Alaska Cruise Tour
Date: Jun 2006
This cruise tour was our first, and we were looking forward to it.
|1||Camloops (Rocky Mountain - Train Tour)||Link|
Rocky Mountain Train Tour
First we started in Calgary, but we didn’t see any of the city. We were whisked from the airport into a taxi straight to the hotel. Early the next morning we were picked up by coach and taken to Banff, a hour and a half trip. Once checked into the Rimrock Resort Hotel we wandered around the hotel grounds, and made our way up to the Banff Sulphur Mountain Gondola. The next day we were then taken to the Cave and Basin, a national historic site of Canada (Link), where there was a sulphur springs and dis-used pool. Later that day we were take along to see the Hoodoos (Link), and Bow Falls, then finally dropped off in the centre of town where we spent the rest of the day wandering around Banff. It was a great town with lots to see and do. We didn’t have much time unfortunately.
The following morning we were taken to Banff train station to catch the train all the way to Vancouver. The trip we took was called the Rocky Mountaineer. We were on the Red Leaf service (Link). This included an overnight stay in Kamloops. The train journey was amazing. Speeding though national parks, over bridges, and around lakes. Day two on the train started getting a bit boring, seeing the same things over and over though. Each carriage has its own attendant who looked after everybody and made sure we were all happy. Luckily our carriage was about half empty, which meant that we could move around to get some good pictures.
We had 3 nights in Vancouver in which to relax and wander around the city.
We visited Stanley Park (Link) to look at the totem and trees and to get a great view of the Lionsgate Bridge. This was a relaxing place to visit and we really recommend visiting it.
We also went to the Vancouver Lookout (Link) which is a 450ft (130m) tower offering 360o views of the city. Next to the lookout is Canada Place (Link). This is where most of the cruise ships sail from. We saw our first ship and thought “Wow, this is huge”, then as we walked along the promenade and around the corner, an even larger ship was moored up. Wow.
We sailed on the Serenade Of The Seas, part of the Royal Caribbean fleet. This ship holds about 2500 passengers, and almost 900 crew over 13 decks. This was an amazing ship with great amenities. The staff were friendly and welcoming.
When we arrived onboard, our bags were already in the Junior Suite that we were staying in for the next 7 nights. Walking around the ship, it was very hard to take it all in.
We set sail at about 5:00pm and cruised for 2 nights. This gave everyone a chance to get to know where everything was on this ship. Our first destination was Hubbard Glacier (Link).
Leaving the glacier behind we headed for Skagway. Arriving early in the morning, we left the ship and headed by coach across the border in Canada towards Carcross and the Caribou Crossing Trading Post. After lunch we travelled a few more miles north to Emerald Lake (aka Blue Lake) (Link). On the way back to the ship, we stopped at White Pass to catch the White Pass & Yukon train (Link) back to Skagway. This offered us great views of the mountains around the area.
Setting sail again we headed for Juneau, sailing overnight, and arriving early morning. Once in Juneau, we headed for Auke Bay to do a spot of Whale watching. We only saw the tail of one whale, but did see lots of seals. After a few hours on the bay, we headed to Mendenhall Glacier. This glacier has its own visitors centre with information about its movements and glacier erosion. Back into Juneau we quickly travelled on the Mount Roberts Tramway. This took us up to the top of the mountain, where we got some great views of the bay.
Back on the ship, we set sail towards Ketchican, with another overnight sailing. Taking a quick shuttle ride to the local airport, we took a small 10 seater plane to fly over the area. We headed to the Misty Fiords National Monument (Link). After landing on the lake, we were allowed to get out and walk along the floats/pontoons of the plane for about 20 minutes.
Returning to the boat, we set sail again for Vancouver. After having a day at sea, we arrived the following day. We left the ship behind us and headed for the airport back home.
On Board Cruise Leaflets
Whilst on board, we were given a four page leaflet each day outlining the following days activities and functions. These were left in our staterooms when the bed turn-down service was completed. We have scanned in every page of the guide for this tour and posted the images on our image site.