FIVE THINGS BE­FORE YOU CRUISE

Fraser Coast Chronicle - - WEEKEND - Es­cape.com.au

About two mil­lion peo­ple visit Alaska a year and cruis­ing is a pop­u­lar way to do it.

1. PICK YOUR TIME

The cruise sea­son runs from mid-May to mid-Septem­ber. If you want to see snow, book early in the sea­son. You’ll see more wildlife mid­sum­mer to late sum­mer.

2. CON­SIDER YOUR SHORE EX­CUR­SIONS

With ev­ery­thing from dog sledding to hik­ing, sea kayak­ing and whale watch­ing on of­fer, don’t leave the de­ci­sion-mak­ing un­til you’re on board. Have a back-up plan in case the weather turns. And if you pre­fer to get off the beaten track, go for ac­tiv­i­ties with longer hik­ing times that might de­ter some trav­ellers.

3. BALD EA­GLES ARE LIKE ALASKAN PI­GEONS

Half the world’s 70,000 bald ea­gles stick to Alaskan skies, with about 15,000 said to be found in Juneau alone.

4. RAIN GAUGE

Rain is a con­stant com­pan­ion in Alaska but Ketchikan lo­cals make light of it with a “liq­uid sun­shine” mea­sure of the an­nual driz­zle. The record is 5144mm in 1949.

5. GI­ANT RAIN­FOR­EST

Ton­gass Na­tional For­est is North Amer­ica’s largest na­tional for­est, spread across 7 mil­lion hectares of glacier-carved land­scape.

Book a Sitka shore ex­cur­sion to hike through the oth­er­worldly land­scape, past trees more than 500 years old and across spongy muskeg (peat bog).

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