Alaska | Classic Journeys Blog
  • Group kayaking, Alaska

    10 Best Places to Kayak Around the World

    Kayaking is a fantastic experience for all ages and skill sets, especially when you&#39;re in a faraway land! Imagine yourself gliding through the towering limestone islands of Halong Bay; floating under the Punt-du-Gard in France; or drifting on the crystal clear waters of Belize, teeming with wildlife underneath. Grab your paddle and brace yourself for a good time, here are the 10 best places to kayak around the world. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/croatiafamily/" target="_blank"><b>#10 CROATIA</b></a><br>Kayak in the uninhabited waters of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/croatiafamily/" target="_blank">Lokrum island</a>. This place is magical! You can explore caves and remote beaches... oh, and did we mention the water visibility is 30 feet deep! <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/croatiafamily/" target="_blank"><img alt="Group kayaking off coast of Croatia" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9zG" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaskafamily/" target="_blank"><b>#9 ALASKA</b></a><br>In <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaskafamily/" target="_blank">Thumb Cove</a> three glaciers spill right into the waters. Here, you can find yourself gliding alongside sea otters and sea lions. If you&#39;re lucky, you might even spot mountain goats or a black bear on shore! For a special treat, beach your kayaks in Emerald Green Cove for a short hike to a hidden waterfall.<br><br><a href="http://www.classicjourneys.com/alaskafamily/" target="_blank"><img alt="Kayaking in Alaska" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000fB7H" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/puget-sound-tours/" target="_blank"><b>#8 PUGET SOUND</b></a><br>Go sea kayaking, off the west coast of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/puget-sound-tours/" target="_blank">San Juan Island</a>. This is prime Orca whale territory and if you’ve ever dreamed of seeing the great mammals up close, you are in for an incredible experience.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/puget-sound-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Group kayaking on calm waters" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9wv" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/belize-guatemala-tours/" target="_blank"><b>#7 BELIZE</b></a><br>Hop into a kayak and head out into the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/belize-guatemala-tours/" target="_blank">Ambergris Caye</a>, which sits adjacent to the world&#39;s second largest barrier reef. While exploring the waters you can see the incredible wildlife and reefs beneath you and even jump out of your kayak for some snorkeling in the crystal clear warm waters.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/belize-guatemala-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Young boy kayaking in clear waters" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9wg" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfifamily/" target="_blank"><b>#6 AMALFI</b></a><br>Explore the cobalt blue waters and coastal architecture of the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfifamily/" target="_blank">Amalfi Coast</a>. From your kayak<a href="http://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfifamily/" target="_blank">,</a> admire the gorgeous views of the cliffside village of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfifamily/" target="_blank">Positano</a>.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfifamily/" target="_blank"><img alt="Amalfi Kayak" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000fB72" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costa-rica-tours/" target="_blank"><b>#5 COSTA RICA</b></a><br>Slip into a kayak for a guided paddle through the lagoons and creeks of the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costa-rica-tours/" target="_blank">Tortuguero River</a>. Along the way keep an eye out for white-faced capuchin monkeys, black river turtles, crocodiles, macaws, and the long-legged anhinga birds.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costa-rica-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Group kayaking in a forest" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9wl" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/provencefamily/" target="_blank">#4 PROVENCE</a></b><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/provencefamily/" target="_blank">The Pont-du-Gard</a> was built over 2,000 years ago and was both a bridge and an aqueduct. Today it is one of the remaining Roman wonders of Provence. It stands over 150 feet tall, and paddling right up alongside it is one of the most incredible sites you&#39;ll ever see. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/provencefamily/" target="_blank"><img alt="Kayakers in front of the Pont du Gard Aqueduct" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9wH" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway-tours/" target="_blank"><b>#3 NORWAY</b></a><br>Head into the Jostedalen valley, where you&#39;ll kayak and explore the glacier-fed lake – which is tinted a very vivid blue.  <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Woman kayaking near a glacier" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9wW" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/indochina-tours/" target="_blank"><b>#2 VIETNAM</b></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/indochina-tours/" target="_blank">Halong Bay</a>, considered Vietnam&#39;s eighth wonder of the world, is where 3,000 limestone islands pepper the waters. Exploring the bay in a kayak is an incredible way to easily navigate between and admire the islands.  <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/indochina-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Woman kayaking near islands in Halong Bay" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9w2" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">#1 GAL</a><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">Á</a></b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank"><b>PAGOS ISLANDS</b></a><br>The Galápagos Islands are one of the best places in the world to visit for anyone who wants to see wildlife. Here you&#39;ll be able to kayak with sea lions, green sea turtles and marine iguanas while keeping your eyes sharp for blue-footed boobies in the trees along the shores or as they hover over the sea and dive for fish.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Man and Woman kayaking with seals" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9wM" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>Join us for one of these adventures! On a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/dates/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys </a><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com" target="_blank">trip</a>, kayaking is just one of many unforgettable experiences.  

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  • Aialik bay, Alaska

    A How(-Not)-To on Alaska Travel

    <p>This was not how I imagined Alaska: A mere 22 minutes after our 9-month-old son Max had FINALLY fallen asleep, a piercing BEEEEEEEP came through on our stateroom speaker, giving my wife and me a jolt, and launching little Max into instant wakefulness:</p> <p>“Attention passengers: our Fine Arts auction is a fun, fast-paced way to collect exceptional works of art! And the next one starts in 15 minutes on Deck 7!!”</p> <p>Seriously? That was the reason for the in-room fog horn?<br><br>It was our third day aboard a major cruise line, sailing through Alaska’s scenic inside passage. Things had been going well enough, I suppose. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/northamerica/" target="_blank">We were very grateful for the chance to visit a part of North America we’d never seen.</a> The trip was an all-family celebration of my father-in-law’s retirement. And the experiences were certainly cool: we heard the echoes of glaciers cracking, watched lumberjacks at work, and spotted surfacing whales. The natural and manmade wonders of Ketchikan, Skagway, Juneau, and Victoria, B.C. still produce vivid memories for me now two years later. I have yet to eat better salmon than I did on a salmon bake in Ketchikan.<br><br><img alt="Whale in Alaska" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7l7&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002qmw" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p>But it only took a few of those Big-Brotherish announcements and mass invasions of small Alaskan towns to make me long for the day when Max is old enough for something like Classic Journeys’ <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaskafamily/" target="_blank">Kenai Peninsula Family Journey</a>. And when that day comes, you can be sure that we will visit Alaska again. You see, I had suspected that traveling on a floating hotel would have its compromises, and I was all too right. Cuisine on the ship seldom strayed from mediocrity; the goal of included meals was quantity over quality. To go ashore, every disembarkation required TSA-style security. As it was, every port held streets littered with flyers and teeming with jewelry shop barkers, hawking bracelets and necklaces made with “rare” Alaskan stones. And that pesky in-room PA system…<br><br><img alt="Seward Harbor" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7l7&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002qna" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p>It’s fair to say that “all-inclusive” has an alluring ring to it, but to me, the style of travel fell short. Rather, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaskafamily/" target="_blank">when my family eventually returns to Alaska with Classic Journeys,</a> I know the trip will be “all-encompassing.” Trust me; you’d recognize the difference. Anonymous loudspeaker voices are replaced by a friendly guide who becomes your best friend by week’s end – people like John, Eric, or Wolfgang. Windows to the outside world aren’t a luxury; hotel rooms always beat out ship cabins in this and other ways. There aren’t any hurried family budget meetings, nor schedule gymnastics, to decide whether to go for this glacier walk or that dog sled run… no racing the clock to find some elusive on-board Activities Desk to sign up for your choice activity by cut-off time. I would much rather rely on someone with boots on the ground, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaskafamily/" target="_blank">hand-picking the best of the best for my family</a>, with a few fun surprises in store. And it would also help to know I’ve paid for it all before I leave home. That means being guaranteed a shoreline salmon bake like the one I loved during my cruise, without the FOMO (fear of missing out) inherent to excursion menus … and without hidden costs. I’m good with that.<br><br><img alt="Glacier walk" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7l7&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002qn1" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p>I also happen to know that skipping the ship to Alaska does not mean skipping sea-based activities altogether. You get your fill on a cultural walking adventure, where, in Seward, you find yourself sailing through the deep green waters of the Kenai Fjords aboard a private vessel, docking on the shores and in the coves of Resurrection Bay in search of bald eagles, humpback whales, sea lions, and more. Or visit those same waters by kayak on a family journey. And on both itineraries, guests of all ages climb into rafts one afternoon to gently cruise the Kenai River for the chance to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaska-tours/" target="_blank">learn from an expert about local natural history</a>, and the Kenaitzi Tribe whose people once made their lives on the river’s shores.<br><br><img alt="Kayaking" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7l7&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002qnL" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br>Alaska is breathtaking no matter how you slice it. I was awestruck during my first trip, taking stock of the monumental glaciers and their fragile place in this world. But just as glaciers and icebergs show but a tip of their greatness, it would be a shame to experience only as much of Alaska’s majesty as your well-tread cruise ship route allows… only sites that can host 40-person shore excursions… or only those activities that get you back to the docks before your hotel sails off into the sunset.<br><br>This concludes your passenger announcements for today.</p>

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  • Anteater

    Meet the Anteater WHISPERER

    <h2>… AND THREE OTHER EXCEPTIONALLY TALENTED LOCAL GUIDES</h2>   <p>A guide can make or break a vacation. We understand the importance of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/local-tour-guides/" target="_blank">having the best travel guides an area has to offer</a>. We have teamed up with the locals who know the area best, are highly personable and have the connections it takes to ensure your trip is the most memorable trip you’ve ever had. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/local-tour-guides/" target="_blank">Meet a few of our very special guides</a>:<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/panama/" target="_blank">BENY</a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/panama/" target="_blank">POETIC NATURALIST | PANAMA</a><br><br><img alt="Beny" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7le&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002s6E" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p>Beny is the kind of naturalist travel guide you dream of: ridiculously well informed and fluent in how to transmit his treasure of information to you. In his own words: “As a naturalist guide I have to help people ‘remember’ the other senses that they have but seldom use. In a normal tour you roughly hear and see things. But out in nature, you have to slow down and use the sense of smell to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/panama/" target="_blank">find the royal palm tree flowers, peripheral vision to spot the chestnut-backed antbird</a>, hearing to detect the silent crawl of the tamandua anteater or thermoception to feel the sudden rise in temperature inside the rubbish pile of the leaf-cutter ants. I help people understand themselves by helping them improve the way they perceive nature.” He’s a very rare bird and one of our favorite naturalist guides.</p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/reservations/" target="_blank">Want to meet our spectacular guides? Sign up for the trip of your dreams today!</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany/" target="_blank">FLAMINIA</a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany/" target="_blank">ART AFICIONADA | TUSCANY &amp; THE CINQUE TERRE</a><br><br><img alt="Flaminia" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7le&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002s6O" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p>Flaminia is with Sotheby’s in Rome, an expert in Modern and Contemporary Art for the international auction house. When she steps away from her profession to guide for Classic Journeys, you can be sure she doesn’t leave it behind. Her discerning eye is a huge asset whether she’s helping you see the composition of Lucca’s townscape or interpreting an altarpiece. “Pietrasanta is one of my favorite places, where Michelangelo quarried his marble and still today mining continues. It is history, art and business all at once!” Her <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany/" target="_blank">knack for seeing under the skin of Italy</a> is a skill we treasure.</p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/nova-scotia-tours/" target="_blank">MICHAEL</a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/nova-scotia-tours/" target="_blank">SLOW FOODIE | NOVA SCOTIA</a><br><br><img alt="Michael" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7le&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002s6Y" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/nova-scotia-tours/" target="_blank">Ditch your impressions of Nova Scotia</a> as another icy Canadian province. Moderated by the Gulf Stream, the climate is mild. The soil is rich, and then there’s the matter of all that lobster and fresh seafood. Enter Michael, a talented chef who rose through ranks at restaurants in Chicago, Detroit, Toronto, Boston, New York and the Bahamas. He was a restaurateur himself before becoming a guide. Today, he’s a Slow Food advocate who says, “I cook with farmers on their farms in the summertime to have guests experience food where it grows. As a guide, I am able to take you to the best gastronomic experiences through my network of colleagues, and I have so much fun delivering the culinary play-by-play for our meals.” <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/nova-scotia-tours/" target="_blank">And you thought Nova Scotia was only about big tides and whales.</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaska/" target="_blank">ERIC</a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaska/" target="_blank">BACKCOUNTRYMAN | ALASKA’S KENAI PENINSULA</a><br><br><img alt="Eric Kessler" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7le&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002s6n" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br>For much of the year, Eric is all backcountry, all the time. “One deep wilderness trip includes crossing the Alaska Range on foot and arriving at a lake where rafts are flown in by boat plane for a trip down a glacier river.” Those skills come in plenty handy, even <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaska/" target="_blank">on the Kenai Peninsula where life is somewhat tamer</a>. “I know how to react quickly and safely with wild animals where guides who only work with book-learning cannot. I can also read the weather to adjust hikes to keep them comfortable and enjoyable. His favorite moment: “<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaska/" target="_blank">Sharing the hike to Grewingk Glacier</a> on a sunny day and having a picnic along the iceberg-studded lake is just about as good as it gets. I love to hear the gasp of awe as guests see such a sight for the first time in their lives.”</p> <h3><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/guest-reviews/" target="_blank">WHAT OUR GUESTS SAY</a></h3> <blockquote> <p>All eleven members of our family from 10 to 72 had a magical experience. Our guides were wonderful and became part of our family … our time together was obviously carefully thought out, but they were flexible in planning things they thought we would enjoy.<br>–LOGAN AND DOROTHY, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank">AMALFI</a></p> <p>Our guides were the best! They made the whole trip interesting, fun, exciting and a very unique experience. They also gave great insight into the character, history and culture of the region.<br>–NICOLE, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/prague/" target="_blank">PRAGUE TO BUDAPEST</a></p> <p>Our guide was delightful! The trip was a good combination of exercise and learning about the local culture.<br>–STEPHEN, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/nova-scotia-tours/" target="_blank">NOVA SCOTIA</a></p> </blockquote>

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