Published: July 1st 2012June 27th 2012
After Glacier Bay, the ship cruised though College Fjord before arriving in Whittier at about midnight. There are many glaciers in College Fjord and they are named after eastern colleges. We didn't get a lot of time to sightsee here because we were taking part in a music trivia contest on the ship. (took second)
We would spend the night there in the harbor before disembarking at around 9:00 in the morning. We would then have a 1-1/2 hour bus ride to the Anchorage Airport where we would pick up a rental car. I kept wondering why our ship wasn't going all the way to Anchorage as some cruise ships do. It turns out that a lot of people take the train tour up to Denali National Park and then further north to Fairbanks. The train starts in Whittier so that's why we ended up there.
The bus ride was very scenic, though, taking us through the north side of the Kenai Peninsula and the Turnagain Sound. I guess flatlanders from Chicago can't believe there could be so much mountainous scenery, It never, ever ends. We picked up our car and drove to our hotel, the Millenium in Anchorage.
The interior is Alaskan lodge decor with mounts of Caribou, Elk, Moose and bear, It's right on Lake Hood, the largest seaplane base in the world and airplanes were landing and taxiing up to the dock all afternoon. We made an unsuccessful attempt to see downtown Anchorage before deciding to just eat dinner at our hotel.
The cruise was very, very nice. I'm not saying I'll do another one, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. The sense of confinement and regimentaion of all activities is not for me. I guess I'm just more of a road trip guy. But, cruising the Inner Passage was the only way to see many of the places we saw. You never know, maybe I will do it again if the destination is intriguing.
The food was very good, but Jan and Marilyn were in shock at the total bill for the extras on the ship. (read COCKTAILS!) Dan was the social butterfly of the ship, making friends, particularly in the cigar bar. He earned the nickname, "Buckets," by ordering buckets of Dos Equis and leaving them at different bars all over the ship so they were available whenever needed during his walk
Largest seplane base in the world. Right next to our hotel.
arounds. The service was very good and all the service people were very courteous to us. It's quite an international bunch: Mexico, Indonesia, the Ukraine, South Africa and many other countries. All spoke very good english, so no problem there. The cruise was a great experience, but I was jonesing to get on land when we did arrrive.
There are more photos below