I have always enjoyed traveling, even if it meant sleeping in a tent when I was younger. I prefer hotels and cruise cabins now, but the motivation is the same...an adventure waiting to happen. Sometimes you will find me traveling with my husband and/or family. Sometimes I will travel alone, and sometimes I will travel with friends. I hope you find it entertaining to keep up to date with me as I explore the world around me. Warning...I like to take pictures of food so don't read if you're hungry. More adventures await...see ya soon...Amy.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sapphire Princess Alaskan Cruise: Juneau, Whale Watch and Mendenhall Glacier

yummy buffet breakfast



heading out to go Whale watching

the scenery was just gorgeous

a little glacier spotting along the way

we spotted some Stellar Sea Lions


we watched these Orcas swim along the coastline for quite awhile. I think there are 4 of them.

Thar she blows!!! This is what we would see right after the plume of spray. It's still wafting in the air.

a tail as the whale dives. the plume of spray is still hanging in the air.

two Humpback whales


so close to the boats

we could not believe that they would swim so close to the shore

three whales. we were told that one was a baby

the Mendenhall Glacier from afar. These flowers are fireweed once they go to seed

food shacks at the dock

yummy cheese crepe

pretty wall art in the "indian" style

downtown Juneau

downtown Juneau

watching the pink salmon swim upstream

walking Nugget Trail out to Mendenhall Glacier

Mendenhall Glacier

ice bergs, chunks from the glacier float in the lake

Nugget Falls and Mendenhall Glacier

the lake is full of glacier silt which gives a brownish tint to the water

the blue color in the glaciers is so pretty. I was really surprised that glaciers are not smooth.

icebergs floating

Nugget Falls

Mom and Dad at Nugget Falls. Sunny days mean squinty eyes!

Danny jumps in...

me and my parents

This porcupine was climbing down the tree on our way to the Falls, but was back up in the tree when we walked back. I had no idea that porcupines climbed trees!

our boat in the background

tonight's dinner menu

and the left side of the menu

Danny's surf and turf

the cheesecake was delicious

We woke up to a bright, blue sky this morning. We were excited because this is usually the time of year for rain and lots of it. We ate breakfast in the buffet and then walked out of the ship to a waiting bus for our Whale Tour. We decided to do our excursion through the cruise line because they guaranteed a whale sighting and if anything happened while on our excursion to delay us, the boat would wait for us. We boarded a double decker boat with inside and outside viewing. It was very windy and cold while we were heading out to find the whales. We saw bald eagles in the trees which looked like ping pong balls and Stellar Sea Lions on an island. Then we saw something amazing...Orcas! Our captain and his crew were also very excited because Orcas are a rare sighting where we were in Favorite Channel. Our captain really hoped they would go after the sea lions we had just seen, but the swam on by. After boating alongside the Orcas, we went over toward some other boats that had sighted the whales. The whales were in a different place today than where they were yesterday, or so our guide told us. We stayed in the area with the Humpbacks for about an hour. There were at least 8-10 whales that kept going up and down. At one point, there were whales all around the boat. We were surprised to see them so close to shore. We also caught a glimpse of a few Dall’s Porpoises. We returned to town with our bus driver and he dropped us off in the center of town. We ate lunch at a Creperie stand, but only after hearing that an order of Halibut and fries would be $20.00 per person, Yikes! We bought tickets on another bus to go out and visit the Mendenhall Glacier. We were hoping to see a bear feeding on salmon while we were there, but the bears were not out. We watched the Salmon swimming in this area and they were pink! We went up to the Visitor's center and watched a very informative film on Glaciers. We walked the Nugget trail to Nugget Falls which is alongside the Mendenhall Glacier. Our bus guide had told us it would take an hour to walk to the falls and an hour to return. We almost didn’t go because we didn't have that much time, but when we reached the falls and I checked my watch, we had only been walking for 20 minutes and we had also stopped to watch a porcupine climbing down from a tree! The glacier and falls were stunningly beautiful and we were so glad we made the trip to see them. We also enjoyed another peek at the Porcupine, who had climbed back UP in the tree after we kept on walking. I had no idea that porcupines climb trees! We ended our day back on the ship with a dinner at our assigned table. Mom left us after dinner to go and have a manicure with the same person who gave her the pedicure yesterday. She met us in the  Princess Theater to watch the evening show with the ship’s dancers. We seem to have developed a habit of getting coffee/lattes and a treat after the show before we retire to our rooms. Tomorrow we will dock in Skagway, which is our last port.

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