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Monthly Archives: July 2012

World Travel – Alaska 2012 – Cruise Day #7

Port of Call:  Seattle, Washington

Our final day of our Alaska Adventure and as we wake, Seattle, Washington is in sight as well as the Space Needle.

Space Needle

Time for us to catch some breakfast and get ready to disembark the ship.  Before we do this, one last look at our navigation to see how far we have traveled now that we are in port.

Seattle Washington

With that, we step off the ship; BUT!, we are not yet done with this adventure as we will make a day of it in Seattle by taking a shore excursion here as well.  Time to get on our Tour Bus for a city tour…

We will head up to Queen Anne Hill at Kerry Park and catch a view of the Space Needle.  Note the ORANGE top of the Space Needle as it’s the 50th Anniversary of its construction and they have painted it back to its original color.

Queen Anne Hill - Kerry Park

Now it’s time to head over to the Space Needle and ride up the elevator to the top.  We will get our picture taken and will see a FREE Digital Postcard of ourselves from the top.  There is our ship down below…

From below we will take a few shots before catching our bus as we continue our City Tour

Seattle, WashingtonSeattle, Washington

We will briefly stop at Occidental Park for a few shots and also catch a shot of the Waterfront Street Car station that is here as well.

Seattle, Washington

Our final destination of the City Tour is the Farmers Market where we will grab some lunch…

Seattle Washington

While our bus made it’s way through the city we passed the old King Street Station that was the depot for the Great Northern Railway and Northern Pacific Railway.  Currently there is a King Tut exhibit going on so the temporarily adjusted the station sign to read King TUT Street Station.  It was impossible to get a clean / complete shot of the station while on the bus but here is a couple of shots from different angles we did get.

Seattle WashingtonSeattle Washington

I will also get a few Railfan shots in from the bus as we headed down the highway to our hotel for the night

Seattle, WA

The next day we fly back home on board Frontier with Fritz being our animal.  We will pass Mount Rainier and I will be able to get several shots from out the plane window.  As we land in Denver I had to laugh as there was Mustang Sally at the next gate.  If you recall, that is the plane we boarded at the beginning of this adventure

Hope everyone enjoyed reading all the “World Travel – Alaska 2012 …” blog entries from this trip report as we have enjoyed sharing them with you.  Rest assured, more Travel Reports will be coming…

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World Travel – Alaska 2012 – Cruise Day #6b

Port of Call: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

A sure sign we are getting close to Victoria is a Pilot Boat is arriving to drop off a “Pilot” to help our Captain navigate into the port.  This is a common practice to have a local navigator help large ships such as ours to make it safely into port as no one know the channels and current issues around a port more than a local navigator

Another prominent navigation feature we spot is the Race Rocks Lighthouse that we can tell we are being navigated around and for good reasons as there are lots of rocks over there that could sink a ship even as big as ours.

Vancouver Island, Canada

As we navigate into the harbor we also spot the Ogden Point Breakwater Lighthouse.

Victoria Canada

Now get this, if you have been following this Trip Report you know just how HUGE our cruise ship is.  With all the other Ports of Call we pulled gently aside a dock; but, this time the Captain with “Back” into this narrow cubbyhole with little room to spare on either side and stop within just a few yards before running into the awaiting buses.  I will take this shot from the deck on the back of the boat as we slowing back into our parking spot!

Once in port we board a bus to take us to Butchart Gardens which is 55 areas of a stunning floral gardens.  This is a place we will also look forward to coming back to some day.  Here are just a taste of what you will see at this wonderful place.

We will also get treated to a unusual Fireworks display after sunset that tons of folks also come to the gardens to see.  I tried to pull a few stills from the video I took of it just to give you a feel for this display that was well worth the time to watch.

With the Fireworks over we head back to the bus and head back to the ship as we will be pulling out of Victoria shortly for our final stop back in Seattle, Washington when we started a week ago.

 
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Posted by on 07/28/2012 in Trip Reports, World Tour

 

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World Travel – Alaska 2012 – Cruise Day #6a

Port of Call: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

On this day we will make port in Victoria but not until evening (7PM) so it’s still basically another Day at Sea…

Time to start the day and peek outside to view the morning sunrise and catch some navigation info.

Lisa and I will spend some time walking around the Promenade Deck as well as time hanging out on our balcony.  The Promenade Deck is also where the various Life Boats are kept and sometimes the larger ones are used to taxi passengers into ports.

We will see both Humpback and Killer Whales today.

We can also tell we are more near the cargo shipping lanes as we see all sorts of cargo ships as well.

We will also see more Fishing Boats as we get closer to Victoria…

 
 

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World Travel – Alaska 2012 – Cruise Day #5

Day At Sea

On this day we would spend the entire day at sea and do a little packing.  When we went to bed the previous night, we were at 58 03.49N 134 53.28W and when we woke and check the system again around 7AM we were at 55 16.93N 134 14.20W.  At this point we had sailed a total of 1461.1 Nautical Miles since we left Seattle, Washington.  Since leaving Skagway, Alaska, we have sailed 257.7 Nautical Miles and we were still 635.0 Nautical Miles from Victoria, Canada which will be on the next blog entry.

How might I know this information so exactly?  On of the channels on our room television is a constant ship information station and as part of that broadcast we get real-time navigation along with maps and all sorts of other information.

After going up stairs to have breakfast, we return to our room around 9AM and the system now shows we are inside Canadian waters at 54 26.19N 133 51.29W and this is what the map shows.

After having lunch I checked the system again at 1PM and we are at 53 15.16N 133 13.49W and this is what we see from out balcony.

After watching a movie, I go outside around 3PM to get some fresh air and also note our position being 52 41.51N 132 41.85W.  Not much happening and the other balconies look empty so you can tell folks are leisurely taking in the ships amenities, eating, taking a nap

We would relax in our room taking in a few televisions shows and I would see we here we were at around 4PM (52 23.21N 132 18.12W) and again at 5PM (52 07.19N 131 51.60W)

After coming back from Dinner at 7PM, there is something noticeable and that is that lack of land on the Port Side.  Here is that last piece of land I will see at 52 40.05N 132 06.84W

One thing they tell you is that Every DAY, HOUR, MINUTE, we are in Whale Country plus other things so try to always have your cameras ready.  Around 7:30PM, I spot Dall’s Porpoise and try to catch a little video of them.

By 9PM the sun is starting to set so one last shot from outside as well as some navigation information

So, as you can see, a Day at Sea can be used as a time to just sit back and relax or take advantage of the various ships amenities / activities and “Escape Completely”

 
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Posted by on 07/27/2012 in Trip Reports, World Tour

 

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World Travel – Alaska 2012 – Cruise Day #4

Port of Call:  Skagway, Alaska

We next reach our final Alaska Port-of-Call and as we make dock our ride is sitting there ready to be boarded.  Yes, we are getting on-board the WP&Y (White Pass and Yukon) passenger train for a round trip ride to White Pass and Back.  As soon as they say I can step out onto the platform I would run the video camera non-stop up to the pass as well as on the way back until I have to take a seat again when we re-enter the city.

Our consist will be a long one with motive power being the #99 and #94, we will ride in the Lake Jennings #374 which was near the back but not too far back that I would not be able to see the engines while we were in the curves.  Of course I would still get a rear shot of the Tail-Car before we departed…

White Pass & Yukon RouteWhite Pass & Yukon Passenger CoachSkagway, AK

Once we returned to town we would do a little shopping including finding a Rock Shop Lisa was interested in to pick up a local mineral sample for her collection.

Now it’s time for our cruise to head South and we will catch shots of Skagway as we depart…

As we head down the canal we will see all sorts of waterfalls and beautiful terrain along the shoreline.

We will also see Herbert Glacier from our balcony

Being a Railfan, you know this day was a special day for me…

 
 

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World Travel – Alaska 2012 – Cruise Day #3C

Juneau, Alaska – Mt. Roberts

Our third and final adventure in was to take the Tramway up to Mt. Roberts.  We stopped by to see the injured Bald Eagle as well as took a short hike and saw some of the bent tress

Mt. Roberts

Time to head to our next port of call as we say goodbye to Juneua, AK

 
 

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World Travel – Alaska 2012 – Cruise Day #3B

Juneau, Alaska – Float Plane

With our arrival in Juneau, AK our next “Shore Tour” was to board a Float Plane to fly over 5 Glaciers.  Neither of us has ever been on this type of plane nor taken off / landed on water so we had no idea what to expect.  Well, that was the smoothest flight we have ever been on. I would take video the entire time while Lisa took photos out her window; everyone on the plane had a window seat.

Depending on what side of the plane you sat changed what order you saw things in but you would see the same things before the flight was over so take a seat and enjoy the view.

I will see the Taku Glacier first

Juneau, Alaska

After fly up the glacier we will turn down Hole in the Wall Glacier.  Here is a shot we took later that was the better angle of it

Juneau, Alaska

I will catch Taku Lodge in the video hiding just in the trees

Juneau, Alaska

I will also catch Wright Glacier which was not an official part of the tour off in the distance…

Juneau, Alaska

As we turn back, East Twin Glacier now comes into view

Juneau, Alaska

Quickly, West Twin Glacier would come into view

Juneau, Alaska

We would see Hole in the Wall as well as Taku and then Norris Glacier would cap off the 5 Glacier tour

Juneau, Alaska

What a ride!!!!!!!

 
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Posted by on 07/25/2012 in Trip Reports, World Tour

 

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