Many of my blog readers are also my Facebook ‘friends,’ but for those who aren’t, here’s a quick recap of our cruise to Alaska last week. If you want to see a more complete set of the photos, click here. (If the link doesn’t work, let me know and I’ll ‘get you in’!”
My husband grew up in Prince Rupert, BC, (just below the Alaskan panhandle) so the cool, wet days along the west coast seemed like coming home to him. Some days we had a bit of sunshine, but mostly it misted and rained. On the ship that wasn’t a problem as our main haunt, the promenade deck, was covered.
We set out from Seattle on Saturday the 19th. We hadn’t cleared the north end of Vancouver Island yet when we got up Sunday morning, but once we were through the last strait there, the rest of the day was spent a long way from land, all fogged in. We explored the ship, played shuffleboard, and hung out.Monday morning we were docked in Ketchikan, Alaska, when we woke up. After a bit of shopping, Jim and I cut loose from our group and explored the village. We enjoyed Creek Street (in which the creek literally IS the street), climbed a boardwalk/set of steps, rode a tram back to the docks, and generally took in the sights. Tuesday we were up bright and early again for a few hours in Juneau. Here we took a longer tram ride up the mountain and did a bit of hiking overlooking the city. The weather was misty but not pouring while we were up there, and the views were stupendous. There were lots of alpine flowers in bloom, and we saw a marmot along the trail. We did spend a bit of time checking out the shops. The shore time was less this day because the cruise ship then sailed up the fjord to Dawes Glacier. Not only was the sight of the glacier descending right to the sea awe-inspiring, we also saw whales in the narrow channel, and dozens if not hundreds of seals on the ice floe at the base of the glacier. We were too far to get photos of the seals but could see them clearly through binoculars.
Wednesday we spent in and near Skagway. The highlight was a trip into BC on the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway. Beautiful scenery, especially along the lake at the top of the pass! The train ride was nearly four hours in total, climbing almost 3000 feet in 20 miles, so it covered every type of mountain terrain from river delta to alpine meadows.
After three days of early shore times, Thursday we were happy to sleep in and hang out in the hot tub to start the day. We arrived in Prince Rupert, BC, at 4 pm and were met at the ship by a friend of Jim’s mom, who drove us around to many of the sites that Jim remembered from his childhood. Then we enjoyed a salmon dinner in their home before returning to the cruise ship at 10 pm.
Friday we spent at sea on our return south. Once we neared the north end of Vancouver Island (this time going on the westward side of it) we spotted humpbacks, gray whales, and orcas. Although we saw whales of one type or another every single day of the cruise, Friday abounded in them. I’d guess we easily saw over two dozen. It was hard to know how many were in the pods we went by, but it was well worth spending hours at the rail with binoculars!
We pulled back into Seattle early Saturday and were disembarked by 8:45. The rest of our party headed out from there, and Jim and I spent the day along the piers, taking in the Aquarium and a 1.5 hour sail that was most excellent before meeting old friends for dinner at The Crab Pot.
Such a full week! We got home Sunday about supper time to greet excited pets, do loads of laundry, and brace ourselves to a Monday morning back at work.