A Travellerspoint blog

Back on terra firma


View 2010 Vancouver & Alaskan Cruise on alexchan's travel map.

We arrived at 7 am into Vancouver [Vancouver-travel-guide-205445] but disembarkation was conducted by groups so we were able to fit in breakfast on board before our group was due at 8:30 am. It was a relief that the immigration process into Canada was quick. What a sharp contrast to the 2 hour wait to board and simultaneously get processed into the US!

We had decided to stow our luggage at a Left Luggage place at the cruise terminal but for a higher fee (but better value) they forwarded our luggage to Vancouver Airport. How very convenient!

Sans luggage we were able to roam the city briefly before settling on a movie “Prince of Persia” ... which was a good way to kill the best part of the day. After a late lunch we made our way to Vancouver airport for our flight home.

Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Rough seas help make a happy ending?


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The poor weather continued and it was a rocky ride back to Vancouver [Vancouver-travel-guide-205445]. Our amazing inhouse acrobats Duo Velikovi were scheduled to do a dedicated performance this afternoon but this was cancelled due to rough seas.

It was quite helpful to have bad weather and rough seas ... it takes away the sad edge off the finish of a very enjoyable cruise. I felt a bit queasy and took a seasickness pill as a precautionary measure. It took two hours out of the day as I fell asleep shortly after brunch.

Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Canned salmon capital


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Ketchikan was once the canned salmon capital of the world. It is a rainy place ... we’ve been told that if you come at anytime and stay for more than one hour, you will encounter rain. We’re so glad we didn’t pre-book any activities as it wouldn’t be a nice day to eg. go flightseeing or whalewatching!

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Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

The largest capital city in the USA (in disguise)


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large_5550_12767572881349.jpgMendenhall Glacier; you don't realise the size until you compare it to the waterfall next to it ... and with people below it (next photo).
We pulled in bright and early into Juneau [Juneau-travel-guide-4526] but as it was a long stop (until the evening) we didn’t wake up early for the arrival. Juneau (despite its population of over 30,000) is the largest state capital in the USA by area ... it’s not hard bearing in mind that the capitals of California and New York are lesser known cities like Sacramento and Albany respectively, right?

Juneau is also very isolated in that it is not linked by road to any other place ... roads out of town come to a dead end. Locals like it that way as it keeps crime rate low ... you simply can’t run out of town once you’ve robbed the bank, I suppose.

While here, we took the bus to Mendenhall Glacier which was impressive ... even for us who visited the Fox and Franz Josef in New Zealand recently. It’s face is 1.5 miles wide and seems very tall as well.

Sign language for musicals

There is a hearing-impaired group on the ship. During showtimes, they sit in front and have a sign-language interpreter to translate the lyrics of songs and musicals. I can understand songs being translated. However it seems a bit odd to translate the lyrics for musicals ... how could they enjoy the visuals while looking at the sign language?

Also, for songs in non-English language (eg. Spanish or Italian), they’re definitely at an advantage as we don’t have these translated into English for us!

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Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

A taste of the Arctic


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We cruised into Yakutat Bay after breakfast and headed up towards Hubbard Glacier. This is the largest tidewater glacier in the North American continent because it begins some 76 miles upstream. At its face, it is about 100 m high and over 3 km wide!

With the chunks of ice and the smaller pieces floating in the sea, it was truly a taste of the Arctic even though we were far from the Arctic circle!

The Alaskan daylight hours are long, today sunrise was at 4:18am and sunset will be 10:08pm. But trust me, we had a gloomy day in Seattle ... we definitely didn't feel the long daylight hours then.

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Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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