BC: ALASKA | 2012
FC: 2012 | ALASKA | CRUISE
2: August 2012 - Judy, Steve and Jack Blaising with Jack's friend Christina Cline depart DFW for Vancouver. We meet up with Wade, Donna and Foster Hampton and Foster's friend Chelsea to board the Sapphire Princess for our Alaska cruise.
3: First two days are spent at sea. We get to know the ship, relax on board, play board games, watch movies under blankets on deck in the evening, win bingo, try to spy the Northern Lights, eat good food.
5: Just cruising...Sights along the way.
7: First port of call is Ketchikan. A visit to Totem Bright State Park offers a look at the world's largest collection of totem poles and insight into the Tinglit and Haida Native Alaskan cultures.
8: Jack and Christina kayak around Ketchikan's Tatoosh Island.
9: Also in Ketchikan: The Hamptons zip-line above the rain forest canopy.
10: All dressed up for our first formal night at sea. (Donna and Judy looking like the young girls they were when they met at age 24 ..ha - just kidding.! Jack and Christina, Foster and Chelsea beautiful and handsome, respectively. Steve and Wade.. dashing and elegant. Not kidding!!
12: More pretty pictures...
14: Next stop: Juneau. Judy, Donna, Jack and Christina take a helicopter to the Mendenhall Glacier. We are deposited on the ice field and learn that this is one of the few glaciers today that is not retreating, but actually advancing. We have to wear special "ice boots"!!
17: The water from the glacier is the best and coldest you will ever taste.
21: While we are on the ice, Steve and Wade take a six-mile "bike and brewery" tour. Juneau's glacier can be seen from the trail (see behind Steve below). Spawning salmon and baby black bears are other sights along the way.
22: The stop in Juneau included shopping, lunch at the Red Dog Saloon and a bear on every corner. We are but 2,574 miles from home.
24: Skagway, our next stop, owes its fame to the Alaska Gold Rush. We moored in the harbor in sight of both a mountain "ship's registry" (see above) and White Pass and Yukon Railway. We took the WP&Y train up to the Canadian border and back. The narrow gauge RR, built in the late 1880s to carry gold down from the mines, is an International Civil Engineering landmark, a designation shared with the Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty.
26: Some of us on board the WP&Y. Jack and Christina tour Skagway by bike; and Wade and Foster go ice-climbing.
28: Day six: Arrive Glacier Bay National Park. Wake up to ice floes, cold temps and gray skies. We skip breakfast and head to the aft top deck for great views and warm blankets.
30: We go below deck to wake up the rest of our party, most of who are still sleeping. Still in their PJs, Donna, Wade, Foster, Chelsea, Jack and Christina pad out on our balcony to view the surrounding glaciers and listen to fallen ice.!!! !
32: The skies cleared by the time we left Glacier Bay on our final leg of the cruise: the trip along the ALaska cost to Whittier, Anchorage's port. We had a festive HH on our balcony before we headed back to our cabins to change for dinner and begin packing,
34: Final night at sea; last formal night.
36: We disembark the Sapphire Princess for the coach trip to Anchorage for flights back to Dallas. Stops along the way included scenic lookouts and a visit to a wildlife rehabilitation refuge. We all hate to leave...what a wonderful trip with great fellowship and so much fun.!