Visiting Alaska: Glacier Cruise, Wildlife, and Wide Open Skies

December 19, 2014

It’s been almost three months since we went to Alaska. H had an opportunity to go up there for a work trip, so I bought a plane ticket and tagged along. We were there for four days, and while I worked for part of the trip, we also did some exploring around Anchorage, I went on a glacier tour, and we rented a car to drive down Highway 1 on our last day.

I knew I really wanted to see some glaciers, but after looking at a few options, I wasn’t sure I could rationalize the cost. I could take a cruise out of a couple different areas, or I could fly on a helicopter and land on a glacier, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do. They were all expensive options, and I was debating just not going and hanging out in Anchorage. H had been to Alaska before as a kid, and he decided I needed to see the glaciers, so he took matters into his own hands and booked a trip for me. And it was possibly the coolest thing I’ve ever done. After a bunch of debate, he booked me a 26 glacier cruise with Phillip Cruises. And I was a fan. I’ve already posted all over my Instagram feed, but I mean, I held a glacier in my hands!! As far as crazy and cool travel experiences go, this was in my top five.

While H was at his work conference, I would work during the day. One day, I was (luckily) working away on the main floor in the cafe (because the internet was a bit spotty in our room on the 16th floor) and I felt a bit of a rumble. I’d noticed planes flying near the hotel the day before, and at first, assumed it was a plane. Turns out, it was an earthquake! Once it started getting a little more forceful, I realized it was an earthquake, but no one else in the cafe was doing anything. So I just stayed put! Later H called me and made me leave the building for about 5 minutes. Turns out, Alaska gets thousands of earthquakes every year, but most of them are small, and in areas that are far away from civilization. This one, a 6.2, was about 100 miles from Anchorage. It was kind of entertaining, in retrospect, because my chai didn’t even spill!

One afternoon we visited the Anchorage Museum. I didn’t take many photos because it was dark, but it was so wonderful! They have a Smithsonian exhibit and I really liked the whole museum.

On the last day, we rented a car and drove down Highway 1 to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, where we got to see moose, elk, reindeer, musk ox, and more that I’m probably forgetting. We also pulled over a half dozen times to take pictures because Alaska is just that pretty, dang it.

And then we flew home, over the glaciers I’d seen just a few days prior on the cruise.

Whew. What an adventure. And what an inspiration. I wrote a little other piece, but I’m going to save that for another day. Because I’ve blathered on enough. Here are so many pictures, including one of a rainbow!

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These were shot on my Nikon FG-20 with Portra 400, Ektar 100, and Ilford XP2 400. You can find most of them for sale in my personal work gallery on my proofing site.


photo of the author, she has dark wavy hair, brown glasses, and red lipstick on. She is wearing a grey shirt.


Servus! I’m Emily and you’ve found my little corner of the internet, where I write about travel, intentionally living with less stuff, and living as a German-American family in Munich, Germany.  Want to know more?