of course, of best experiences of our lifetime!
After our flight back to Juneau, we took a quick stroll through the port shops, we loved the ones with a Russian flare (also on my bucket list) and a ride up and right back down the Mt. Roberts Tramway. Maybe if we ever get back to Juneau, we’ll give that another try. Juneau was beautiful, even aside from the glacier & dog sledding, and is definitely worth booking an excursion to explore. Whale watching, hiking in the Tongass National Forest, and more are adventures to be had in Juneau.
This experience was truly incredible, and I find it hard to put into words just how beautiful it was. To be surrounded by nothing but mountains and snow with no sign of civilization in sight, yet to be amongst these thriving animals was beyond amazing! I have a newfound love & appreciation for dog mushing now, and someday hope to get back to Alaska for a winter dog mushing trip to see the Northern Lights. What can I say, my dreams just keep getting bigger & bigger!
And I hope yours do too! If you’re ready to make your dreams a reality, let’s chat about planning your own Alaskan cruise. Contact me to get started on the process, and I’ll have you sailing away before you can say “Gee” or “Haw”! You’ll have to head out dog sledding to learn what those terms are all about! 😉 See you back soon!
Here are a few other posts you may be interested in about cruising in Alaska: