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Alaska Cruise 2010

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S: Alaska Cruise 2010

BC: Alaska is really the 'last Frontier'. It will remain in our memories for ever!

FC: Our Cruise to ALASKA | Cruise photos September | Breathtaking | 2010

1: We have arrived back in Vancouver, Canada and are ready to board the 'Volendam' (Holland-America) cruise ship for ALASKA!

2: Our coach arrived at the Cruise Terminal and drove down into its heart where we said our last goodbyes to our Tour Guide, Sharon & our Coach Driver, Bruce! They had guided us along the Rocky Mountaineer, fed us loads of information about Canada their home country. Taken us through towns like Banff, Emerald Lake, Lake Louise, up on glaciers and lakes plus shared with us the magic of Jasper, Whistler, Victoria! And WOW! What a time THEY SHOWED US!!! | This is a trip we have both longed to do! It is now becoming a reality! Yippee..........

3: Life is not measured by the breaths we take; But by the moments that take our breaths away!

4: We were up on deck as the ship cruised out of Vancouver Port. WE WERE OFF! | Dave & I had never been on a cruise ship...ssooo I hoped we wouldn't get sea-sick or freak out being on the ocean! But we were both fine.......

6: Cruising the Inside Passage.

7: 'There she blows...!' | ORCA'S

8: Peacefulness

10: Sheer beauty....

12: Calm.....

15: Unreal........

16: JUNEAU This is the capital city of Alaska. If you want to get there......you can fly in or catch a boat in! There are NO roads into Juneau!


18: The Sea Princess

19: The Volendam

22: JUNEAU Long before European settlement in the Americas, the Gastineau Channel was a favourite fishing ground for local indigenous people, namely the Tlingits of the Auke and Taku tribes. In the middle of the expansive South-east Alaskan wilderness, cosmopolitan Juneau residents enjoy one of the America's most pristine regions at their doorstep. The port straddles Gastineau Channel. The capital area and city centre are laid out along an isolated North American strip on the eastern shore. Douglas Island across the channel, is home to the western suburbs. Juneau is the second largest city in the United States, but it is in fact - in terms of geographic area (Sitka is the nation's larges community). Alaska is so big and so sparsely populated, it is departmentalised into boroughs - the borough of Juneau covers more than 3,000 square miles - three times the size of Rhode Island. The pier at Juneau is the town centre.. Hemmed in by Mount Juneau, Mount Roberts, and Mendenhall Glacier, there are roads within the borough, but you can't drive to Juneau from somewhere else. Capital access is strictly via air or sea. Gold propelled Juneau's growth. Ore was found in Gold Creek in 1880 and mining continued till WWII when economic decline rendered operations unprofitable. | TRACY ARM, a true fjord, is just south of Juneau. Stretching to ocean tidewater, the Taku is the Juneau Icefield's largest glacier. As a tidewater glacier advances, it pushes a mound of debris called a moraine shoal in front of its terminus, protecting it from deep tidal water.Taku Glacier stretches into Taku Inlet.

24: Crevasses and seracs form in the zone of brittle flow.

25: Helen & Dave with the sled dogs.

27: Camp.....

33: These mountain goats inhabit this arctic region. Like all goats they are shore footed and their are thick and warm in the icy weather.

34: Icy Cold.......but Beautiful......




39: Such Beauty......I am lost for words!

40: SKAGWAY | Bald Eagle | The area around present day Skagway was inhabited by Tlingi people since prehistoric times. They fished and hunted the waters and forests of the area. The word Skagway (originally spelled Skaguay) is from the Tlingit name meaning 'windy place with white caps on the water. Within a year of the Gold Rush in 1887, the valley was flooded with gold-seekers with little regard for the laws, property ownership, or ancestral subsistence rights. Within a year Skagway was the busiest town in Alaska with stores, banks, restaurants, hotels, dance halls and saloons. | Today, Skagway is unique among southeast Alaskan communities in that it is one of only three connected to the road system.

41: At the northern tip of the Inside Passage, the unique gold rush town of Skagway still retains a 19th century look when it swelled with hopeful prospectors to become Alaska's most populous town. It is four blocks wide and just over twenty long the historic centre is flat and easy to navigate nestled into a cosy and picturesque setting. 7,000 foot Coast Mountains (Canadian boundary) and the mouth of the Skagway River where it spills into the glacier-carved Lynn Canal fjord. | Skagway has a year round population of just 863 and is a living tribute to the 1890's. | It cost $10,000,000 on the construction of the railroad. The mountainsides were so steep that men had to be suspended by ropes to prevent them falling off while cutting the grade. During construction, 35,000 men worked on the railway, and 35 lost their lives.

43: 'The White Pass & Yukon Route' is symbolic of triumph over challenge. The railroad was considered an impossible task but it was literally blasted through coastal mountains in 26 months over a century ago. Tens of thousands of men with picks and shovels and 450 tons of explosives overcame harsh climate and challenging geography to create 'the railway built of gold'. To build this route they had to conquer the significant snowfalls with the rotary snowplow and spanning Dead Horse Gulch with the tallest cantilever bridge in the world at the time. But sadly the Gold Rush had passed by the time the railroad was completed!

44: Yep.......she sure is rugged terain

46: As we speed back to our ship, we came across several harbor seals resting on a small strip of land.

47: SKAGWAY - Nice little township. Wonderful scenery and lots of rugged, rugged mountains surrounding it.


51: Township itself is flat and it was easy walking from the wharf in to Skagway. Very relaxed lifestyle for the people and they rely on the tourist ships like other Alaskan ports!

55: JOHNS HOPKINS GLACIER | This was amazzzzzing..as the Volendam slowly crept up to the glacier....then sat quietly, there was no sound but the creaking of the glacier. At that point the Captain urged anyone who was inside the ship to come out into the air and 'live the moment'! Then slowly the ship began to spin clockwise. It spun in a slow circle three times then sat facing the glacier. We all marvelled in awe!

57: GLACIER BAY | stunning, just stunning!

58: Wilderness: Remote, Dynamic, and Intact Our trip in to Glacier Bay, a land reborn, a world returning to life, a living lesson in resilience. If ever we needed a place to intrigue and inspire us, to help us see all that's possible in nature and in ourselves, this is it. Glacier Bay is a homeland, a natural lab, a wilderness, a national park, a United Nations biosphere reserve, and a world heritage site. Not a bad resume for a young land, a new sea. Just 250 years ago, Glacier Bay was all glacier and no bay. A massive river of ice, roughly 100 miles long and thousands of feet deep, occupied the entire bay. Today, that glacier is gone, having retreated north. Fewer than a dozen small tidewater glaciers remain. Impressive in themselves, sequestered at the heads of their inlets in the upper bay, they flow from tall coastal mountains to the sea, and calve great shards of ice that bejewel cold waters with diamond-like bergs. They are witnesses to change, these rivers of ice. They invite us to slow down and breathe deeply of the cool ice age air, and to imagine, if only for a day, the way things used to be.

59: TIDALWATER GLACIERS Glaciers fed by heavy snow extend to the sea and calve icebergs from their face. Sediments may accumulate at the face of a tidewater glacier providing a protective shoal from the seawater, allowing the ice to advance into deeper water. If a glacier loses it shoal, retreat begins, if conditions become favourable, the cycle may begin again with the advance of glaciers. New forests now cloak parts of the bay since the glaciers retreated. Elsewhere some glaciers still flow into the bay. Retreating glaciers leave barren land behind. Humpback whales swim the icy waters and are quite at home! | Haa aani a ya This is our homeland...........

60: THIS GLACIAL ICE HAS BEEN AROUND FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS. TATU Glacier which retreated in the mid-1700s like other glaciers like it. Glacieal ice at the Terminus of Mendenhall Glacier flows 200-250 years on its 13-mile trek to Mendenhall Lake. Concerned by gravity, ice pursues the path of least resistance.


63: At Glacier Bay you can witness geological processes and change usually barely noticed in the span of a human life! Glacier Bay is the product of The Little Ice Age. | If you have seen one glacier you haven't seen them all! They are each unique. They capture your gaze and you realise that you may never see anything like this again in your lifetime! ENJOY the moment........................take a deep breath out slowly!

64: Margerie Glacier in Tarr Inlet | Very 'white'!



68: Ketchikan | CREEK STREET

70: Since prehistoric times, Tongass and Cape Fox Tlingits used Ketchikan Creek as a fish camp, which they called 'kitschk-hin' meaning creek of the 'thundering wings of an eagle.' Ketchikan, is known as 'Alaska's First City' because it is the first town travellers reach when ferrying north. Situated at the junction of three cultures - Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian the community proudly features the largest collection of standing totem poles in the world. In addition to totem poles,tourists like us saw Creek Street Historic District, formerly known as 'The Line,' Alaska's most notorious red light district from 1902 to 1954. The zigzagging boardwalk on pilings above Ketchikan Creek supported at least 30 'sporting houses' in its heyday. Today, the old houses are being spruced up and converted into small shops and businesses.

73: FORMAL EVENING DRESS.........(good clobber), excellent food and wonderful dinner company.!

74: K E T C h i k A n | Local Brothel - Dolly's


79: The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page. - St. Augustine

82: In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous. -Aristotle | Is this glacier not just spectacular.........? Absolutely awesome! We were awe-struck. Breathtaking!


85: Yep! That's a black bear alright. Is he close? Yep! Up above our heads. Are you both out in the wild? Yep! Is he dangerous? Yep!

86: We hoped to see bears fishing salmon out of the water but only saw them from a distance...well, the one in the tree WAS EXTREMELY CLOSE...mmm....yep above us was close enough. We had to stay still and NOT run.

88: Pristine wilderness.....

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  • By: Helen M.
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  • Title: Alaska Cruise 2010
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