Alaskan cruise

During our last week in Vancouver before going on the cruise, Laurel & Charlie walked a couple miles to Waterfront Station where they took the Sea Bus (ferry) to North Vancouver and then a bus to Grouse Mountain where they took a gondola and ski lift up the mountain and went up an elevator in a windmill and could see for many miles. They watched a lumberjack show, saw a couple captive grizzlies, ate lunch, and listened to a talk about falcons before heading back down the mountain, taking the bus, the sea bus, and walking back to the apartment. I stayed home and did a few loads of laundry and caught up on other house work.
On Friday, July 11, we boarded our one-week Alaskan cruise, Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas, at Canada Place. The day after we boarded was a day at sea where it was mostly too cloudy and too far from land to see much, but we did see dolphins near the boat and either whales or dolphins further out. Day three we docked in Ketchikan which is really touristy and made me wonder whether we should have gone the cruise route. There were three huge cruise ships docked in the harbor and thousands of people descending on the small town at the same time. There were few restaurants and little to do for those, like us, who had not booked any of the expensive outings.
Day four was a refreshing change when we stopped at Icy Straight Point. It’s near the little town of Hoonah and hosted only our ship that day. There’s no dock, so we were brought in by smaller boats. The beauty was breathtaking, but I couldn’t really capture that with my iPhone camera. While we were in the little fish cannery museum, a humpback whale swam about 20 feet from shore – or so we were told by the several friends we’d made on board. Oh well. I learned a great deal about canning though. 🙂
Day five was Juneau which I really liked. Of course, it’s beautiful, and we took a bus tour of the town which included a one-hour stop at Mendenhall Glacier. Our bus driver grew up in Juneau and had some very interesting tales. We also took a gondola up Mount Roberts and had great views of the fjords and faraway views of several bald eagles.
Day six we were in Skagway where there were four ships docked, just as in Juneau. It’s a quaint town but not much to do for those like me who had not booked the expensive and several-hour-long scenic train ride.
Day seven was spent at sea where we saw Hubbard Glacier! We were stopped in the morning for some time so people could take lots of pictures of the glacier and then the captain turned the ship (slowly) several times so that even those who couldn’t elbow their way to the front could get some great views.
Day eight was today. We were off the ship at 7:20 am Alaska time and are now sitting in the Seattle airport. Our flight to Vancouver has been delayed at least two hours due to debris on the Vancouver runways.
I don’t know if my airport wifi connection is good enough to post a bunch of pictures, so I’ll post those separately in the next couple days. We’ll spend the night in Vancouver…if we ever get there and then fly to Toronto tomorrow where we’ll be until August 1.

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