Trip Start May 27, 2013
1Trip End Jun 04, 2013
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We selected the Norwegian Sun as our cruise ship, from Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL)
(http://www.ncl.com/). We had to fly into Anchorage and then make our way to the port city of Whittier (http://www.whittieralaska.gov/) where we would board the NCL Sun. We flew from Miami to Anchorage via Houston with United Airlines. In Anchorage we spent one night at the Super 8
(http://www.super8.com/hotels/alaska/anchorage/super-8-anchorage) motel and the following day took an Alaska Cruise Transfer shuttle bus (http://www.whittiershuttle.com/) from Anchorage to Whittier
On our way down to Whittier we made a stop at the Wildlife Conservation Center
(http://www.alaskawildlife.org/) and at Summit Lake and Beluga Point, which was nice.
Our cruise itinerary was as follows:
Day 1 > Embark in Whittier
Whittier is on the northeast shore of the Kenai Peninsula, at the head of Passage Canal, on the
west side of Prince William Sound. It is located 75 miles southeast of Anchorage. Around 200 people live here year round. Known by locals as the Whittier tunnel or the Portage tunnel, the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel is a tunnel through Maynard Mountain. It links the Seward highway south of Anchorage with Whittier and is the only land access to the town. It is part of the
Portage Glacier Highway and at 13,300 feet, is the second longest highway tunnel, and longest combined rail and highway tunnel, in North America
Day 2 > Hubbard Glacier (http://www.nps.gov/wrst/naturescience/upload/HG%20Fact%201.pdf)
The Hubbard Glacier is North America’s largest tidewater glacier. It is 76 miles long, 7 miles wide, and 600 feet tall at its terminal face (350 feet exposed above the waterline and 250 feet below the waterline). The ice you see at the terminal face is approximately 450 years old and is over 2000 feet thick at some locations. The glacier was named in 1890 for Gardiner Hubbard, the first
president of the National Geographic Society.
Day 3 > Icy Strait Point in Hoonah (http://www.icystraitpoint.com/ and
Icy Strait Point is located on Chichagof Island. 1.5 miles away from the town of Hoonah, Alaska. It
is built around the restored Hoonah Packing company cannery complex
Day 4 > Juneau and Sawyer Glacier (http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/p1386k/pdf/02_1386K_part1.pdf)
Juneau, the capital of the State of Alaska, is located roughly 890 miles northwest of Seattle,
Washington and 560 miles southeast of Anchorage. A very interesting fact is that Juneau has no road access. Main access to Juneau is by sea or air. In Juneau Vera and I took the Mount Roberts Tramway to the top. There Vera was eaten by a large grizzly bear, but I managed to fight him off and pulled Vera out of his mouth uninjured; this really happened. See the picture as proof :o)
Day 5 > Skagway (http://skagway.com/)
Skagway is known as the “sunshine” capitol of southeast. Skagway is also known as the “Gateway to the Klondike” referencing the famous gold rush to the Yukon of the late 1890’s. Skagway only gets 27 inches of moisture a year. The next lowest precipitation is in Haines with over 60 inches of moisture each year
Day 6 > Ketchikan (http://www.visit-ketchikan.com/)
Ketchikan is the fifth-most populous city in Alaska with a population in excess of 14,000. Known
as the Salmon Capital of the World, Ketchikan is located on Revillagigedo Island, 235 miles south of Juneau. This picturesque city has a total area of 5.9 square miles. Its local economy is based on tourism and fishing. The half a mile wide Tongass Narrows channel separates Ketchikan from Gravina Island. The city is named after Ketchikan Creek. Ketchikan comes from the Tlingit name for the creek, Kitschk-hin, which means “thundering wings of an eagle.”
Day 7 > Cruise Inside Passage and disembark in Vancouver
Vancouver is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada; 52% of its
residents do not speak English as their first languagehttp://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/stanley-park.aspx), the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park (http://www.capbridge.com/), and Grouse Mountain
(http://www.grousemountain.com/). We really enjoyed all sites, but the Capilano Park really stood out; very impressive.
We were extremely fortunate that we had excellent weather throughout the cruise. At each port of call we were greeted with blue skies and lost of sunshine. Only while at sea did we experience a downpour and heavy fog. Vera and I both caught a mild cold towards the end of the cruise; grandma and grandpa nothing.
I am very happy to have been able to make this cruise with not only my gorgeous and loving woman, but with my parents as well. I look forward to repeating another memorable outing
of this sort with them again.