S: ALASKA 2006
BC: DISEMBARKED | OOSTERDAM | 15 JUL 2006 | PORT AUTHORITY
FC: ALASKA | 2 0 0 6
1: ALASKA | OOSTERDAM | EMBARKED 08 JUL 2006 | Ship's Registry: The Netherlands Passenger capacity: 1,916 Crew members: 817 Gross Tonnage: 82,305 Length: 936 feet Beam: 105.8 feet Maximum speed: 24 knots Dedicated: July 2003, by HRH Princess Margriet of the Netherlands | We saw monumental natural landscapes and diverse ports of call on our 7-day Alaska cruise, which included visits to Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and Victoria, celebrating a special birthday: Scott's 39th. | SEA | ARRIVED | ALASKA | 09 JUL 2006 | PORT AUTHORITY | T H A N K Y O U M O M ! | you
3: There are plenty of places on the ship to relax, but the best seat in the house is probably on one of the teak deck chairs aboard Holland America’s ms Oosterdam. | great for tai chi too!
4: time for an elegant | and high tea!
5: Symbolic of Holland America Line's more than 135-year history of circumnavigating the globe, the centerpiece of the ms Oosterdam is a magnificent Waterford crystal globe, prominently displayed in a three-story atrium.
6: SEATTLE TO JUNEAU escorted by the coast guard, greeted by a moose, and found an overstuffed marmot
7: JUNEAU explored the Mendenhall glacier, visited the Macaulay salmon hatchery, spied our first eagle
8: HUBBARD GLACIER | We steamed into the Yakutat bay, then Disenchantment Bay and drifted slowly though the ice, very close to the glacier, within a half mile or so. It was very cold on deck especially when the wind picked up. We saw the glacier calving a few times, as the ship made a few turns in the bay. The sound the ice makes as it breaks off is like thunder...it gave me chills. The staff brought out hot pea soup which was interestingly green, but, of course, deliciously warming.
10: the midnight sun
11: SITKA Eagles, otters and whales! We chartered a smaller craft to cruise the waters around Sitka Sound. Using our tender for the first time was interesting. Humpback whales with youngsters were the main attraction, but dozens of eagles and hundreds of sea otters littered the landscape.
12: our tender | otters!
13: whales! | eagles!
14: seeing | SITKA | abby made it!
15: SITKA STEEPLES The Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel is an Orthodox Church in America. It has been a National Historic Landmark since 1962, notable as an exhibit of Russian influence in North America. A fire destroyed the cathedral during the night of January 2, 1966, but the cathedral was subsequently rebuilt. When the church caught on fire, people did all they could to brave the flames and save the art and religious artifacts.
17: Flashback to Sitka
18: The Sea Otter Quest was a three hour tour of the ocean areas around Sitka Sound. We saw sea mammals like whales, sea lions, and otters, as well as eagles. One highlight was seeing numerous groups of otters, who congregated in the kelp surrounding the nearby islets. | WILD ALASKA
20: HUMPBACK BABY BOOM In Sitka, humpback whales are reproducing faster than other whale populations. We spotted several young whales learning to dive and hunt with their parents. Most made the traditional arch with their tails easily when diving, but one consistently had issues! OTTERING ABOUT IN THE SOUND Sitka sea otter populations are back since 1968 and are now stable, possibly thriving. The kelp forests are healthier because the sea otters keep the sea urchin grazing under control.
22: CANADA | VICTORIA
23: Our trip was amazing!! Who needs an alarm clock when you have the midnight sun to wake you up? We had a few days of clouds and light drizzle, but on our last day, we flocked to the deck to enjoy the warm temperatures, as we arrived at our last port, Victoria, British Columbia. We only had a few hours to explore the port, so we chartered an orca watching cruise. As we motored back, the city and ship lights sparkled and glistened.
24: Victoria, | BC | a bit of old England in North America