Why Take an Alaska Cruise ?Written by John Metcalfe
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Juneau, often known as 'little San Francisco', is Alaska's capital. Here you can experience life in a true northern city. The Mendenhall Glacier is sure worth a visit, as is Sawyer Glacier a little further to South.
Skagway is Alaska's gold-rush town. It is well preserved and offers access to Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. Disembark at this port and view way of world famous White Pass railroad, before panning for gold in this northern outpost. And when you're done with gold, why not take time out to watch whales near Sitka - a haven for these beautiful creatures all year round.
For more adventurous, an Alaska cruise can take in Kodiak Island in Gulf of Alaska. Known as Alaska's 'Emerald Isle' Kodiak Island takes visitors back to time when first inhabitants settled on island more than 7,500 years ago. You can even locate Alaska's oldest parish here on Kodiak Island.
John Metcalfe is the webmaster for A to Z Cruises which is the No1 resource for Alaska Cruise related Information on the Internet. Be sure to visit his site here: Alaska Cruise
Caribbean Stopover at St. Thomas of the U.S. Virgin IslandsWritten by Clint Leung
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At Coki Beach, my partner rented her snorkeling gear for $20 US (I brought my own). To my surprise, rental attendant gave us each a hard biscuit to feed fish while we were in water. Once we got into water, dozens of tropical fish immediately crowded around us. I guess they knew drill quite well. We ripped off small pieces of biscuits and fish went for it, even if food was just inches away from our face masks. The yellowtail snappers, sergeant majors and occasional parrotfish displayed no fear of us at all. At one point, my partner held out a larger piece of her biscuit and some of fish darted in to nibble at it. After about an hour in warm water, it was time to say goodbye to our new aquatic friends. This experience at Coki Bay with fish was one of factors which eventually influenced my partner to become a certified scuba diver herself.
Another $15 US cab ride took us back to cruise ship port where we spend rest of day browsing many duty free shops located there. A similar snorkeling trip arranged through cruiseship would have cost us double amount we paid. St. Thomas is definitely not an inexpensive island for either cruise ship passengers or resort tourists staying there but extra comfort and quality of island are quite noticeable compared to many other Caribbean destinations. From my readings, other main islands of U.S. Virgin Islands which are St. John and St. Croix, are more laid back and less commercialized than St. Thomas. I would like to visit them in addition to another return trip to St. Thomas in future for a multi day scuba diving trip. For those thinking of going on a Caribbean cruise, I would definitely recommend one that has St. Thomas as one of its ports of call. It is one of better islands on any Caribbean cruise itinerary.
Clint Leung is owner of Free Spirit Gallery http://www.FreeSpiritGallery.ca , an online gallery specializing in Inuit Eskimo and Northwest Native American art including carvings, sculpture and prints. Free Spirit Gallery has numerous information resource articles with photos of authentic Inuit and Native Indian art as well as free eCards.