2016 7-Day Cruise Up The Inside Passage To Alaska

Friday - Vancouver Sail Away

After saying good bye to Sue and Angie with the General Alert practice over, we took to the Sky Deck for Sail Away.

Then down to the Centrum for a quiet sit and look at the shops.

Saturday, At Sea and First Formal Night

Saturday was an 'At Sea' day, which on this trip, coincided with Formal Dining. The towel animals are still here and our first was a sheep.

Lift day markers are also still here!
Christine's Starter: Scallop in Garlic Butter
Colin's Starter: Banana and Rum Soup
Christine's Main: Shrimp Ravioli with Lobster Sauce and Spinach
Colin's Main: Sirloin of Beef, with Mushroom Sauce and Creamy Mashed Potato
Christine's Pudding: Strawberry Cheesecake
Colin's Pudding: Sky High Lemon Meringue Pie

Someone was kind enough to snap both of us by the lifts.

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

Another Duck coming up the ramp
One of many Otter seaplances
For Salmon, of course.

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'!

There was a very clever Bald Eagle Totem,...
...an all year round Christmas Shop,...
... a Lumberjack Show...
...and a California tram style bus.

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.

Monday - Icy Strait Point

This was a very small cruise terminal, currently with space for only one ship (but plans for another).

The people were great, even thought the Forest Tram Ride was a little late.

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.

Looking across from the shoreline where the tram turned round.

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.

Christine taking part in Native Alaskan Tribal Dance

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!

Leaving Icy Strait Point

The towel animal was an Elephant. After Dinner, our waiters treated us to a song!

Centrum Lights, looking up!

The show in the Theatre featured artists who were performing in the Centrum throughout the cruise...

Retro singer
A ballroom dancing demonstration

...and these dwarves (singes on their knees!).

Tuesday - Juneau

From our suite balcony, we could see wonderful mountain views

Mountain view from our Balcony

But from Windjammer on the other side of the ship we could seea bustling town and port (see background photo)

Mount Roberts Tramway

A cable car system turned out to be Mount Roberts Tramway, which we spotted later started from the town.


There was time after breakfast for a walk round Juneau before we hopped on our coach to the Gold Panning.

Colin sitting by a town sign
Cute red trolley for getting round town
The start of the Mount Roberts Tramway

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.

The river where we panned for gold, as did lots of other folk.

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!

Downtown Juneau

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!

Wednesday - Skagway

As everywhere in Alaska, the scenery was amazing, wherever you looked.

There's another cruise ship in.

After a quick walk round the town, were we spotted this really old building owned by one of Skagway's founders, we caught our coach up to the Gold Miner's Cemetery and White Pass Summit.

One of the many White Pass trains we saw from the coach.

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.

Our driver / guide by the tomb of Frank Reid

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!).

We passed several waterfalls en route.
This bridge is supported on one side only in case the gap closes.
Someone took our photo by the Alaskan border sign on the way back down.

Downtown Skagway

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.

Christine admires this paining on the wall of a hopeful Gold Panner.

After walking round, it was back to the ship to change for Formal Dining.

Christine's Starter: Royal Seafood Salad
Colin's Starter: Roasted Peach Soup
Christine's Main: Fisherman's Plate!
Colin's Main: Thai Chicken Breast
Christine's Pud: Soufflé
Colin's Pud: Baked Alaska (apt!)

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.

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