Alaskan Adventure Part 2 – The Cruise

The ship left the port of Seward about 8 PM and cruised out of the harbor and on to our next day’s adventure which was Hubbard’s Glacier. We hear in the news about the glaciers and how they are melting but Hubbard’s Glacier is actually growing. The glacier was amazing. This pictures isn’t the entire glacier.

Now we are headed toward Juneau, Alaska; the capital. Juneau is only accessible by sea or by air. Weather wasn’t cooperating all that much today. It was overcast and drizzly. We took a whale watching tour. The water was really rough. The boat would slam down on the water and you’d feel like you were
landing on concrete. It might have been better to cancel. We saw humpback whales. At one point we saw a mother and baby whale together and they both breached. This is uncommon as normally adult whales won’t breech. Don’t really know why. When we were headed back to the pier we saw the ship “Time Bandit” from “Deadliest Catch”. Then there was a ship tied up that had a container garden up on deck. It was interesting to watch the different vessels. Tides here are about 15 feet and they see them four times a day. So, floating docks and the fixed ones are really high.

From the whale watching expedition we stopped for a visit at the Alaska Brewing Company. We got to taste some of their beers and got an 8 ounce souvenir cup.

When we got downtown, we went to a couple of stores and then headed back to the ship. If the weather had been nicer, we could have taken the Mount Roberts tramway to the top of the mountain. On a nice day the view would be amazing.

Now on to Skagway. Skagway was originally a hunting and fishing village, but later becam popular with early prospectors heading into the Yukon. Here in Skagway is a Civil Engineering landmark – the bridge built for the White Pass and Yukon Route. On this day we took the train up thru to the Yukon Territory and then a motor coach back down to the ship so we would see things from two different perspectives. We went thru White Pass Summit which was 2,865 foot above sea level; Skagway being at sea level. Imagine
prospectors bringing all their supplies and food up this trail. Prospectors were required to have two tons with them when they went thru the check point to head out for gold. If they were even one pound short they were turned back. We had some hikers on board so at a couple of points we stopped and dropped them off. There were some beautiful sights. One place I really liked was Bridal Veil Falls. The waterfall cascades 6,000 feet from glaciers.

The motor coach dropped us off at the ship and we were done for the day.

Icy Strait Point, Hoonah, Alaska was a small place. They are building a pier for the cruise ships, we had to tender. Our guide today was Herm. There were six of us on the boat going out to see whales.

We were lucky. We got to see humpbacks and later a pod of Orcas. Whales are highly protected. You are not allowed to get close to them, you aren’t allowed to come between them and the shore if they are near the shore, you cannot interfere with them. On our way back to the dock, we saw an eagle sitting on a buoy. He just sat there as we got closer and circled him. He just watched. Herm asked me if my camera was on sport mode because if he got closer I could get some good pictures of him in flight and I did. It was amazing to watch him take off.

Now we are on our way to Ketchikan. Kurt is going salmon fishing and I am going to look for bears. To go bear watching we take a small plane out to an area known as Margaret Bay. The scenery by air and then walking thru the woods was beautiful. It turned out the walk was longer than I was told so I was not a prepared as I thought. When we got there it wasn’t but a couple of minutes and a bear was walking into the stream. During our time there we saw four bears. Two were brother who hung out together because they had yet to get interested in females. (This is what I was told) It was amazing seeing the bears. By the time I got back to the ship all I wanted to do is collapse and have some water.

Kurt had an amazing time fishing. There are five kinds of salmon and today the silver salmon were running. The people on the boat caught rock fish and some caught salmon but they were too small to keep. Kurt caught about a 10 pound salmon. They took the fish, fileted it, froze it and sent it to us. So we have fresh salmon in the freezer. It turned out to be a rather expensive salmon. Oh well, it was something he wanted to experience.

It’s now Thursday and we are cruising the inside passage. Again the scenery was magnificent. We had a small boat come up along side us and one of the passengers started playing the trumpet. It was different. He played a few songs before he pulled off.

It is Friday, now we are in Vancouver. We have to get up really early to disembark, get a cab to the airport and begin our journey home. We leave Vancouver at 12:30 PM on Friday and arrive back home about 2:30 AM Saturday morning.

I have talked about the things we saw while in Alaska but not about the ship experience.

When you book a cruise to Alaska, if you can, get a balcony. At the minimum get an outside cabin. Plus, depending on whether you are on a north or south bound, get on the land side. There is some amazing scenery to see and it was really nice to drink hot chocolate on the balcony in the morning and see what we were passing.

Seriously consider a drink package. In the long run you will save money. They have different types of drink packages so look at the one that works best for you.

If you buy alcohol, either ashore or on board be prepared, the ship will keep it until the last night and it will be delivered to your stateroom.

The trip was amazing.

Some tips if you are planning to go to Alaska.

1 – Plan for multiple types of weather; cold, wet, and warm.

2 – Do the land portion. If Alaska is a once in a lifetime trip, you want to go and see Denali National Park. You learn a lot of the history of this part of our country during your trip.

3 – The further north you go, the more costly things become including food. Everything is brought in.

4– During the land portion of the trip there are a lot of optional excursions available. You need to plan for these as some are expensive.

5– Excursions while you are in port are costly. You can do them in advance so you know exactly what you are spending.

6 – Bring a good camera with lots of memory. We took over 2,000 pictures.

Thank you for reading about my adventure. If you have any questions, email me at

For more information, contact me at

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