Monday, May 21, 2012

Rhapsody of the Seas: In Juneau, Alaska

When we reached our first port of call in Juneau, the capital city of Alaska, it seemed only fitting to travel the way Alaskans do—by seaplane. There are no roads in and out of the city and the Wings Aviation planes take off and land on water. For the excursion booked through Rhapsody of the Seas we boarded our plane right in the center of town and headed to Taku Lodge for a salmon feast.

Once on the plane we donned headsets for a narration of what we were seeing as we flew over incredible snow capped mountains and glaciers. Everyone had a window seat and I admit the view had me breathless. Once at the isolated Taku Lodge, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, we were greeted with steaming cups of hot Russian tea. After a stroll outside to view the Hole In The Wall glacier, we were treated to salmon roasted over an alder wood fire, with baked beans, coleslaw, warm apple compote, and herb biscuits and sourdough bread, with ginger cookies for dessert. To wash it down, water is chilled with real glacial ice.

After lunch, visitors were invited on a short guided trail walk, but alas, there were no bear sightings. The scenery from the porch swing on the lodge is stunning, with the glacier (pictured here) just across the water. Closer by, hummingbirds were flitting around a hanging feeder and it was an unusual sight—the tiny birds in the midst of the wilderness.

The 3 ½ hour Taku Lodge Feast and Glacier Seaplane excursion with 50 minutes of flight time ($315 for adults and $270 for children) was an incredible experience and will certainly be the highlight of this Alaska cruise.

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