Back in 2013, a chance chat with a friend saw me going on an Alaskan Cruise. Seven nights of cruising the Inside Passage from Vancouver.
It was definitely a highlight of my travels so far.
I had mentioned in passing to a friend that I was looking at going to Vancouver for a few days in September 2013. She mentioned to me that her & her family would be in Vancouver around the same time, having done a West Coast USA trip and driving holiday from Calgary to Vancouver.
The conversation that followed went a little something like this:
Me: “Hey, if we’re going to be in Vancouver at the same time, we should catch up for dinner – how cool would that be?”
Friend: “We could totally do that OR you could come on the cruise with us!!!”
So with those words put my brain into motion and I was able to book an inside cabin literally just across the hallway from my friends, who had a balcony cabin. I paid about AUD1400 for the cruise. People might that that’s a lot but you also have to remember that price includes accommodation, transport, food and entertainment for 7 nights, so in reality, it’s actually a bargain (especially having just booked my NZ cruise for later in the year!!)
So on the 8th September 2013 we departed Vancouver and headed off on our cruise.
I’ve posted previously about my thoughts on cruising, but I have to say it isn’t my favourite type of holiday – again, forget about the NZ cruise I have just booked. The thing I hate the most is just being at sea – I struggle with not being able to get up and go somewhere, which is kind of ironic since there are weekends that I don’t even leave the house – but I could if I wanted to!
The thing I loved the most about this cruise was the scenery, which actually reminded me a lot of New Zealand. I saw my first glacier – yes even though I am from a country that has glaciers, I had never actually seen one before. Oh and we also managed to see the Northern Lights – not well enough to attempt any type of photography but we still saw them.
Our first port of call was Icy Strait Point – a small tourist destination outside of Hoonah. It was a rather miserable day and we had to catch tenders over to the jetty but that did not take away from the fact that this was a gorgeous wee town with some interesting things to see and do.
Next we docked in Juneau, which I think was my favourite place. We managed to do quite a lot in Juneau, including heading to the Mendehall Glacier and Nugget Falls – bit of a walk (for me!) but totally worth it. We also took the Mount Roberts Tramway to the top of the hill for a view over the town below and seeing my first American eagle.
Our final port was Ketchikan, which is famous for it’s salmon. As we came into Ketchikan our Guest Director mentioned that in all the time he’d be doing this particular cruise there had only been two sunny days – this was one of them. We had glorious weather for our visit to Ketchikan, unfortunately however, the creek was at low tide and there were a lot of dead fish. Which meant there was a horrible smell in that Creek Street area – which was disappointing because it is a really cute little area.
Overall I really enjoyed seeing this part of the world and would love to see more of it. Whilst the cruise wasn’t my favourite thing, it did give me the opportunity to go places that I probably wouldn’t have thought about going previously.