S: Alaska Cruise Tour 2009
BC: MAJESTIC ALASKA
FC: Becky, Jaime & Karen take a cruise tour to Alaska! September 5 - 16, 2009
1: We flew to Seattle on September 5th and met Princess for the bus ride to Vancouver. Boarding was a breeze and the first stop was lunch! The Sapphire Princess is a beautiful ship. We were thrilled when we saw our room. A beautiful extended balcony where we spent lots of time watching for whales and other critters... Here is some of what we saw from our balcony as we left the Port of Vancouver.
2: Day 2 we cruised the Inside Passage. It was a relaxing day at sea with occasional whale sightings. We especially enjoyed a lounge where we could look out, play Skip Bo, and try new drinks as we decided it's always: "five o'clock somewhere"!
4: Day 3 our port of call was Ketchikan. We took the "Duck Tour" for a scenic tour through town and then into the water with a big splash!
5: This is a salmon ladder in the middle of town. See the Salmon?
6: Day 3 our port of call was Juneau. We took a tour to the Alaska State Museum, a botanical garden, a salmon hatchery, and the massive Mendenhall Glacier. | To the right is a lovely German couple we met on the first night at dinner.
7: On our stroll to the Glacier, we saw evidence of recent bear activity (scat and salmon left overs) We were on the lookout!
8: In the afternoon Becky and Karen wandered Juneau. For lunch, we had great fish and chips in a water front restaurant, then rode the Mt. Roberts Tramway. Breathtaking views, nature programs and an eagle!
9: And of course, since it's "five o'clock somewhere", we enjoyed cocktails and the gorgeous sunset when we returned to the ship! It's very likely we went to the casino later.
10: Just another night out... It's a formal night and the Captain's champagne party. We had a fabulous dinner too. | Dessert was always fantastic, even if you declined, they made you something festive!
11: Day 5 our Port of Call was Skagway. Becky and Karen had the morning to wander town, then in the afternoon we all took a train ride to the White Pass Summit in Yukon Territory. Awesome country.
13: Some of the scenery from the train. The photo at the bottom is the narrow path tens of thousand used to walk to find their fortunes.
14: Day 6 was cruising Glacier Bay National Park. Our time was cut short due to a storm in the Gulf of Alaska. The ship was rocking and rolling all night. Kids were in the pool "splashing" around having a ball while the pool was splashing water everywhere! Even the production show was canceled. Since it was another formal night, we still found time for fun and good food.
15: We decided to dine in their "fancy" restaurant Sabatini's. We splurged on a wonderful bottle of wine, Brunello di Montalcino. As you can see from our smiles we were having a great time and pampered by the crew!
17: Day 7 we arrived at a calm College Fjord where we stayed for hours enjoying the incredible Harvard Glacier. We saw seals and bald eagles. The glacier was very active during the afternoon...you would hear a sound like a gun shot and then watch for the chunks of ice to fall. Fantastic!
22: More photos from our time on the Sapphire Princess. | Remember, its "five o'clock somewhere"!
24: Day 8 we docked in Whitter where we boarded the Denali Express to Denali National Park. We spent the night at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge. Karen bumped into a friend from sorority...what a surprise!
26: Bear Search | Day 9 we had a tour into the tundra of Denali National Park. It was exciting and beautiful. Although we didn't see a bear, we did see several moose and other forest critters.
29: After our tour to Denali National Park, we drove to our next stop, the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge. Mt. McKinley was majestic and they told us its a rare site to have such a fantastic view. At the lodge, we enjoyed ranger programs and played more Skip Bo in the lounge.
30: Day 10 we went to the small town of Talkeetna, where Karen visited the Sun Dog Kennels and experienced a dog sled ride. Another fantastic experience! Talkeetna offers fabulous views of Mt. Mckinley from the Talkeetna River Park. Our vacation ends tomorrow as we head to Anchorage to fly to Seattle and then home the following day. We had a wonderful time in Alaska!