In honor of our 9th wedding anniversary today, I’m flashing back to how we celebrated 2 years ago! We were lucky enough to take an amazing week long Alaskan cruise with Princess Cruise Line over our anniversary in August of 2019. This was a bucket list destination for sure. You can check out some of the amazing scenery, along with some clips from our helicopter excursion in this video or read on to hear how it went!
I am actually not a fan of flying…
It’s kind of crazy to be a travel blogger and not enjoy flying but it’s definitely my least favorite and most neccessary part of getting to amazing places, so I suck it up and do it.
When we were looking for things to do in Alaska, a helicopter tour was not on the top of my list. I figured I’d be white knuckled and stressed on a helicoptor as well but I was very pleasantly surprised to actually enjoy the flight and prefer them to planes now! The tour was a splurge at just under $1,000 for 3 of us but seeing as it was our anniversary and likely a once in a lifetime experience, I found a way to justify the expense.
We booked our excursion through Viator with Coastal Helicopters. Here’s their description of the activity:
When your ship anchors in Juneau port, get ready for a shore excursion pumped with adventure and incredible views. First, soar by helicopter over Juneau Icefield, and then land on Herbert Glacier to explore the remote landscape by foot. Learn about the surrounding Alaskan wilderness and capture memorable shots during your icefield walk. Cruise ship passengers please note that the shuttle will pick up one hour before listed flight time.
We were picked up at the cruise terminal and transported to the airport area for a safety briefing. We were outfitted with boots covers with spikes on the bottom. There were children’s sizes as well for our daughter. We were not permitted to bring bags or anything with us for safety reasons (aside from phones in our pockets) so our belongings were locked up at the base. We were walked to our helicoptor and our pilot, Jessie, introduced herself and helped us get seated. The 3 of us were in the back seat, each with our own headset and microphone and another couple sat up front with the pilot.
What stuck out to me the most was how smooth the ride was. There was no major acceleration like with a plane. It’s more a floating up into the sky and gliding around. It took about 15 minutes to get to Herbert Glacier and land. We had a good amount of time on the glacier and our pilot split her time between us and the other group- playing photographer, teaching us about the glacier and encouraging us to try a drink from the running water melting from the glacier which she said was likely 3,000 years old, as the snowfall from the past year had already melted off for the year. We had about 15-20 minutes on the glacier and then an uneventful 15 minute flight back.
All in all, this is one of my favorite things we’ve done as a family. It was absolutely our Christmas card photo that year and one of my favorite memories of the whole trip! If you can afford to set aside a little extra to do an excursion with this company, I highly recommend it as one of the most fun things to do in Alaska!