It's hard to believe that 4 years had gone by since our last cruise to Alaska but indeed it has. So why go to the same place twice??? Well aside from the fact that it's beautiful and convenient, being able to leave from Seattle or Vancouver it was the culmination of a promise that I made to Nicki way back when Nicki was much younger and in grade school. I had promised her if she would stay in school and graduate that I would take her on a trip somewhere. Well she did it and the time came for me to pay up! We went back around with different ideas over the years and finally at practically the very last moment we settled on going on a cruise to Alaska.
ANd so on June 22nd we set sail from Vancouver bound for the Inside Passage on the Norwiegen Sun.
It became the girls trip with her, her mom and gramma and my mom and me all going. We had wonderful adjoining cabins with large windows and fairly comfortable beds! Of course for anyone that has ever cruised before you know that a wonderful cabin includes a bathroom probably smaller than most people's closets, one small walkway along the closet, a tiny fridge filled with $2 a can soda that they are trying to tempt you to drink, a safe, a chair or two, a little desk space, a small TV and if you are lucky 2 little night stands and a small amount of floor space either between or along side the bed(s). But having descirbed the roomy accommodations I must say what more do you need? If you are like me you hardly spend anytime in your room anyway so it's really more than adequate. The rooms we had this time had nice fold down bunks so that was handy, much nicer than the pull out couch we had one the last one we went on with 3 people in a room.
This trip we left from Vancouver and stopped in Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway and also went through some fjords and up Endicot Arm to visit Davis glacier. Just in case you are interested I thought I would share a few highlights of the trip with you.
Ketchikan: It was rainy here but we once again visited the Saxman Native Village so that Nicki would have the chance to see the place and dance in the long house. This was the one thing she really wanted to do. Last time we were there I danced so this time it was her turn!
On the way to the village we saw an Eagle sitting on it's next right near the road which was fantastic because you could really get a good idea of how large the nests get. We did some shopping and picture taking and then it was back on the boat to our next port.
Juneau and Glacier: This is the capital city of Alaska and last time mom and I took a walking tour and saw all the capital sights but this time since none of the rest of our party had ever gone whale watching that is the tour we decided to take. We got views of a few glaciers along the way, the weather was wonderful and we were blessed to see not just whales but a cow teaching her calf to breech.
According to our boat captain this something they once see about once a week and we were privileged to see it. We also so lots of eagles and some sea lions as well as really great scenery, a neat lighthouse on the point of Admiralty Island which boasts the greatest concentration of black bears of anywhere in N. America. I want to go and check that out sometime in the future!
From Juneau we went into the Fjords and they were stunning. The glaciers that we saw were of course beautiful but the rocks and valleys carved out by them were simply incredible. Along the way we saw some seals perched on icebergs and some really interesting icebergs that looks like they have been sawn out of the glacier with a straight edge. I haven't ever seen icebergs like these.
Skagway: We had an entire day in Skagway and what fun we had there! I think this was my favorite town. Quite small but very pleasant. You can actually get to Skagway by car while the others we visited were landlocked and only accessible by air or sea. While in Skagway we took the White Pass train that follows the first part of the Yukon route and take you, yes amazingly enough to White Pass! The train ride was a lot of fun and we learned alot about the gold rush on the way.
The view looking back at the end of the train.
What a fantastic journey the men of the gold rush undertook to get to the Yukon. Once they made it as far as Skagway they had to walk 2000 lbs of supplies up over White pass to Lake Bennett before the Canadians would let them in.
This is the trail that they walked single file in a long line that continued almost 24hrs. a day for many months.
Then they built a raft or boat of some sort and sailed the lake and river for over 500 miles. If they made it that far they were then at Dawson Creek and then they had the task of finding and working a claim. Interestingly enough no gold was ever found at Skagway but now since it is called 'The Gateway to the Yukon" and all the tourists come there expecting to find gold they truck dirt in from the gold fields and make it available for panning on tours! Yes of course we went panning for gold and yes we all found some!
Top 10 things we (I) did while on board during sea days:
10: Bought my first real work of art (a beautiful Kincaid!)
9: Watched the Cat's Pajama's perform
8: Went to a demonstration/workshop on folding towels into animals. sort of like origami in towels!
7: Went to a really funny singles dinner where only another girl from Mexico and her 3 aunts showed up and so we had a ladies dinner...not exactly the place to meet guys! (In the process though I got meet a great girl who I hope to keep in touch with.)
6: Got dressed up and had pictures taken.
5: Got beat at Wii bowling by my mother!!! It was her first time ever playing a video game I think and she was afraid of looking silly...whatever!
4: Had my picture taken with the Cat's Pajamas.
3: Enjoyed some great shows.
2: Got dressed up in a sheet and went to a party with a white theme. I did' have anything white but wrapped and tied the sheet made quite the fashion statement, trust me! LOL
1: Went to 5/6 shows that the Cat's Pajamas gave on board and one time I actually got sung too!! I thought I had figured out who they pulled up and used in their shows but I guess I missed the part in the previous show where they sing to someone in the audience! I was shocked but I guess that's what I get for sitting in the front row. LOL You might have guessed I liked these guys! I hope I can convince them to come to Bellingham sometime before they really make it big and I can still afford tickets to their show because I am pretty sure they will not be affordable for long. If you like male a Capella music then go check
There are more pictures here on my face book page albums:SkagwayJuneauOn-boardKetchikan