Alaskan Cruise - July 2005

Heart of Alaska - 12 Days/11 Nights

Four Night Land Tour
1N Fairbanks
1N Denali Princess Lodge
2N Mt. McKinley Princess Lodge

Seven Night Voyage of the Glaciers Cruise

We took 1000+ photos so the galleries are broken out by day. Some pages still contain well over 100 photos so please be patient while waiting for the thumbnails to load. Short narratives should help decipher what you're viewing.

Day Description Pictures
1 - 6/30 An early morning flight to Fairbanks with a layover in Seattle. Boarded buses and were transported to the River View Resort where everyone had their own cabins. 18
2 - 7/01 Six hour train ride to Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge at the foot of the Denali National Park. The trip was supposed to take four hours but a fire on the train made for a two hour stop at a road crossing so the local firemen could cut into the exterior wall of one of the cars and put the fire out. The night was spent visiting the homestead of three-time Iditarod Dog Sled Race champion Jeff King to meet some pups and learn of the training they receive. 112
3 - 7/02 Morning brought a helicopter ride up and onto a glacier. We toured the mountains around Denali National Park and eventually landed on Yanert Glacier. We spent a half hour exploring the ice, boulders and streams all while posing for pictures. The afternoon meant another two hour bus ride to Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge. No excursions that night, just dinner, enjoying the view and relaxation. The peak of Mt. McKinley was briefly visible that evening but no one managed to have their camera on them at the time. 114
4 - 7/03 An hour long bus ride to the town of Talkeetna ended with a one day Alaska fishing license and king salmon stamp. A short jet boat ride later and we were on the banks of Clear Creek fishing for king salmon. Two kings were landed with the heaviest being 26 pounds. Melissa had what the guide estimated to be a 35-40 pounder on the line but it got off the line after ten minutes of solid fighting. We took the bus back to the Lodge, had dinner and called it a night. 54
5 - 7/04 Another hour long bus ride back to the town of Talkeetna, the location of the closest rail station. Five hours on the train, including a brief stop in Anchorage, and we were at the port of Whittier where we boarded the cruise ship and spent the evening at leisure. 30
6 - 7/05 All day was spent sailing so we used the opportunity to explore the ship and take pictures. Formal night for dinner meant a cocktail party and family pictures. 95
7 - 7/06 Another day on the ship but most was spent in the interior passage and Glacier Bay. Morning travel through the passage resulted in a few humpback whale sightings as well as some additional landscape photos. The northern most section of Glacier Bay provided multiple opportunities to shoot the many glaciers in the area. 121
8 - 7/07 We awoke docked in the town of Skagway. A midday walking tour of the downtown Skagway gave way to a Jeep tour of the Yukon Territory. After crossing the Canadian border and a brief drive through British Columbia we trekked on into the Yukon. Climbing a rocky mountain pass we stopped towards the top of several mountains. After some photos we back tracked down the rocky pass and made our way through the Yukon to cross the border into the United States to board the ship for the next port. 116
9 - 7/08 In one of Juneau’s marinas we boarded dual catamaran and set out into the bay to look for aquatic wildlife. Not long into our trip we spotted a mother Orca and her calf feeding. After spending some time there we moved on to look for Humpback whales. We eventually spotted a group of about half dozen feeding together. They exhibited several methods of feeding and offered quite a few photo opportunities. After leaving the humpbacks we traveled to Colt Island to eat lunch at the Orca Point Whale Lodge. After lunch we were transported back to our ship where the U.S. Coast Guard escorted us out of port to the heightened alert. 196
10 - 7/09 Morning in Ketchikan was spent snorkeling just off shore in the bay. The water was about 60 degrees but wetsuits made it a very comfortable swim. The water was relatively murky, making for difficult underwater shots. In the afternoon, Chris went on a motorcycle tour of Ketchikan, Tongass National Forest and Totem Bight. The tour was guided and used Harley Davidson Sportster 883s. The rest of the group went on a Wildlife Exploration & Crab Feast where they participated in a count and release research program of Dungeness crab. 152
12 - 7/11
Last day at sea sailing through several straits (Day 11 - not pictured) on our way to Vancouver where we eventually disembarked.