Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Giantfan13

Back from Alaska

Recommended Posts

We got back a short while ago from our trip to Alaska and just wanted to note a few things.

We did a 4 day pre cruise in and around Anchorage, choosing not to go all the way to Denali. After, we boarded the NCL Jewel for a 7 day cruise from Seward to Vancouver, and a day in Vancouver before flying home late that night. I just wanted to say a few things and give a bit of info on our trip.

 

Our 4 days in and around Anchorage were nice except because of the wildfires, we couldn't see anything of any of the surrounding mountains anywhere. One day we drove the Seward Highway unto Portage Glacier and all you could see was white. We were going to do the hour boat cruise to Portage Glacier, but even the people at the info center said you wouldn't be able to see much, so we just hung around for a while and headed back. On the way back, we did stop at Beluga Point and did see several whales. We also stopped for what is known as the Bore Tide (Bore Tides. The "bore" is a tidal phenomenon in which the leading edge of the incoming tide clashes with the flow of the outgoing tide to form a wave that travels up a river or narrow bay.)

Next day we decided to head north on the Glen Highway, as they said the fires were a bit less. It really didn't help much. We drove about 100 miles to Matanuska Glacier which is a privately owned glacier which, for a price ($25 seniors PP) you can walk about a mile unto the glacier, which we did and it was pretty cool. Myself, a senior who walks with a stick, I was able to make it unto the glacier, but once there found it hard to walk on the ice, but anyway, was proud of myself for making it there. Many people brought spikes to attach to their shows to be able to walk all around.

The following day, it cleared a bit as we went to the Alaska State Fair (about 30 miles outside of Anchorage) which we loved. We are from NY, but we never saw so many people in one place in a long time. The fair was great and we enjoyed the entire day.

Following day we headed to Seward on the bus and we had booked a 6 hour Kenai Fiord cruise that same day. Well, the weather was horrendous with constant pouring rain when we got to Seward. We were informed that the seas were rough and if enough people got sea sick the boat would turn around. We were given the opportunity to opt out for a full refund, which we did. 

We stayed at the Hotel Seward for the night and it was a very nice place with great customer service. They had a shuttle which takes you to the terminal to board your cruise.

Our cruise was nice and we had glorious weather for all our days. We were supposed to visit 2 glaciers, but because of the warm weather they cancelled one because of too much ice in the water from calving, but we did get to Hubbard and we did get to see many great calving's. 

Our ports were Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan. We have been to the 3 latter ones twice so we basically did town things except for another visit to Mendenhall and the waterfall. Mendenhall has really shrunk since our last visit 8 years ago. 

In Vancouver, we opted to rent a car for the day, $30 for a Nissan Rogue, where we drove to Stanley park and spent most of the day there. We returned the car about 7, they shuttle you to the airport and we caught our red eye back to NY.

Will be happy to try and answer any questions if anyone has any.

 

Cheers

Len

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I understand it, this was the worst year for acres burned in Alaska history, and it sounds like they haven't got normal late summer rain fall to put things out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alaska has suffered much this Summer and the news of the issue in the lower 48 has been poorly reported.  Brazil has been burning which was well reported.  Well, the good people and forests of our 49th State have been suffering as well!

Edited by rkacruiser

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What was the other glacier that was cancelled? Tracy Arm?

 

Thanks for the review.

Edited by Coral

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Coral said:

What was the other glacier that was cancelled? Tracy Arm?

 

Thanks for the review.

Sawyer Glacier

 

Cheers

Len

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Giantfan13 said:

Sawyer Glacier

 

Cheers

Len

That is Tracy Arm with Sawyer Glacier as the glacier at the end. Thanks.

 

This one is frequently missed. I am surprised they didn't divert you to Endicott Arm (Dawes Glacier).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There were also very few salmon in many of the smaller streams. In our drives, we had hoped to see maybe a bear snacking on some salmon in a river or stream, but everywhere we stopped, there were no salmon. When we finally got to Ketchikan, usually along Creek Street, there are usually salmon everywhere, not this year. We did hike up the Married Mans Trail and above the water fall and along the river/stream there were thousands of salmon, but that was the only place we really saw them. They said because the temps were so warm all summer, the waters were also a bit too warm for the salmon and they were just dying off before getting back to spawn. 

Be prepared to pay a lot more for Alaskan Salmon next year. 

 

Cheers

Len

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Coral said:

That is Tracy Arm with Sawyer Glacier as the glacier at the end. Thanks.

 

This one is frequently missed. I am surprised they didn't divert you to Endicott Arm (Dawes Glacier).

I wish they would have. We were scheduled for a stop in Juneau from 7-1:30 and then going to Sawyer Glacier, but because it was cancelled, they extended our stay in Juneau till 10:00 that night. Really, all excursions were planned for that limited time frame and it gets dark about 8ish, staying till 10PM was simply ridiculous. There had to be something better to do, only NCL figured it would be cheaper to stay in port. Bad choice.

 

Cheers

Len

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Giantfan13 said:

I wish they would have. We were scheduled for a stop in Juneau from 7-1:30 and then going to Sawyer Glacier, but because it was cancelled, they extended our stay in Juneau till 10:00 that night. Really, all excursions were planned for that limited time frame and it gets dark about 8ish, staying till 10PM was simply ridiculous. There had to be something better to do, only NCL figured it would be cheaper to stay in port. Bad choice.

 

Cheers

Len

The sad thing is that if you had known that - you could have done the small boat ride out of Juneau to Tracy Arm with AdventureBound Alaska (private excursion).

 

On a positive note, you booked a trip with 2 glacier days and thankfully you saw Hubbard. If you had only one glacier day and it was Tracy Arm, you would have been really, really disappointed when it was missed (been there).

 

 

Edited by Coral

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/22/2019 at 4:12 PM, new2cruise said:

What did you do in Icy Strait?

Not too much.

 

Many of the  people did a zip line that people said was great. We have done the usual Alaska things as we have been to Alaska twice before, so we opted to just wander about, and there isn't all that much to wander about to. It was low tide when we were there and many people were scouring the shoreline for shells, rocks and other assorted sea creatures. We found some large and small star fish. We had a bit to eat in one of the local restaurants, and spent some time on the dock watching the so called 'every present' Orca that sort of stays in the harbor. I'm sure there were many things to do if you wanted to book an excursion, but they were very expensive and we decided to just have a relaxing day. 

 

Cheers

Len

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/22/2019 at 11:59 AM, Giantfan13 said:

There were also very few salmon in many of the smaller streams. In our drives, we had hoped to see maybe a bear snacking on some salmon in a river or stream, but everywhere we stopped, there were no salmon. When we finally got to Ketchikan, usually along Creek Street, there are usually salmon everywhere, not this year. We did hike up the Married Mans Trail and above the water fall and along the river/stream there were thousands of salmon, but that was the only place we really saw them. They said because the temps were so warm all summer, the waters were also a bit too warm for the salmon and they were just dying off before getting back to spawn. 

Be prepared to pay a lot more for Alaskan Salmon next year. 

 

Cheers

Len

Seems like the salmon ran much earlier this year. Some thought the fish sensed the HOT weather moving in around the fourth of July was the reason. Was up there for 6 weeks and got my fishing done in the first 4 days. Don't have to worry about the price of salmon as I have 100+lbs. in my freezer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, diesel1973 said:

Seems like the salmon ran much earlier this year. Some thought the fish sensed the HOT weather moving in around the fourth of July was the reason. Was up there for 6 weeks and got my fishing done in the first 4 days. Don't have to worry about the price of salmon as I have 100+lbs. in my freezer.

Having a BBQ????😄😄😃

 

Cheers

Len

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/24/2019 at 9:37 AM, diesel1973 said:

Seems like the salmon ran much earlier this year. Some thought the fish sensed the HOT weather moving in around the fourth of July was the reason. Was up there for 6 weeks and got my fishing done in the first 4 days. Don't have to worry about the price of salmon as I have 100+lbs. in my freezer.

 

I was there in mid-late July and the salmon were plentiful.  My Chugiak residing Nephew caught some very nice fish while I was there and we enjoyed dining on both some fresh as well as some of the salmon that he smoked.  My 5 year old Grand-Nephew caught his first salmon after I left and his Father said he was so excited!  I wish I could have seen that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

I was there in mid-late July and the salmon were plentiful.  My Chugiak residing Nephew caught some very nice fish while I was there and we enjoyed dining on both some fresh as well as some of the salmon that he smoked.  My 5 year old Grand-Nephew caught his first salmon after I left and his Father said he was so excited!  I wish I could have seen that!

My nephew who has been living up there for over 15 yrs. stated that the runs of salmon were early this year. We hit both the Copper and the Kenai river and also Ships creek. We did very well this year. We also smoke some salmon and I had to guard the smoker as a bear was spotted in the area. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ships Creek was absolutely loaded with salmon.  Where my Nephew lives, he has not had any bear problems, but there have been times when a moose family decided to spend some time in their yard between their house and where their cars are parked.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

Ships Creek was absolutely loaded with salmon.  Where my Nephew lives, he has not had any bear problems, but there have been times when a moose family decided to spend some time in their yard between their house and where their cars are parked.  

My nephew had 2 litters{?} of moose born in his backyard. Seems like when there are baby moose around the bears come running. Moose I can handle but after being attacked by a bear in 2006 I take no chances!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎9‎/‎21‎/‎2019 at 9:49 AM, CruiserBruce said:

As I understand it, this was the worst year for acres burned in Alaska history, and it sounds like they haven't got normal late summer rain fall to put things out.

Actually, from a forest fire standpoint this year was bad but it has been worse. Somewhere over 2.5 million acres this summer but in 2004 it was 6.5 million acres. I believe this year will come in at number four overall.
 
However, this has been the hottest ever summer for Alaska. Many day highs and all time highs, night and day, have been set from east to west and north to south. I certainly agree with that, as I have worked the state over most of my professional life, living here all my life too since I was born and raised here. 
 
Sure sorry about the smoke for our visitors and guests. It was nasty. Most of it was in Southcentral Alaska and came from the over 4 million acre Swan Lake Fire on the Kenai Peninsula. Princess even had to close their Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge for a while. We took the 26 Glacier Cruise out of Whittier on July 6th and it turned out beautiful, got a wind drift that kept the smoke out of Prince William Sound that day. 
 
 
 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with the Quark Expeditions Team!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...