Friday, December 6, 2013

Cruising the Alaska In-Side Passage One

We decided at the last minute to cruise the In-Side Passage of Alaska.  We booked a cruise to Vancouver from Whittier, Alaska and back.  Having never been to South-East Alaska or on a cruise I had no idea what it would be like, other than to expect rain.  We only had three days with rain the entire trip.

We took a bus transfer from Anchorage to Whittier, where we boarded the Sapphire Princess, our home for the next fourteen days. We had a false start on our trip as they told us to go to the Egan Center, only to discover that it was closed due to remodeling. Luckily our friend did not just drop us off, and was able to drive us over to the Deni`na Center.

Bryce met us in Whittier as he was delivering a load of bags to the ship. He came on the ship to have lunch with us, which is one of perks of his job.  He also gave us a brief tour of the ship including where the ice cream counter is.

We had an inside cabin, which was fine as we were only there for sleeping and showers.  We spend most of our time out roaming the ship, out on the deck, or hiking around the towns we stopped at, and I mean hiking. We sailed out of Whittier and were off on our adventure.
The big building in the background is an old barracks that the army built in WWII and is where most of the residents of Whittier live.
Tom and I blowing bubbles as we cast off to sea. We read that this was a fun thing to do since you can no longer throw confetti from the boat. We had fun.

We sailed into Yakutat Bay on the seventh of July and Glacier Bay on the eighth. It was a drizzly day, but the glaciers were incredible.  I always get goose bumps when I see glaciers, and these were even more awe-inspiring than those I have seen in the past.  They are tidal glaciers and we were able to sail within five miles of them. The view was incredible. We saw them calve several times, and it is an amazing site.
 Calving is when a piece of glacier breaks off and falls into the water forming icebergs.

We also did yoga on the ship, three days each way, when the class the offered. It was great fun and good exercise. The only day we had a problem was the day we hit some rough seas on the way down and the boat was rocking very hard so it made it difficult to maintain our balance.
The third person is Kyle who was the yoga/fitness instructor on the ship. He is from Canada and did a great job.
Our first stop on the cruise was Skagway which is a small town that can be reached by road, ship, or plane. It is the only stop in Alaska on the cruise that can be reached by road, but like many places in Alaska you have to go to Canada to get there from here.

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