I was going to wait until Saturday to fill you in on the news but decided I just can't wait any longer to share. And I am very thankful for the trip I'll be taking in just over a week's time.
Yes, the suitcase on Wednesday was the biggest hint, as were the past few Wordless Wednesday photos (binoculars, boots, and a photo of a certain location). Back in 2012, my friend K and I did a short four day cruise from Vancouver to Ketchikan and back to Seattle. The photo I shared last week is one looking away from the town of Ketchikan across the passage. At that time I had just a small point and shoot so the photo isn't particularly clear as the zoom didn't work that well.
We had lovely day in Ketchikan, it was late May and the weather was warm and sunny, even though Ketchikan is known for it's rainfall. I even got a sunburned nose! We wandered around the town, visiting Creek Street - where the ladies of the evening plied their trade, through a few shops, and then further down the water line to an air charter service where we watched the float planes come and go.I've wanted to do a cruise to Alaska for a long time but other itineraries and pricing were more attractive. Fast forward to last November (I think - it may have been October) when I came across the "Voyage of the Glaciers", a fourteen day cruise both northbound and southbound out of Vancouver. I called my travel agent and booked it...because surely by May this pandemic would be over, right?
Well it isn't entirely but I'm still cruising. Since booking I was able to score a price drop of almost $800, and my flights to and from Vancouver, used up part of the credit I had with WestJet from the flights that were cancelled in June 2020 (for my British Isles cruise - still on my bucket list - I will get there one day Janet!).
Our ports and scenic cruising include: Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, College Fjord and Whittier (northbound), and Hubbard Glacier, Glacier Bay, Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan and Vancouver (southbound). I've booked two excursions, a whale watching tour in Juneau on the way north, and the White Pass railway in Skagway on the way south. I'd love to do more but excursions are pretty pricey. I've downloaded a map of Whittier as that is turn around day - many passengers booked only the 7 day cruises so some will be disembarking, while others will be embarking. There is a restaurant right on the water that I'm planning on walking to with stops at whatever interests me along the way. Beyond that I'm still doing a bit of research to determine what I might do in the other ports.
I fly to Vancouver on Friday May 6 and board the ship on Saturday morning. While I don't need a Covid test for the flight, I do for the cruise so have booked an appointment at the airport here before the flight is scheduled to leave. That way, heaven forbid, should I be positive, I'll be able to head home for isolation. In the meantime I'm doing everything in my power to avoid getting sick and will continue to do so while on board the airplane and the ship. I've a box of N95 masks, as well as the medical and cloth masks I normally wear. Fingers crossed!
You can be certain that when I return there will be a number of posts, likely photo heavy, of the ports and the glaciers. I plan to spend as much time during the day time as possible out on deck - I'm expecting incredible scenery as we sail the inside passage. The weather may not entirely cooperate, though the long range for our day in Ketchikan would suggest it will be another lovely day.
So today I'm starting the packing process. I'm planning to take lots of layers, along with my rain jacket and waterproof boots, a couple pairs of mini gloves, a fleece jacket (with windbreaker), and a scarf. I've been told it can be quite chilly when we're viewing the glaciers. Of course, my idea of chilly and those from warmer climates might be different.
I am so excited - this is my first cruise since March 2019. I started cruising in 2011 and with the exception of 2013, I did at least one cruise a year. I'm so looking forward to getting out on the ocean again.