Alaska Cruise- Victoria, B.C.

30 08 2012

Our final stop on the cruise was Victoria, British Columbia, located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. Our parents kindly offered to watch the kids so that all the siblings could go out together. We had a blast! After leaving the ship we easily located an affordable tour guide and arranged to tour the city, visit Butchart Gardens, and end with a pub crawl.

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We stopped at the Empress hotel for a photo and checked out the parliament building in town.

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Jennie Butchart turned her husband’s limestone quarry into these gardens in the mid-20’s. They are very beautiful.

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This was the “sunken garden” planted in the quarry.

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There were beautiful Rose Gardens and Japanese Gardens.

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After the gardens we went on our pub “tour” stopping at both a Scottish and Irish pub where we enjoyed the local brewed beers.

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It was a successful evening and night out!

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Alaska Cruise- Ketchikan

30 08 2012

Our last Alaskan port was the city of Ketchikan. It has a population of about 14,000 and is considered the “salmon capital of the world.” Although most of the family ventured out salmon fishing for the day- Paul, Amelia, Caroline and I decided to check out totem poles and lumberjacks.

Ketchikan has the worlds largest collection of standing totem poles. We visited a few of them at Totem Bight State Park. Caroline was the perfect traveler to entertain Amelia- we sang songs on the bus and played together all day long.

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Double nap time!

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We called Aunt Meri to make sure she was buying some souvenirs for us in town.

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Next we went to see a lumberjack show. It actually was pretty fun!

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They gave us a wood chip for cheering so loud.

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Lastly a quick stroll through town on the way to the boat.

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We also got to see the wild salmon caught by my family when it was cooked by the Cruise chef the next day at lunch.

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Alaska Cruise- Glacier Bay

30 08 2012

We spent a whole day cruising through Glacier Bay National Park, which can only be reached by air or boat. The Bay includes four glaciers that actively “calve” into the water. There are also numerous “hanging” glaciers around the mountain tops. The waters leading in and out of the bay are full of sea life including whales, sea otters, and porpoises.

It was rainy and cold as we headed into the icy waters of the National Park. Two  rangers boarded our ship so they could tell us about the glaciers and wildlife throughout the day. 

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There were blankets handed out so we could stay outside taking photographs and watching for the hanging glaciers we passed.

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The most exciting part was watching this glacier actively “calve” into the ocean. We heard regular popping and crackling while pieces broke off into the water. The boat made a slow 360 degree turn near this glacier. We took lots of photos!

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During nap-time we had great glacier views!

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This was another glacier where we made a 360 degree turn on the ship.

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Another glacier

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We saw many sea otters and humpback whales as we left Glacier Bay.

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It was a fun day!

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