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Why Alaska Should Be at the Top of Your Bucket List

Experience the Iconic and Authentic Alaska You’ve Dreamed Of

Known for its abundant wildlife, vast terrains, rugged landscapes, and climate, Alaska is rightfully nicknamed “The Last Frontier.” With fourteen distinct mountain ranges, sixteen national parks, three million lakes, three thousand rivers, one hundred thousand glaciers and nearly twenty-two million acres of national forest, Alaska is mostly unexplored and remains untamed and as inviting as ever.

The Wildlife

Many people travel from all over the world to see Alaska’s iconic wildlife. With 39 known mammals living in the encompassing 6 million acres, Mount Denali is the best place to see Alaska’s famous “Big Five” (moose, grizzly bears, Dall sheep, caribou, and gray wolves). Holland America Line’s newly renovated McKinley Chalet Resort offers guests an exclusive wilderness retreat at the gateway to Denali National Park and all its spectacular sights. You can hike on- or off-trail or take a tour bus along the Denali Park Road.

The Scenery

Alaska offers unrivaled scenery and adventure among its narrow fjords, rugged mountains and verdant forests. Glaciers loom over the sea like towers of blue ice while migrating whales can be spotted surfacing to exhale jets of spray. And scattered along the coast, remote outposts tell the hardscrabble history of Alaska: Sitka bears traces of the era when Russia ruled these shores, and Ketchikan is studded with the totem poles of Alaska’s native nations. In Skagway, you can walk into a swinging-door saloon, or board the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad to the legendary Yukon Territory where you can spot wildlife on woodland trails.

The Locals

After long and dark winters, Alaskans love their summers and the residents of Anchorage, Alaska are no exception. The city plants thousands of flowers to celebrate the arrival of warmer months and days that last as long as 19 hours from dawn to dusk. Locals enjoy skijoring, a winter sport where a person is pulled on skis by one or more dogs or sometimes a horse. While some cities have deer, Anchorage has lots of moose, known for being a bit rambunctious (and should be steered clear of if seen wandering down a street). Anchorage is a city where you can see the northern lights—the aurora borealis—on a clear dark night, typically during colder months. There are also plenty of active things to do and attractions to hike, bike and see wildlife such as the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail or Flattop Mountain Trail inside Chugach State Park.

The Cruises

On a Holland America Alaska cruise, you’ll encounter massive tidewater glaciers, iconic wildlife, Klondike Gold Rush history, and fascinating Native Alaskan cultures. No matter which cruise to Alaska you choose, you’ll travel to the best places for viewing wildlife and experience scenic cruising along Tracy Arm, Hubbard Glacier or Glacier Bay, your Alaska vacation is a pleasure from start to finish.

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