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We spent 10 days cruising through Alaska on Windstar Cruises' 'Star Legend'! I know, I know - we are so incredibly lucky. One of our favorite stops of the trip was beautiful Haines, AK. Check out the photos our team (including the Cruise Expert himself, on loan from KOMO News, Seth Wayne) took along the way. (Image: John Prentice / Seattle Refined)
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Sail Alaska: What to expect in Haines and Ketchikan

Cruising Alaska is an adventure that can't be taken lightly (go big or go home, right?)

That's why the Seattle Refined team embarked on a voyage of The Last Frontier with a ship that's anything but ordinary (in fact, it's 180 degrees from ordinary). Windstar Cruise’s Star Legend is a boutique ship that only holds a maximum of 212 guests and is the most authentic way to experience the scenery and wildlife in Alaska. As a guest on the Star Legend, you'll visit Alaskan ports like Haines and Ketchikan.

Here' an exclusive look at what's available for Windstar guests to experience in both of these truly Alaskan towns:

Ketchikan, Alaska. Dubbed the “Salmon Capital of the World,” Ketchikan is the southeastern-most town in Alaska and is home to the world's largest collection of standing totem poles. Discover the amazing journey that salmon must endure as they head to their spawning ground, visit exotic bird exhibits in the rainforest, and enjoy a mouthwatering feast of all-you-can-eat seafood. As you're driving, walking, or boating around town, take in the sights of snow-capped mountains and waterfalls.

A few other notable Ketchikan mentions:

  • Bird sanctuaries and rainforests. Herring Cove, home to bald eagles, black bears, seals, and a variety of other species attracted by the major salmon runs in the marine estuary, touts a wooden boardwalk for guests to view dense forest and grassy wetlands. Listen to the symphony of bird activity and then visit birds of prey up close at the Alaska Raptor Center.
  • Ziplining. Think ziplining through a rainforest is something you only see in the movies? Think again! Traverse zip lines ranging from 175-feet to 850-feet above the forest floor. Treetop platforms and three hanging sky bridges will offer breathtaking views of the forest and frequent wildlife sightings, especially wild black bears.
  • Lumberjacks. Treat yourself to an action-packed, rowdy good time at The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show, where southeast Alaska's rich logging history comes to life in a thrilling display of woodsmen skills. The world's best lumberjacks go head-to-head in more than a dozen exciting events such as chopping, sawing, relay races, axe throwing, log rolling, and of course, the 50-foot speed climb. Sure, it's a bit touristy, but it's been known to leave people rolling on the ground in laughter!

Haines, Alaska. It's the Alaska you dream about - authentic, and mesmerizing. With fascinating history, intriguing culture, breathtaking scenery and adventure to last a lifetime, there's no question that the time you spend when you visit Haines will be enjoyed and remembered for years to come.

Here are some Haines highlights:

  • Geography. Haines is located along the edge of North America's longest and deepest fjord, just 68 nautical miles north of Juneau in Southeast Alaska. Craggy mountain peaks tower above a lush coastal rainforest with temperate seasons that call to the adventurer in all of us.
  • History. Visit museums dedicated to our earliest residents, the Native Tlingit people, and a national favorite, the American Bald Eagle. And if you're still up for more, explore gold rush era Fort William H. Seward, or find yourself alone at the end of a rocky beach trail.
  • Nature. Fill the long daylight hours of summer with a rafting trip, a deep-sea halibut fishing charter, or a hike through an ancient spruce forest. Come visit Haines and tap into your inner explorerYour Alaska adventure starts here!

Once you're done with the day's excursion, you'll retreat back to the Star Legend for an impeccable culinary experience, relaxing evening at sea, and wake up the next day in a new port.

Your ship is waiting for you, so what are you waiting for?

Ready to book your Alaskan adventure? Visit www.windstarcruises.com or call 877-212-1416 to learn more.

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