Holland America Alaskan Cruise

June 5th 2021 Seattle

The uniqueness of Seattle is the combination of a metropolitan city, a collection of neighborhoods each with its own personality and a natural setting of lakes and mountains. In Seattle, you can kayak by day and go to the opera at night. Local tourism officials describe the city as “metronatural.” Yet, the entire city shares a collective vibe that is casual, educated, and forward-thinking.

Sitting between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, the city’s shoreline offers piers, waterside attractions and a variety of water tours. Mount Rainier, the highest mountain in Washington, is less than 60 miles away and on a clear day it dominates the southeastern horizon of Seattle. About the same distance north of the city sits Mount Baker, one of the snowiest places in the world.

Technology has emerged as a major influence on local culture. The Seattle-area is home to companies like Amazon.com and Microsoft (in nearby Redmond). Boeing is also a major local employer, and visitors can tour the factory where they build and test their aircraft. One of the city’s most popular attractions, The Museum of Flight, highlights aviation and space history.

June 8th 2021 Stephens Passage

Stephens Passage is like the best shortcut in the world, a straight line through Southeast Alaska in a landscape that comes with very few straight lines. It’s not only people and ships that use the passage: Concentrated in and around its waters is a greatest hits of Alaskan wildlife, from humpback whales, the whoosh of their breath loud enough to be heard almost a kilometer away, to giant sea lions and their very distinctive smell—well, okay, call it a stink—that can carry just as far.

The southern reaches of Stephens Passage start at the edges of Frederick Sound, one of the best whale-watching areas in the state. The sound narrows and as you are funneled into the passage, the mountains come right down into the sea, high tide licking the roots of spruce and hemlock. In tiny bays, guillemots and gulls gather; when they take off at the ship’s wake, the noise is like applause.

The water of the passage is ridiculously deep, well over 300 meters (1,000 feet) in places. But in this landscape cut by the last ice age, you really have to measure to the mountain peaks for true scale: They climb to summits at 1,500 meters (5,000 feet), their slopes covered with forests, meadows that turn sunset into alpenglow, and best of all, by the purple tinge of glaciers that form the passage’s crown.

June 8th 2021 Hubbard Glacier

Sailors used to worry about falling off the edge of the world. Surely somewhere out there, it all simply stopped, and the only thing left to do would be to fall. But what if you discover that you’ve already fallen, and now you’re trying to get back up? That’s what sailing towards Hubbard Glacier feels like.

The glacier is up to 65meters (213 feet)wide at its face and50 meters (164 feet) tall, but that’s only the tiniest piece of the ice: The main channel of this frozen river begins 122 kilometers (76 miles) back, pouring downfrom around the 3,400-meter (11,100-foot) mark off the shoulder of Mt. Walsh.

Hubbard is the longest tidewater glacier (meaning it ends at the ocean) in North America. But unlike nearly every other tidewater glacier on the continent, Hubbard is advancing, not retreating; it’s forever pushing a little further into the bay. Chunks of ice that break off become floaties for seals, who like the bergs because orca sonar doesn’t work well among them.

The deep blue of the face of the glacier on a sunny day—the color made by compression of ice crystals that can be a foot or more long—is the blue of the furthest stars. The glacier is on the move

June 10th 2021 Sitka

Welcome to the Sitka. Sitka sits in the Alexander Archipelago on the Baranof Island. It is situated in a bay which makes for quite convenient temperatures.

June 11th 2021 Ketchikan

Ketchikan is the salmon capital of the world and the 4th wettest place on earth, famous for its working girls, totem poles and Misty Fjords. Originally Ketchikan was founded in 1885 when canning salmon would become their main industry. The remains from that time can still be found at Creek Street, which is perhaps the most picturesque street in southeast Alaska. When visiting Ketchikan you’d better not wait for the rain to stop. It rains 300 days a year in Ketchikan. All together it enjoys a rainfall of over 200 inches each year. The locals in this 4th wettest place on earth describe this as the liquid sunshine! Ketchikan is the port of call in Alaska that offers the best information on totem poles and the Tongass National Forest. But this is not where it stops for this town. You have the option to go hiking, kayaking, see the salmon spawn in the creek and so much more.

June 12th 2021 Victoria

Victoria is the capital of the province of British Columbia, Canada. It is located near the southern tip of Vancouver Island. It is a medium sized (approx. 350,000 in Greater Victoria, including the Saanich Peninsula) and beautiful city. Nicknamed the Garden City for Butchart Gardens and much green space.

June 13th 2021 Seattle

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