November 24th 2017

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Alaskan Cruise Review Alaskan Cruise Review Alaskan Cruise Review Alaskan Cruise Review Alaskan Cruise Review Alaskan Cruise Review Alaskan Cruise Review Alaskan Cruise Review Alaskan Cruise Review

 

Continent: North America. Country: Alaska. City: Skagway.

Alaskan Cruise Review

By Ian Warren

 

My wife and I wanted to go on a special cruise to celebrate our 50th birthdays, and decided on Celebrity Cruises in Alaska. What a great start to the trip when BA upgraded us to World Traveller Plus for our flight to Seattle.

Seattle was experiencing a mini heat-wave when we arrived, and the ship looked beautiful in the brilliant sunshine as we approached Pier 69. However, embarkation was not as quick as normal, and we were queuing on the pavement in over 90 degree heat. It transpired that it was her first visit to Seattle, and she was late arriving that morning so it took us about 2 hours to board.

Once on board we soon relaxed, and were thrilled when we reached our cabin. We had booked a cabin at the front of the ship, as it was ‘L shaped’ and about 50% bigger than many other cabins, and it had a window on the front of the ship, giving panoramic views ahead, and another at the side. During the week we saw some amazing scenery from the cabin, as well as the spectacle of 2 humpbacks rising and diving immediately in front of the bows.

The main reason for choosing Alaska was to see some spectacular scenery and wildlife, and we weren’t disappointed. A lot of the cruise is spent either hugging the coast or in Fjords, so you see a lot more than just water. Many passengers spent a lot of time on deck looking for whales and porpoises, not forgetting the amazing scenery, and when really close to shore there was always the chance of seeing bears. There was a naturalist on board which was a bonus, as she gave regular talks on the wildlife and glaciers, as well as making announcements out on deck when there was something interesting to see.

As for many other people, an important part of cruising for us is visiting the ports and going on excursions. In Juneau we had booked a whale watching trip over the web with Captain Larry, and it was worth every penny. He had a very fast boat, which took only 24 passengers, and he was able to follow two large of pods of Orcas. We were with them for about 2 hours and also saw a humpback for a lot of the time, and we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. Skagway was really attractive, in the style of the old cowboy towns. From here we had booked a coach trip into the Yukon, and were lucky enough to see a black bear come from the woods and amble along the road past our coach, before being frightened by another vehicle and jumping the fence into the woods.

Yakatut Bay and the Hubbard Glacier were breathtaking. It was a brilliant sunny morning, although there was a nip in the air, and most people were on deck taking photos and peering through binoculars from before 6.30am. We were lucky enough to get an invite to visit the bridge while in Yakatut Bay, so after taking some photos on deck we arrived on the bridge just as Mercury stopped in front of the glacier. What a way to enjoy such a beautiful example of Mother Nature at work.

Ketchikan was another attractive town, but what struck me was the number of sea planes. There seemed to be more planes taking off and landing on the river than you see at Heathrow! On the last sea day we passed Vancouver Island just after lunch, and for the rest of the day there was plenty of interesting scenery on the shoreline on both sides of the ship.

All too soon we were back in Seattle and disembarked. We had all day before our flight, so left our baggage at the pier, and went sightseeing around Seattle. Places to visit include Pike Place Market, where you will also see the first ever Starbucks, which was opened in 1971, and a trip to the top of Space Needle, for amazing views of the city.

A wonderful ship, breathtaking scenery, and amazing wildlife – what more could we ask for in a cruise? 

 

Ian Warren

GoCruise with Ian
Phone: 01455 821770
Mobile: 07990 751367
Email: ian@gocruise.co.uk  
Web1: www.cruiseswithgocruise.co.uk  
Web2: www.nilecruiseswithgocruise.co.uk
 

 

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