It's nearly that time of year, again! Every year in mid-may, people in Seattle start to anticipate the arrival of fresh, wild salmon from the Copper River, in Alaska. If you're a foodie, it's the best time to visit the Pacific Northwest, if you ask me.
I used to have a job where I'd travel for work quite a bit, including to Seattle, from time to time. When I was working out of our Seattle office in May, my colleague who was based there insisted that we go to dinner at his favorite restaurant--a seafood place right on the water, that had the first Copper River Salmon of the season, which was cooked the traditional way--roasted on a cedar plank over an open fire.
It was the most incredible fish I'd ever tasted.
The next year, that same colleague called me and said that there was an urgent matter that needed my attention, that he didn't have time to explain, but that I needed to jump on a plane as quickly as possible. So, I flew to Seattle and asked John what the emergency was, and he said, "Oh, everything's fine. It's just that the salmon from the Copper River is coming in, and I thought you needed an excuse to come out here."
As I understand it, there's actually a reason that Copper River Salmon is the best in the world. Alaska's Copper River is about 300 miles long and has strong current of gold, pure, glacial waters. In order for Copper River salmon to make it upstream to spawn, they need a lot of strength, and because they don't eat while swimming upstream, they have to build up fat reserves to get all the way up to the pools where they'll spawn. So, when fishermen catch these salmon at the beginning of their run in the Copper River Delta, the high fat content means moist and flavorful fish, and loads of Omega-3 acids. So, it's healthy eating, too!
Of course, one of the best ways to see the Pacific Northwest and Alaska is by cruise. Many cruise lines go to Alaska, but we're particularly excited about the Alaska itineraries offered by Princess Cruises. Princess has been sailing to Alaska for more than 40 years, and they're consistently winning awards for their Alaska trips. Of course, you'll see glaciers, mountains, and wildlife, but Princess has added excursions and activities to their Alaska cruises that really allow you to have an authentic in-depth Alaska experience. They have Cruisetour packages that can bundle a cruise (really, the only way to see some of these glaciers is from the water), with rail into the interior and a stay at a fabulous lodge near Denali National Park.
Images courtesy of Princess Cruises.
Princess also has their "North to Alaska" program, which won a prestigious Gold Magellan Award from Travel Weekly. With this program, guests can watch actual lumberjacks in action, make friends with sled dog puppies (they bring them on board), and speak to National Park rangers (also on board). Oh, and not to stray too far from the point--the menus on these trips is loaded with delicious, fresh Alaskan seafood.
Images courtesy of Princess Cruises
Princess offers a "Cook my Catch" program, where guests take a fishing excursion during the day, and then, later, the chef will prepare what you caught for lunch or dinner! They've also partnered with local eateries in Alaska to provide local favorites on board, like crab cakes from Tracy's King Crab Shack in Juneau, or fish tacos from the "Alaska Fish House in Ketchikan. If seafood is a motivator for you to visit Alaska, you'll want to talk to us about booking a Princess Cruise.
That's why we'll be featuring some of Princess's incredible Alaska itineraries when we hosting a special Huckleberry Travel Event in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday, May 13, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. We'll be serving cedar plank roasted Copper River Salmon (or other fresh, wild Alaskan salmon, if Copper River isn't yet available), and we'll have a really great time! If you'd like to join us for this event, just drop us a line, and we'll send you the details!