It’s hard to believe that my time in Alaska is up! As this post goes live I’ll be getting ready to disembark the cruise ship and be shuttled over to the airport in Vancouver to fly home (though as I write this I still have 1 full day at sea left). It’s going to be a long travel day, not quite as long as when I came to Alaska because it will be a direct flight. But still with the travel time and time difference I won’t be home until late tonight.
Today I’m going to talk about some of the sights I’ve seen from the ship this week. First off, I want to say that Princess Cruises planned everything seamlessly – I don’t know how they do it! If you remember, the first few days of my vacation were on land starting further north in the interior of Alaska in Fairbanks. We slowly made our way further south before boarding our ship in Whittier and our last port of call was this past Thursday in Ketchikan, an island in southeast Alaska. It’s been a fantastic way to see different parts of this huge state and Princess Cruises has made everything as smooth as possible. For example, on land we had to have our bags out by a certain time in the morning (if we were heading somewhere new that day) and by the time we arrived at our next hotel room, our bags were already there! Same with the cruise ship. Our bags went out last Saturday morning and then we took the train ride I wrote about a couple days ago and by the time we boarded the ship my suitcase and duffel bag (from the land days) were already waiting for me inside my state room! I don’t know how they do it – it must take an immense amount of organization. That’s just an example of the organization they put into it – I won’t get started on dining and excursions! I’m not at all sponsored by Princess Cruises, but if they want to offer me a future vacation I wouldn’t say no!
But let me get back on topic. I saw gorgeous views from the decks and my balcony every day, pretty much all day long. Besides scenic views of the water and mountains, I also saw 2 glaciers and a few wild animals! The mountains went from snowcapped in the north to lush greenery in the south. I’ve posted a few pictures already on Instagram so you may have seen some there.
I saw Hubbard Glacier, which I wrote about in yesterday’s photo challenge. It was awesome to see with my own eyes and I mean that word literally. I was full of awe. I think it took everyone on board’s breath away and not just because it was freezing out!
I also saw Margerie Glacier the next day while cruising through Glacier Bay National Park. It wasn’t quite as cool to see as Hubbard. I definitely think the environment played a huge role. The day before when we saw Hubbard it was so cold out and everything looked so icy that it added to the feeling of seeing a glacier. When we saw Margerie it was sunny out and not as cold. The glacier looked more like white rock than ice so it didn’t look as surreal, but it was cool nonetheless. What was really interesting and neat though was that since we were in Glacier Bay National Park for a majority of the day and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site they really try to preserve the area and maintain its pristineness so no paper products were offered on the ship that day. No straws for drinks, no paper cups, no paper napkins etc. Not saying that people would purposely litter the water, but it is quite windy on the water so things can easily blow away and end up in the water.
In the past few days I’ve seen whale spouts and what I think was a seal. A raven also flew just feet away from my face when I was on my balcony the other day which happened way too quick for me to capture on camera. The first morning on the ship when I was at breakfast we saw a pod of whales following the ship. I didn’t get to see the actual bodies of the whales but we saw three to four spouts going and it was amazing! I’m told that they were probably orcas!
Then 2 days later when we were leaving Glacier Bay National Park, we were told we could possibly spot humpback whales, seals, and sea lions. Over the course of 1-2 hours I spotted what I think were seals. They never fully came out of the water, only bobbing up and down every so often so it was hard to tell. But in a video I took it looks to do a little flippy thing so I think they were seals. I also saw a lot of eagles but mostly when I was off the ship so you will see some pictures of those in future posts.
Non-nature related, I also watched 2 movies on the pool deck for the cruise line’s “Movie Under the Stars”. Not exactly stars since it stays light out so late in the summer in Alaska, but I guess technically the sun is a star right? It was a lot of fun cuddled up with [multiple] blankets, on the pool loungers, popcorn in hand and enjoying a movie on the big screen. I watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Jungle Book.
What’s also been really great is that me and my family’s state rooms are all lined up next to each other. The balcony’s have dividers so that you can have privacy from other guests but there is a door that you can open if you choose to do so. We left them all open so our 4 rooms make one giant balcony and it’s easier for us to go to each other’s rooms at any time without having to go into the hallway!
I could go on and on and bombard you with hundreds of pictures of scenery from the ship, but I don’t want to drive you guys crazy. Plus I have a few more posts still to go up about my excursions in Alaska, the food, my souvenirs, and what I wore to dinner each night! Not to mention, I’ve been taking videos this whole time so I plan to edit those into 3 videos (4 days each) and post those for you guys. I think the videos are going to turn out great with all this amazing footage, so I really hope you guys will enjoy those when they go up. Don’t worry now that I am going home, there will be other non-Alaska posts sprinkled in too to keep you guys from getting Alaska’d out. But yeah these are just some of the incredible sights I’ve seen from the ship. Like I mentioned above, I’m writing this post ahead of time so if I see anything cool on my last day at sea I will edit this post!