Alaska 1

We had been waiting over 9 months to go to Alaska on a cruise! Our family has expanded by 2 since our last family cruise, and the number was brought up to 17, a record high! Our boat, the Oosterdam, left from Pier 91, just a mile or two from the Bainbridge ferry. I didn't have to go far! Because it would be a lot to narrate, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Day 1 we left Seattle, and Day 2 was also a day at sea as we sailed North to our first destination, Glacier Bay. It is conidered a 'port', although we don't leave the ship. We sailed into the Bay for the day, came to the end of our little inlet with an amazingly deep blue glacier. I was so surprised to see ICE in the water! Mini icebergs. As we stood on the hull of the ship, we probably stood outside for about 4 hours admiring the scenery and watching the glaciers calf (ice breaking off) One of my favorite parts of the trip!

Our 2nd port was Juneau. I really wanted to go on at least one run on Alaskan soil, so my sister and I went off the ship and went for an hour run. After lunch we took an excursion to see the Mendehall Glacier, which was about 20 minutes away from the city (ok....town) by bus.

We stopped at three other ports: Ketchikan, Sitka, and Victoria. I don't have much to say about Ketchikan because I wasn't that impressed. Too touristy. I went into town, bought two postcards, then went back on the ship. Victoria was even less interesting. I've heard great things about Victoria and I know that it's beautiful, but the dock where the cruise ships come in is in a really strange place and is nowhere near anything! Not only did we not dock till about 7pm, but you had to take a taxi or a tour to get to town. And to top it all off, there were two other gigantic cruise ships docked there at the same time. Because of all of the above and due to the fact that it was our last night on the ship, I did end up going off the ship but only briefly.

I'm obviously not going in chronological order because I haven't yet spoken about Sitka. I wanted to save the best port for last. It was our only port we had to tender at, and Dad, Dave, Darcy, Dylan, Hannah, Ben, and I went on a sea kayaking excursion. It was fabulous! We spotted a humpback whale on the boat ride out to the boathouse that housed the kayaks. We kayaked around the bay, admiring the sea weed and sitka spruce. We had hot cider and clam chowder back at the boat house (as if we hadn't had enough to eat already). On the boat ride back, we spotted two brown bears - also known as grizzly! A momma and her cub - what a treat! (I didn't bring my camera on this trip so unfortunately I don't have any pictures!

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