Information about Us
We are a retired professional couple; indeed this was to have been my wife's retirement trip, but it had to be postponed for 2 years. While we had visited parts of North America previously, most of our travelling has been in Europe. This was our 4th cruise, and our 2nd with the company now known as Hurtigruten. Over 25 years ago we had sailed with them on the Norwegian Coastal Voyage, in the days when the ship was a freighter!
Travel To Port of Embarkation
On MS Roald Amundsen we stayed in our first-choice cabin: an Arctic Superior as Hurtigruten describe on their website. This choice did not disappoint: for us, the "panhandle coast" was the highlight of the trip. In brilliant sunshine and for many nautical miles, we could see glaciers, Mt St Elias under a cloudless sky and our kayaker friends amidst the icy calves, all from our balcony.
It was good to be able to dry off wet clothes using the underfloor heating, and if there had been another way besides using the floor then this could have been better still.
Of all this happy ship, our steward Sharon on Deck8 deserves special mention for her kind and attentive behaviour towards us.
This was an unexpected break and it was good to get a glimpse of Seward - we walked the length of Resurrection Bay and back, looking out for a sea otter (but these had to wait until Sitka).
A local fisherman showed us a nice shortcut to the boardwalk, and a friendly woman described the impact the Earthquake had.
Sitka itself we found to be another most pleasant town, with its interesting Slavonic history and a building style reminiscent of the High Tatra (shades of Polska in Alaska ?)
Lots of fish leaping at random in the bay! From the pier the Sea Otter trip, on a proper boat, showed a lotta otter-spotters plenty of sea otters, a clutterbucket of sealions (incorrect collective noun, surely ? - Ed.), a veritable treehousefull of bald eagles, and a flukebrace of humpback whales up-close ... surely the best excursion available on this particular voyage!
On arrival we stayed at the Sheraton Wall Centre, in an excellent, spacious hotel bedroom; we spent 3 nights there, and would happily have stayed longer.
In Vancouver itself, having first equipped ourselves with a streetmap we got around mainly on foot:
Canada Place; Gastown; Chinatown, its best - the Sun Yatsen Garden - besides its most unfortunate; Stanley Park - heron, a raccoon family; and the sunset beyond Kitsilano.
After the voyage, a coach ride back in Vancouver and lunch on Granville Island brought us a full finish to a memorable trip.