Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

MAR-APR 2018

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e allure of Alaska is undeniable. It is a fascination rooted in tales—some tall, others true—relayed first by Russian explorers, and continuing with Spanish, British and American expeditioners, traders, whalers and prospectors who spoke about Eskimos and other indigenous people swaddled in furs, mushing dog teams, and hunting and scavenging in order to survive in harsh conditions that at times seemed hardly fit for man or beast. Accounts of this vast and rugged remoteness, combined later with illustrations and then photographic images of unimaginable and unblemished natural beauty, continue to fuel the fire of the imagination and make the destination a perennial bucket list trip. A little more than 700,000 people live in the largest US state (almost half of those in Anchorage), making Alaska's vast expanses of achingly beautiful, untamed wilderness seem unattainable, unless you are one of its native peoples, an adventurous outdoorsy type, or among the hearty souls populating its smattering of cities. As I don't fit into any of the aforementioned categories but still longed to experience all that Alaska has to offer, I booked an 11-day Denali Explorer land and sea tour with Princess Cruises. In 1969 the Princess Italia brought 525 passengers to Alaska; in 2019, Royal Princess, the company's largest ship ever deployed to the region, will deliver awe-inspiring moments to 3,500 guests. anks to a half-century of experience in providing cruise and cruisetour vacations, Princess has built a unique infrastructure in Alaska, encompassing five riverside lodges, rail service and state- of-the-art ships, which allow travelers to get to the heart of the great outdoors without sacrificing any creature comforts. THE GR EATER OUTDOOR S Princess Cruises makes it easy to experience more of Alaska by land, sea, and air. Written by Patti Bailey / Photography by Tony Bailey slmag.net 33

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