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About oaktreerb

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  1. Daylight hours will be very short. Check sunrise, sunset hours for your ports. Alaska.org has a handy chart. Tourist shops will be closed, excursion opportunities will be limited.
  2. Thanks for posting. Dyea Dave was well regarded among the travelers he entertained. He will be missed.
  3. A newer fiction book is “The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah. Her book “Winter Garden” will take you from the tragedy of war in Russia to Sitka. Kristin Hannah lives in the Pacific Northwest.
  4. The Alaska Cruise Handbook, a mile to mile guide by Joe Upton…..the most recent one I have is the 2012 edition. Have you looked on Amazon? or the travel section of. local bookstore? I may have bought it aboard ship. It also had a large folded up wall map that covers the cruise from US/Canada to Seward and Whittier that we put up in the stateroom with magnets to follow our route. When you get to Alaska there will be some very good book stores with Alaska theme books. If you are a teacher pick up the paperback “Tisha” (that’s how the kids pronounced teacher). It is described
  5. oaktreerb


    Chilkoot hike and float is fun. Your tour takes you to Dyea and the beginning of the Chilkoot trail. You hike a bit with your guide and then meet your raft to float back to Skagway. There are a lot of hiking trails. You can pick up a map with easy to strenuous hikes at the visitor’s center. Check out the national park exhibits. There is a very nice museum. You could rent a car and drive out to see Dyea slide cemetery and the start of the Chilkoot Trail and then drive up the road to the border and turn around. Murray’s Guide to the South Klondike highway is a great self driving guide
  6. Another book I really enjoyed but it was more about the Gold Rush in the Yukon (Dawson City) was I Married the Klondike by Laura Beatrice Berton. The young, single female teachers who went to Alaska and the Yukon to teach the local children and the hardships they endured is amazing. She found a husband and became the mother of Pierre Berton. This book has a forward by Robert Service
  7. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer Tisha (as told to Robert Specht) teaching in the Alaska Wilderness Coming into the Country by John McPhee Shadows on the Koyukuk, true story of Sidney Huntington as told to Jim Rearden Two Old Women by Velma Wallis The End of the Road by Tom Bodett (Homer, AK) Williwaw by Tom Bodette (YA) Two in the Far North by Margaret E. Murie If You Lived Here I’d Know Your Name by Heather Lende (I read this on my 21 day Alaska cruise in 2019, about the community of Haines AK)
  8. Sitka is beautiful just for the scenery. There are rescue centers worth visiting, The Fortress of the Bears and the Alaska Raptor Center have a bus from town that will drop you off at both. St Michael’s Russian Orthodox Church is right in the center of downtown and there is a Russian Cemetery within walking distance. There are some very nice local shops. The Sitka National Historical Park is a beautiful area with a visitor’s center, a walking trail displaying a variety of totems. There is the Sitka Sound Science Center and the Sheldon Jackson Museum which are still on my to do list for S
  9. We ordered our Glacier Smoothie soaps online this year. They arrived with a clever wooden coin that said “Thanks for helping us stay afloat”. Next year we’ll be able to say “hello” in person and stock up again.
  10. Yes, it’s worth it. The cruise ship may not be allowed to enter the fjord due to ice or seals pupping. The small ship will get up close to the scenery.
  11. If you want to go this year Seattle round trip is all that will sail. Settle rt cruises are convenient but Vancouver rt is better in a normal year. Sailing one way is great if you plan to spend several days on land. This year will be less crowded since fewer ships will sail and they probably won’t sail with maximum occupancy. Caribbean cruises are more likely to be party cruises. Alaska cruises are focused on nature. If you like to hike you will find trails at each stop. You may want to start with on-line research for each location or ask at the visitor’s center w
  12. We had the Klondike Spirit as part of our itinerary in Dawson City. We boarded the paddle wheeler and enjoyed a narrated cruise down the Yukon River just past Moosehide (a native village) and then back past Dawson City to the confluence of the Yukon and Klondike rivers. We were cruising slowly along and everybody got kind of quiet as we tried to figure out what was in the river ahead of us. It was a moose swimming from one side of the river to the other….a first for our guide! HAL makes changes to its Yukon tours from year to year. It looks like they may have added the Taste of
  13. yes. Tracy Arm Fjord frequently is missed due to glacier ice and seals pupping on the floating ice. Tracy Arm may be listed as a 30 minute service stop in which the people on the excursion will transfer from the cruise ship to a smaller boat and actually sail into the fjord to see the waterfalls, glaciers, wildlife up close. Tracy Arm is beautiful and some cruise ships actually are able to go in or go instead to Endicott Arm. Huge difference if you choose the smaller ship excursion.
  14. The 26 glacier cruise is a great way to spend the day. There is a tunnel for cars and the railroad going into and out of Whittier so in order to do anything you would have to plan your times carefully. Maybe the cruise line will come up with some other excursions. Portage Glacier visitor center is nearby and so is the Wildlife Conservation Center and Alyeska Resort in Girdwood. All of these are on the other side of the tunnel. There may be a rental car service in Whittier or you may find a private tour company to host you. However, if you don’t get back through the tunnel by sailing ti
  15. Daylight hours are very short in October. In Juneau on October 11 sunrise is 7:24 .m., sunset 6:02. One of the things that make Alaska a great cruise is the long daylight hours in which to view the awesome beauty. You will be on a huge ship with lots to do in the evenings so be sure to spend the daylight hours outside to enjoy the beauty. Go, enjoy, but plan to come back in June or July when the daylight hours go on and on. In Denali you can play a round of golf at midnight during the summer.
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