Victoria revels in its English essence at the southernmost tip of Vancouver Island. Afternoon teas, double-decker buses and English inns, gardens and pubs are common in this capital city. The most popular attraction is the world-famous Butchart Gardens, flaunting 55 acres of floral magnificence. Other must-sees include the historic Fairmont Empress Hotel, overlooking the Inner Harbour, the Victorian-era Craigdarroch Castle and the Royal BC Museum, where tourists will find artifacts, documents and specimens that tell the tale of the province's natural and human history.

Language: English
Currency: Canadian Dollar (CAD)

PORTS

SKAGWAY, ALASKA

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JUNEAU, ALASKA

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KETCHIKAN, ALASKA

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA

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TRACY ARM FJORD, ALASKA

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Tucked away in Tongass National Forest about 45 miles south of Juneau, Tracy Arm boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in North America. This 30-mile fjord, formed centuries ago by glacial activity, is flanked by colossal granite cliffs, with snow-capped mountains looming beyond. Boat cruises, Zodiac expeditions and kayaking adventures lead you past cascading waterfalls and a diversity of wildlife, from goats and whales to brown bears and bald eagles. Come springtime, you can spot harbor seals tending to their newborns. At the end of the waterway are the main attractions-the twin Sawyer Glaciers, which calve every hour or so, sending slabs of clear blue ice plummeting into the water below. Witnessing these purges is a memorable experience, one that allows you to see, hear and feel the full force of nature.

Language: English
Currency: US Dollar (US$)

Though it's small in terms of population, Skagway is plenty big when it comes to adventure. Sail among waterfalls and wildlife on Lynn Canal, one of the longest, deepest fjords in North America, or take a helicopter tour over glaciers before trying your hand at dog sledding. A kayaking expedition down the Inside Passage will have you paddling past seals, sea lions, porpoises and possibly humpback whales. Hikers can trek the Chilkoot Trail, the primary route prospectors followed in Alaska's 19th-century gold rush, while photographers will marvel at the jaw-dropping photo ops from atop White Pass summit, which is accessible via railway or a picturesque drive on the Klondike Highway. Amid the scenery and stillness of Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, keep your eyes peeled for the rare and endangered birds during a river float.

Language: English
Currency: US Dollar (US$)

Accessible only by air or sea, Alaska's capital city entices travelers with its beauty, tranquility, and outdoor activities. The Mendenhall Glacier, the jewel of the Juneau Icefield, can be discovered on scenic drives, hikes, boat rides, rafting trips, kayaking excursions and helicopter tours. Thrill-seekers get their adrenaline fix while ziplining above alpine forests, and culture lovers learn about landmarks such as the governor's mansion and St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church during explorations of downtown. A prospector-led panning adventure to Last Chance Basin allows you to strike gold, just as folks did in the late 19th century. Juneau's waters are a hot spot for humpback whales, and daily cruises afford the opportunity to witness these majestic creatures-a truly unforgettable experience. Brush up on local history with a visit to the Alaska State Museum, and cap off the day's adventures with a sampling of freshly caught salmon and locally sourced beer.

Language: English
Currency: US Dollar (US$)

With its boat-filled harbor and colorful waterfront, Ketchikan welcomes visitors to southeastern Alaska's Inside Passage. Fishing opportunities abound in the self-proclaimed salmon capital of the world, and bear viewing spots often find the creatures munching on their catch of the day. The Totem Heritage Center displays 33 19th-century totem poles, making it the largest collection in the U.S. Expeditions to the country's largest national forest, Tongass, explore its 16.7 million acres by Jeep, canoe or on foot, while floatplane tours provide a bird's-eye view of Misty Fjords National Monument. Other outings explore the town's past as a Native American settlement and gold rush hub or take to the water with kayaks or paddleboards for encounters with harbor seals and the occasional humpback or killer whale.

Language: English
Currency: US Dollar (US$)

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SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

The bustling Washington port known as the "The Emerald City" is both a culturally rich metropolis and a gateway to beautiful natural attractions. In the shadows of the widely recognized Space Needle, the Seattle Center is home to the city's sports arena and many museums and theaters. The lively Pike Place Market and the mammoth "Hammering Man" sculpture are downtown must-sees. Visitors also flock to the waterfront for fresh seafood, the Harbor Steps park or to board a ferry bound for Puget Sound. Seattle is served by both the Bell Street Pier Cruise Terminal and Terminal 91.

Language: English
Currency: US Dollar (US$)