Day 6 – Ketchikan

Friday was port day in Ketchikan. After leaving Glacier Bay the night before, we ended up with zero visibility fog. The Captain had to use the foghorn and slow our speed for safety. My excursion was slated to meet at 8:15 am, but they announced early that 8:30 departing excursions would be moved to 9AM. Well, we didn’t actually stop at the dock until about 9:15ish. Some excursions were completely cancelled unfortunately, but mine was still a go, just late. I opted for the Misty Fjords & Wilderness Explorer Cruise. This was on a double-decker boat like the ferry boat to Haines except that the seats on this one were MUCH more comfortable!

Onboard the boat, they offered hot chocolate, coffee and tea complimentary and provided sodas and chip type snacks for a price. They served a cup of either seafood chowder or vegan chili and provided a taste of smoked sock-eye salmon (one little piece on a Ritz cracker).

The cruise provided lovely scenery and the skies began partly cloudy when we left and it wasn’t overly cold until he sped up so standing out on deck wasn’t bad but with the speed you did need a coat (and long hair like mine was best put up!).

After a couple of hours scenic cruising, we entered Misty Fjord. Very interesting area with the rock walls on the mountain and some that were so mossy with vibrant greens. That was my favorite rock face, with all the greens!

Then it was a two hour ride back to port. At that point I still had about 90 minutes before I had to be back onboard so I took a quick walk up to Creek Street to get a few photos, then back towards the ship and a little window shopping.

Back onboard, I went to dinner. By now I was dining with some of the same people by coincidence. Had yet another lovely dinner, then I met up with a new cruising friend and went to the show.

Another wonderful day cruising.

This will be my last post detailing each day of the cruise. I may post more photos or info as I remember it or come across photos I have not yet downloaded from my phone. The last day was a sea day. It was a nice day, spent with friends, wandering, seeing shows, dining etc.

And the last day, Sunday, was debarkation day. I was scheduled to leave the ship to transfer to the airport at 8:30 and luckily the dining room was serving breakfast from 6:30-8:30AM so I didn’t have to fight the buffet. Ate breakfast with more new cruising friends then went back to my cabin and grabbed my carry on bags. Said farewell to my room steward, who was PHENOMENAL, and headed down to the lounge to wait for my group to be called.

I arrived home mid-afternoon yesterday and began sorting photos so I could catch up on my posts of the trip.

I hope you all have enjoyed my posts as much as I have enjoyed sharing my journey. I’m not sure how soon my next trip will be, but stay tuned, I’ll be sure to share again! Until then, happy travels!!

Day 5 – Glacier Bay National Park

Thursday was the amazing Glacier Bay National Park. We entered early, stopping at Gustavus around 6AM to pickup 5 park rangers. Then it was a couple of hours cruising the scenic passages towards Marjerie Glacier. We continued to have wet weather, but thankfully the wind seemed to die down the closer we got to the glacier. It was cool and drizzly wet and foggy.

Although I had been on an Alaska Inside Passage cruise before, this was my first time to Glacier Bay. The glaciers are amazing. And while on deck, you hear so many stories and comments about people and their past cruises here and how much the glaciers have decreased in just a few years. Here are some shots I took at Marjerie Glacier:

If you have a cabin with a balcony, and prefer to sit and enjoy from your own balcony instead of going to the upper decks, not to worry. The Captain will position the ship with the port side viewing of the glacier and stay for 30 minutes, he will then rotate the ship so the starboard side has the same view for the same 30 minutes. So equal viewing for each side, so no need to leave your balcony if you don’t want to!

After the hour viewing, it was time to move on.

Our next glacier viewing would be the smaller Lamplugh Glacier. It took a little over an hour I believe to get there. And here are some shots I took there, and I will note, while looking at Lamplugh, if you look just to the right, then up on the top of the hill, you will see a small glacier, which makes the waterfall to the ocean (see last 2 images):

And here are a couple of additional photos that I took of the area surrounding Lamplugh:

You will enjoy the same viewing of Lamplugh as with Marjerie, 30 minutes one side of the ship then 30 minutes on the other side. Then it was time to move on as we were due in Ketchikan the next morning. Once the ship begins to leave Lamplugh, there will be ranger talks in the Theatre in the afternoon.

The remainder of the day for me was spent dining and visiting with friends, attending the show and cocktails. Cheers to Ketchikan tomorrow!

Day 4 – Skagway

Day 4, Wednesday, we stopped in Skagway. I had a full day planned with two excursions. We docked at about 7 am I believe and folks began to go ashore as soon as the ship was cleared. Because I had an earlier excursion, I had room service deliver a breakfast sandwich so I could eat before going ashore. Princess docks closest to the hill which is painted with names of cruise lines and other things (sorry, didn’t grab a picture this trip). The pier is a decent length, so they do have a little trolley car that will take you to the end if you prefer not to walk it which is complimentary. They also have some cargo containers opened up and put together end to end so you can walk to the end protected from the weather. This was helpful as it was windy and drizzling when we arrived.

Excursion 1:

My first excursion was a mini-bus ride to the Klondike Summit. Even though we could not pass into Canada, we had to bring our passports as you do pass through a customs check coming back down. I ended up not needing to show it to anyone, but had to have it with me. The driver gave a heads up, as several people had large coffee cups with them, he warned there are no restrooms along the route. There is one at the end of the pier before you leave.

The drive is nice and scenic and the driver was full of Alaska history and stories along the way. Several stops were made along both the trip up and down the mountain for photos. I had already heard that the train ride was not going to be able to go as far due to an issue with the tracks. At one stop, he pointed out the reason – land slide on the tracks. Up at the top, we stopped at the Welcome to Alaska sign, which was to be our turn around point since we were not allowed to cross the border. This is the sign folks see as they enter Alaska from the Canada side. Our guide offered to take photos of each of us with the sign, which was great. It’s a large sign so a selfie made it difficult to get a good shot (for me at least!). I was glad I took along my gloves/hat and jacket as that wind chilled you to the bone! Once we all had time to take some quick pictures it was back down the mountain we went. The excursion was about 90 minutes long and the driver offered to let folks out in town if they wanted to shop then they could either walk back to the ship or pay a couple dollars and take the town trolley back. I had another excursion about 90 minutes later so no time to shop. Back to the ship for a bit for me!

Excursion 2:

My second excursion was titled “Alaska Nature & Wildlife Expedition” and was listed as just over 6 hours in length. It began with meeting on the pier then loading up on the fast ferry to Haines. This is about a 40 minute ride depending on weather/water conditions. There are restrooms onboard and covered seating on the lower and upper decks. Some of my photos could be better quality, but were taken through the wet windows of the ferry.

Once we arrived in Haines, the various excursions (there were several onboard) located their appropriate excursion bus and loaded up and headed their own way. The hope was to spot some wildlife so our bus took us down river roads and inlets in search. But unfortunately, you certainly can’t predict where or when you’ll spot something. We did see a couple of harbor seals and bald eagles. The scenery was nice though. We spotted a couple of fishermen in the river. All I could think was brrr as it was only in the 50s outside, so that water had to have been pretty chilly! Our guide then pointed out a person sitting on a seat attached to a bridge. It is this person’s job to count a particular variety of salmon. There is a gate that was put in. At the end of their work day, they close the gate until the next morning. This all has to do with monitoring the quantity of the species and fishing.

After some stops, they drove us into a campground. This gave us an opportunity to use the facilities and then we took a nature walk. I will say I do not recommend this walk for anybody with balance issues or issues with walking on unstable ground. There were roots everywhere that we kept tripping on, and even though most of us had on hiking boots, we were still slipping on the wet ground. There were also areas they had planks down as a “walkway”. They were not overly wide planks and some were becoming rotten. In other areas, they had planks end over end on top of each other so you had to step up or down on these planks. Overall though it was a nice hike. Quite a variety of fungi spotted, and a yellow blob that honestly looked like vomit as we first approached. It is called Scrambled Egg Slime.

Then it was time to head back to the pier and rejoin the ferry back to Skagway. It was about 5PM when we rejoined the ferry so once back onboard the ship, I headed straight to dinner.

Later, I pulled a few slots, then enjoyed some time at my favorite bar then it was time to call it a night as the next day was Glacier Bay and I knew it would be a slightly early day as well.