Tag Archives: Alaska
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”
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…
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…
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
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
I will catch Taku Lodge in the video hiding just in the trees
I will also catch Wright Glacier which was not an official part of the tour off in the distance…
As we turn back, East Twin Glacier now comes into view
Quickly, West Twin Glacier would come into view
We would see Hole in the Wall as well as Taku and then Norris Glacier would cap off the 5 Glacier tour
What a ride!!!!!!!
Juneau, Alaska – Tracy Arm
Before the Star Princess reaches Juneau, AK we will cruise up Tracy Arm but such a large ship can only get so far. So, we take a “Shore Tour” by getting off onto a smaller ship and pull away heading deeper up the valley. Lisa will catch this shot of the Star Process as we pull away…
We will see all sorts of wildlife on land and in the water such as Bald Eagles and Humpback Whales
We will also see lots of Waterfalls and more unusual shorelines with wonderful colors
The sides of the valley that were carved out by the Sawyer Glacier are still showing the scares of the forces that shaped them. Some are still void of any plant life and others plant life is slowing taking hold.
We would reach the face of Sawyer Glacier and watch a section fall off and you could see if melt right before your eyes. Still, the BLUE color in places was just amazing and that is a sign of hard packed ice where only Blue Light can escape and all other colors get trapped.
We will head over to South Sawyer Glacier next but can not get as close as there is so many icebergs in the water and you could hear the ship bounce off them now and then.
On the ice flows in front of us was numerous Seals and in the water around us are large blokes of ice some so Blue that you new they were recently part of the glacier…
Lisa couldn’t help herself and took a photo of me while I was taking video of everything…
We head towards Juneau to board the Star Princess that just got to Juneau as well. Getting off the ship to take this small ship was well worth it as we saw so much more than those that stayed on the cruise ship. There is another Princess Cruise ship in port as well
We still have lots to share from our Port of Call here in Juneau as we have just arrived!!!!!!!
Port of Call: Ketchikan Alaska
We have now arrived in Ketchikan, AK and we have chosen to take a small boat ride into the Misty Fjord National Monument. This is a wonderful wilderness area that is over 2 million acres in size and we will head up the Behm Canal to New Eddystone Rock. Lots of beautiful scenery / geology and wildlife all along the route. Here is just a small handful of photographs that my wife took while I was shooting video.
We will also see the Guard Island Lighthouse
Here is a shot of the Star Princess I will catch as we head back toward dock in Ketchikan. Our cabin is just above the fourth life bout from the right
Once back in town, I will catch a few photos myself. Here is just a few of those shots including some of the Totem Polls and Creek Street that was once the “Red Light” district. Yes, I did get a few train shots in too.
As we leave port, I will also catch a shot of the Marine Bio Researcher ship
Goodbye again Ketchikan, we hope to get back here again some day…
After completing the Land portion of our trip we got on board the cruise ship Sea Princess to start our Inside Passage. We saw some great ocean wildlife and many a glaciers along with some nice ports where we travelled inland including a visit into Canada’s Yukon Territory. We ended our cruise at Vancouver, British Columbia Canada. Can’t wait to do this again; but, I wonder what global warming has done since we were there…
RRAdventures Website: Alaska Railroad
As part of a Princes Cruises Line package we got hocked up behind the Alaska Railroad for a couple of days and saw some of the most amazing scenery.
Our 4th TCC entry came in 1999 when we took a combination Land / Cruise tour; starting with the Land section. We started by flying into Anchorage and slowly enjoyed many of the regions sites and we moved north to Fairbanks. We also traveled via the Alaska RR for a bit!