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  • Writer's pictureUrsula

Alaska Cruise Vancouver to Seward 26.5.-3.6.22

Check-in in Vancouver, including security checks, takes longer than for a long-haul flight. After just under two hours we are on board Silversea's Silver Muse and move into our luxurious terrace suite.

In the evening we leave in cloudy weather through the Inside Passage towards Ketchikan where we dock the morning after next.

Ketchikan is called the salmon capital and is proud of the 4-5000 mm of rain per year, of which we also get some. The town itself is nicely laid out with many colorful houses.

We take a tour to Saxman Native Village where we are told the history of the Tlingit Indians. The tribe includes the moiaties 'Eagles' and the 'Ravens' who are strictly allowed to marry only one spouse of the other group. The Tlingit perform a dance show in a traditional longhouse with wild singing and shouting to the rhythm of loud drum beats. We learn a lot about the making and tradition of the totem poles, which tell stories about the families and the tribes, but are also sometimes erected as a punishment for an impropriety until it is atoned for....

Towards evening the ship departs and we sail to Juneau in increasingly better weather. Our planned hiking trip is cancelled because of too much snow. Therefore, we first take the Goldbelt Tramway (gondola) to the local mountain 'Mount Roberts' with a beautiful view of the town. A walk through Juneau with the many tourist stores may not be missing.

The highlight in the afternoon is the helicopter flight to the Mendenhall Glacier including a sled dog ride in beautiful sunshine. The 240 dogs and their handlers from the Fairbanks area are stationed all summer in a simple "training camp" on the glacier.

Skagway was the gateway to the Yukon during the Klondike gold rush at the end of the 18th century. The prospectors fought their way over the almost 1000m high White Pass to Canada and had to show rations for a whole year when crossing the border.

But we board the legendary train to comfortably cover part of this famously beautiful route to the Canadian border.

The tour through the pioneer town with many buildings that remind of old times and just as many souvenir stores with essential accessories is already a must because of the pedometer.

In the late afternoon we sail back towards Sitka through the beautiful fjord at pleasant temperatures until late at night.

In Sitka, the catamaran tour with otters, bears, whales and sea lions is unfortunately cancelled due to a boat defect. Clouds of fog hang over the city and we go for a walk through the promenade, past the Russian bishop's house and the Orthodox church. By the way, Russia sold Alaska to the USA in the 19th century for a tip (if that hadn't happened, we probably wouldn't be here today). We continue via the pier to the historical park with the many totem poles.

Probably the most impressive part of the cruise is ahead of us today: the weather is brilliantly beautiful and we are approaching the mighty Hubbard Glacier, which calves from time to time with a loud roar. We are lucky, there are not too many floating ice floes and so we can get very close to the glacier.

Unfortunately, this unforgettable cruise is already over the next morning in Seward. We say goodbye to the attentive and warm crew and drive by bus on a dreamlike route, past lakes and mountains, to Anchorage.

In Anchorage, we take a walk at noon to the world's largest seaplane airport with an average of 190 flights per day. The many airplanes are in the water like the boats on our jetty. Afterwards we have a small lunch in the sun at 24°.

On the flight back to Vancouver we marvel at the white mountain landscape with the huge glaciers and are happy that we will visit Alaska again by land in about a month.

Now we spend two weeks in Vancouver North and after that we head for Banff National Park.

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