Royal Holiday Cruises relies on more than three decades of experience in creating long-lasting vacation memories for its members, who now number more than 100,000. Travelers can voyage in comfort to ports of call in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the ruggedly beautiful coastlines and fjords of the Pacific Northwest. A journey to Skagway, Alaska, with Royal Holiday Cruises will take members to the point farthest north along the Inside Passage, also known as the Alaska Marine Highway.
Located about 90 miles northeast of Juneau on the saltwater fjord of the Lynn Canal, Skagway gets its name from the indigenous Tlingit people. The Tlingit word “skagua” can be translated as “the place where the north wind blows.” The town got its start as a supply stop during the heyday of the rush to the Yukon and Klondike gold fields in the late 19th century. A once-active railway suspended service to Skagway in the 1980s after the closure of the Anvil Gold Mines, but later reopened a part of the line specifically to accommodate a growing tourist industry. Today, tourism is the municipality’s main activity, with Royal Holiday Cruises being one of the many lines docking at its accessible and ice-free port.
White Pass and the Yukon Route Railroad
Skagway’s natural beauty is visible all around when travelers take a ride on the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad. Glide through gorges and past waterfalls, glaciers, and towering mountain peaks as the train climbs close to 3,000 feet in a mere 20 miles. The cliff-hanging, steep-grade route, built during gold rush days, has received International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark status.
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
Guests who travel to Skagway with Royal Holiday Cruises will also have the chance to experience the wonders of Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, where glaciers have hewn out stunning valleys and channels. Many scientists have come to regard the park as a hotspot of biodiversity because of its abundance and variety of plants and animals. Glacier bears, black bears, and grizzlies call the park home, as do wolves, lynx, coyotes, red squirrels, and mountain goats. Bird migrations in the region reach their peak in the months of April and September. Bird-watchers might encounter a range of swifts, larks, sparrows, finches, and more.
Lynn Canal and the Taiya Inlet
Royal Holiday Cruises passengers can book a trip on several wildlife-watching charter boats that venture into places such as the Lynn Canal and the Taiya Inlet, which is among North America’s longest and most deeply-cut fjords. Travelers might spot an orca whale or a group of sea lions against the backdrop of the blue-green water, or a bear silhouetted in front of an emerald-green forest.
Skagway Float Tours is one of the many companies that offer high-quality, small-group outdoor excursions for Royal Holiday Cruises travelers and other vacationers. On the Chilkoot Trail, travelers can hike along a relatively challenging two-mile trail blazed by Gold Rush-era adventurers, then float by raft along the Taiya River, where a bald eagle may be seen soaring overhead. The Scenic River Float tour mixes rafting on the Taiya with sightseeing, so that visitors can enjoy panoramic views of Skagway from key observation points.