Sunday - Ketchikan Duck Tour
We started with a land tour, up through the town, showing us the old and new salmon hatcheries.
We also saw Dave and his mate
Then we went down a slipway into teh water and were shown the harbour delights, with Otter seaplanes taking off around us all the time
Finally, back up the slipway onto dry land and dropped off near the ship.
Walk round Ketchikan
After the Duck Tour, we had a good walk round the sights and shops in Ketchikan, 'The Salmon Capital of the World'!
We went into a non-pushy jeweller and Christine bought a Northern Lights Jewellery set. Once back on the ship, I captured some video of the seaplanes landing and taking off.
Departing from Ketchikan
Christine wore her new Northern Lights set, and I bumped into our Cruise Director in the Centrum Shops, recording tomorrow morning's show.
After dinner, we watched an Acapello group in the Pacifica Theatre. They were really good, and funny.
Later in the evening, our Cruise Director and his staff put on a show, after first inviting us all to sing.
Forest Tram Ride
This was the first part of our Icy Strait Point excursion. We had our first rare wildlife sightings!
They had a high power monocular on a tripod focussed on a baby Bald Eagle and we were able to use our phone cameras to take images.
I also managed to find it with my 200mm (=400mm on 35mm full frame camera) telephoto lens. Here's a crop from one of those shots, hand-held.
On a nearby tree, daddy Bald Eagle kept watch. We presumed mammy was out hunting food for the baby.
Tribal Dance and Downtown
The Forest Tram dropped us off at the tribal dance theatre were we were treated to an explanation of Native Alaskan clans and tribes.
Then there was a demonstration of Tribal Dance, after which members of the audience were invited to participate
Spot Christine in Tribal Outfit, singing and dancing. a video follows on.
With the excursion over, we followed the signs for 'Downtown' which took us to a large complex with relics from an old Salmon Cannery.
Christine made another friend!
On the way back to the ship, we stopped to watch this Zip Line, which took 40 minutes to get up and 30 seconds to come down!
We go Panning for Gold!
Today's excursion took us back in time to the early days of the gold rush when prospectors used pans and fingers to find gold. There was a lot more gold available then, but we still found some, today.
As we entered the are, we saw some old electric vans which were used to take gold miners to the mines which sprang up after panning found the richest spots.
Our guide first gave us a demonstration of what to do.
Then we each got our own pans and found our own spaces in the creek.
Here's Christine panning for gold. We both found some tiny flakes and put it together in one vial to bring home. The background image shows our hoard!
We'd heard about these swinging doors, but by the time we were hungry, the queue was huge.
Christine found a Bald Eagle friend.
The whole of Juneau Fire Department turned up, including the Fire Chief and the Fire Tender of the background photo. Back at the ship, the towel animal was a bunny!
Gold Minder's Cemetery and White Pass Summit
While train journeys were available (and expensive), we took a bus tour that included the Gold Minters' Cemetery and then went up White Pass.
There was a terrible avalanche in 1896 and most of the graves were from that period. Our driver / guide explained the significance of one man Frank Reid who rid the town of a bad mayor in a shoot out but was injured and died soon after. This tombstone reads 'He gave his life to safe Skagway'.
One of the White Pass diesel trains passes the coach park and Gold Miners' Cemetery.
The coach then took us up White Pass (well, most of the way!).
When we got back from the coach tour, we had time for another walk round Skagway.
We looked at a Saloon that used to be a brothel, so has a brothel museum. and offers tours of the brothel.
We didn't take up the offer. There were also old railway locomotives and a snow plough.
There's another all-year Christmas shop and a road sign to everywhere! White Pass is the road hopeful Gold Diggers took from here to the gold fields but not many completed the journey. They'd buy horses here, which would not survive the journey, leaving them no transport back.
After walking round, it was back to the ship to change for Formal Dining.
Our Server Dione and Assistant Server Albert
Here are our dining staff for the trip. Albert is the oriental chap with his thumb up! This was taken on the last night, after Hubbard Glacier
After the first couple of days, they started bringing us this little extra cheese, fruit and fruity bread, which was a nice addition to the meals.
After dinner, we had some more entertainment from the Cruise Director and his staff!
Thursday - Hubbard Glacier and At Sea
We awoke to the sight of the Hubbard Glacier outside our balcony.
After leaving the Hubbard Glacier, which was amazing, we had breakfast, where I found Hartley Bay on the map in Windjammers. Unfortunately we'd missed it earlier in the trip.
There were lots of activities on board all day.
We watched a Towel Animal class,...
... a Cake Decorating demonstration with a proper Chef and two ship's Officers, one of which was very silly and poured booze everywhere.
Christine had a sample at the end!!
I took some video of the slapstick cake decorating!
Late Night Thursday and Anchorage Arrival
On our last night, we met up with Dave and his mate from Louisiana.
It was a very entertaining evening with a FlashMob (we'd seen them rehearsing!) and the waiters sang a farewell.
Towel animal was a monkey!
Next morning we arrived in Seward for onward transfer to Anchorage.
The next Adobe Spark Page will show the Alaskan Railtour and journey home.