Disney Wonder | Skagway, Alaska

by - Tuesday, July 03, 2018

If you've been following along with my posts about my cruise to Alaska on the Disney Wonder, you've seen what we did on days at sea and the beautiful pictures of Endicott Arm, and today, we're finally on land! Our first port of call in Alaska was the city of Skagway.

This was an interesting port because the big attraction in Skagway is the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad. We had an excursion booked to go on this train ride (along with hundreds of other people from our ship and probably hundreds more from other cruise lines), but the day before we stopped in Skagway, we learned via an announcement on our ship that a rock slide had occurred on the railroad tracks!

When we got into Skagway, my dad called the people he had booked our excursions through and we found out that, although the trains weren't running that day, we could take a bus along a similar route and see everything that we would have seen on the train.

We walked around the town exploring until it was time to board the bus — I was surprised by how many commercialized tourist shops and jewelry stores were along the main roads in each city we visited. We found out during our cruise that these stores are owned by the cruise lines and that's why they're very similar to what you would find in other cruise ports, just like in the Bahamas. You have to do a little bit of exploring and go past the main path to find more local and unique locations.

As I mentioned before, the main thing we did in Skagway was a bus trip. It lasted a few hours and we were on a nice, air-conditioned bus that had less than 10 people total. Even though our plans were changed, I honestly think it worked out for the best because we made so many stops and got so many amazing pictures that we would have missed on the train.

Our bus driver was a girl around my age and because we had such a small group, she was very accommodating and took lots of family pictures for us. One of the other passengers spotted bears along the side of the road during our ride and she actually stopped the bus a safe distance away and we took these pictures and got to watch the mama bear with her two cubs for a while.

Our first scheduled stop on the bus ride was a historic cemetery just outside of town. I know you're probably thinking those tombstones look a little fake and staged to be hundreds of years old — I thought the same thing walking through them — and our tour guide did tell us when we left that the real cemetery had been washed away and the town had made a replica around what was left of the original.

The real highlight of our cemetery stop was the trail that went through the cemetery up to a waterfall. It was a little hike, but it was so pretty and definitely worth the walk up.

After this little adventure, we had a longer ride on the bus up to the Canadian border and we actually crossed over into British Columbia, which is such a beautiful place. It was unreal seeing all of the snow on the mountains, especially because it wasn't very cold out.

We were able to walk out into the snow and on the rocks around the water, which was a cool experience. It wasn't like we were just seeing this from the road or from the bus passing by, we were right in the middle of it. Some people were even making snowballs because they hadn't experienced snow much before. Personally, I spent a lot of time trying not to fall off the rocks into the water with my DSLR.

On our way back, of course we crossed the border again to get back into Alaska and our bus stopped at the "Welcome to Alaska" sign. This was definitely a great photo op and I think this is one of the iconic photos from our trip. This state is so beautiful!

We had a great time in Skagway! I hope you're enjoying reading about my trip — I have two more posts with photos and stories from our other ports: Juneau and Ketchikan!

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