Alaska Cruise

Everyone should add “take a cruise” to their list!

We joined my two sisters and one cousin and their husbands for a fantastic 7-day cruise to Alaska, leaving Vancouver on June 30. The first day was cruising through the Strait of Georgia, between British Columbia and Vancouver Island. Sunday, we continued sailing north, enjoying the beautiful scenery. July 2, we arrived at Ketchikan. We toured the Brite Totem Pole Park in the morning and walked around the town and shops. The next day, Juneau was our next stop, where we checked out a native museum, natural garden, salmon hatchery, and Mendenhall Glacier. July 4, we spent in Skagway, taking a 4 mile hike out of town to a cemetery and 30-foot Reid Falls. As we were leaving, we could watch the various beach bonfires and individual fireworks displays along the coastline. About this time in the trip I accidentally reformatted my digital camera disc and lost all the pictures I had taken thus far. Thankfully, I can get copies of most of those sights from one of my sisters!

The next two days were on the ship, cruising, first in Glacier Bay and College Fjord, seeing multiple sitings of whale, seal and dolphins.

You have to look really close at the bottom of this picture! The reflection on the camera was such that I could not see, so this was one of those “point and click before I lost it” pictures! Most of the wild life was either too far away, or to quick to catch on camera.

We toured the kitchen on ship….they actually have 7 kitchens, each being 800-1200 sq foot space EACH! This is in addition to dry storage area of 16,000 sq ft, fridge area of 18,000 sq ft, plus 7,000 sq ft butcher and fish prep rooms! Excellent was the word of the cruise! All personnel were expected to receive excellent rating….which they did!! What they can do with food!

We arrived in Whittier on July 7.

At this point, we all went our separate ways, with our tour continuing by train up to Talkeetna and Denali ending in Fairbanks.

During the train ride, we viewed a bear, Dall sheep, eagle, trumpeter swan (parents plus three cute!!)

In Talkeetna, they were preparing for the annual Moose Dropping Festival next week end, displaying all sorts of decorated wooden moose all over town! It was fun seeing them in front of the various shops… even though we looked for them, I know we missed some!

When I get old, I will wear a red hat and purple dress! I always thought red and purple did not go together, but now I think, it doesn’t look bad together….

Even a Mickey Moose!

Uncle Sam even got represented!

In Denali, we took a tour of the park, seeing moose (on left), caribou (on right), linx, beaver, ptarmigan (the state bird), and lots of snowshoe hares

having a chance to hear a presentation from an Athabarca Indan,

and viewing the Denali (Mt. McKinley) Mountain without clouds. Only 20% of the visitors are priviloeged to see this site! This was taken at 9:30PM

We ended our vacation in Fairbanks with a river cruise on a paddle boat. What a smooth, enjoyable ride. I did not think about this ride ahead of time, and was not knowing what to expect.

I think this was actually one of the highlights.

We visited with David Monson, husband of the late Iditarod racer Susan Butcher, with a demonstration of the dogs. They were so cute, so excited about running!!

This is a salmon catcher along the river at an Indian fishing camp that we were able to disembark and visit.

This coat took 6 months to make, with a variety of furs. Around her face is beaver and fox, assuring the cold stays out. The maker was commissioned to make a dress which is housed in the Smithsonian.

A truly remarkable journey!

We thoroughly enjoyed our time both on the boat and on the train, and would highly recommend Princess Cruises for a great vacation! These are only a few of the pictures….there are too many to post, and they will not do the real thing justice!

We are now back home again, back to reality!