Tuesday, September 30, 2014

North to Alaska [2014 - Day 4]

Thanks for joining us as we look back 3 weeks ago today to Day 4 of our voyage Seattle to Alaska and return. Today's schedule calls for us to spend most of the day, September 9, in Skagway, Alaska.

Since, today, Skagway is little more than a tourist destination, there are several spots for cruise ships to dock. We've been here before but this was our first time to be docked right next to the base for the helicopter tours. Watching the 7 choppers come and go was pretty interesting. They take cruisers up for a half hour or so to see the highlights of this remote country. We did not have one of these tours scheduled ... maybe next time.

Cruisers heading into town for shopping or tours.
It is just a short walk from the pier to town but
there are shuttle buses for those who need them.
Scenic shots taken from ship ...

Candid street shots of this little town ...

Some examples of what was seen in shop windows ...

We like the setting of the Historic Skagway Inn ... just out back of the restaurant they have their own garden ... the flowers are still blooming on this September day and the veggies made us think this place probably had some great salads.

The famous White Pass and Yukon Railway operates a popular tour. Built in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush, this narrow gauge railroad is an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, a designation shared with the Panama Canal, the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty. We didn't do the tour this year, but have in the past, and can recommend it highly ... it is a very scenic ride up to White Pass and the train departs from alongside the cruise terminal. History of the railroad is here.

Tomorrow we will visit scenic Glacier Bay National Park (Blue arrow in map below). Today, September 9, we've been in Skagway (Red arrow) and yesterday we were in Juneau (Green). 

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Monday, September 29, 2014

North to Alaska [2014 - Day 3]

Thanks for joining us as we look back 3 weeks ago today ... Day 3 of our voyage Seattle to Alaska and return. Today's schedule calls for an arrival in Juneau about noon, so let's start with some pictures of the scenery before reaching port ...

Before Juneau

Dawn, September 8, 2014

Sunrise and the path of gold over
Alaskan waters

Low clouds are expected to burn off as the day progresses.

Lucky to have such good weather.

Cruisers want to see and photograph the whales.
There were lots of whales but most were
staying close to the surface.

Good example of glacial water vs. ocean water color

Juneau, Alaska

We arrived in Juneau about noon.  We had no plans for any specific tours and just decided to enjoy walking around town.  We do recommend taking the tram up to Mt Roberts, so that is what we did ...

Golden Princess docked in Juneau
September 8, 2014

Just the ticket.

Here comes our gondola.

On the way up.

View of Juneau from Mt. Roberts
Our ship is in lower right corner.

Downtown Juneau
Alaska State Capitol
Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

North to Alaska [2014 - Day 2]

Thanks for joining us for a look back 3 weeks ago today ... Day 2 of a voyage Seattle to Alaska and return. The photo above is just before sunrise looking out to the east on starboard side of Golden Princess. The mountains along the coast of British Columbia make a nice backdrop. The GPS tells us we are moving north at about 20 miles per hour. This day is called a "Day at Sea" since there are no port stops. Itinerary and map are below.

We stopped by the Horizon Court (buffet dining area) for a cup of coffee and then went out for a walk to explore the ship.

Too early for a dip in the hot tub?

It's still early so the crowds haven't gathered around the pool on the sky deck. The giant screen is on day and night with movies, sports events, and commentary on what we will see in the port stops ahead.

On Promenade Deck you can walk all the way around the ship. There is a little sign that tells you how many times you need to go around to equal a mile.

If you are wondering, here is how a typical interior hallway looks ...

A popular misconception among those who haven't cruised is that there is nothing to do on a cruise ship on days at sea. The truth is there is actually more to do than you can probably do. There are all sorts of events scheduled throughout the day, movies on TV, a full gym for workouts, trivia contests, seasoned travelers present information about future port stops, shopping in several onboard stores, go for a swim or hot tub, etc. etc. ... AND, always dining!  In the afternoon we walked to the back of the ship for the shots below ...

On Day 3 we will arrive in Juneau about noon time.

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Mostly Mt Rainier

Back to Mt. Rainier 2024 ... At the entrance gate the Ranger provided a map of the Park and a sheet of info for Spring 2024.  I was careful ...