Most people travel to Alaska in the summer, when it is typically warmer, drier (usually), and the days are longer.
So why is Alaska really famous for Christmas?
Well, if you cruise to Alaska and have time to shop, you will find an array of handmade Christmas ornaments, Candles, Fudge, handmade jewelry, beautiful Alaskan made sculptures, totem poles, spectacular Christmas scenic photography beautifully framed. Ulu knives, wild Alaskan treats such as Birch syrup, tea, tinned, and vacuum-packed salmon. Soaps, gorgeous Alaskan handmade knives, baleen basketry, fused glass art, Russian dolls, and quilting.
I love Alaska; who doesn’t? Been traveling there one way or another for over 25 years.
This year (time of writing this 2020), no cruise ships visited Alaska; therefore, millions of tourists didn’t get to do their Christmas shopping. So we thought we would let you know all the spectacular Christmas presents you can look forward to either online or next year when you cruise.
Alaska has so much to offer any visitor; the biggest draw is the deep, rich history of The Klondike Gold Rush, often called the Yukon Gold Rush, after gold was discovered there in 1896. Starting in the 1870s, prospectors trickled into the Yukon in search of gold. By 1896, around 1,500 prospectors panned for gold along the Yukon River basin.
Something everyone seems to want from Alaska is Gold Quartz jewelry; it’s synonymous with Alaska’s history and culture. So what is Gold Quartz? It is gold-bearing quartz with beautiful veins of gold flowing through white quartz making each piece a one of a kind. It was formed millions of years ago by hydro-thermal pressure and is found today underground by hard rock miners. Check out Elizabeth’s blog on Gold Quartz; she is a jewelry expert and can go deep with this precious gemstone’s intricacies and why it is so incredibly popular with people visiting Alaska.
The same goes for Gold Nuggets, very popular in Alaska. Gold nuggets occur when they break out of quartz deposits during erosion and lodge into the rivers and streams of Alaska and the Yukon territory. They rub against the rocks in the currents, which causes these beautiful smooth, perfectly formed by nature pieces of jewelry. Each nugget is a one-of-a-kind.
Gold n Quartz and Gold Nuggets are definitely something you won’t find at home and are perfect for Christmas. Take a look at these pieces; prime examples of you what you should look for when buying authentic Gold Quartz and Gold Nugget jewelry. Each piece of Gold Quartz comes with a certificate of authenticity. Take a look at how it looks in fine jewelry by Kabana here, this is high craftsmanship, high-quality Gold n Quartz you can find.
One of the not to be missed locations in Juneau is Caribou Crossings representing over 60 Alaskan Artists. This locally owned store showcases unique handmade crafts from all over the state! With a solid reputation for outstanding customer service and 25 years of nurturing artists’ talents, Caribou Crossings prides itself in providing the opportunity to shop local and buy Alaskan.
Because so many of their regular customers who cruise to Alaska each summer couldn’t make it. Laura, the owner, has created The Alaska Box; how it works is each box is seasonal, so there is one ready to go on December 1st, 2020, containing the sights, smells, taste, and beauty of Alaska. Each of the four boxes you will receive contains the seasonal flavors and beauty of Alaska. Winter, Spring, summer, and autumn will each be different. But it would be best if you hurried to grab this year’s winter box before December 1st.
Another great location is Annie Kaills, which is a premier art and crafts gallery. Since 1975, Annie Kaill’s has been a favorite destination of visitors and Juneau locals alike. Carrying Alaskan artwork, handmade pottery and stoneware, beautiful glassware and art glass, stunning local Jewelry, and so much more. Whether it’s a painting from one of the finest artists from Alaska or the Northwest or a whimsical gift for a friend… Annie Kaill’s has been the place to go for over 40 years!
Local Alaska jewelers are Infinity jewelers Alaska; this is a true Alaskan romance story; Arik would go to Alaska each summer to work for a large jewelry company where he met the lovely Jenny. They couldn’t bear to be apart during the winter, so they decided to make a go of it, got married, and opened their own independent Jewelry company called Infinity Jewelers Alaska. They sell gorgeous Orca diamond jewelry designs, Arik is a diamond GIA expert, and Jenny is an expert in Jewelry, so you can imagine they have a spectacular jewelry boutique in the heart of Ketchikan. Currently, they have such a fabulous selection of Gold nugget pendants; each one is unique and different; as explained earlier, they come from mother nature and have been carved by mother nature.
Also, don’t miss Scanlon Art Gallery, South East Alaskan art, and conveniently located right next door is Arctic Gallery proudly providing northwest coast art, Northern Alaska art, Scrimshaw, Qiviut, and Jewelry.
Great shopping, you can walk off the ship, head into town, everything is very close. I recommend making your way up one side and then cross over and walk down the other, so you don’t miss out on a thing. Or there is a bus that has several key stops along the street; if your legs aren’t up the walking, click here for more information on the Skagway bus.
Some of my favorite places to go in Skagway is Broadway Jewelers; ask for Kathy; she has a fabulous store; you may need more than an hour, though. Look for an Alaskan treasure called Linda Chase; she is a very talented Glass Artist; I have witnessed her Glass Art Journey over the last 10 years; her Alaskan themed works of art are gorgeous; you won’t be disappointed. Check out her Instagram account @Lindachaseglass or her Facebook page @Lindachasefusedglassoriginals Actually, Linda Chase’s glass art is also available in Annie Kaills in Juneau, Alaska, so take a look on her Facebook page.
If you are missing Alaska as much as we are, you can check out this charity called www.Supportaport.com, select your favorite Alaskan port and donate. All the proceeds will help those affected negatively about receiving no tourism for the summer of 2020. Alternatively, you can go to Cruise Shop Save and shop for a beautiful silver piece of jewelry that reminds you of Alaska, and we will donate 5% of all the proceeds to @Supportaport.