The train makes its way through snow studded mountains as it descends from the summit of White Pass.
The train makes its way through snow studded mountains as it descends from the summit of White Pass. Geoff Potter

Exploring an icy paradise

IINSIDE Passage cruising from Vancouver to Alaska has become a hugely popular way to both experience Alaska and also the vibrant seaports of Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Skagway and viewing the Hubbard Glacier before arriving at Seward for a bus trip to Anchorage.

We sailed with Royal Caribbean on the "Radiance of the Seas" with over 2000 other tourists - but don't think you are the only vessel on the same route.

Some mornings we awoke to be anchored beside three other huge cruise ships all plying the same course with just as many passengers.

It was luxury all the way and the dining options are many and the food was magnificent and relentless.

On our nine-storey vessel we had a seven-night cruise to Seward in Alaska and besides the first two nights of Inside Passage cruising, each morning we awoke to a new port with most of the day to enjoy the land, air and sea tours that were easily booked from our own cabin.

The options were limitless but we confined ourselves to the five glacier and Taku Lodge air tour at Juneau ($300 per person) and the Whites Pass and Yukon Railway trip at Skagway ( about $4 per person) which were both well worth the cost.

On the Taku Lodge tour, besides flying over five glaciers, we were lucky enough to get up close to our first grizzly bear reminding us of our remote location.

Coming face-to-face with a grizzly bear was an unforgettable highlight.
Coming face-to-face with a grizzly bear was an unforgettable highlight.

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