Tuesday, July 28, 2015

North to Alaska: Part 6: The Cruise: Glacier Bay, Ketchikan and Vancouver

At last the day we'd all been waiting for - cruise ship boarding. Merrin, our land tour journey host was great and when the time came to say good-bye to her, we were all a bit sad. Here's that photo again. 

We spent the afternoon exploring Volendam. We set sail around dinner time and it was a lovely evening sail up the Lynn Canal, which is what that long fjord with Skagway at the tip is called.

Here's a map.

The next morning, in perfect weather, we were steaming toward Glacier Bay.

Those small dots on the water are Glacier National Park visitors who are kayaking and small tour boats. There was lots of activity in the area on such an outstanding day.

Glacier just coming into view. There were several glaciers, but the big one, the one that everybody was oohing and aahing over, was the Margerie Glacier. It's at the tip of the northern-most bay in Glacier Bay, almost in Canada.

Some small ice/snow slides occurred while we were there, but no large chunks calved. 

Margerie Glacier

Some people enjoyed the scenery from the Crow's Nest a cozy bar/lounge at the bow. 


Most people were outside, though, since it was an utterly awesome day. A little chilly with the wind off the glacier. The ship sat there for about an hour.

There was a polar bear swim.

We grabbed some lunch and ate outside, though behind glass.

Here's the view looking the other way.

Eventually the ship fired up again and off we went southwards.

on the way to Ketchikan, which we reached the next morning.

There was already a large cruise ship in port at Ketchikan and another two (including us) landed shortly after. That was a lot of people to be roaming around the small port, visiting all the jewelry shops and t-shirt stores. (We have decided that the cruise lines probably own all these seasonal shops, only open during cruise season)

Here are a couple short videos.

After our day in Ketchikan we had a day at sea, through the Inside Passage. The scenery was so stunning, but without the snowy peaks of farther north. Islands, forests, fishing boats etc.

The next morning we had to be up early - we were to disembark around 7:30 in the morning. We enjoyed coming into Vancouver, a city we know fairly well. Fun to see Stanley Park and sail under the Lion's Gate Bridge.

After disembarkation we found our bags in a shed and hopped onto the shuttle to the airport. The driver kept us entertained and amused so we didn't feel too bad that the awesome trip was over. 

One more post to come about the trip - some odds and ends that haven't made it onto these pages yet.