When the opportunity to cruise through Alaska presented itself to Alex Dzuirban, the local teen couldn’t help but hop on board.
“I always wanted to go there, even as a kid,” Dzuirban said.
During the nine-day trek, Dzuirban and family had the chance to take in some of the spectacular northern views, watch whales frolic next to their ship and explore the quiet towns along the way.
“It’s definitely one of my favourite places I’ve been,” Dzuirban said.
The pre-health student at Cambrian said her favourite part of the trip was the chance to meet a team of sled dogs.
“(It was) one of the main reasons I went there,” she said.
Since her youth, she has wanted to get up close and personal with a team.
It was when the ship docked in Juneau that Dzuirban finally had the chance to get behind the dogs. It was off-season for a sleigh ride, but she didn’t mind cruising in a refitted golf cart pulled by a barking, howling pack.
Along with the opportunity to meet the canine crew, Dzuirban said Juneau stuck out because of the welcoming vibe it gave.
“That was probably my favourite place,” she said. “I looked at my aunt and said ‘I could live here.’”
Dzuirban said she liked the atmosphere of the isolated communities she visited.
According to Alaska.com, 15 per cent of the state’s population is made of people native to the area.
“Alaska natives ... maintain many traditions, such as whaling, subsistence hunting and fishing, and old ways of making crafts and art,” the website stated. “Native heritage history and culture can be found in such diverse places as Ketchikan, Anchorage and Kotzebue, as well as in hundreds of villages where people live in traditional ways.”
Dzuirban said many of the communities had old, almost western-style, feeling to them.
“It’s just a different environment,” she said.