Having been to Ketchikan a few times, we planned to walk around town for a few hours (unless the weather was nice, then we would take the Deadliest Catch tour again as we really enjoyed it in 2010). Well, not surprisingly, the weather was quite wet in Ketchikan, so after a few hours of strolling around town we returned to the ship and had a relaxing afternoon.
Juneau continued with the trend of overcast conditions, and once again, we had no big plans other than to take the MGT bus out to Mendenhall Glacier for a hike. We enjoyed a nice hike out to the waterfall and then hiked one of the shorter loop trails, just missed a close encounter with a bear, but did see a porcupine in a tree. After a couple hours we made our way back to walk around town and do some quick souvenir shopping. Before we boarded the ship, we headed over to Tracy's Crab Shack for an ice cold Alaskan beer and some very tasty crab cakes! As we sailed out of Juneau (10pm), some of the locals who live along the waterfront put on a display of fireworks as each shipped passed in front of their houses, which was neat to watch.
We headed off the ship around 9am on the tender. At the tender dock, we made our way up the very steep ramp where we had a look through the interesting cannery building. There is a shuttle to town ($8pp round trip), but in case anyone is wondering for future cruises, one-way tickets are only available for purchase in town ($5pp) for the return bus back to the tender pier. We found this a bit strange, no one way ticket to town available for those who already had a ride back to the pier pre-arranged. It was a nice enough day so we chose to walk along the seawall path to town.
This is where our fun really begins! We pre-booked a whale watch tour with Misty Bay lodge for 11:30am, so after a walk around town to check out the eagle's nest we checked in at the lodge. We then headed down to meet our Captain (Dan) at the dock, turns out some fellow CC'ers were on the first tour and had a great time! We happened to be the only ones booked on the later tour, so we got a total private tour with Hope and Dan. I can't say enough about how great they were. We saw plenty of whales and their boat was very comfortable. I would highly recommend Misty Bay!
We took the HAL shuttle bus to Egan Center (about a 10min ride), as you cannot walk in and out of the port at Anchorage. From Egan center we walked a couple blocks over to Hertz, where we had pre-arranged a rental car for the day. We decided to drive out to Point Woronzof for an overview of the city, where we happened to see a moose. From here we headed to Kincaid Park for an hour walk in hopes of seeing more moose, unfortunately no luck. We took the Seward highway to Portage, then drove through the Conservation center before making our way back toward Anchorage. After dropping off the car, we spent a little time on the wifi at Starbucks beside Egan center, then caught the shuttle back to the ship. Free wifi is also available at the visitor center during operating hours. Anchorage is a place I would really like to return to, as I feel like even with a long day in port we barely scratched the surface of what we could do here. After our 11pm departure we decide to stay up and take a 'midnight photo' to show our friends at home just how light out it is at this time of year, amazing!
It was a gloomy looking day ahead of us in Sitka, with no excursion plan. We headed to shore on an early tender and walked to the Sitka Sound Science Center for a brief walk through. From here we continued on to the totem park and then to the Raptor Center, which was really neat. On the way back we walked through the park again and then along the beach to explore the tide pools. After some shopping in town we made it back to the tender area under the O'Connell Bridge just in time to take shelter from an absolute downpour!
Welcome to 70+ degree weather, a beautiful 'shorts' day in Victoria! We decided to take advantage of the nice weather and walk from the ship to town. Victoria is close to home for us, we visit often, so planned a low key day, a visit to the museum and Imax theatre. We walked back to the ship for dinner and then decided to walk the breakwater at Ogden Point to catch the sunset. For sail away at 11pm we headed to the crows nest for one last happy hour and were treated to a spectacular lightning storm!