Normally, after a Minnesota winter, warmth is one of the key things we seek in a vacation. This year we decided to mix things up and take a cruise to Alaska. We picked the Norwegian Pearl as our vessel of choice and decided to spend a day in Seattle on either end.
The trip schedule looked like:
- Sunday — Leave Seattle
- Monday — Day at Sea
- Tuesday — Juneau
- Wednesday — Skagway
- Thursday — Glacier Bay
- Friday — Ketchikan
- Saturday — Victoria, British Columbia
- Sunday — Back in Seattle, 8:00 AM
We had a very enjoyable trip. The ship itself was quite nice. The size of these cruise ships is something you really can’t quite picture until you are next to one. Quite literally hotel/skyscrapers afloat. We had a balcony cabin. This was quite nice for looking at scenery without having to be out on deck. Very nice if crowds aren’t your biggest delight.
The scenery was fantastic. In Juneau, we saw our first glacier, the Mendenhall glacier:
In Skagway we took the White Pass Railway up into the mountains. This was originally built in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush.
All of the snowy mountains made me think of the Lord of the Rings when they tried to take the pass by Caradhras. Not surprising they didn’t make it. Of course, the miners didn’t have a wizard and had to haul two tons of stuff each into the Yukon. Here’s a steampunk snow removal device they used:
In Glacier Bay, we saw a number of glaciers. My favorite was the Marjerie Glacier
For a sense of scale, that’s about a mile across and 250 feet from the water to the top of the ice.